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Nov 16, 2006 01:56 PM

MSP Area for Great Lunch on 11/24

Unexpected airport lay-over 10:30am-4pm. Want to take local dear friend for a terrific, spec'l lunch. Haven't had the op in years to stop in Msp like this. We are both well-traveled, so any cuisine goes.

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  1. How about Murrays in downtown MPLS? the butter knife steak - they do a good lunch. & you could take the light rail from the airport.

    Lots and lots of options if your friend is picking you up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: St Paul Susie

      She is picking me up, so fire away.

    2. Does "special" mean fancy? Or expensive? Or uniquely Minnesotan? Or ladies-who-lunch classic? Or wildly exotic? Or hole-in-the-wall slumming? Or ... ?

      Assuming the first meaning, I think the nicest place that's open all afternoon (in case your plane is late or you want to talk for hours) might be Lucia's. This place has three parts: an upscale & quiet restaurant (closed from 2-5), a cozy wine bar, and a take-out place. And the food is glorious.

      But in case "special" means something else, here are a few more ideas.

      BIG CAUTION: Because of the holidays, definitely contact the place of your choice to confirm that they're open during the day on the 24th.

      Fancy new buzz-generator (I haven't been here; search the board for info):
      Chambers Kitchen - Jean-Georges Vongerichten's new restaurant
      - Warning: This is the world's worst web site! I couldn't get it to work on my brand-new computer, so I'm not sure if they're open during the day. Try this link instead:

      Fun, exotic, do-it-yourself multi-ethnic feast:
      Midtown Global Market - lively indoor market with many ethnic food "stands" in the old Sears building

      Cozy and slightly upscale ethnic:
      El Meson - Spanish-Caribbean Bistro

      Ladies who lunch at swanky cafeterias:
      Cafe Latte - soups, sandwiches, salads, desserts, and afternoon tea (there will be lines - this place is wildly popular

      Hippie-gourmet ladies who lunch in a casual cafeteria/coffee shop:
      Birchwood Cafe - a beautiful drive along the West side of the Mississippi

      Neighborhood bistro that closes at 2PM:
      Al Vento - good, authentic southern Italian food near the airport

      This I Believe: Three ice cream cones make a meal:
      Izzy's Ice Cream (no food, just fabulous ice cream

      If "special" means "unique to the Twin Cities," maybe others can chip in with info about our local specialties, like Tavern on Grand for walleye, Al's Breakfast for a unique experience (closes early - maybe 1PM?), either the Nook, the 5-8 Club, or Matt's Bar for a Jucy Lucy (a burger with the cheese inside), and Mickey's Diner (the food isn't recommended, but the place is a classic diner car that's been featured in several movies).

      Have a nice visit,

      1 Reply
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Tks, Anne, these are fine suggestions. Exotic/ethnic picks w/b good too. Fancy not necessary, just wonderful food regardless of price.

        1. DF in Msp. was wondering about 2 places: The Kitchen at the Chambers Hotel & Cue @ Guthrie for lunch. We'll be utilizing the light rail after all & not have a car. What do you local hounds think of these 2 spots? I have gratefully noted your previous posts, but now we definitely light rail accessible spots that do not require a lot of walking by DF. TIA.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Taralli

            The Kitchen at Chambers is 5 blocks away from the light rail. (According to, it's .31 miles.) My wife and I had a great dinner there a couple of weeks ago. I assume that lunch would be equally good. Assuming that the weather is warm (as is forecast), lunch at Chambers is probably do-able using light rail only.

            Haven't been to Cue yet. It would be a bit more of a walk - over a half a mile - from the Government Square station and probably about the same from the Metrodome station.

            My only question about Chambers on the 24th is whether there will be a lunch crowd from the post-Thanksgiving shoppers who may come downtown for the day. I don't know the strength of downtown shopping these days, but I'd think about making a reservation at Chambers (if possible) if that's your choice.

          2. Vincent used to have a very good lunch. Do they still?

            2 Replies
            1. re: zataar

              Is Vincent's within easy walking distance of the light rail?

              1. re: Taralli

                Vincent is 6 blocks down Nicollet Mall (a pedestrian and bus mall) from the light rail. You can either walk or use your light rail ticket as a transfer on any bus that is heading down Nicollet. [The stop is Nicollet Mall]

                I'm not a regular transit user -- I just work near the light rail -- so I had to look this up. While looking at the website of Metro Transit ( I saw that most routes are on a Saturday schedule on the 24th. You may want to take this into account.

                Vincent has a great lunch. I think their steak tartare is excellent.

                Thinking about my post yesterday, you could also take a bus from the light rail (Stop is Warehouse District/Hennepin) down Hennepin to Chambers at 9th and Hennepin.