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Need {Recent}restaurant/food recommendations for area around Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN

We are going to Rochester MN on 2/6/07 for approximately 2 weeks while I am treated at Mayo Clinic.

I have read older postings on here and understand that we are not going to the gourmet capital of the world. However, while we are here, we would like to have some ideas as to where to eat other than chains. I am looking for some places that we can go together before I am admitted as inpatient and some places for my husband to eat lunch/ dinner while I am in hospital.

We like American, Asian, Greek, Italian, Seafood/Fish, Steak, Italian. Not looking for mexican as we get plenty of that at home. He would also enjoy brew pubs or micrbrewery places. Any recommendations for local beers?

I have done searches on here and lots of the posts are dated. I have looked at rochester websites and have names of places, but not much else to go on as to quality of food.

For the meals for the two of us, price really isn't too important. When he eats alone, he is willing to pay less and have a decent meal with a good [preferably great] beer.

We are staying: Spring Suites on 2nd and I have came upon these possibilities:
Michael's Restaurant;
Bilotti's Italian Village;
Broadstreet Cafe & Bar;
City Cafe Mixed Grille & Bar;
City Market;
The RedWood Room;S
Shady Hill Grille

Thanks so much for your insights.

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  1. First of all, best of luck to you. While I was there for my stay at the Mayo, I learned to LOVE the food at Victoria's. It's right downtown, easy access to the Mayo and a relaxing atmosphere. Good for lunch or dinner.


    In fact, the day I was released from Mayo and not even so lucid, we went straight to Victoria's for too much food. It was wonderful - I loved all of the chicken dishes (didn't have any steak or seafood) but the chicken dishes were classic, delicious and soothing to the soul (I am an east coast Sicilian and am miserably disappointed with most Italian food restaurants). I also don't order red sauces for pasta because, again I am disappointed so I don't even bother. I loved everything I had at Victoria's......

    Again, best of luck and Godspeed.

    1. Thanks for the kind words and suggestion. The older post on here seem to indicate that Victoria's was less than good.

      Glad to get a differing opinion -- when were you there?


      1. I was there well over a year ago - I found the food comforting and good. Of course, it all depends on individual taste. Being Italian, we were pretty much raised to avoid Italian restaurants (even though we had two in our family). I enjoyed Victoria's very much - and would love to hear, if you go, what your experience was like. Of course a lot can change in time and it's been a bit.

        1. You'll be excited to hear that Rochester Magazine just came out with its Best Restaurant edition. Pick one up. Some suggestions are excellent, others appear to have stuffed the ballot box.

          Do try Sontes - a new tapas restaurant just a couple of blocks from the clinic. 40 wines by the glass plus excellent food, atmosphere. The scallop dish and the chirizo stuffed dates are notable.

          Michael's is old school. My parents love it as do most of the Rochester traditionals. Ask to sit in the library. Steaks are their specialty.

          Zorba's for Greek - on 7th Street NW and 11th Avenue. Try their chicken. Nice family. Mac's is close to the Clinic, but nothing special.

          Prescott's is about 20 blocks south of the Clinic. Great food and even better wine. The stuffed pork chop was voted the best dish -- a surprising choice to me. Try their pear salad.

          While at the Clinic, Victoria's is close and always a sure thing. They actually have a hidden jewel location called "Victoria's Express". It only does take out, but has a huge salad selection. If you're on the run, ask an employee to direct you.

          City Cafe, Broadstreet, the Redwood Room and Zubay's are all owned by the same people. City Cafe was again the best restaurant. Nice for dinner. Redwood has live music every night and a great menu. I don't seem to go to these as much as other places. They seem over-priced to me without enough return.

          Local beers don't exist. Try Whistle Binkie's (about 30 blocks north) for good, different bar food and more types of beers than you can imagine (for Rochester, that is).

          Good luck with your visit. Hope all goes well.

          1. Thanks for the great info! Most appreciated. Debi

            1. One choice for local brews is Mantorville Brewing Company.They have two varieties, Stagecoach Ale and Smoked Porter The only place I know it's available is at the Hubbell House (ironically) also in in Mantorville.

              Mantorville Brewing Company
              105 East Fifth Street
              PO Box 463
              Mantorville, MN 55955
              (507) 635-5404

              1. If your husband is looking for GREAT food, decent prices, and a wonderful staff and service, I have two words...Cafe Presto! http://www.cfpresto.com It's directly across from St. Mary's and offers free delivery to the local area...with no minimum purchase. One of the best local unsung heroes.

                1. it's hard to know your palate and what you consider good fare, but here is my $0.02 worth:
                  Michael's is a over-used, overthehill steak restaurant. Don't go there looking for good steak, go there looking for an atmosphere from the "old days" with food that tastes like it too. also, Hubbell House may have been known for great steak in the past, but now, it's just mediocre and the service is horrible. Victoria's? It's probably the only Italian food in Rochester other than the Olive Garden so that's why most people will say it's good. Just as an FYI, I've heard worse reviews about Bilotti's. As jpots stated, there are 3 decent restaurants in Rochester that are all owned by the same family and after you've eaten at all of them, they pretty much taste the same. City Cafe is way overrated, pretentious and not all that. With that said, the Redwood room is the better of them due to its ambience in the basement (great ambience and they have live, acoustic performers which is awesome). what do I recommend? Newts. Definitely for beer, popcorn and burgers and their nachos. Just a great fun, bar place. I also recommend the chinese restaurant that used to be the old Arby's (across from the YMCA). Their singapore curry noodles are very well done. Fine dining, purely in my opinion, does not exist in Rochester. casual dining is plentiful. The sandwiches at Zubay (the place on the street level next to City Cafe) has good sandwiches. It's more of a walk, but The Good Food store has great vegan food! I tell everybody this! I think THEY have the best food in Rochester. At least try it. Also, don't give the Rochester Magazine's "BEST Restaurants" too much credit... judge by your own intuition and chowhound.com thoughts. Good luck!

                  1. Thanks again for the suggestions. We ate at Zorba the Greeks the first night. It is owned by a Russian woman, so that should tell you something. I had spanikopita and tirapidas as appetizer and greek salad. Hubby had souvlaki [d bit dried out]. All was ok, but nothing special. I had rice pudding for dessert, [should have passed on it - seemed like rice in milk with some cinnamon on top,but lots of it] and hubby had baklava [soggy].

                    Second night we ate at Cafe Presto. Hubby had special which was pasta with shrimp and alfredo like sauce [few shrimps] and I had their famous chicken with thai chile honey glaze [simple but tasty].

                    Third night we ate at Canadian Honker. Hubby had chile as soup and that almost filled him up. He had tower of chops [pork] which was served over mashed potatoes and had some fried onions on top. They looked a bit on the overcooked side to me. I had pot roast which was very good. Had a huge piece of coconut cake...moist and yummy. Perfect end for a really bad day.

                    Hope this helps someone else looking for places to eat.
                    PS - we walked everywhere. Zorba's was very far from where we stayed and it was way too cold to walk! So, the next 2 dinners were picked for location; a few blocks of Spring Hill Suites where we stayed.

                    1. Hello there, I am in Rocheeseter for a few days and am coming from a rural area where there are no Indian restaurants. Indian food is my favorite, so I am excited about the opportunity to get it tonight. However, it doesnt sound like the Indian food is that great here. What does anyone recommend? And could you reply right away as I am eager to eat soon? Price is no object but quality is. I will only be ordering onlhy vegetarian Indian dishes. Also, besides the Vietnamese, which I may have tomorrow, are there any other good ethnic restaurants I might not ave at home Thanks so much,

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: starfishhungry

                        Cuisine of India (formerly Natraj Indian Kitchen) http://www.natrajkitchen.com/ is surely the best vegetarian Indian food in town. You can get just about anything you want if you talk to the waiter and make a request. They are very good at making their dishes to order...as long as they know what you want.

                        Aas far as Vietnamese, there are two choices... Pho Hoa on 18th Avenue...their food is so so, good Pho I guess but nothing different than what I've anywhere else. The second is a new place on Broadway that I've not tried but looks busy every time I drive by. Report back if you try it...it's surely on my list .

                      2. Three more to try:
                        Prescott's in Crossroad Shopping Center Chef owned, wife is sommelier. Very nice food and wine.
                        Jasper's, an Alsatian bistro on 3rd St. SW
                        Sontes Restaurant, a new wonderful tapas place, again with a great wine list, also on 3rd St. SW.

                        1. From someone who visits her parents in Rochester about once a month, Bilottis is not that great. Try Victoria's-especially the Chicken Picatta. They have some great lunch specials too. The tiramasu is kind of wierd-but everything else has been absolutely fantastic.

                          1. Some other places I forgot about are La Fiesta (I know you don't like Mexican, but it's really good). Also Grandma's Kitchen in the NE, very good home cooking and breakfasts. Excellent soups. Also, try Zorba's for some good Greek food-this from a person who grew up in Rochester, and still visits her parents about once a month. Also, Nelson's Cheese has excellent sandwiches and really fantastic cheap ice cream.

                            1. We've been in Rochester for about 15 years. I see nobody has posted about our two fine local Barbecue joints.

                              Roscoes original stand is open except winter just across the River on 4th St S. They win national ribfests, and have a grand national winner of a sauce. Their restaurant in Maplewood is open year-round. They also have fish fries some nights that are really good.

                              John Hardy's is also well-regarded. Their medium sauce is as hot as I can take.

                              We also have the Famous Dave's chain, which ain't bad at all.

                              Mexican: Las Carambas is a hole-in-the-wall with good and authentic food, good prices, large portions and a drive-through.

                              Chinese: China Star with three sites keeps winning the best take-out in town award in Rochester magazine. I like it.

                              Chinese Buffets: Sky Dragon at Miracle Mile is very good; two new ones, International Buffet and Kingdom Buffet are both excellent.