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"Go to" restaurant when too hungry 2 think

Has this ever happened? You go out and about with your SO, and all of a sudden you both realize hunger has hit, blood sugar is at an all time low and if there isn't food SOON, there will be ugliness! Wow, a restaurant is needed PRONTO! So, this happens quite often at our house - we head out, and smack, we are cranky and can't figure out where to go. We live in Minneapolis.

Our fall to restaurant is Figlio's. It's always the same. Nothing great. Nothing terrible. Consisitent BUT there has to be other places around the Uptown, downtown, TC metro that others put in their stable of stable "go to" places when you can't THINK right.

We are huge fans of Quang, Jasmine Deli, but sometimes........we want plates of pasta, burgers, or a place that offers American standards quick, inexpensively and tasty.

Any suggestions?


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  1. When we find ourselves in this state, which happens all too frequently, we go to the aforementioned Jasmine Deli, the Birchwood, Highland Grill or the Longfellow Grill. The Grills certainly offer burgers, plus salads, entrees, sandwiches and weekly specials. Also, the service at the Grills is always very friendly and attentive. Oh, we also go to D'Amico and Sons, which certainly has lots of pasta. And that excellent chocolate marscapone cake.

    I'm looking forward to reading other people's posts, because I would love to have some more places to go when in a brain dead state.

    Also, I have to say I really don't get Figlio's. I have found them to be overpriced for the quality of the food.

    1. Thanks Cassandra. I have enjoyed Longfellow Grill and I just don't think of it! Figlio's is just easy and that's why the post to get more help! :)

      1. Quang, Evergreen, and Lund's for sushi.

        1. I know what you mean about Figlio. I love the fact that it's been exactly the same since what? the 80s?That's quite a feat..there're dozens of places that have been spawned by it but you have to give them credit for really being consistently good for so long. Obviously we're all restaurant snobs to some extent and I , for one , really can't say I've ever had "bad" food at Figlio. I truly can't say that about any other place I've been going to for 20 years. Plus, I love their sturdy, reliable cocktails.Talk about "go to".

          1. Where are these places located (what city)?

            1 Reply
            1. re: nsxtasy

              Minneapolis / St. Paul (aka airport code MSP).

            2. *Take-out from Crescent Moon
              *Barley John's for burgers & beer
              *Pizza Nea

                1. re: Sven

                  You know, Mexican is my go to when I'm famished restaurant, too. The problem is, I have to admit my go to Mexican restaurant lately is not very chowish: Pepito's on Chicago in Mpls. I really love their salsa and their chiles rellenos.

                  Sadly, I haven't yet found a "sit-down" Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities that I love.


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Have you ever tried La Perla del Pacifico at about 60th and Nicollet in south Minneapolis? The have a varied menu, nice service, a long happy hour with good drinks and a great breakfast deal.

                    1. re: happysnacker

                      You know, I haven't tried it yet, but it's been on my list try to for awhile, and I'd sort of forgot about it. Maybe I should put that back to the top of my list! Thank you for reminding me. Can you tell me more about their breakfast?

                      Is it huevos rancheros and such?


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        On the weekends they have a chalkboard out on the sidewalk with the deal of the day, usually eggs in some fashion with rice and beans and tortillas (and chips and good salsa-a guilty breakfast treat that I love) I have looked at the menu but only gotten the special. It comes with either OJ or coffee and was $5.99? I can't remember exactly.

                        Outside of breakfast, they have some great mariscos (seafood soup/stew) other fish dishes, a couple goat dishes, and more goodies. You should put them on "the list"

                2. Punch seems to be our go-to place as of late. You really can't go wrong there.

                  We recently put a business card holder in our car, and started storing the business cards of places we've been. That's a source of ideas, usually.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Danny

                    Punch (NE) is my recent go-to place, also. Its in between work and home, and serving until 10.

                  2. What a great idea, Danny! I love the idea of keeping cards handy from frequented restaurants - Brilliant and I shall steal your idea!

                    It is certainly great to get ideas on places to go - it seems in casual conversation, there are always a dozen or twenty restaurants on the list but when it comes down to "must eat now" it is easy to feel brain dead.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Abacus

                      I'll warn you, the concept is better than the reality. We end up going through the book and stuff is either too far and/or something we're not in the mood for.

                      And, you have to decide what to do when a place closes. Tibet's Corner just came out of the book... that was sad.

                      1. re: Danny

                        The other problem with the book is that it doesn't really tell you where to go when super hungry - it just gives you ideas. When we're too hungry, we don't even want to think, thus Punch becomes the old standby because we know where it is, it has good parking and it's quick.

                      2. re: Abacus

                        Remember to ask for take-out menus as well as the business cards. (I usually get two - one for home, and one for the office/car.) We have a huge pile of menus next to our phone, which really helps for those too-hungry-to-think times.

                        If only I could remember to note the restaurant's hours on the menu - I always forget that Midori's is closed on Mondays, Emily's is closed on Tuesdays, and Puerta Azul stops taking orders at 7:45pm on weekdays...

                        Abacus, if I lived in the Uptown area, my go-to restaurants would probably be La Hacienda (near Lake St. & Hwy 35), Christo's (Nicollet & 27th?), or the Midtown Global Market for the Tilapia from La Serena Gorda. Or, if I wanted to drive all the way to the river, the Birchwood Cafe.


                      3. There are times I just don't want to make the decision of where to eat, these are my standbys:

                        Spring Street for wings or a grilled ham & cheese on rye
                        Gardens of Salonica for dips and hot pita
                        Nea or Punch for a pie
                        Moose & Sadies for breakfast

                        1. We always head to Eat Street when we're starving. It's close and spring rolls and pho are super fast and filling, no worries about eating your days worth of calories because you were so hungry you couldn't think. Also, parking is relatively easy, I can always find street parking or a lot affilitated with the place we want to go. I hate to say it but parking is essential, when I'm hungry I get so cranky and lose all my patience.

                          1. Such great wonderful ideas!!! With the impending snow storm, I just filled my cart at Cub and am going to make a huge pot of sauce for the weekend......

                            1. Good thinking! With the storm coming, I expect that the grocery stores and co-ops will be mighty busy this afternoon and evening. We need some hearty food to fuel us for all of the shoveling :-)

                              1. Speaking of tonight, we've been talking Indian since husband is taking his boy scout troop for all night skiing and will need something quite filling before. Help me think - are there any good Indian spots near S. Minneapolis so we won't have to battle 35W or 94?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: katebauer

                                  I got some good takeout from Mysore Cafe recently- including some lemon pilaf that
                                  was reminiscent of Udupi

                                  1. re: faith

                                    In addition to Mysore Cafe, there's Marla's (W. Lake Street at Emerson?/Dupont?) and New Delhi (14th & Nicollet).


                                    1. re: AnneInMpls

                                      Thanks! Husband ended up stopping by Moti Mahal since it was easier than navigating home though Uptown. I got the mulligatawny soup (sp likely wrong), and we shared palak paneer and chicken tikka masala. It was fine, but nothing special. The palak paneer had a nice, smokey flavor but the tikka masala was too runny. We ordered everything hot, and the soup was spicy enough, but we could have handled more heat with the entrees.

                                2. Costco was crazy, Cub was packed --- you'd think we never had a storm warning before! Anyway, I am set.......and firewood and the Oscars.......a weekend to stay inside.

                                  1. I made a big pot of pumpkin soup in anticipation of the coming storm, froze half of it...and accidentally ate the rest. It was very good. Oh well.

                                    To make this post on-topic, we live near Snelling and University (which is where I plan to walk, should I be housebound). My new go to is the recently expanded Snelling Cafe, a fairly average middle eastern joint.

                                    1. I love this thread but something about it makes me unable to think of a single restaurant of any kind.

                                      I just thought of one though..Christo's union depot (we get take out..) Always the same. 2 gyro. 1 satsiki app.1 lg greek salad. 1 side fries.

                                      This meets the criteria I think in that it's not great but never bad and for me I always want a really good salad because I don't feel like chopping or cooking at all in this too hungry to think state.