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May 11, 2007 09:23 AM

MSP - al fresco near the airport

I work near the airport and last summer scoped out many of the al fresco-ish options, but there may be a few I'm missing. Here are the ones I know about, more or less clockwise from due north.

Sea Salt, Minnehaha - state park
Famous Dave's, 7th St. Paul - screened porch
Champp's, 7th St. Paul - patio
Chevy's, MOA - patio
Au Bon Pain Lyndale near 86th - patio
Potbelly's and Chipotle Lyndale at 494 - patio
Hot Plate and Firefly, Bloomington at 52nd - sidewalk/patio
Fat Lorenzo's, Cedar Ave at Nokomis - sidewalk
5-8, Cedar Ave at the Crosstown - screened deck

It seems like there could be more than this. Because of time constraints, I don't want to venture west of Lyndale, or too much north of the crosstown (7th in St Paul excepted) or east of the river. As it is, Sea Salt is a rare occasion because it is so far and takes so long.

Some of these aren't very chowish - Chevy's for example.


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  1. First Course, sidewalk dining, 56th and Chicago. Only open for dinner.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jordan

      Blows it for me. I'm looking for lunch spots. Thanks, though.

    2. "MSP - al fresco near the airport" sounds like inhaling jet fuel.

      1 Reply
      1. re: g rote

        Axl's in Mendota proper (on 13)...not sure if they open for lunch, though. If I were you, I would brown-bag it and park down in that nature preserve along the Minnesota River beneath the Ft. Snelling Officers' Club.

      2. I haven't been too impressed with the food at Liberty Frozen Custard, but the custards and Italian Ice are wonderful. There's few places I'd rather chill out on a summer afternoon. They have a great outdoor area, and inside is pretty nice too when they have the garage doors open.

        It's a little bit towards the far end of where you're willing to travel, but might be worth it. They have their daily custard menu online too: http://www.libertyfrozencustard.com/