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Minneapolis-help refine the big list!

Hello-I have read all the posts about the great places in Minneapolis but I've never been there and mapping all of them is quite laborious. Thought I could get some help refining where to go and help shaping a tentative plan.

We have 4 days and nights. We are doing the Uptown Art Fair located at Hennepin and Lake and staying at the Doubletree1500 Park Place Blvd.

1. Any suggestions for cheap eats (up to $15 a plate) within walking distance of those addresses? Any kind of food.
2. Then we'd like to do one higher end dinner so what is the one big MUST eat for a Chowhound? (leave out Asian-from DC area and eat it alot)
3. Coffee...gotta have great coffee and it needs to be close to the hotel.
4. Lastly, if there was one thing we've got to try tell me even if it requires driving.

We have a car but often drive around in circles in new cities and would prefer to avoid that which is why walking distance would be great.

Sounds like Nyes would be fun for a cocktail. The Global Market too is in my plan.

Thanks much!
KIm

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  1. We'll get back to you for food recs, but if you're in town for the Uptown Art Fair, not also that the Powderhorn and the Loring Park art fairs are going on the same weekend, and there's a free shuttle bus between the three!

    And you're right about the Asian - it's not stellar here.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Loren3

      Actually, we have very good Southeast Asian restaurants. According to the Brookings Institute (2003), about 1/7th of all Twin Citeans are foreign born, about half of those Asian. What we have here is good and it's real.

      ~TDQ

      1. re: Loren3

        Don't sell the Asian too short - there are a couple of places that do it quite nicely. I'd stack Evergreen up next to some the places in Chinatown in NYC. It's not walking distance, though.

        I'll post more later, but here are a couple places that are in walking distance of the art fair that are worthy for things besides your really nice dinner.

        Amazing Thailand, despite its name, does have good Thai. Tum Rup Thai has terrific thai.

        Some people could rightfully pick at Figlio, but it is an old sentimental favorite of mine. There are several dishes they do well, at least. It's Italian, but they also have some American classics (pot roast is yummy). My favorite thing there is Pollo Mattone.

        Chino Latino has a lot of flash, and it's a lot of fun. The food isn't brilliant, but it's good. The large portions are meant to be shared.

        You can get seafood at Stella's. I have never been, but there have been threads that have given the ups and downs.

        Mysore Cafe has vegetarian India food.

        Lucia's is a must-visit. Cafe and bakery.

        A walk up to Lyndale is nothing, really. 10 minutes tops - I do it all the time, and I live practically on Lake and Hennepin. There, you can have good Greek at It's Greek To Me.

        Pizza Nea had good neapolitan pizzas.

        That would be my short list if I were picking things for myself.

        -----
        Lucia's Restaurant
        1432 W 31st St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Stella's Fish Cafe
        1402 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Il Gatto
        3001 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Tum Rup Thai
        1221 W Lake St Ste 112, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Pizza Nea
        106 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        It's Greek To Me
        626 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Chino Latino
        2916 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Mysore Cafe [Closed April 08]
        2819 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Amazing Thailand
        3024 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        1. re: pgokey

          Lucia Watson used to close her restaurant over the Uptown Art Fair weekend, although I'm not sure whether that's still the case. You should call ahead if you are going there that weekend.

          You should also note that the fair will be right in front of Amazing Thailand, Figlio, Chino Latino and Mysore Cafe. I assume they'll all be open, but the ability to move in and out of them may or may not be affected.

          The Doubletree is right next to a strip mall with pretty good Indian and decent Chinese -- Taste of India and Yangtze, respectively. I don't know that I'd make either a destination, but they are about the only places within walking distance of your hotel -- other than a few chain places.

          -----
          Yangtze Chinese Restaurant
          5625 Wayzata Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

          Taste of India
          5617 Wayzata Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

          1. re: bob s

            There's also the new(ish - open a few months) Good Day Cafe. They're open for breakfast and lunch, and most things are pretty solid, although not particularly outstanding. There's also a coffeeshop/takeout bakery in the front - that will be the best bet for a quick breakfast.

            If you sit down, the souflee omlettes are pretty good. The Apple pancake is good, but very, very sweet. I had high hopes for the "glazed donut pancakes" - but they're really just thin pancakes using a donut batter. The regular pancakes are better.

            -----
            Good Day Cafe
            5410 Wayzata Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

          2. re: pgokey

            "I'd stack Evergreen up next to some the places in Chinatown in NYC."

            Do you really mean that? I think that Evergreen is just a brown sauce stir-fry place. I've eaten many times in NYC in Chinatown and in the outer boroughs. There is not much of a comparison. On the other hand restaurnants by the Uof M are more comparable.

            1. re: fred the fressor

              I really, truly mean that. If that's your impression of the place, you just haven't explored their menu, plain and simple. That have an incredibly greater amount of stuff to offer than just that.

              Their dinner menu is much more substantial than their lunch and take out menus. And on the weekends, it's better yet.

              You won't get the ambience of Rainbow, but you will get at least as good food.

              It's not just me saying this. It's won a ton of awards. Go there for dinner on the weekend and give it another try.

              Their eggplant is terrific, as are the green beans. Their Taiwanese noodles are great. Beef with broccoli is done perfectly. I could go on.

            2. re: pgokey

              With all due respect, and having lived in DC and Atlanta, I would say that Tum Rup Thai is good, but not excellent. If I were coming to town from someplace like that, and specifially said I was not looking for Asian, none of the Asian here (at least in the Uptown neighborhood) would good enough to convince me otherwise.

              I do like many of the Asian places in town, but I wouldn't say the ones in Uptown are on a par with what's available in DC. We do have many other gems in the Uptown, Lynlake, and East Lake areas, which you have notably recommended, that would be better choices.

              1. re: Loren3

                I've had Thai in Atlanta, and I disagree. To each their own.

                1. re: pgokey

                  But did you have Thai at Nan, or Thai Taste, two relative new places in midtown? They both compare favorably to places I've eaten at in Bangkok.

                  I agree that there is lots of forgettable, even execrable Thai in Atlanta, but the best of what we have here is only as good as the better than average there. Atlanta also has the Buford Highway, which takes Eat Street and multiplies it by about 100. The Asian markets on Buford make Midtown Global Market and United Noodle look like carryouts by comparison. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad we have the good resto and shopping options that we have. But, for someone coming from somewhere with mind-blowing Asian, such as DC, Atlanta, or the West Coast, ours here in the Twins isn't necessarily worth going out of the way for.

          3. Neither Nye's nor MGM are walkable. MGM is easy to get to on bus, though - just pick up a 21 on Lake and it takes you there. You could risk a drive to it without worrying about getting lost. The art fair is on Lake, and so is MGM. Straight line. It's worth it, trust me.

            1. One last quickie:

              For the big night out dinner, think about La Belle Vie. It's probably the crown jewel of fine dining in the cities, and it's walking distance from the Loring Park art fair. Take a free shuttle from the Uptown one to the Loring one, check out some art at Loring, and then walk to LBV. Reservations need.

              -----
              La Belle Vie
              510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

              2 Replies
              1. re: pgokey

                I second La Belle Vie for a memorable big night out. It's expensive...the tasting menu can run $300 for two with wine pairings, but my experience there was that it was worthy of the price.

                1. re: ExercisetoEat

                  If you don't feel like blowing that much cash I would also recommend Restaurant Alma in Minneapolis.

                  http://www.restaurantalma.com/about_u...

                  -----
                  Restaurant Alma
                  528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              2. Here's a link for Midtown Global Market that has some links to some chowdown reports which might be helpful.

                ~TDQ

                -----
                Midtown Global Market
                920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                1. Coffee - I think there is a caribou (which is a chain) right behind your hotel. Not the best - but close.

                  If you are out and about visit one of the many Dunn Brothers for a better cup (IMO) its also a chain - but not as big.

                  http://www.dunnbros.com/storelocator/...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: St Paul Susie

                    not meaning to turn this into a coffee thread (and not trying to be confrontational either) but I like the beans at Dunn Bros, but I can't stand their brewed coffee. That;s just my opinion though, I'm sure many people like their brewed coffee.