MSP - Alma, Solera, Masa or somewhere else?
Alma is my fave place in the TC - but I agree with the prior comments about satisfying post run hunger.
And my chowspouse had dinner at Masa recently and was very pleasantly surprised - he had heard & read many negatives and he thought it was excellent.
Enjoy the TC, the run and dinner!
re: St Paul Susie
hmmm let me see here. I can't help you with Alma since I have yet to eat there -- but from what I've seen & heard I'll have to agree that after a marathon, you probably won't be too satisfied. Solera is the same deal.....great food, but after a marathon -- keep looking....its smaller portions may have you craving enough to put you & your family out on the street (but thats just me....). As for Masa, I really-really did not want to like this restaurant....but.....after getting two above average meals & service.....I'm a fan. Solid food from one of the D'Amico chain of restaurants.....great food, good service, and spectacular cocktails (not to mention the dynamite chips & salsa that i usually dive into right away!!
If not here - go to 112 Eatery.....still the best overall meal that we've had since moving to MN.
I love that you've included Masa. We are definitely fans of their sopes, tacos, roast pork, wine list and I love the ribeye there. After a run, this may be the perfect food as it includes good carbs for an instant recharge and lean protein (don't order any chorizo) for the repair your muscles will be doing. Get a side of the beans as they are real and addictive. We've tried Masa many times and it is a standby for business dinners. Consistant.
Alma is a great restaurant and we are regulars, but I just don't think it will satisfy the way your body will want. The best way to eat at Alma is in courses, smaller courses that are imaginative, local, and delicious but not the chow I crave after a big workout. Definitely not stuffy or pretentious...the waitstaff all wear jeans...come on!
Solera, same thing as snowboard said over there...spiciness and sauces may not sit well in your gut. Greasy meats (oxtail, rabbit, lamb). A good option however as you can generally get whatever you crave.
After a big workout however, I know all I crave is starch. Cheap carbs. I usually use big soccer games or extended tennis matches as an excuse to over-indulge in guilty pleasures like Buca. Talk all the smack you want, few things satisfy better than mashed potatoes with extra roasted garlic and a half a stick of butter pooling in the middle.
Just so that there's not a misunderstanding on your part, unlike Solera and Masa, Alma is not within the downtown area. It's across the river and down a little ways. It would be a short taxi ride if you do not have a car available.
I'd also recommend Cafe Lurcat (at the edge of Downtown on Loring Park), and Lucia's and Cafe Barbette in Uptown. Uptown is about 5-10 minutes away from Downtown.
Lurcat is in a great location and I think the food there is great. Lucia's menu and concept is similar to Alma's and I happen to like it better. (It's also within walking distance for me, so I eat there much more often.) Barbette has good food and has a fun atmosphere.
Good luck in your race.
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Not sure if it is your first marathon or your fifteenth, but as a marathoner myself, there is nothing better than a good post-run meal! From your suggested list, I would think that Alma would be the better bet. The food might be a smidge richer than you'd like for a post-run meal, but you'd definitely find your protein and your starch and you know the quality of the food would be good. What about Brasa as well? Good quality but not as expensive? I do enuoy Solera but I think that might upset your stomach and with tapas, you might not get enough substance to restore your energy and nutritional needs. As for MASA, I can say that I have never eaten here, but I know several people that have and have been very disappointed with the food there...and at their prices, it should not be disappointing.