Unique to Minneapolis
I'm headed soon to Miineapolis on business. I thought I might stay an extra day or two if there's good food there that I can't get anywhere else. I live in both Seattle and New Haven, CT, so please don't tell me about either seafood or Italian-- I get plenty of that already! Thanks. Jack
Here's a recent thread you might find helpful
I'd steer you to: a jucy lucy (cheese-stuffed burger) with hand cut fries at the Nook on Hamline at Randolph in St. Paul. Or at Matt's Bar in Minneapolis. These are both just neighborhood bars; the latter is quite a dive. Jucy Lucys were "invented" here (many say at Matt's). I think they're a hoot, but make sure you're in a "burger" mood because, at the end of the day, it really is just a burger. It will also give you a perspective on the local tavern culture. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jucy_lucy Beware the music on this website--this really is the Nook's actual "myspace" page; it's owned by a couple of young men in their 20's. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?...
If you want something super rich (a cup is plenty!), the wild rice porridge at Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis. HK makes most everything from scratch--even their yogurt and jam and catsup. Wild rice is our "state grain." While you're there, also try also Hell's Kitchens house made peanut butter. Or, also super rich but delicious, their lemon-ricotta pancakes. Mmmm. http://www.hellskitcheninc.com/
Deep fried cheese curds at Town Talk diner in Minneapolis: warning, TTD is quite loud. http://www.towntalkdiner.com/
Lefse at Cafe Finspang at Midtown Global Market. http://www.midtownglobalmarket.org/?q... Also, their "parent" store Ingebretsen's has many things Scandinavian. Not a lot in the way of prepared foods, but, still a kick. http://www.ingebretsens.com/
Also, Cafe Safari or Starlight Cafe (try the sambusi!) at Midtown Global Market. We have a significant Somali presence here in the Twin CIties. http://www.midtownglobalmarket.org/?q...
If you're downtown Mpls, the Dakota focuses on sourcing with local ingredients--see if you can't get some Lake Superior trout or whitefish. (I know you said no seafood, but this is lakefood, no?). Also, they have live jazz. http://www.dakotacooks.com/
At gas station convenience store: pick up a Pearson's Salted Nutroll (candy bar). They are made in St. Paul. http://www.pearsonscandy.com/index.html
Apples are in season right now--the honeycrisp was invented at the UofM. It's, of course, our state apple. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeycrisp
Locally produced beer: Surly's getting a lot of buzz. Also, Summit and Schells are local. Grain Belt if you want something less fancy/upscale (it's a great lawnmowing beer...) If you're in downtown Minneapolis, Gluek's bar serves, of course, Gluek's beer (made in Coldspring MN.) I don't know if I'd go out of my way to go to Gluek's, but if you're downtown anyway... http://www.glueks.com/beerlist.htm
We have lots of restaurants that focus on sourcing local ingredients. I'll try to link in one of those threads for you, too. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/405174
Oh, and, lately, I've really loved Craftsman Restaurant in Minneapolis (but not downtown, alas). They serve all kinds of local, in season foods. Local venison, local trout, artisenal cheeses and produce, etc. http://www.craftsmanrestaurant.com/
Have fun, please report back!