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Nov 19, 2007 07:14 AM

MSP - Top 10

Since I'm new to this board, I was hoping to get regulars to post their top 10 Twin Cities restaurants. What are the last 10 restaurants you'd go to if you were moving tomorrow? I know this is a hard task, but I'd love to see what everyone thinks.

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  1. Well I'll bite. Here's the list I came up with today (could be different tomorrow) after a minute. Each of these places has something that I don't think would be easily found elsewhere or is a long time favorite.

    In alphabetical order
    Al's Breakfast
    Broder's Pasta Bar
    Cafe Lurcat
    Hell's Kitchen
    Lucia's Restaurant
    Maria's Cafe

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

    Hell's Kitchen
    80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

    1806 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105

    Al's Breakfast
    413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

    Vincent A Restaurant
    1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

    1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

    Cafe Lurcat
    1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Maria's Cafe
    1113 E Franklin Ave Ste 102, Minneapolis, MN 55404

    Broders' Southside Pasta Bar
    5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

    Cosmos Restaurant
    601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403

    1. There are probably other threads like this but I'll bite.

      Tanpopo Noodle Shop
      First Course
      Corner Table
      Sea Salt
      El Meson

      2 Replies
      1. re: mnitchals

        Adding places links:

        Brasa Rotisserie
        600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

        Sea Salt Eatery
        4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

        Tanpopo Noodle Shop
        308 Prince St, Saint Paul, MN 55101

        251 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

        Corner Table
        4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

        El Meson
        3450 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

        First Course
        5607 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

        1. re: mnitchals

          Oh after seeing everyone else's list. I want to add:
          Uncle Franky's
          Bombay2Deli - I was just lurking on the Manhattan board and they were complaining that they didn't have any chaat houses, but we do!

          I guess I'll loose Sea Salt and Nami since I would only move to a place on the coast and there ought to be better seafood there.

        2. Craftsman
          Fuji Ya (St. Paul only)
          jp's American Bistro
          Pineda Tacos
          La Belle Vie
          Hell's Kitchen
          Caspian Bistro

          1 Reply
          1. re: churchka

            More places links:

            Quang Pastry & Deli
            2719 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

            Craftsman Restaurant
            4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

            Rainbow Chinese Restaurant
            2739 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

            La Belle Vie
            510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

            jP American Bistro [CLOSED]
            2937 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

            Caspian Bistro
            2418 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

            Fuji Ya
            465 Wabasha St, Saint Paul, MN 55109

            Pineda Taco's
            311 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

          2. Wow. In no particular order and with minimal thought:

            Russian Tea House
            La Belle Vie
            Punch St. Paul
            The Nook
            112 Eatery
            Al's Breakfast

            If Rustica Bakery and Izzy's count as "restaurants", I'd ditch Manny's and, maybe, Al's.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MSPD

              MSPD's places links

              (wasn't sure whether Manny's meant steak or tortas, so I've included both...)

              The Nook
              492 Hamline Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116

              Rustica Bakery
              816 W 46th St, Minneapolis, MN 55419

              112 Eatery
              112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

              Fugaise [CLOSED 2009]
              304 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              Manny's Steakhouse
              825 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55402

              Manny's Tortas
              2700 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

              Ba Gu Sushi
              4741 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407

            2. My “Top 10” restaurants (which I assume to mean my “favorite” or what I consider “the best”) is not necessarily the same as which restaurants I’d visit one last time if I were moving tomorrow. First, it would depend on where I was moving to…

              But, if I were moving tomorrow, I’d likely try to visit the places I consider uniquely Twin Citean, Minnesotan, or Midwestern. Some combo of (in no particular order):

              1) Conny’s Cream Cone in St. Paul (for the State Fair style deep fried cheese curds and the peach or blueberry soft serve ice cream—summer only of course)
              2) The Nook in St. Paul, for one last Jucy Lucy
              3) Dari-ette in St. Paul (summer only) for one last “hot dago” sandwich. In winter, I’d head to DeGidio’s in St. Paul for my last hot dago.
              4) Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis (because I think it’s unique)—I’d get the wild rice porridge, the house made peanut butter, the lemon ricotta pancakes. I’d split them with my sweetie because they are way too rich.
              5) Al’s Breakfast in Minneapolis because it’s an institution and is completely unique to the Twin Cities. I’d order pancakes and eggs benedict.
              6) Mancini’s steak house in St. Paul—because it defines “old” St. Paul in a nutshell, even if the chow isn't spectacular.
              7) Izzy’s Ice Cream in St. Paul
              8) The Groveland Tap in St. Paul for all you can eat Friday fish fry. (And I’d have a Cajun lucy, while I was there, as well as some deep fried cheese curds if it were winter and Conny’s was closed.) (If it were Lent, I'd go to a church-basement fish fry, St. Matthews perhaps, though that choice is more driven by atmosphere than chow.)
              9) Kramarczuk's in Minneapolis for the fantastic sausages
              10) I’d drive to Fisher’s in Supper Club in Avon for the walleye and the panfried sunfish.
              11) Key's Cafe for the caramel rolls and toast with the house-made rhubarb jelly.

              If State Fair were on, I'd have to go one last time for the Mouth Trap curds, the honey with sunflower ice cream, the french fries, spaghetti on a stick, shake from the Dairy Building, a few other things, if I had room.

              I’d pack a box of Pearson’s salted nut rolls, some wild rice (the hand harvested kind from Mississippi Market), and make sure I knew the mail order address my favorite source in Two Harbors for smoked lake trout and whitefish.


              4 Replies
              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                TDQ's places links

                Connys Creamy Cone
                1197 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55117

                DeGidio's Restaurant & Bar
                425 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                Groveland Tap
                1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

                Kramarczuk East European Deli
                215 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                Mancinis Char House
                531 7th St W, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                Dairy-Ette Drive In [SEE DARI-ETTE DRIVE IN]
                1440 Minnehaha Ave E, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                Fisher Club
                428 Stratford St W, Avon, MN 56310

                Keys Cafe & Bakery
                500 Robert St N, Saint Paul, MN 55101

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Yours is the best response. Pretty much everybody else's top 10 are easily duplicated, and in most cases improved upon, in other cities. Unless of course you are moving to someplace like Olathe, Kansas.

                  True, we're lucky to have so many good sushi places, but none of them are uniquely spectacular. Don't get me started on the complete lack of stellar pizza here. The only pizza place I would miss is Psycho Suzi's, and not because of the pizza, but because of the ambience and the deviled eggs and tater tots. And 112 is on national lists of great restos, but most major cities have a place as good. And with the massive influx of Mexican, Central American, and South American immigrants, most cities (especially some of the smaller ones) have really good Mexican food. And there's a rather long ongoing thread about the lack of good Indian in this town, so that shouldn't be on anybody's list.

                  Instead of places, I would list things I would miss:

                  cheese curds
                  honey crisp apples
                  Ames honey
                  Edna's caramels
                  Shepherd's Way cheese
                  Carr Valley cheese
                  Mrs. Kelly's Teas (but not all of them)
                  Mill City Farmers Market, and Brenda, and what she's doing with the local sourcing, organic, etc.

                  1. re: Loren3

                    On second thought, there are a few places I would visit one last time, and would miss, but strictly for emotional reasons.

                    Runyon's - that was my study hall during grad school, and there's a picture of me in New Zealand, and of Chowspouse in Yunan on the wall, and I do love their Buffalo style shrimp.

                    Koyi Sushi - because this was the "world is too much and the biz trip has been harrowing, and I'm brain dead, and I need some reliable, predictable sushi in a pleasant environment" regular sushi spot.

                    Nye's - because where else can you polka with a bunch of hipsters to the world's most dangerous polka band, especially after Aquatennial fireworks?

                    Keegan's - again not for the food, but for the beer and the live Irish jam sessions on Sunday nights. Years ago, in Houston, I used to hang out at a place like that, and it's not easy to come by such a place.

                    Psycho Suzi's - as mentioned above, not for the pizza but for the ambience and the apps.

                    Sam's Wine Shop and Surdyk's - lots of great free tastings, and they are just as happy to sell you that terrific, obscure $8 bottle of wine as they are that famous $60 bottle.

                    Almost any local bar - Summit EPA on tap.

                    5-8 - perfect lunch spot for a walleye basket, or a grilled cheese sandwich. Where the waitresses (not waitstaff) know your name and have your drink ready as soon as you are seated. A very down-home midwest experience.

                    Moose and Sadie's - best darn huevos rancheros in town, and just a charming place; not the typical stuffy coffeehouse. It was the "Sunday morning, spring is in the air and we can finally eat outside" go to spot across the street from the loft where I used to live.

                    1. re: Loren3

                      Since I just recently re-located to the Twin Cities, I have gone through that process for real---listing out all of those places I wanted to visit "one last time" or foods I didn't think I'd be able to find here. A very pared down version of that last is my "must do" list for when I go back "home" to visit, though, sadly, I hear one of my favorites has undergone a major change. :(

                      But, I love all the lists in this thread. A part of me wants to NOW do a list of my ten favorites, but that just seems piggy.

                      Loren, your list is a list of all the places I've yet to try in the Twin Cities!