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MSP Good deals?

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My fiancee and I are trying to cut back on our spending, but I really like eating out. Can you guys share some of your favorite deals/happy hours (more interested in food specials than drink specials). I know some places have 1/2 price wine on Mondays and Tuesdays. Any tips?

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  1. Here's a couple of threads to get you started:

    Accessible Fine Dining (lunch) http://www.chowhound.com/topics/46057...
    "Every day" fine dining (dinner) http://www.chowhound.com/topics/377924
    Cheap Fancypants Challenge http://www.chowhound.com/topics/345700

    The $20.21 prix fixe special at the 20.21 BAR ( at the Walker) Thursday nights. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/47406...

    Ngon bistro has a $50 for two with a bottle of wine dinner special on Weds. nights (you might call ahead to confirm--I don't see the special on their website anymore...).

    ~TDQ

    7 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      $50 actually seems high for Ngon Bistro, perhaps because we've never gotten the entrees. I think you could eat extremely well there for less than $40 ($7 appetizer to split, $9 pho/noodles each, and a glass of wine each).

      There's also Monday "date night" at Bryant Lake Bowl but they have a specific entree that you need to order for the price (I think $25). Broder's at 50th and Penn has an "after 8" special of 2 entrees, salad, and 1/2 bottle of wine for $26.

      1. re: katebauer

        Yes, you can less inexpensively for two than $50 at Ngon Bistro (in general, I think it's a good value, which I posted that on the cheap fancypants thread that I've linked) , but the $50 prix fixe for two --assuming they still offer it--gets you an appetizer, entree and dessert for each person PLUS a bottle of wine for the table. You're describing splitting an appetizer, no dessert, and just a single glass of wine for each person for $40. As good as that is, the extra $10 gets you a lot more!

        Some of the entrees are really good--my fav is the ginger chicken.

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          Very true, I understood the point of the special. I would just be a bit scared off because $50 seems high to me for a bargain meal. I was stuffed last time we went to Ngon and had 2 apps and a pho each.

          1. re: katebauer

            It sounds like a deal to me--for $10 more than what you described, you get another appetizer, two desserts, another couple glasses of wine, and actually entrees instead of pho. The OP didn't ask for the cheapest food in town--she asked for good deals.

            There are cheaper places in town for pho, by the way than Ngon Bistro--personally, I don't think pho is what Ngon does best, though, I do enjoy the pho there.

            But, I see your point about $50 being a lot. But, it's not a lot for what you get.

            ~TDQ

        2. re: katebauer

          Kate, I must have glossed over your Broder's after 8 deal--that's pretty dang cheap!

          ~TDQ

          1. re: katebauer

            Whoa. I had no idea - is this at Broder's Pasta Bar or Broder's Cucina Italiana (they're both on 50th & Penn, ha).
            Also, is it every night, just during the week, or just specific nights?
            My wife is going to flip on this one!!!

            1. re: dombey

              Per their website, Sun-Thurs. It sounds good, but the pasta selections are a set of few generics. Good, but not their fun flavors.

              I would also recommend getting an MPR card.. it's a better deal (you do get b1g1 free at broders anytime).

        3. Also, it gets pretty mixed reviews on this board (I think it's pretty average), but Luci has specials on Tuesday & Thursday nights. Thursday: order 2 entrées and receive a free pasta to share. Tuesday: two "taster dinners" for $40.00.

          http://www.ristoranteluci.com/

          Oh, someone mentioned a crazy $3 burger special at Cue. I'll see if I can't find that... EDIT: ah, here it is cleanyerplate mentioned it here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/49355...

          Glockenspiel has a $5 off coupon on its website http://www.glockenspielrestaurant.com/ I like their appetizer platter.

          If you like red sauce Italian, you can't beat Little Oven's early bird specials http://www.thelittleoven.com/Specials...

          Day by Day Cafe (for breakfast) has the "Very Early Bird" special if you get there before 7am: http://www.daybyday.com/cafe3.html

          MSP mag did a blurb on specials, including a happy hour special at Saffron and early bird special at Campiello. They also list half-priced bottles of wine I know Highland and Longfellow Grill do that on Tuesday and Monday nights, respectively. I noticed Puerta Azul on Selby in St. Paul does one too--but I can't remember what night of the week. Call ahead to ask. http://www.mspmag.com/features/featur...

          Lately, we've found ourselves at Bennett's in St. Paul. It seems they do a lot of from scratch cooking. The service is very earnest and the atmosphere very friendly and relaxed. Not a bad choice for meat and potatoes--the AYCE crab wasn't exceptional, though. Anyway, they have a happy hour special nightly and a different dinner discount each weeknight http://www.bennettschopandrailhouse.com/

          ~TDQ

          1. In a recent post I was bemoaning the fact that sometimes the web just won’t deliver when you ask a question, that one needs the exact phrasing to unearth a data gold nugget. Then in response to this thread I decided to go on another mining expedition. Sometimes ya just get lucky and the web piñata gives and gives great.

            Here’s a little something I found: http://wfmp.hubbarddeals.com/index.ph... From FM107 “Enjoy Twin Cities Restaurants at a Half-Off Price!” Neat-o.

            You know those envelopes of coupons you toss every other week? They have a website that has a better selection of restaurants than are placed in the offerings I get. This, I think is a bit of a gem. I’ve used the zip for downtown Minneapolis to get a good distribution but plug in your own and see what pops up: http://www.valpak.com/coupons/home#R:... (One needs to click the Restaurants tab to see the restos).

            Here is the deals page for the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Bureau. Hey, just ‘cause we live here doesn’t mean we shouldn’t benefit, right? http://www.minneapolis.org/page/1/dea...

            This next link requires patience, time and the willingness to click and click: CityPages Ad Index. I’ve discovered a few deals I would have missed otherwise. When I read the print version I guess I’ve trained my eyes to the center of the page to avoid the advertising. http://adindex.citypages.com/section....

            Lastly, I know I’ve suggested this deal before but I do think it’s a swell offer: Bryant-Lake Bowl. “Cheap Date Night every Mon from 6:00-12:30am: 2 special Entrees, 1 bottle of wine(or 2 tap beers each), 1 round of bowling all for $28.00 per couple” http://bryantlakebowl.com/faq.html

            2 Replies
            1. re: MplsM ary

              Actually we got engaged during"Cheap Date Night" at Bryant Lake...we got free champagne and everything!

              1. re: MplsM ary

                "Here’s a little something I found: http://wfmp.hubbarddeals.com/index.ph... From FM107 “Enjoy Twin Cities Restaurants at a Half-Off Price!” Neat-o."

                There are other radio stations (I think it is a clear channel thing) that do these offers. Cities 97.1, KFAN, KDWB, there might be others as well. The Duplex has an offering coming up that I will be taking advantage of. You must read the fine print on these offers though. Some allow alcohol to be included, some let you return with the certificate if you don't use the full amount.

              2. birchwood's saturday night pizza party.. 2 pizzas & a bottle of wine for $25.

                my husband & i are big fans of the mpr membercard.. buy1get1 free at a lot of good spots -- blue nile, da afghan, french meadow ..

                1. Become a member of MPR. You get a deal where you get buy one entree get one free for a lot of really good local places. Check it out on their web site.

                  1. Of course, there are also the multitude of places in the city that are already cheap. Quang, la taqueria la hacienda, pineda tacos, holy land, and everything in the MGM to name a few.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: churchka

                      Great list, churchka--frankly, those kinds of places are my favorite places anyway. To name a few more: Maverick's (in Roseville), Shish (Grand Ave, St. Paul), Saigon (on University Ave in St. Paul for as long as it stays open), Trung Nam (University Ave, St. Paul --good bahn mi if you get there before about 11am--not made to order and not open on Sundays), Jasmine Deli (Eat Street), Gorditas el Gordo (Lake Street, Minneapolis), Taqueria Los Ocampo (Lake Street MPLS), the vendors in Mercado Central (Lake Street MPLS). Dara mentions this place in her new blog: Korea Restaurant on the U of M’s East Bank campus http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media... Here's her old City Pages "cheap eats" piece http://www.citypages.com/databank/27/...

                      And, here's a recent'ish "Cheap but Unique" thread http://www.chowhound.com/topics/474061

                      Oh yeah, Kramarczuk's, Russian Tea House (University Ave. St. Paul), Bravo Bakery (Grand Ave, St. Paul), Carbone's Pizza (on Randolph just west of Snelling St. Paul), Hot City Pizza (good sandwiches--West 7th St. Paul).

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Actually, almost anything near the U is going to qualify because they cater to college kids, now that I think about it. Kafe 421 is very inexpenisve for the quality you get. I love that place.

                      2. re: churchka

                        Hong Kong Noodle, Korea, Annie's, Pagoda, Duffy's, Bombay2Deli, Adelitas, Sabor Latino, Uncle Franky's, Pizza Nea, Chai's, Weinery, Koyi, Luce, Eli's, 80% of Lake Street, 60% of Eat Street...

                        I'm sure all those links TDQ provdided mention all these and more.

                        1. re: Foureyes137

                          Aren't there some good sushi Happy Hours? I know I've heard about them, I just don't remember what they are...

                          1. re: jenniegirl

                            Martini Blue used to have AYCE on Sundays ($30 I think?), and I read on here somewhere that 7 has a similar special, but I try not to support those guys. Ichiban has a sushi happy hour of some type...but when I want sushi I want the best, not what they're trying to get rid of or made an hour earlier.

                            1. re: jenniegirl

                              The St. Paul Fuji Ya has good ones. I think from 5:00-7:00 M-F. They have a menu of sushi and apps that are on special. It is a nice selection.

                        2. If you like Kincaid's, they have a great happy hour special, half price apps in the bar area from 4-6, I believe. Also, some pretty decent drink specials...
                          When we feel like having a nice little treat without breaking the bank, we usually go for the happy hour.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: nieves

                            Kincaids also used to have a prix fix menu of app/salad, entree and dessert for something like $25 before 6...

                          2. The Herkimer (Lyndale, MPLS) has their "10 after 10"-- you get a pint of beer, an order (ie., 5) of their mini-burgers, and the sweet potato fries for $10 after 10pm.

                            ~TDQ

                            1. Kathie Jenkins does a nice job in today's Pioneer Press covering: half-price bottle of wine nights, (including Downtowner Woodfire Grill on Mondays, JP AMerican Bistro on Tuesdays, Kafe 421 on Weds, and French Meadow on Sat nights among others); dessert-on-your birthday specials (including at Bennett's Chophouse, Downtowner Woodfire Grill, Fabulous Fern's, I Nonni, Mancini's, among others); all you can eat sushi; kids eat free (Casper & Runyon's Shamrocks and Skinner's bar on Sundays; Bennett's chop house and Glockenspiel on Tuesdays; among others); really cheap ($1 burgers at Shamrock's after 8:30pm on Mondaysl $1.50 tacos at Skinner's on Saturdays); cheap meals including many we listed in this thread already, but also Cafe Levain on Sundays--$25 for a 3-course meal, $20 for a 3-course vegetarian meal); the daily 4-course meal at LBV's Lounge for $40; happy hours (including Murry's Prime Rib pizza; Triple Rock's Weds bacon strips 9-11pm; among others).

                              http://www.twincities.com/restaurants...

                              ~TDQ

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Just to clarify...AFAIK...Kincaid's offers the 4 course meal before 6 only on Sundays. Check out there website as it lists the current choices. I had it once and it was a really good deal. Portions weren't large but enough to satisfy. This thread is a great resource...let's keep it going.

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  http://www.rakemag.com/eaters-digest/...

                                  http://www.startribune.com/entertainm...

                                  For the west siders. Northcoast in Wayzata has a great deal in the offseason. $35 for a 5 course meal. $29 on sundays.