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Jfood needs help in MSP

Jfood will be spending a bunch of time in Edina/Eden Prairie and is interested in understanding the food choices he will have. He will be camping out in hotels and working like a dog but will have time to explore a bit for some local chow.

Could jfood's midwest brethren help this old dog in his quest for some good food while he travels to this beautiful part of the US?


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  1. How far is jfood willing to drive and will he have a car? "Local" chow around the Edina/Eden Prairie border is more franchise or even franchise-like than it is local. If limiting yourself to that area, though, I'd recommend Campiello and Woody's. Nearby is Kincaid's, which always gets voted as one of the Top 5 restaurants, but wouldn't be one of my top 5 choices.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Brad Ballinger

      Car - yes.

      To be honest, jfood is not even sure how far these two towns are from downtown but he would like to keep the drives <20 minutes if possible..

    2. Unless you're leaving right at 5pm, all of Minneapolis proper and the inner-ring suburbs are 20 min from Eden Prairie. St. Paul is only 30 minutes. Use the car and use Google maps and you'll have a good time. MSPD hit the best choices for EP and Edina.

      1. OK...let's see if MSPD can match the stylistic acumen of jfood.

        MSPD might not be so fast to whisk jfood out of Edina. When MSPD travels for work, MSPD often enjoys noshing in the hotel room instead of full-on dining out. MSPD likes some of the noshing opportunities presented by places in Edina, especially out of the "50th and France" area of Edina (at 50th and France Avenue). The Premier Cheese Shop is the most noteworthy stop. MSPD recommends some time to nibble on cheese and strolling around the area (especially if jfood is looking for a little trinket or something to bring back to Mrs. jfood if such a person exists). Also do a search for Broder's Pasta Bar which is roughly in that area.

        MSPD also likes to send MSPD's friends over to Patrick's Bakery off of Penn Avenue. They not only have nice French bakery stuff, but also some delicious savory foods and frou-frou burgers that MSPD has been wanting to try for a long time and about which he has heard great things.

        MSPD also recommends ignoring the haters and going to Punch Pizza if you're in that part of Eden Prairie and enjoy neapolitan pizza and/or nice salads. The pizzas are appropriately sized for solo consumption. MSPD also thinks the bar at Redstone (the first location of a very small, but expanding local chain) is a good place to have a meal. When not on an expense account MSPD thinks the prices are on the wrong side of the price-to-value ratio (e.g. $14 burgers and sandwiches, etc.) but ignoring the price, it's a safe place with good food, a handful of TVs to entertain the solo diner and lots of people far prettier than MSPD (good people watching).

        MSPD likes the car so MSPD agrees that no visit to MSP is complete without enjoying our beautiful downtown. Do get down there and circle Lake Calhoun, take in the bustling Uptown (Lake/Hennepin Ave interection) and work your way up into downtown Mpls. MSPD would also encourage more specific inquiries...any specific things you enjoy and/or are looking for?

        Welcome and I hope....er.....MSPD hopes you have a good visit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MSPD


          Very, very helpful. Thank you so much.

          Will give a little thought and perform a little research and revert with more specific questions.


        2. If you like BBQ you might want to try an out of the way place in Eden Prairie - Baker's Ribs.


          Want a good hamburger? The Lion's Tap would be the place in Eden Prairie.


          2 Replies
          1. re: Davydd

            jfood went to both websites, thank you. does bakers ribs have a restaurant or is it just catering? how about to-go as well?

            1. re: jfood

              The Eden Prairie Baker's Ribs has a dining area. Service is cafeteria style. I should add the owner of Roadhouse Bar-B-Que sauce sold in Lund's, Byerly's and Kowalski's thinks Baker Ribs is the best BBQ in the Twin Cities and he has tried them all. He's the expert. I'm not.

          2. Jfood comes to MSP! what fun!!!

            unfortunately edina/eden prairie are not really my stomping grounds. from what i know & understand, eden prairie is extremely chain-y, edina is quite a bit better, with some established chowish places. i would absolutely trust all of MSPD's recs, as he has yet to steer me wrong. i can second patrick's bakery, broder's deli, and punch-- i know you are quite fussy about your hometown pizza, Jfood, the neapolitan style will be a change of pace, but hopefully a delicious one.

            i love lion's tap, it's a very unique and venerable, locally famous burger place, but it's kinda truck-stoppy, if you know what i mean. i don't know if i can picture the person i picture Jfood being, hanging out and having a burger in that kind of environment, but otoh it might be fun--they do have some good burgers if you are out that way, & have appropriate expectations, who knows. . .

            i do know enough about the western suburbs' roadways to know that the newly completed 312 highway is an extremely quick route to get into minneapolis proper, and depending on where you are in edina, south minneapolis and uptown's offerings are all within reach. i strongly suggest coming further into the city for several evening meals, to where the true deliciousness is! depending on how long you will be staying, you can enjoy several very very good fine dining meals downtown/uptown. on the cheap eats/lunches front, vietnamese/se asian, mexican, & east african are cuisines MSP does very well. MSP is also very locovore-ish and i'd rec a visit to one of our restaurants that specializes in local game, veggies, cheese, and other fine local food products.

            i don't know about your timeline, but two big events are about to happen in MSP-- the state fair, and the republican natl. convention in st. paul. the fair would be an absolute hoot to visit, particularly if you've never been to a midwestern state fair. scads of foods tending toward the deep-fried and silly, but it's possible to eat well and deliciously there, & your friends at home will be so jealous! LOL! on the flip side of the coin, & without trying to get political at all, it's safe to say the RNC will clog up traffic and finer restaurants on that side of the river, with overflow into mpls-- the further west you stay, the better your odds of a quiet dinner.

            welcome! i await the specific questions you'll post, Jfood, & will help as much as i am able. :)

            1. I concur with exploring the 50th and France area - also, in the Galleria in Edina there is a new restaurant called Crave that I can't vouch for but has gotten a bit of buzz. Also in the Galleria is Good Earth, which is generally reliable and good.

              In the nearby SW Mpls neighborhood is Cafe Maude, which is talked about quite highly on Chowhound.

              Cafe Maude
              5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

              Good Earth Restaurant
              3460 Galleria, Edina, MN 55435

              Crave Restaurant
              3520 Galleria, Minneapolis, MN 55435

              1 Reply
              1. re: cheetobrain

                I really enjoyed Cafe Maude ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/409178 ), Crave was pretty good (but I like Via across the street a bit better), but I have to disagree, respectfully, about Good Earth. I've been to it a couple of times trying to give it a chance, but I find the food quite dry and not very flavorful.

                Broder's Pasta Bar is not far from Edina, and Blackbird and Heidi's are also neighborhood-y type chef-driven places which I think are one of the Twin Cities' strong points. If you're willing to drive into South Minneapolis, those are good choices, as are Corner Table and Cafe Levain, two of my favorites.

                Hope you enjoy your time here, jfood. Please report back and tell us how you enjoyed our chow!

                Corner Table
                4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

                Blackbird Cafe
                3800 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55409

                2903 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

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

                6740 France Ave, Edina, MN 55435

                Cafe Levain
                4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

              2. Because I know jfood is discriminating, I would recommend Heartland for a great meal with all local ingredients, excellently executed. That's in St. Paul. As mnitchals says, nothing is that far away if you're not in rush hour. And if work is pressing, the wine bar there would be a good choice. Most of the same menu is available there in a relaxing but less formal setting.

                I think jfood would also like Corner Table in south Minneapolis. A small place with excellent local food. Not that far for jfood from the Edina area.

                This is an excellent time to come. All the local produce is at its peak and these places will be shining.

                One caveat: if your two weeks falls during the Republican convention taking place in St. Paul in a couple weeks, things may be a little more crowded.

                Have a wonderful visit here.

                Your chow sister, karykat

                1. If you're longing for sushi, the downtown location of Origami is one of my favorite sushi places anywhere. Fresh, inventive, and the bar is a great place to sit and have a good meal while traveling solo without being bothered or feeling awkward. Hell's Kitchen for breakfast is also a favorite...a bit touristy but man the food is so good who cares?

                    1. re: soupkitten

                      Was waiting for some more data point since last week was in and out in one day (a very long day from CT). Went to Campiello's for lunch and ordered the skirt/hanger steak. Very nicely prepared, a good piece of meat, only one slice was a little too grizzly. A nice salad on top with a tatsy dressing. Others ordered pizza and pasta. Both looked very good. Portions and prices reflected lunch menu.

                      Back again for 2 nights this week then skipping next week during RNC, then back the week after.

                      BTW - the cheesesteak at the airport ain;t so bad and the cheese and crackers in the Northwest lounge help pass the time as well.

                      1. re: jfood

                        They used to have string cheese in addition to the Tilamook cheddar. Not sure what happened to that.

                        If you check the fridge, you'll note little baggies of celery sticks and baby carrots.

                        I like the snickerdoodle cookies for no particularly good reason.

                        Also note that the NW World Club on the C concourse (near C15) has Summit EPA on tap - a local treat!

                        Also note that there are several nice local restos well-represented at the airport:

                        French Meadow - tasty baked goods and vegetarian breakfasts and lunches (top end of E concours, and across from F4)
                        Ike's Steak House - good old-fashioned steaks and fish (Crossings where E concourse starts)
                        Axel's Woodfire - steaks and pizza (Crossings)
                        D'Amico - tasty Italian food worth going out for (next to the food court around F8)

                        1. re: Loren3

                          Thanks L

                          No string cheese last week and jfood had to push the healthy junk to the side to get to the cheese for the butterfly butter crackers. The oatmeal raisin cookie was pretty good as well. Now if jfood can find some bottled water that would be nice.

                          1. re: Loren3

                            There's also surprisingly decent Chinese food at "Wok and Roll" (at least the location on concource C.

                            The key there is to order off their menu, and not from the steam table. Order off the menu, and they'll prepare your meal to order, and give you a HUGE portion for less money than the junk on the steam table. A flight attendant from Japan once suggested that I try their Singapore Rice Noodles - she was right on with that suggestion.

                            Is it a meal I'd go out of the way for? No. But, if you're in the airport and looking for something decent, it is a surprisingly good option.

                            For whatever reason, I've always been let down by the stuff that bears the name of local restaurants. None are actually operated by the restaurant - they're all operated by the same food service company. So, I've always found myself let down by the service, the quality, or both.

                      2. For fancy dining I would do the 50th and France area-Tejas if its still there-tapas food-expensive, Broder’s-great pasta bar-see comments below, honestly the hot place is Cafe Maude which is alot closer to your area. If you like a lot more casual and local flavor in that area I would check out: http://www.mattsbar.com/ - Home of the juicy lucy burger! - http://www.pepitosrestaurant.com/ - Decent Mexican lots of fun high spirits. - http://twincities.citysearch.com/revi... - Fireside Pizza-Best Pizza in that Neighborhood.(I think the whole city, Pizza Luce-2nd).
                        My favorites are Modern Cafe in NE Minneapolis or those in the Uptown area-tons of good places there. Campaniello's. D'Amico & Sons, the Galleria has some nice restaurants in that area.
                        Its my hometown and when i go back thats all I do is eat out, and don't be put off by any attitude you get in the more refined neighborhoods-they can't live in NYC so they think their attitude is justified...they just need to get over the excitement that all the new gastropubs brought to the town, I mean hello its 2008! Been there done that...and SUVS are going out of style minnesotans...let's protect whats left of our uber-clean environment?

                        1. Doesnt Punch pizza have an eden prairie location?

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: chrisinroch

                            Yes, Punch Pizza has a location in Eden Prairie.

                            1. re: Davydd

                              My list of chow worthy western suburb places:

                              Na's-Thai (Chanhassen)
                              Punch-Pizza (EP)
                              Pho 83-Vietnamese (Shakopee)
                              Baker's-Ribs (EP)
                              My Love-Mexican (Chaska)

                              Please note these are mostly ethnic but worth checking out.