Minneapolis near 7thSt & 5thAve Tonight
Sorry about the really late notice, my original plans just fell through.
I'm going to be in Minneapolis tonight and Monday for an interview and I wanted to find something to eat tonight. Hopefully something inexpensive as I'll be eating by myself. Ideally, I'm looking for something that I could walk to from 7th St & 5th Ave which is where I'm staying. However, I'm not against a short cab ride. Either Eating-In or Carry-Out or Delivery is fine, but I really do not want to spend a long time eating dinner if it's eat in. Also, and hopefully expected, no chains please. I have this one night to try something unique/special in MN.
For culinary references: I grew up eating chinese, have eaten some fine sushi on both sides of the country and in Asia, and spent the last four years of my life in North Carolina and ate up all the best BBQ there. So I'd be careful recommending these foods unless they're really exceptional.
Thank you so much for any help. I understand if I don't get much with such short notice.
Within a short walk, here's what I'd recommend. But, first, one caveat. Phone first or check the website. Most restaurants go dark on either Sunday or Monday night, so you should check that your choice is actually open.
Ike's Food and Cocktails (www.ilikeikes.com) -- sort of clubby '40s bar atmosphere, good menu of steaks, fish, sandwiches, interesting apps.
Dakota Jazz Club (www.dakotacooks.com) -- live music, good food
Solera (www.solera-restaurant.com) -- great upscale tapas. If you are by yourself, sit at the tapas bar and have the chefs whip up some individual treats for you.
Murray's (www.murraysrestaurant.com) -- 1940s (not 1940s-style) steakhouse. Get the real old-school atmosphere.
If you want something more along the lines of an expense account dinner, try Porter + Frye (in the Hotel Ivy), Chambers Kitchen (Chambers Hotel), or Vincent a Restaurant.
Inexpensive food, downtown, on Sunday night - that's a toughie! And unique to MN within walking distance? Uhhhhh....
Me, I love places like Saffron, 112 Eatery, and Vincent, but I wouldn't call them unique to MN. And they're not inexpensive - though they wouldn't be too pricy if you ordered lightly (and didn't drink).
If it weren't Sunday, I'd recommend a cab or bus ride to the Midtown Global Market. You could browse and munch your way through the half-dozen-plus food stands (including Jamaican, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Somali - the most "unique to MN"), and could stuff yourself for under $15. But the Midtown Global Market closes at 6pm on Sundays, and many places shut down even earlier.
For tonight, I think I would recommend Safari - a East African/Somali restaurant with great food (and a stand at the Midtown Global Market). Note: I've never been to the sit-down restaurant, but I eat at the MGM food stand often - I love the chicken suqqar with the super-spicy green sauce! It's probably a cab ride rather than a walk, as it's over a mile each way (down Nicollet Mall to 14th). Definitely call first, though I think they're open on Sunday nights (the Safari Express stand at M.G.Market says they're open until 9 or so).
Or I might cab it to Toast Wine Bar in the warehouse district (especially if I were a wine drinker, which I am :-). They have a small, tasty menu featuring salads, one or two soups, cracker-crust pizza, and bruschetta with creative toppings. (They don't have a full kitchen, but you could barely tell.) And it's a very cozy place for a single diner. You'll need to call for directions, as the cabbie probably can't find it by the address - it's tucked under/behind one of the many townhouse complexes in the area.
A caveat about the req for the Dakota: Dakota is expensive, and - in my opinion - food is good, but not great. Though they do feature some local food, which is a plus. Me, though I love their great concerts, I'd rather spend my food dollars elsewhere. But Dakota is indeed within walking distance, and is a nice place for a fancy dining-drinking-and-dancing experience.
See these threads for more local-food recommendations (though most are a big cab ride away):
MSP restaurants that source local ingredients
What is minneapolis's signature dish?
Have a nice stay, and good luck with the interview!