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MSP - Need fun rec's for friend facing the big 4-0!

Help - I have a friend who is turning 40 soon and she's NOT happy about it! Her husband is trying to plan something fun (and potentially stress relieving) & came to me for help, so now I'm turning to you MSP 'hounds who've never steered me astray before. Here's what I'm looking for...

Her husband told me about a place he had been to in Seattle - a Greek restaurant where they let you smash the plates at the end of the meal. Sounds perfect for taking out aggressions while bidding farewell to the 30's! I know there may not be this exact thing in the Twin Cities, but does anyone have any fun, unique suggestions? Since it's a special occasion, I don't think location and/or price will matter. Any help would be much appreciated - thanks!

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  1. Did the naked sushi fad already die in the Twin Cities, or are some places still doing it?

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    1. Not at all how I would want my 40th celebrated (these places all sound a bit frenetic and loud for my personal tastes) but...

      Bowling at Bryant Lake Bowl? (Except that runs a pretty young crowd...) http://www.citypages.com/locations/br... Dave and Busters? (I've never been there--can't vouch for the chow)... http://www.citypages.com/locations/da... Pycho Suzi's? http://www.citypages.com/locations/ps... Retro video games at CHatterbox Pub (the chow at the St.Paul location is dreadful, but the atmosphere is great and they have a lovely bar...).


      6 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Or, (haven't been to either of these places either), but maybe for a little more grown-up fun, Tim McKee's newish places--that Pirate/BBQ place "Smalleys" in Stillwater and their new Tequila Bar? (Sorry, name escapes me. I know someone around here will know...).


          1. re: salvage7

            Totally back TDQ (as usual) about the Bryant-Lake-Bowl... bowling, booze and bread... how can one go wrong? Also, I frequent their bar and I would say the crowd is pretty well mixed as far as age goes.

            Can't say i would recommend the Chatterbox at either location though.. I have a 'very close friend' who works at one of them and from what I hear, they should pretty much be boycotted by chowhounds across the board... esp. st. paul...

            Might I recommend teppanyaki at Ichiban? I've been to a few birthday parties here and while the food isn't the best ever, it's pretty fun to watch the chefs do their thing for you to order...

            Ichiban Japanese Steak House
            1333 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

            1. re: jsyx

              I'm curious why Chatterbox should be boycotted. I've given up on the Minneapolis location because I always leave smelling like grease, and the food isn't very good at either place, but it is a fun place to spend a weekend afternoon.

              1. re: katebauer

                I think their commitment/respect to the customer is less than adequate... upselling, overpricing, inconsistent food, poor service, etc... all IMHO, mind you...

                I actually do like the Minneapolis location more, especially the staff, but you are correct, you leave smelling like a well seasoned exhaust hood!!

              2. re: jsyx

                I second the rec for teppanyaki, and I think Ichiban is the best place in town for that. Whatever you do, avoid Musashi. Ate there last week and both the food and the service is awful.

                What about The Melting Pot for fondue? Personally, I would avoid the entire "fondue package" which includes cheese course, protein course, and dessert. Have dinner somewhere else and just go for the dessert fondue, which is amazing.

        1. I'd go with Psycho Suzi's. Strong fun drinks, great atmosphere, and if interacting with your food is a must, there's the S'mores (or hot dog) pu pu platters.

          While the teppanyaki places are fun, I don't know that I'd pick one for a fun, stress relieving party. Really, outside of the show from the chef, and the gigantic amount of food, it isn't really any different than any other restaurant dinner. (And, they generally aren't places where you'll feel comfortable sitting around chatting for an hour after your meal is done.)

          If you're looking for a fun dinner, go with Teppanyaki. If you're looking for a fun party, go with Psycho Suzi's (or the Chatterbox, if you're willing to exchange location for food quality)

          1. I went to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. It was a lot of fun. You can play games and win prizes, there's pizza and beer. It was really fun.

            Another super fun thing is getting one of the side rooms, where you sit on the floor, at a sushi place and having a private sushi party. We had about 12 of us at Fuji Ya. Fun!

            A much more low key idea, that I did for my bachelorette party, was rent the back room/pool table area at Town Hall Brewery. The food isn't the best, but you can play pool and darts, drink good beer, share appetizers, hang out and be chill.

            Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
            1430 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

            Fuji Ya
            600 W Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408

            Chuck E Cheese's
            7505 France Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55435

            5 Replies
            1. re: churchka

              totally off topic, but...


              There is still a Chuck E. Cheese in town?!? There was one next to my apartment building growing up!

              Childhood memories are about to be rekindled!!!
              Please tell me it is still equipped with a Rock-a-fire Explosion band?!?!

              1. re: jsyx

                There are a few in town. I don't remember what they all have, aside from Skee Ball, but I was very happy to see beer on the menu.

                1. re: jsyx

                  The one in Burnsville Center has the band.

                  1. re: MSPD

                    As do the Edina and Maple Grove locations.

                    Bob S
                    (father of invitees to several birthday parties)

                    1. re: bob s

                      Maybe a little off topic, but this reminded me of a tidbit from this article about local restaurants cutting costs: http://www.startribune.com/business/2...

                      In that story, it was noted that "Earlier this year, the pizza chain Chuck E. Cheese began using a "reformulated" high-moisture mozzarella pizza cheese to save money."

              2. You don't go here for the food but Nye's on a weekend is always a good mix of people and atmosphere. Get a big table on the raised level near the piano bar, have some cocktails, serenade her, then get her to dance with that certain militant older guy in the polka room.

                Always a good mix of people and always fun, esp now that the weather's cooling down.

                1. I'd recommend Chino Latino; cool atmosphere, fun food, nice looking people, and great drinks.

                  1. I also vote for Bryant Lake Bowl- we always have a great time there and I don't think it's too young of a crowd.

                    Other ideas-- I've always wanted to do a party at Mandarin Kitchen. They have private rooms and you can rent a karaoke machine. And I love their food.

                    Last year, we went to a 40th at Mancini's Char House. It's a "classic" supper club- -not a lot of food variety but we had a fun time. Checked out the bar afterward and loved the "mature" cover band singing Eagles covers, mirrored disco bar, brass rails, and the mixed crowed. Everyone from regulars to people out celebrating whatever occasion. I'd say the food is not the attraction- I just loved the stuck in the 70s/80s vibe of it all!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: minnesotajane

                      I like food best when it is served alongside 'nice looking people...'

                      ps- can't say I've ever tried the food, but the atmos/vibe at Mancini's is great!