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Solera - Worth it please? [MSP]

jfood Aug 30, 2009 07:09 PM

Hey guys. Looking for a non-hamburger night.

Are there any feelings on Solera? Not much on the search.

Any other suggestions for four nights this week.

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    getgot211 RE: jfood Aug 30, 2009 07:28 PM

    Solera, been a while since I have been it was very good.

    have a hard time thinking of what you have/haven't had. maybe Ocampo or La Hacienda since you had a bad experience at Manana.

    edit: or La Sirena Gorda(at Midtown Global).

    1. a
      amgarrison RE: jfood Aug 30, 2009 08:00 PM

      I like Solera, good stuff. Barrio is non-burger if you're going Tim-themed. I really like Victor's 1959 Cafe for some good Cuban food in a little hole-in-the-wall setting. Moto-i on LynLake has quickly become a favorite of mine, as well.

      Victor's 1959 Cafe
      3756 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409

      1. b
        BigE RE: jfood Aug 31, 2009 08:56 AM

        I think it's best for late night happy hour, to be honest. I've done the tapas tasting menu and really isn't a dinner option, as far as I'm concerned.

        If you're looking for non burger, you can always try Saffron.

        1. The Dairy Queen RE: jfood Aug 31, 2009 09:07 AM

          Ahem. How about the State Fair? It's where most of us are eating...

          Hmmmm...I'm starting to lose track of where you've been. Upscale or downscale? Have you been to Sea Change yet? It's new. Or, Jasmine 26 for more upscale Vietnamese? You might love Spoonriver. Or you might not.


          1. AnneInMpls RE: jfood Aug 31, 2009 10:21 AM

            Jfood, have you been to Saffron yet? Based on recent reports, I think it'd be a better bet than Solera. Also, this is a selfish request - I'd really like to read your review of Saffron.

            Like you, I'm having a hard time thinking of great places you haven't tried yet. You're a Twin Cities dining super-star! Let's see... Have you tried the beef/short rib/smoked gouda burger at Vincent's? (It's a bar-only menu option, and the bar is a very nice spot for single dining.) How about the lounge at La Belle Vie? Very pricy, but supposed to be great. Or how about Lucia's? There are three adjoining spots at Lucia's: one is semi-fancy sit-down, one is a wine bar with smaller plates, and one is a take-out bakery/deli.

            And yes, there's the fair - the food isn't necessarily stellar (though I'd put the roast corn up against anything), but it's a Minnesota experience can't be matched. But NOT after an exhausting day of overwork, unless you rent a wheelchair or electric scooter.


            5 Replies
            1. re: AnneInMpls
              The Dairy Queen RE: AnneInMpls Aug 31, 2009 10:48 AM

              Oh p'shaw, Anne, I must respectfully disagree! The State Fair is a perfect place to let off steam after a long day at work. You don't have to do much of anything, except walk around. And if you're too tired for that, you can take the skyway/ski-ift/tram thing.

              Food is everywhere (and there are a couple of good State Fair threads hopping about on this board to direct you to the good stuff) and entertainment is everywhere.

              It can get a little loud and crowded, but less so on weeknights.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                AnneInMpls RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 31, 2009 10:58 AM

                Oh yeah, the tram and the sky ride! Perfect way to rest at the fair. Me, I find the fair exhausting, but maybe it's because I stay for 10 hours (or more) each time. There's just so much to do - and eat!

                Jfood, if you do go, find a park-and-ride lot to get there in ease and comfort; driving to the fair is not fun at all. See the fair web site for details. (I recommend the U of M lot - quick, easy, and entertaining.) Besides, you can grab a treat on the way out, and eat it on the bus, thus prolonging your State Fair Experience.

                And TDQ is right - we all go to the fair!


                1. re: AnneInMpls
                  The Dairy Queen RE: AnneInMpls Aug 31, 2009 11:11 AM

                  I always treat the fair as a marathon when I go as weekends. But, I love weeknights, especially rainy ones because the rain chases the crowds away, and cools things down.

                  Park and ride is a great idea, especially if you're not familiar with the parking secrets around the fair.

                  Anne's rec for roasted corn is a good one. Also, if you just want to stop at one booth and you don't want to overwhelm yourself with a lot of crazy running around or deep fried things on a stick, Giggle's Campfire stand at the Fair tends to be pretty "chowhoundish" overall, for the Fair. And it has that Minnesota faux up North thing going on, so, it exudes at least some Minnesotaness.


              2. re: AnneInMpls
                MrSlippery RE: AnneInMpls Aug 31, 2009 01:42 PM

                All of the above are great choices. Vincent burger is very rich and quite reasonable during HH. Solera's seasonal tapas can also be very good. You can sit at the bar (food bar as opposed to alcohol bar) and watch the dishes being made. Can not remember if you have been to Be'wiched. The sandwiches are good and the daily special is often quite tasty.

                1. re: AnneInMpls
                  jfood RE: AnneInMpls Aug 31, 2009 07:30 PM

                  Cancelled Solera, went to Saffron, OMG fantastic. Review being drafted. New Tasting menu started today.

                2. Jordan RE: jfood Aug 31, 2009 06:17 PM

                  Solera is great, but not really a good match for a solo diner. You'll be able to order just a very small number of a huge selection of excellent tapas. Still, it's your corporate card...

                  I do (once again) recommend that you get to Saffron post-haste to try their small plates and mezzes. Be sure to get the beef carpaccio if it's on the menu.

                  1. BigSal RE: jfood Sep 1, 2009 04:25 AM

                    Although I am a fan of Tim McKee's other restaurants, especially La Belle Vie and Sea Change, I am conflicted about Solera. I love the idea of a tapas restaurant and I am a huge fan of Spanish food. I have had some good things from the menu, but I always go with high expectations and leave somewhat disappointed. I don't know if JP's addition to the team earlier this year has changed things.

                    As for other places, I think Vincent is a nice choice. They have nicely executed meat and fish/seafood items. Lucias might be another to consider. A limited menu, but the emphasis is on local sourcing and seasonal dishes.

                    Places on my restaurants to try list include: Saffron, The Red Stag, D'Amico Kitchen and Blackbird Cafe.

                    Can't wait to hear about your lastest dining adventures.

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                      stpaulbreadman RE: jfood Sep 2, 2009 12:12 PM

                      I always enjoy solera. It is probably my favorite restaurant in town; partly because I love tapas and they have a nice mix of traditional and non-traditional, partly because I think the kitchen is very consistently good, and partly because they have a great not too expensive spanish wine list.
                      With a few people you can eat reasonably cheaply by sharing a tasting menu.

                      1. d
                        diearzte2 RE: jfood Sep 3, 2009 10:01 AM

                        I haven't been to Solera since last year but I thought it was a great meal. I went with one other person and we tried 7 tapas and a dessert. I don't know that I would recommend trying it alone though, for reasons others have posted (if you need someone to join you I live just a few blocks away!).

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