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May 4, 2010 01:30 PM

Minneapolis Long Weekend

I will be travelling to the Minneapolis/St.Paul area with my wife and two young children (7 months and 2.5 years old) for three nights starting on Thursday. Two nights in Bloomington and one night at the Double Tree on La Salle. We need help with the following:

Lake Street Mexican -Los Ocampo, El Nuevo, or La Poblanita?
Brasa or Punch Pizza?
The Nook for a Juicy Lucy?
Suggestions near the La Salle Double Tree?
Walk up tickets for the Twins matinee on Saturday. Is it possible?

Thank you!

Punch Pizza
3226 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55416

La Poblanita
1617 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

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  1. Welcome!

    Los Ocampo.
    Yes to the Nook, no to the Juicy Lucy. Actually, depending on the time of day, the Nook might be fussy with the little ones...it can be very crowded in there. Go on off hours and you'll be fine or go to Shamrock's on West 7th (nearby) -- same owners, same menu, a lot more space.
    For the downtown Mpls stuff, there are a million recent threads on here.
    No clue on the Twins tickets -- I would guess you could get walkups or from a scalper if nothing else. You can get tickets at face value from scalpers most times.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MSPD

      The Molitor burger at Shamrock's is an abomination.


    2. Los Ocampo (the stand-alone location near Chicago Avenue, across from the MidGloMa.)

      (EDIT: But there's lots of fun kid-friendly stuff to explore in the Midtown Global Market. Thumbs up for La Sirena Gorda, Salty Tart except the cupcakes, the jerk chicken wings at West Indies Soul, some of the treats at Cafe Finspang...and a few others.)

      I prefer Brasa especially this time of year when the weather gets nice. You can sit outside. Alex Roberts just won the best chef midwest award, for his high-end restaurant Alma. Punch is okay.

      I like the Nook for the Molitor burger or for the Lodge Burger and the hand-cut fries. It's kid-friendly. It can get super crowded.

      I don't understand that part of Minneapolis. Sorry.

      Twins are a hot ticket right now. Hard to say.

      You forgot Izzy's for ice cream.


      1. Ocampo, Brasa, Yes (I like the Juicy Nookie w/fried onions) but go during off hours if possible.

        The Doubletree is at 11th and Lasalle, right? A block off Nicollet in downtown Mpls? There are a lot of restaurants right around there, but many of them are places that, while they might be fine for kids, don't spring to mind as child-friendly.

        However, it sounds like you're not averse to driving somewhere, in which case you might drive south down Nicollet and look for pho.

        1. 1. For Lake Street Mexican, hit up the Global Market. You get your pick, and there's even a play area.

          2. With kids? Punch. Brasa is going to feature a long wait, and they don't do chicken well at all, though they have some tasty sides. Punch has some of the best pizza I've had.

          3. I'd go with the Blue Door Pub. If you don't require alcohol, you can snare an outdoor table without a wait. It's also better.

          4. Gangchen is seven blocks south. It's an Asian fusion place. That should be fine for the kids from a cuisine and atmosphere standpoint. Downtown, you will be relegated to cookie-cutter sports bars.

          5. Probably not. You can order ahead of time, and pick up the tickets an ATM-like machines at the stadium.

          The Blue Door Pub
          1811 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104

          Gangchen Restaurant
          1833 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

          6 Replies
          1. re: kevin47

            Just know that if you do go to Blue Door Pub with little kids, sitting outside is probably your ONLY option (so don't go if the weather stinks). It is literally wall-to-wall people in there at just about all hours. I have three kids and there is no way in hell I would ever consider going inside there with even one of them.

            The Blue Door Pub
            1811 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104

            1. re: MSPD

              Although it is family friendly and I've seen kids in there--mostly early in the day before it gets cranking--BDP strikes me as a place college kids and people who live in the very immediate vicinity go. Smart college kids with good taste in food and local beer, but college kids nonetheless.

              The burgers at BDP aren't bad, but the fries are awful. I don't have burgers that often, but, when I do, I like to have fries, too.

              [EDIT: Although, if forced to go to BDP or Shamrock's, I'd probably go to BDP. But, that's without kids. I would have a hard time justifying a long wait at any of these burger places if I had kids in tow, frankly. They are just burgers in a neighborhood bar with that neighborhood'y St. Paul feel. Shamrocks, has the worst food of the bunch, but there's seldom a crazy wait.

              Honestly, if I had well-behaved children along, I'd take them to Meritage on a Saturday or Sunday for brunch when the weather gets a wee bit nicer, sit on the sidewalk patio, and have their burger. Now, that's a burger worth waiting for, but you probably wouldn't have to, because they are civilized enough to take reservations! Slightly pricier of course, but, still, only about $10 for the burger and fries.]


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I like the fries at BDP, but we're getting far afield.

                I took the premise of the question to be that the OP is getting a Juicy Lucy, so it's just a matter of where. Bars are the only place to get them, and with the exception of the 5-8, which is hardly a destination spot, none of them are ideal for kids. That said, I've seen families at both the Nook and Blue Door, though kids get antsy with the wait.

                So yeah, if a Lucy isn't a must have (and there's no real reason why it should be), then you might consider some of the other options.

                1. re: kevin47

                  Thank you for all of your replies.
                  A Juicy Lucy probably won't be our focus because we have excellent burgers in Winnipeg but are lacking quality Mexican and BBQ/Rotisserie restaurants. Good Pho is easy to find at home as well so all that is left is wading through the previous boards regarding downtown eating.
                  Thanks again!

                  1. re: BVN

                    "are lacking quality ... and BBQ/Rotisserie restaurants"

                    So are we.


                  2. re: kevin47

                    Hmmm...it's been about a year since I've been because, as I said, I don't eat burgers and fries that often and I just found the wait to be interminable, which I'd be willing to tolerate, except that I found the burgers sometimes so greasy they soaked the bun. The fries were limp and soggy. I liked the creativity of the flavors in the burgers, so, thumbs way up there. And, thumbs up for the local beer. And thumbs up for the super nice guys who run the place.

                    But, meh, for that kind of wait and that kind of product, I'd rather go somewhere else. If I lived up the street from it, I might go more often.

                    But, as I said, my last attempt was about a year ago. Have they gotten better in the past year, perhaps, and I need to give it another whirl?


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