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The Presbyterians are coming!

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  • smr33 Jun 27, 2010 08:54 PM
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Will be arriving in Minneapolis for 10 days beginning this Thursday. Am looking for great lunch/dinner places near the Convention Center where the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church will be meeting. Staying at the Millennium.

We eat pretty much everything, but am most interested in things specially "Minnesota," great local joints, no chains, preferably within walking distance.

I was born in Wisconsin and also lived there as an adult for a brief time 20 years ago, but have never been to the Twin Cities. Can't wait to see this part of the country.

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  1. He said to his friend, "If the Presbyterians come
    By land or air to the city to-night,
    Hang a lantern aloft in the dome
    Of the Millennium Hotel as a signal light,--
    One if by land, and two if by air;
    And I on Nicollet Mall will be,
    Ready to ride and spread the alarm
    Through every Minneapolis restaurant and pub,
    For the city folk to be up and serving."

    My apologies to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    1 Reply
    1. re: Davydd

      Thank you, Davy. :)

    2. It's the "within walking distance" part that's hanging me up, as I'm not sure where the Millennium is, and I'm afraid to steer you too far. Would Hell's Kitchen for breakfast be within walking distance?

      ~TDQ

      -----
      Hell's Kitchen
      80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

      1. Hell's Kitchen is an awfully ironic first recommendation, but not a bad one for breakfast.

        Be sure to head South on Nicollet to Eat Street. A 25 minute walk or a short bus ride. Our Vietnamese food is great. Quang and Jasmine 26 are my favorites.

        A longer bus ride (about 30 blocks) will get you to Corner Table, which is well worth a visit this time of year. They utilize locally grown ingredients to the extent that the menu lists the few items that are NOT local.

        Vincent is very near your hotel. The chef offers his take on our ju(i)cy lucy, which is well worth the visit. The rest of the menu is worth a second visit.

        If you are up for a bit of walking, head to the Mill City Farmers Market on Saturday morning. Everything is Minnesota grown, and there are plenty of prepared food stands as well. \

        I've heard good things about Haute Dish, but I'll let others speak to that. That will also require some real walking.

        Other than that, there are plenty of places worth recommending downtown (112 Eatery, Bar La Grassa, Zelo, Saffron etc...). If you are tethered to the CC, your options are limited (Gangchen is your best bet).

        Hope this helps.

        -----
        Hell's Kitchen
        80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

        Zelo
        831 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402

        Corner Table
        4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

        Jasmine 26 Restaurant & Bar
        8 East 26th Street, Minneapolis, MN

        Mill City Cafe
        2205 California St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

        Bar La Grassa
        800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

        3 Replies
        1. re: kevin47

          Kevin, I haven't heard many recommendations for Jasmine 26, though I've always been curious. What do you recommend there? (To the OP, Jasmine Deli, much more casual sister to and across the street from Jasmine 26, is oft-recommend for banh mi and pho. Not my favorite banh mi or pho in the Twin Cities, but still pretty good. This isn't to say that Jasmine 26 is excessively fancy to the point you would feel underdressed or something, but it's probably the most upscale Vietnamese restaurant we have in the Twin Cities).

          Well, for breakfast, HK (named for the neighborhood in NYC, but also perhaps reflecting the personality/attitude of the chef/owner) has the mahnomin wild rice porridge. Wild rice being the state grain and all. The cream in the porridge is pretty rich, so, I wouldn't plan on having exclusively that for breakfast. The bison bread (much better than it sounds!) and the bison sausage are good, too. Not especially "Minnesotan" but I like their huevos rancheros. Just about everything his housemade, down to the catsup and peanut butter.

          The OP can look at the restaurant's website to see if the vibe is too obnoxious or off-putting. It might be.

          The other meals at HK aren't as exceptional as the breakfast, but their bison burger would be a better choice chow-wise than, say, anything on the menu at Olive Garden.

          If Jasmine 26 is walkable, then Black Forest Inn is also walkable in the same "half hour in each direction" kind of way. I love their patio this time of year. We don't like to talk about it much, but German food is very Minnesotan. They have a rabbit dish I like a lot. I also like their spaetzle.

          If you're up for a real adventure, and you find that stretch of Nicollet walkable, there is a cafe around the 1800 block of Nicollet called Boolay (labeled on Google maps as "African Market") that apparently makes many of the Somali sambusa that are sold around town. I've tried to eat there, but as a woman alone, it was difficult to get anyone "notice" me in order to seat me, so I can't recommend it based on personal experience, only on the recommendation of a friend. Here's a blog about someone else's visit. http://youcarewhatwethink.blogspot.co... One of these days, I plan to go back with my husband. Minnesota has the largest concentration of Somalis in North America.

          If the Mill City Farmers Market (Saturday only) is indeed walkable (I imagine this as a pretty healthy walk, but then my knowledge of downtown Minneapolis geography is somewhat challenged--I can never figure out where stuff is in relation to each other), then it is a wonderful recommendation. Spoonriver restaurant right there, with emphasis on seasonal and local, is lovely, too, if you aren't a person who needs heavy hearty meals. I like the Mill City Museum, too, for Minnesota food history.

          Enjoy your stay.

          ~TDQ

          -----
          Black Forest Inn
          1 E 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404

          Jasmine Deli
          2532 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

          Jasmine 26 Restaurant & Bar
          , Minneapolis, MN 55401

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            re: Jasmine 26. The salt and pepper tofu and coconut hot pot are standouts. The latter is sort of a fusion take on Tom Kha Gai. The Jasmine crepe is good as well if you are sharing dishes.

            -----
            Jasmine 26 Restaurant & Bar
            , Minneapolis, MN 55401

            1. re: kevin47

              Oh, good to know!

              ~TDQ

        2. For my fellow Twin Citians who are hotel challenged, the Millenium is across the street from the Hyatt Regency (on Nicollet between 12th and 13th). Next to Westminster Presbyterian Church. :o)

          Toward downtown...

          Vincent at Nicollet and 11th (country French)
          Brit's Pub at Nicollet and 11th (for the rooftop)
          Masa at Nicollet and 10th (higher-end Mexican)
          Zelo at Nicollet and 9th (Italian)

          Away from downtown...

          Salsa a la Salsa at Nicollet and 15th (not as high end Mexican, but very good)
          Eli's at 13th and Hennepin

          Loring Park...

          Cafe Lurcat
          Bar Lurcat

          4 Replies
          1. re: Brad Ballinger

            I'm not JUST hotel challenged, I'm Minneapolis-challenged.:) I never walk anywhere in Minneapolis (only drive or cycle), so I don't have a realistic idea of how far anything REALLY is from anything else walking-wise.

            Brad, would you say any of your recs are uniquely Minnesotan in any way? (I'm not challenging your list, I'm just wondering if there's anything particularly "local" on those menus you might recommend to the OP...)

            Also, if Lurcat is walkable, so is La Belle Vie, one of the the swankiest restaurants in town. The chef at LBV--Tim McKee-- just won the James Beard "best chef Midwest" award. You might consider their bar menu at LBV if you're not up for the whole experience.

            ~TDQ

            -----
            La Belle Vie
            510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Not Minnesotan per se, but I do love the grilled cheese sandwich with hot tomato soup at Brit's. Just good ol plain ol comfort food to me. Also, Evergreen, the vegetarian Chinese at 2424 Nicollet is not bad for a change of pace. (More on that later...)

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I glossed over the "Minnesotan" part of the OP's request. My bad. I would say nothing at any place I mentioned approaches what is discussed in the Minnesota's Signature Dish thread. I just tried to provide non-chain walkable places that do a decent job.

                And of course the places listed in warehouse district territory and near Target Center are also walkable. But one never knows how far another is willing to walk. :o)

                1. re: Brad Ballinger

                  I'm sure delicious recommendations are always welcome! Plus, who can resist tomato soup+grilled cheese.

                  I think it's fair to say that this is the time of year where Minnesotans are looking for any excuse to be outdoors, so on the rooftop at Brit's would be a genuinely Minnesotan experience, even if the food itself isn't necessarily.

                  ~TDQ

            2. Minneapolis Farmers Market might be a fun thing for you to check out on a Saturday morning - there are lots of crafts and prepared foods as well as fruits and vegetables.
              http://www.mplsfarmersmarket.com/

              The Bandbox diner is a very classic hole-in-the-wall diner type place, and I think it's a fun little spot for breakfast or lunch.
              http://maps.google.com/maps/place?oe=...

              The Red Stag would be a slightly longer walk, but they feature lots of local ingredients.
              http://www.redstagsupperclub.com/

              Not particularly local food, but very good, and with a fantastic view of the river, is Sea Change:
              http://www.seachangempls.com/

              -----
              Sea Change
              806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

              1. smr33, how are you coming along?

                ~TDQ