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Aug 16, 2010 04:01 PM

Faces Mears Park

Is this place a complete dud? I looked at the menu and it seems uninspired. Has anyone been?

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  1. I've been twice: once for the "soft opening", and then again about 1 month ago. During the visit last month, my companion and I each had pizzas. I had the "Buddha's Delight", which has teriyaki marinated vegetables, sun dried tomatoes, and mozzarella, and my companion had the Margarita. Both were very good - not outstanding, but very good. Fresh toppings, good crust, very good flavor. Service was very good.

    I'll go back - it' worth at least a second visit. It's hard to compete with Barrio's offering across Mears Park, but FACES's spin is in their healthy cooking approach. Their menu is definitely leaning towards the healthy side of things, and I think Fhima can pull off the healthy yet flavorful combination given his Mediterranean background.

    If you want indulgence and extravagance, this might not be the place to go. But if you want a very nice meal out, with a Mediterranean focused menu and have many healthy but tasty offerings, this is perhaps one of the best options in the Twin Cities.

    2 Replies
    1. re: foreverhungry

      This is just too funny!!!! I am screaming in hysterics re the olives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. re: green56

        You know, I have to say, while I am no olive connoisseur, I was not impressed with them. I could go to the Midtown Global Market, stop by Holyland, and get better quality olives. Although for $6 and the amount you get, it is a nice snack. The baguette and butter is very good. The butter has a slight kick and I like it!

        Midtown Global Market
        920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    2. I've been there twice, once for dinner and once just for drinks. Nice atmosphere for sure, the sandwich I had the first time (I don't remember the name, but it was basically a spicy tuna melt) was really good. The service, however, is an entirely different story. The first time I went was a few days after opening and I walked in and was sat at a table on the patio. I was the only person out there and still waited almost 10 minutes for someone to greet me and when she finally came out to get my drink order I waited another 10 minutes for that. While I was sitting there two more tables were sat and one of them ordered the olive plate. The server was explaining the different olives and called the kalamata olives "chlamydia olives". I almost choked on my wine. I was by myself, had two glasses of wine and a sandwich, and was there for two hours.

      The second time I was there was last week just for cocktails and even though there's a fully stocked second bar off to the side they're apparently not allowed to use it, just stand around behind it. Every time my group ordered another round the server needed us to repeat ourselves at least twice then go to the other bar to get our drinks (mostly wine). Fifteen minutes to get a drink is a little excessive in my opinion. This place has got a lot of potential in this area and I hope they can make it work, but service is going to have to improve if they're going to last long-term.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Stillwater Girl

        Whoops. Meant my reply re the olives to go here. Sorry. I can hardly see as I'm laughing so hard.

      2. Just had lunch at Faces Mears Park. I had the vegetarian antipasti salad, which oddly enough was a little different than the menu had described. Red Balsamic instead of white, with 3 types of beans, candied pecans, Gorgonzola, and mixed greens. A little heat also in the vinaigrette, which was really nice. Overall, an excellent salad. For folks looking for a high protein, high fiber, low fat, filling salad, and mostly importantly, with complex flavors, this one is a winner. I'm not one to rave about salads, but this was easily one of the best ones I've had in years. It was served with little bread rolls with a honey-ginger butter that was fantastic (enough that my dining companion, who hates eating butter on bread, said that that butter was enough to turn her into a convert).

        My dining partner, who was all set to get the muffuletta pizza (one of her favorites there) instead ordered the appetizer size lobster mac and cheese. Wow. There was more lobster than macaroni (which was whole wheat, a very nice touch). Great flavor, very good consistency.

        Overall, I'm more and more impressed by Faces each time I go. The presentation is great, the menu is original, and the dishes (the ones I have had so far) deliver. For what it is, I think Faces does a very good job on most (if not every) level.

        1. I had lunch there today, and while I"m reluctant to review any restaurant based on one visit, I would say that it definitely deserves to be added to my lunch rotation.

          One of the biggest issues I had with LoTo was their service, especially at lunch. It was definitely improved and both my dining companion and I enjoyed our salads as well. Next time we'll try happy hour to see how that works. Oh, and I'm curious about the Lobster Mac & Cheese...

          4 Replies
          1. re: latte4me

            The service at Faces was an issue the first couple times I went, including their soft opening. Especially at the bar. The server we had today was very good. But I agree, at LoTo, and again early at Faces, service was a problem. Based on today's experience, I'm hoping that service issues were taken care of.

            1. re: foreverhungry

              I've eaten a Faces about a dozen times as I work about a block away. I've really enjoyed it and think they are doing a great job. That being said, Fhima's restaurants all seem to start out strong and then go downhill. He has a history of not paying his employees and that was one of the big issues at LoTo. The first few months were great, then things started getting really, really inconsistent. Let's hope his new focus at Faces works out because when things are clicking, they make some lovely food.

              I really like the Asian tuna melt and the fries are wonderful.

              1. re: misterpatrick

                The service at Faces certainly seems to be the weak point. I like the food, but the service has been really, really uneven. Table service was fine for my visit last week - but the deli... Each time I go (three times, so far), I tell myself that if this was my only Faces experience, I'd never go back.

                But I can't walk away from the Siesta pizza, the seductive dressing on the green salad, and the wonderful spices of the $10 rotisserie chicken. So I'll give the iffy service another chance.

                Disclaimer: I work in the building. So I'm a captive audience.


                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  I agree with both AnneInMpls and misterpatrick. The food is very good. The service uneven. I've had great service there - attentive but not hovering, knowledgeable but not condescending. And bad service there - most notably, being excruciatingly slow. The waitstaff seems to be good for the most part, but the bar area has been bad every time I've gone. Haven't been to the deli area yet, though their salads and other wares look excellent.

                  I too hope Faces succeeds. It's a great concept, and I think Fhima's doing a good job of pulling it off. Putting together an interesting menu with very good flavors and many healthy options is tough to pull off, but he seems to be doing it well. But I do hope his past habits don't surface at Faces.