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Oct 27, 2010 07:42 AM


I recently watched a Man vs. Food episode that took place at Munchies 420 Cafe in Florida.

Does anyone know of similar places in the MSP area? Similar being HUGE PORTIONS, FAT SANDWICHES, FRIED DELICIOUSNESS. You know....a place designed to cure the munchies.....

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  1. Man vs. Food really isn't my bag, but....

    Order a Nookie Supreme with fries and add cheese curds at the Nook in St. Paul.

    Go to El Burrito Mercado, grab a 1/2 pound of chales and a churro from the deli, then grab one of their monster tortas from the cafeteria line.

    In my neck of the woods (south metro), I would do the same at Olmeca on County 5 in Burnsville. Their tortas, especially my favorite--the "cubano", are in my opinion far and away the best tortas in the entire Twin Cities. Yes, I'm claiming they are better than all locations of Manny's Tortas, better than El Burrito Mercado, and better than any number of the smaller taquerias where I've tried tortas.

    That's what I've got in the combo fried food, huge portion, fat sandwich category.

    El Burrito Mercado
    175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107

    Manny's Tortas
    920 E Lake St Ste 125, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    2 Replies
    1. re: MSPD

      Oh, my! Reading "best tortas in the entire Twin Cities" made me sit up. It sounds like it's time to revive my quest for the cubano torta of my dreams.

      Now me, I'm not a fan of the Man v. Food aproach to dining, but if I were to recommend my favorite place with HUGE portions of fatty proteins and fried carbs, it would be Chimborazo in NE Mpls. In particular, the Churrasco de Res platter - a lovely piece of grilled flank steak, beans, fried plantains, fried yucca, and a huge pile of rice topped with a fried egg. Heaven on a plate!


      1. re: MSPD

        I'll be in Rosemount tomorrow (I'm never on that side of the burbs)...sounds like I've got my lunch plans.

        Thanks for the heads up on Olmeca.

      2. I have outlined some idea's for you. While I live in a city, not the sprawling suburbia that is Florida, there are pro's and con's to each scenario. Take it for what it is, and just remember, make it a mission, and you can get whatever you need. Focus. Standing at the menu board at Munchies 420 cafe could make you stare for hours when it comes to the decision making game time moment, I would imagine. Indecisiveness. The Downfall of the legalization movement. Don't let it happen to you my friend.

        For example: It's 1:30 am. It's friday. My hunger(and paranoia) tells me to get something to eat before bar close. What do I want? Salty, fried and cheesy? Maybe Santana foods on 4th just west of dinkytown. Cheese curds? Check. Bottled Beverage? Check. Ice Cream Novelties? Check. One stop shopping. Cons? Busy i.e. everyone is gonna be staring at you dude. and the lights are really bright. Counter staff can get gruff, but you are in and out with cheese curds, gyro, tasty beverage and ice cream treat in tow. Win.

        Second option: Los Ocampos. Nachos (only chicken or ground beef, unless you are really nice, can chat a bit in spanish, or put like 5 bucks in the tip jar immediately)

        Pros: It's like a 3 lb order. They have coke in a glass bottle. They sell beer while you wait. You can order Horchata(if you don't know, ask somebody!) The chips are made pretty fresh.
        Trump that. Order a Sincronizada, ask to sub chales for the ham. Its a giant porky, salty, folded quesadilla.

        Con's: Careful in the parking lot, it can get a little stressful, man. Especially if the liquor store is open. Don't freak out. You may have to repeat your order, slowly. It's hopefully due to translation processing speed over you just saying something that doesn't make any sense in this universe, or a multitude of others. So don't cheese out, potzer. Or everyone WILL BE STARING AT YOU!!!!

        If it has to come to it, you can waste your money at a drive through, but just some foresight would prevent that.

        Play to your strengths. If you like Mexican, cruise to east lake. If you don't care, hit dinkytown.
        Asian? Ganchen on Nicollet serves super late. All totally relevent and Munchable.

        Be careful driving.

        1. The tortas at El Taco Riendo are absurd, and plenty fried.

          The portions at Q Fanatic seem inspired by, well, something.

          However, my winner is fried shrimp and yams at Quang. Ironically, 4:20 is probably the only time that restaurant isn't packed.

          El Taco Riendo
          2416 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

          1 Reply
          1. re: kevin47

            El Taco Riendo also has that special torta that obstensively serves 3 people, but I think it serves 6. (Or, maybe that's the torta you meant.) It really is meant to be shared, but I suppose if you were of a certain mind, you could try to eat one yourself. But, I suppose, that's kind of cheating, isn't it? Taking something that's meant to be served family style and eating it all yourself.

            Of course, then there's the whole "all you can eat" genre. AYCE fish fry. AYCE pasta at the Little Oven.


            El Taco Riendo
            2416 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

          2. Why is it the twin cities does not even come close to having some of the creations featured on man vs food and especially in large portions? I have searched the twin cities and nothing comes close to the portions they feature on that show. If anyone has suggestions, please post.

            9 Replies
            1. re: ticrta

              What exactly are you looking for? Plenty of bars have stupid huge burgers, super spicy wings, or other impossible eating challenges. If that's what you're looking for, off the top of my head...

              1) The Nook - Nookie Supreme Challenge - Two Nookie Supremes with two orders of fries. I might have an outside shot at this one.

              2) Randy's Premier Pizza - This is some serious Man v. Food stuff. Finish a 30" pizza, win $1000. Or, finish it with 3 other people and win $500.


              3) Girvan Grille - Ghost Wing Challenge - 10 ghost wings in 15 minutes.


              I'm sure there are plenty of others.

              Randy's Premier Pizza
              6030 50th St N, Saint Paul, MN 55128

              Girvan Grille
              8700 Edinbrook Crossing, Brooklyn Park, MN 55443

              1. re: BigE

                I think Saigon has a 10 gallon pho challenge (finish it in under 45 mins and it's free). And there's the Rice Street Deli's Gangsta burger

                (I've never tried either of these, of course.)


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Quang also has a Pho challenge of some kind as they have a picture of a dude on the wall in the waiting area with a large empty bowl of what once was Pho.

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    10 gallons of Saigon pho WOULD be a prodigious feat. However, the challenge is equivalent to 4 large jumbo servings (still prodigious), but more likely somewhere between 1 and 2 gallons. Now here's the pro tip: Don't drink the broth, the challenge only requires you to eat the noodles and meat. Soup's just there to keep the solids warm. You heard it here first.



                    1. re: HuaGung

                      I like that challenge. That's a good tip. Although i'm a casual eater and not into the food challenges so much this one does interest me. I'm just am not into real spicy though. Don't see the point in that.

                      1. re: HuaGung

                        sounds like maybe it's 10 quarts, not 10 gallons. 10 quarts would be 2 1/2 gallons. yikes, that's still too much.

                        1. re: faith

                          Whoops, sorry, it's ten pounds, not ten gallons, hence HuaGung's comment that "10 gallons of Saigon pho WOULD be a prodigious feat."


                  2. re: ticrta

                    Man v. Food did come to Mpls:

                    His big challenge was the meterbratwurst from Gasthoff's, and he also stepped into the Jucy Lucy war and went to Brasa.

                    1. re: coconutty

                      Of all the challenges he could have done, the meterbrat is really not a good one. I finished that thing with no problem.