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Minneapolis Local Restaurant Scene - Aren't we lucky...

Moving here from San Francisco and being your typical West Coast food snob, I was prepared to live in a land of restaurant chains and uninspired scandinavian-based food. But what an amazing revelation. Since I moved here over 7 years ago I have been so inspired by our local food scene (and was again last night with a memorable dinner at Heartland) that I wanted to acknowledge and celebrate (and certainly go out and support) the incredible local restaurant scene we have here in the Twin Cities. We have amazing chefs in this city creating great food, many with locally sourced ingredients.

So here's a thank you to the restaurants where I had truly INSPIRING meals in 2010. In no particular order - 112 Eatery, Haute Dish, Heartland, Alma, Lucia's, Anchor Fish and Chips, In Season, Bar La Grassa, Grand Cafe, Heidi's, The Strip Club, Craftsman (good luck Chef Phillips on the new venture), Cafe Bar Lurcat, Mandarin Kitchen (ok, that's Bloomington, but it's really good), Corner Table, Broders Pasta Bar and Sea Salt.

Who has inspired you this year?

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Mandarin Kitchen
8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

Corner Table
4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

112 Eatery
112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

The Strip Club
378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

The Anchor Fish and Chips
302 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

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

In Season
5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

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  1. Here here!

    Ten great spots off the top of my head:

    1) V-44/Travail crew
    2) Bar La Grassa
    3) Saffron
    4) Alma
    5) Anchor
    6) Corner Table
    7) Cosmos
    8) Heartland
    9) Vincent
    10) Big Daddy's/Q-Fanatic

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    Corner Table
    4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: BigE

      Nice Thread:

      Ten great spots I visited this year in MSP, ranging from high highfalutin to the everyday. (In no particular order).

      1) Bar La Grassa
      2) Travail (well...Robbinsdale...)
      3) La Sirena Gorda
      4) Big Daddy's / Pastor Hamilton's
      5) Sea Salt
      6) Buster's on 28th
      7) Craftsman
      8) Tanpopo
      9) Sugar Rush
      10) Black Sheep Pizza (though I'll put a shout out to Pizza Biga, my neighborhood go-to pizza place)

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      La Sirena Gorda
      920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

      Buster's on 28th
      4204 28th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

      Pizza Biga
      4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

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

      1. re: foreverhungry

        Dinner:
        The Strip Club (just visited The Inn last week for the first time. I WILL be back!)
        Bar La Grassa
        Alma
        Vincent
        Meritage

        For lunch: I loved the influx of food trucks in DT Mpls, especially the Smack Shack and World Street Kitchen. In the skyway, Zen Box is always fantastic.

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        Meritage
        410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

        The Strip Club
        378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

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

        1. re: foreverhungry

          Again in no particular order
          1) 112, still rocking it day-in/day-out
          2) Craftsman - being in walking distance almost feels wrong
          3) Travail and Victory 44
          4) Bob's Smokestack - ok it's in Elgin, but they're doing serious ribs down there
          5) Bar La Grassa
          6) Heidi's - I await the return of the shefzilla surprise
          7) Tanpopo
          8) Bon Vie
          9) Cake Eater Bakery
          10) Cafe Twenty Eight

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          Bon Vie
          518 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          Victory 44
          2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

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

          1. re: eastlakovore

            For me, it would have to be Restaurant Alma. Nothing else really comes close. We dined there in July and I had a meal that just blew the doors off anything else I ate this year.

            -----
            Restaurant Alma
            528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

      2. It's been an interesting year in food for us. Late last year I made a decision to opt out of the industrial meat industry, and so for the past year I have eaten almost exclusively local, non-industrial meat. Needless to say this has narrowed my dining choices a bit, and meant that I've eaten a lot of vegetarian meals too.

        Nonetheless, there are a bunch of places I've been able to continue eating inspired/inspiring chow:

        1. Brasa St. Paul
        2. Ngon Bistro
        3. Meritage (best burger in town, I maintain)
        4. Alma
        5. Punch Pizza (fast, great food, great with a toddler)
        6. Taqueria Los Ocampo (amazing red rice, great sopes with beans)
        7. Bars Bakery-- a welcome addition to our regular lineup, though not for meals all by itself..
        8. The Strip Club
        9. Flamingo-- first Ethiopian place I've loved in the TCs (having cut my teeth on the cuisine in DC)
        10. Pumphouse Creamery-- even in the cold of winter I crave Barb's amazing sorbets and ice creams

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        Pumphouse Creamery
        4754 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

        Punch Pizza
        3226 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55416

        Meritage
        410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

        The Strip Club
        378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

        Taqueria Los Ocampo
        809 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

        2 Replies
        1. re: mtullius

          mtullius, when was the last time you ate at Flamingo? I totally loved the first time but it wasn't nearly as great the second...

          1. re: faith

            Couple of weeks ago? We've eaten there probably 4 times. There's a good bit of variation, because they actually use local ingredients and stuff, but yes, there have been times we've liked what we had better than others. But it's always been very very good for us.

        2. The best things to eat and drink in the past year for me (in no particular order): Piccolo, Bar La Grassa, Meritage, The Strip Club, The Inn, Brasa, Ngon Bistro, Black Sheep Pizza, Bars Bakery, and La Belle Vie.

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          La Belle Vie
          510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

          Meritage
          410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

          The Strip Club
          378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: LauraB

            Aw heck, forgot about Piccolo. Awesome. My list now goes to 11.