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52 Hours in Minneapolis – Best Late Afternoon Meal? And Itinerary Review

Hi Minnesota Chowhounds,

In late June, I will be visiting for a few days during the week, Monday through Wednesday. I will be dining solo, and watching three baseball games at Target Field. I’ve put together a tentative itinerary based on research, mostly here on Chowhound. Because of the ballgames, dinners close to downtown Minneapolis will generally be more convenient for me. I particularly need help with finding the best place for a late afternoon meal after the last game before flying out, so I’ll start talking about that first. I’ve tentatively made the rest of my choices, but I’m still open to suggestions if anyone thinks I’m way off base and there’s something better I might be missing.

WEDNESDAY DINNER, LATE AFTERNOON
-----------------------------------------------------------

The Wednesday game is an afternoon game with a 12:10 pm start. Most likely it will end between 3:00 and 3:30, so I would have time to eat something after the game. I would need to be done by around 5:30-5:45 or so to catch the light rail to the airport for my 7:50 pm flight home. Thus it would probably need to be at a place that’s either open all afternoon, or opens no later than about 4:00 or maybe 4:30, for me to be done that early. Downtown Minneapolis or nearby would be particularly convenient because of its proximity to the light rail and the ballpark, as well as its abundance of restaurants. I’ve checked on Opentable to see what’s available that early, and there are a couple of places that sound interesting (Independent, and Spill the Wine) and a couple more that also sound interesting but only serve early from a happy hour menu (Forum and Zahtar); however, I don’t know anything about how good they are. And I’m open to other suggestions too. (I only checked on Opentable because it’s a quick way to see what’s open at a particular time of day; I’m not wedded to the restaurants listed there.) I’d love to hear some recommendations for this meal, because I’m just not sure what my best options are. So here’s my question in a nutshell:

IF YOU WANTED TO REALLY IMPRESS AND AMAZE SOMEONE WITH THE BEST FOOD IN MINNEAPOLIS AT A PLACE THAT’S OPEN FOR A LATE AFTERNOON DINNER, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

It doesn’t have to be fine dining; it could be cheap eats, or something ethnic, or a local specialty of some sort, just as long as it’s really, really good.

Oh, and just doing some contingency planning – if the game runs late (always a possibility) I might have to go straight to the airport and grab something relatively quick once I’m there. I’ve looked through the discussion of places at the airport itself ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/765341 ), and it seems like the best food options there are French Meadow Bakery and Café and Surdyk’s Flights. I’d probably go to the central “mall” area of Terminal 1 and look at both menus and pick whichever sounds the best. Unless there’s someplace better there to check out…? But that’s just a backup plan; I’m hoping that the game doesn’t run late, in which case I won’t have to worry about eating at the airport.

MONDAY/TUESDAY DINNERS
------------------------------------------

There are two night games on Monday and Tuesday beginning at 7:10 pm. I’ve made reservations at two restaurants, to arrive when they open at 5:00 pm, and have let them know in advance that I’d like to be done by around 6:30 pm. That should be do-able, and should give me enough time to get to the stadium for the game. I’ve selected La Belle Vie and Restaurant Alma for these two dinners. I had also considered 112 Eatery, Sea Change, and Piccolo, but after checking out the website menus for all five, La Belle Vie and Restaurant Alma just sounded more appealing to me.

TUESDAY GRAZING/LUNCH/PASTRY
---------------------------------------------------

On Tuesday, I’m probably going to “graze”, maybe find some light lunch fare and some pastry. I understand there’s a public market on Lake called Midtown Global Market, and I love walking around a good public market. I also love desserts and I understand the Salty Tart Bakery is one of the best around, and is right in the Midtown Global Market, so this is a big part of the reason for hitting that market. I’ll probably also hit Rustica Bakery and/or Patisserie 46. These seem like the best choices for what I like, European pastry – stuff like croissants, French macaroons, entremets (mousse cakes), bostok, éclairs, etc. I’m not looking for “comfort food” type baked goods – no cookies, no lemon bars, and for heaven’s sake enough already with the cupcakes! :)

WEDNESDAY BREAKFAST
-------------------------------------

On Wednesday, I’m going to have a regular sit-down breakfast before the afternoon game which starts at 12:10 pm. It seems like Hell’s Kitchen is THE place for a great and unusual breakfast/brunch in the Cities, so that’s my plan. I should add, I love breakfast/brunch type places, for savory dishes and especially for sweet dishes. The website menu at HK got me with Shrimp and Crab Cake with Poached Egg, Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes, and Bread Pudding with Crème Anglaise (and I don’t know how the heck I’m going to narrow it down from those three dishes!).

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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  1. Scratch Forum--it's closed. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7045...

    At HK, I think the lemon ricotta hotcakes are one of the best things on their menu. Very rich though. A cup of the manomin (wild rice) porridge would give you a taste of our state grain. The wild rice at HK is lake grown, Native hand-harvested and parched: the real deal. The porridge is also very rich. I'd recommend getting a jar of their housemade peanut butter and a loaf of their bison bread to take home with you. (Do not consume together!) I also like their huevos rancheros.

    MidGloMa is fun, though a trip to St. Paul's Hmong market could be even more of a thrill. I know I'm supposed to suck up to Michelle Gayer (used to work for Trotter; is a multiple-time James Beard nominee) and her Salty Tart Bakery but I've found STB hit and miss and the service rather surly. Avoid the cupcakes, those have always been the biggest misses for me. The rest has been good. For a real taste of MN check out the sweets counter at Cafe Finspang (Scandinavian) in MidGloMa--you can even have lefse if you haven't tried it before.

    MInneapolis has the highest concentration of Somalis in North America. You could explore that cuisine and culture if you wanted at MidGloMa or Hamdi next door for lunch (or even breakfast, though I've never been for breakfast).

    Re: your Weds afternoon option I don't have the answer you're looking for(maybe Barrio Tequila Bar for small plates? or better yet go to Vincent and get a Vincent burger at the bar?) or find an awesome food truck, but I'd recommend finding the stand at the ballpark where they grill the Kramarczuk sausages and having one of those. Kramarczuk's is a beloved Minneapolis institution. You might snag a decent local beer on tap at one of the "indoor" bars at the ballpark. PS they have the Vincent burger at the ballpark, but it's only ok. They can't do it justice in the ballpark setting. There is supposed to be a stand or two that sell Byerly's creamy wild rice soup at the ballpark. I haven't tried it at the ballpark, but it's pretty Minnesotan in that you'll probably find this soup at a potluck sort of way. That won't be the lake-grown Native harvested wild rice in the soup at the ballpark, but it's still a real MN dish.

    Have fun!

    ~TDQ

    -----
    Hamdi Restaurant
    818 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    Cafe Finspang
    920 E Lake St Ste 148, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    1. I think you may want to stick around downtown for your Wednesday afternoon dinner (or do as TDQ says and have a Kramarczuk sausage, which are delish). Your timing is perfect for hitting happy hour specials. Close to the field and the light rail is Bradstreet Crafthouse. Keiran's is also right there. If you head further into the heart of downtown (but still within walking distance of of the light rail) you could hit Vincents for their HH at the bar, totally worth it. But most restaurants downtown will be open and serving. Saffron even opens at 4 for HH.

      If you're running out of time, drop by Surdyks in the airport before your flight. They have seriously good sandwiches.

      P46 is amazing. Sweet Shop just opened a few blocks away from there if you're craving cupcakes.

      And you can't go wrong with LBV or Alma. Sit in the bar at LBV though.

      Have a great trip!

      1. for the wed late afternoon question i would totally hit saffron for hh. won't be the full experience from this amazing chef but you'll get a teaser. the location can't be better for getting out of the ballpark and on the light rail. alma and lbv are great choices for the other dinners.

        4 Replies
        1. re: soupkitten

          nsxtasy,
          some notes and I would make a couple suggestions:
          to preface, I remember a bit about your posting from the Chicago board.(actually LTH Forum, and I served at Baccala when you dined there)
          Weds afternoon, I would find the location of the world street kitchen, which is Sameh's(saffron) mobile food truck. I haven't ben yet this year, but last season there were some awesome options(lamb tacos, curry banh mi) and would give you a good taste of the cultural influence on the food scene here. I would scratch the LBV dinner and go to Piccolo. It doesn't have the service polish or even cocktails, but a great by the bottle wine list, and it really encompasses more of the MInneapolis dining community than LBV does. Piccolo would shine in any market, where as LBV would get overshadowed in Chicago by restaurants that are doing something similar, like avenues or Cafe des Architects, and would in my experience trump the former. Chef Flicker's cooking reminds me a lot of Chef Sherman's at North Pond, but even more seasonally driven, with a better access to artisinal local products. He will win a beard award for the food he is putting out right now. And, as a Chicagoan, you will have a slight arrythmia when you see the reasonable pricing on the wine, which is no deterrent from the quality of offerings. (note: wine list on website is by the glass only, and fair, but the real gem is the reserve list you will get there.)

          Alma is great as well. Great wine list(try the St. Baillon Opale by the glass to start!!!!) and a non fussed approach to local cooking with responsible presentation and polish. Every time I dine there I really appreciate the restaurant more and more.

          I do like the rec for bradstreet crafthouse for a drink. Toby Maloney(violet hour) developed the program for them, so a lot of similarities exist.

          Skip Zahtar, as all things Chef!?! David Fhima related should be avoided by people who actually have taste buds.

          My 2 cents.

          -----
          Zahtar Restaurant
          755 Prairie Center Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55344

          1. re: mitch cumstein

            Thanks to everyone for the tips and suggestions. Keep them coming!

            Incidentally...

            >> I served at Baccala when you dined there

            I have never dined at Baccala (which is now closed); perhaps you have me confused with someone else. Not a big deal, though - again, thanks for the advice!

            1. re: nsxtasy

              oops...I will have to back-track a bit on that, my apologies. however, I still stand behing my reco's. Enjoy!

            2. re: mitch cumstein

              Just an FYI, the WSK food truck is usually closed by 1:30.

          2. I wouldn't say it's the best food in Minneapolis, but on a Wednesday afternoon, if the weather is good, it might be fun to try Sea Salt Eatery, which does some pretty tasty seafood, po'boys, etc. The setting is what makes it great--outdoor seating in Minnehaha Park, with Minnehaha Falls a few dozen yards away. It also seems to fit your criteria in that you can take the light rail there from downtown, hop off and walk a few blocks to the park, eat some tasty seafood, and hop back on the light rail a few stops to the airport.

            -----
            Sea Salt Eatery
            4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

            1 Reply
            1. re: baa

              I love Sea Salt, but I would never advise anyone who's trying to make a plane to risk the lines there. That involves waiting for the LR in the post-game crush, walking over & waiting again in the line before waiting for the actual service, then walking back & waiting for the LR once more. The time slot nxstasy has available is just too tight to cause anything but pressure.

              Better to eat downtown in walking distance from the park, so nxstasy can skip the post-game crush at the LR altogether and hop it once for the trip to the airport.

            2. 1) Your Monday/Tuesday dinners look good to me. Alma is my favorite restaurant in town, and LBV gets more praise than just about any resto here. Other options I would consider in DT are Saffron, Cosmos, and 112. All three are putting out great food and only ~3 blocks from Target Field.

              2) Tuesday graze/pastry - MGM would be a good spot, though a lot of the destinations there are Mexican food related and I think your town does pretty well in that department. Another idea would be to go south on Nicollet Ave out of downtown, on the strip affectionately known as 'Eat Street'. Here you will find a string of great (cheap) ethnic joints, highlighted by a few of our Vietnamese spots. I'll let the rest of the crowd speak to these, but Quang is my favorite.

              If you're already planning on going to Patisserie 46 (well worth the trip), perhaps lunch at Grand Cafe would be worth a look. There are a bunch of great restaurants in that area, but I'm not sure which others serve lunch.

              3) Wednesday breakfast - Hell's Kitchen is nice (I love the lemon ricotta pancakes), but other than that, I don't know a thing about breakfast in downtown. If you're willing to try a little adventure, hop over to Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown. Mid-week, you might be able to dodge the normally insane crowds at this 13-stool local legend. Beware, the whole experience is a little intimate and the staff can be a bit surly. Beyond that, they sling some of the best pancakes in town (wheat wally blues, for me).

              4) Wednesday early dinner - This is a tough one. I'd like to say that there is something worthwhile near the light rail toward the airport, but there really isn't. Saffron or Vincent HH are good recommendations.

              Black Sheep Pizza is an option. It's within walking distance of the stadium and makes a pretty good coal fired pie. Not sure how busy it will be after the game, though.

              Enjoy yourself, NSX :)

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

              Al's Breakfast
              413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              2 Replies
              1. re: BigE

                just noting that al's breakfast is a better bet in the very early a.m. before it gets crowded, and that it's cash only.

                also on reread of the op i would scratch sea change off the list for sure, as chef erik anderson will have left the restaurant for a stint at Noma. so. . . don't bother.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/779550

                1. re: BigE

                  I have to say, I just don't find the great restaurants on "Eat Street" to be near enough to each other to make it appealingly walkable. Sure, you might happen upon a gem, but you might also happen upon a string of store-fronts long ago closed and papered over. I think it's a great place to go if you have a specific destination in mind, but it's not very appealing to explore on foot. Now, maybe nxt will have a car, but, again, it's a pretty congested area, so be forewarned.

                  I think Quang and Jasmine Deli, two of the Eat Street Vietnamese favs of the MSP board, to be a little on the Americanized side of the spectrum. Delicious, sure, but better to be aware than be disappointed depending on what your expectations are. Pho Tau Bay on Eat Street tilts comparatively towards "authentic" (I hate using such a loaded word...) but I haven't honestly been there since their remodeling so feel a little uncomfortable recommending it. But (except for their banh mi sandwiches) it was good before the remodeling.

                  I think the best Southeast Asian restaurants in the Twin Cities are actually found on University Avenue in St. Paul, which is closer to the heart of the thriving Hmong and now Karen community. MInneapolis is more the heart of the Somali community, although that's starting to overflow to St. Paul (and the burbs), too. St. Paul's University Ave is not appealingly walkable either, by the way, especially with all of the light rail construction.

                  Unfortunately, I can't really recommend the Vietnamese restaurant in Midtown Global Market, either.

                  Al's is fun if you can get there early and you're as much interested in the experience as the food. I try to get there no later than 7am.

                  ~TDQ

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

                  Jasmine Deli
                  2532 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                  Pho Tau Bay
                  2837 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                2. I'm seeing lots of great info here, and I appreciate it. Obviously the problem is the same as in Chicago - so many great choices that it's difficult to narrow them down to just one or two. I'm reading all the replies and I'll have plenty of time between now and late June to make up my mind. Thanks again, and keep 'em coming! (Oh, and I'll make sure to report back afterwards!)

                  1. Thought you might be interested in seeing that most of the bakeries mentioned here are highlighted in an article in the NYT this weekend, nsxtasy- http://travel.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/...
                    Patisserie 46 definitely has the greatest emphasis on the European style pastry you're interested in; the Salty Tart has its fair share of cupcakes in addition to the other baked goods.

                    As for the early dinner recommendation, I'd agree with those that said a Vincent burger at Vincent's or happy hour at Saffron are your best bets outside of a Kramarczuk sausage at the game. The lamb BLT at Saffron that's on the happy hour menu is delicious and more meal-sized than it used to be, though you'd still probably want to supplement it with a couple of other small plates to make it dinner.

                    24 Replies
                    1. re: bayapolis

                      Thanks! That was a good article in the NYT. Maybe I'll try to squeeze Sweets into the itinerary. More stuff to consider...

                      1. re: nsxtasy

                        What's interesting is that article only lists the new (and not necessarily the best) bakeries, which means some old favorites are left out. John Kessler of the AJC commented on our "culture of pastry" back in 2007, and it's only gotten crazier (thanks to, in my opinion, the cupcake craze and the macaron craze on the heels of that) http://www.ajc.com/living/content/liv...

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          >> What's interesting is that article only lists the new (and not necessarily the best) bakeries, which means some old favorites are left out.

                          Yup. And it only mentioned four bakeries, which isn't a whole lot; any city the size of Minneapolis (and with its food-aware population that seeks out quality) is going to have significantly more noteworthy bakeries than that.

                          1. re: nsxtasy

                            Also, consider that Minneapolis was once the flour milling capital of the world (I highly recommend the Mill City Museum, by the way, if you're interested in the history of flour milling--take the flour tower tour if nothing else and if you go on a Sat this time of year, you can visit the Mill City Farmers Market, too)...

                            We like our baked goods here. It's been a long time since we had a "best bakery" thread. I searched the Midwest archives and 2007 was the last one and even that one was very comprehensive http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/360920 (Hey! Whatever happened to Sven? He always had great recommendations, in general, not necessarily about bakeries in particular...). MSP Mag did a thing on bakeries, but that was 2007 also. http://www.mspmag.com/dining/features...

                            We do have this recent thread, but it's about donuts in particular.

                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6938...

                            ~TDQ

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              There was also this recent discussion, which was about multiple things, one of which was bakeries:

                              4 nights in Minneapolis--got the basics, looking for input - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773242

                              That's where I got a lot of bakery advice for my upcoming trip.

                              1. re: nsxtasy

                                Ah, good find! That thread doesn't really hit all of the ethnic bakeries, but it's a good start for European-focused pastries, which is your interest anyway. There is a croissant thread out there somewhere. If you're interested in that and can't find it in the archives, let me know and I'll see if I can dig it up. I think the title of the thread may actually have Trung Nam in it because someone was looking for an alternative to Trung Nam (because she got some bad info that it was closed, which it is not...)

                                ~TDQ

                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Agreed on all points there O Queen of Dairy.

                            Not sure this fits in with European bakeries, but I'll put in a plug anyway for Butter Bakery's éclairs. Damn! now I can think of nothing else.

                            Boy that neighborhood is bakery laden.

                            3544 GRAND AVE MINNEAPOLIS
                            http://butterbakerycafe.com/Site/Welc...

                            -----
                            Butter Bakery Cafe
                            3544 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                            1. re: MplsM ary

                              Thanks! Too many good choices... ;)

                              >> Not sure this fits in with European bakeries, but I'll put in a plug anyway for Butter Bakery's éclairs. Damn! now I can think of nothing else.

                              The overview paragraph on their website mentions "award winning éclairs". My interest was piqued by the additional mention in their FAQ, with a full paragraph answering the question, "are your éclairs really the best?" :)

                              I love a good eclair. I even started a topic in the Chicago Area forum for best eclairs.

                              >> Boy that neighborhood is bakery laden.

                              Looks like Buttery Bakery is 1.3 miles due north of Patisserie 46. And Sweets is even closer to Patisserie 46, an easy walk.

                              Clearly Salty Tart is in Midtown, and from their websites it sounds like the neighborhood around Rustica is called Calhoun Village (named after the nearby lake), and Patisserie 46 is in a neighborhood called Kingfield. Is that correct? I assume Sweets is also in Kingfield...? What about the neighborhood where Buttery is located?

                              1. re: nsxtasy

                                All of that is correct. What neighborhood things are in is just semantics. I would consider Buttery to be in Kingfield, but I'm not from that area, so someone might correct me.

                                FWIW, Rustica isn't more than 5 miles from Patisserie 46, et al.

                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                  i almost hesitate to mention msp's profoundly obsessed culture of ice cream-- you seem to be on a pastry mission, after all. . . but jeepers you'll be practically driving thru crema cafe's pretty little grotto on your way to-ing and fro-ing between the rusticas and the salty tarts and the patisserie 46s. . . so yup i'm just going to mention it in case of some emergency where your blood sugar plummets within a 20 block drive, or. . . well, we mspers don't usually even bother coming up w any excuse, we just consume massive amounts of craft ice cream, because it is there.

                                  -----
                                  Crema Cafe
                                  3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                  1. re: soupkitten

                                    All suggestions are welcome and appreciated. I'll add it to my list of things to consider adding, although obviously my itinerary is already rather full. Maybe I'll try to combine it with Wednesday dinner. Thanks! (Is Crema Cafe "THE" place for craft ice cream in the Cities, or are there others as well?)

                                    1. re: nsxtasy

                                      Oh, there are others. Yes, there are. You have just opened up a can o' worms the size of which might just consume your whole thread, but.....

                                      In our family, the standard for craft ice cream is set by Pumphouse Creamery. Its proprietor has a profound commitment to local sourcing and quality ingredients which can't be beat. That said, both Izzy's and Sonny's (a.k.a. Crema Cafe) are excellent. Sebastian Joe's has some great flavors too.

                                      -----
                                      Crema Cafe
                                      3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                      Pumphouse Creamery
                                      4754 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                      Sebastian Joe's
                                      1007 W Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                                      Sebastian Joe's
                                      4321 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                                      1. re: mtullius

                                        barb at pumphouse is a lovely person who makes great ice cream and deservedly has a loyal following. and. . . sometimes i don't like the technique she uses which can result in a waxy mouthfeel which distracts from the ice cream flavor-- it can be hit or miss. the scrupulous local and sustainable sourcing at crema is very comparable, and imo the ice cream is better, with more interesting seasonal flavors and smaller batch size making for a superior product (ducking and rolling to avoid Mtullius' naginata attack now). please note that i only refer to the uber-crafted, uber-small-batch, in house ice creams served at the counter at crema cafe as being superior-- i don't like their packaged product available under the "sonny's" brand in local groceries nearly so well.

                                        izzy's would probably be the msp board fave, but it's all the way over in st. paul, and in the summer it's simply jam packed all the time with kids and families-- duh, it's an ice cream parlor-- a solar powered ice cream parlor with some very adult flavors, but always the cotton candy and bubblegum kinds too. that said, i have told dh that if it's ever necessary to bring me out of a coma, he needs to lean in close to my left ear and whisper that izzy's has made a batch of their birchwood key lime pie flavor, & i should sit up at once and start dragging my iv pole toward st. paul. . . sebastian joe's is good but more tied to its ol standby flavors (like their delicious raspberry choc chip, which i do love), and i won't wait in line there voluntarily unless i'm with friends, the others are better imo. msp restaurateurs often source their dessert menu ice creams from these shops, but some chefs bravely make some delicious ice creams in house, just to flex a little.

                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                          It largely comes down to personal taste, sk, so no worries from me. I have actually never made it to Crema Cafe for the in-house ice cream. Will have to check that out. My favorite Pumphouse flavors, btw, are all the sorbets. They're amazing.

                                          -----
                                          Crema Cafe
                                          3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                          1. re: mtullius

                                            agreed, all the pumphouse sorbets (well actually i've only had fruit ones, my fave) are outstanding. bet she's got a nice rhubarb one right about now. mmmm

                                            dude-- you really ought to check out crema when we actually get some nice weather-- the grotto is very date-worthy, the garden areas are lovely and there are pots of culinary herbs that go into the the ice creams and the food right out the back door of the cafe. . . your kind of place, honest! :)

                                            & i agree w Jordan's post, it's not that i'm trying to say that any of these shops is so great compared to any of the others, i'm just happy we've got all of 'em cranking out the good cold stuff. embarrassment of riches-- good thing i love ice cream.

                                          2. re: soupkitten

                                            As I've said before, you can go to any of these ice cream places and come away very happy. It's like arguing about which supermodel is more breathtakingly beautiful -- there are no losers.

                                            1. re: soupkitten

                                              "i have told dh that if it's ever necessary to bring me out of a coma, he needs to lean in close to my left ear and whisper that izzy's has made a batch of their birchwood key lime pie flavor, & i should sit up at once and start dragging my iv pole toward st. paul"

                                              A-freaking-men.

                                              Another note on Crema Cafe -- if you take your coffee seriously, you can head across the street with your ice cream/sorbet to tiny Bull Run coffee shop. The consolation for it replacing one of the coolest bike shops anywhere (Cars R Coffins) is that it's a very nice space with excellent coffee.

                                              -----
                                              Crema Cafe
                                              3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                              1. re: MSPD

                                                Birchwood key lime pie ice cream is quite possibly my least favorite flavor at Izzy's. There. I said it. Irish Moxie, on the other hand, yumilicious! And I love a lot of other flavors too, of course.

                                                For me, Izzy's has the best ice cream, but Grand Old Creamery has the best waffle cone, so it depends on what I'm craving. The GOC ice cream is nothing to sneeze at either - a little Black Hills Gold is awesome on a hot summer day!

                                                -----
                                                Birchwood Cafe
                                                3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                                                1. re: Seige

                                                  Love Black Hills Gold! But, Izzy's in general is my fav.

                                                  ~TDQ

                                                  1. re: Seige

                                                    I wish I could find a flavor I like at Grand Old Creamery... my wife likes the Black Hills Gold, but every time I try a new flavor, I'm disappointed. It's just all too sweet and goopy for me.... Which is probably why I love Pumphouse so much-- I think Barb is more judicious with the sugar than anyone else in town.....

                                                  2. re: MSPD

                                                    FWIW, Gordon, the Bull Run mgr, was at Intelligensia in Chicago for 5 years with Mike Phillips(Barista Champ, not local chef) and knows his stuff maybe more so than any other coffee guy in town... And the local creamery products seriously heighten the quality of cappucino there. Also, the greasy feeling from pumphouse creamery is definitely from the high butter fat content, but I think it is the best Ice cream in town, hands down.

                                    2. re: nsxtasy

                                      I did suggest Sweets to you as well as Bars and P46 in the other thread. Just sayin' - I know my baked goods. Or at least as well as the NYT knows theirs. ;)

                                      As for your other recommendations - I have no doubt that LBV and Alma are fabulous (haven't been to either yet, but both are on my "list."), but Isaac Becker did just win the Midwest James Beard award. And while 112 Eatery is great, but my heart belongs to Bar La Grassa. Really phenomenal pastas. Well, just phenomenal food, really.

                                      Looking forward to your report back - and may be looking for some Chicago recs for myself soon. :)

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

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

                                      1. re: Seige

                                        becker's restaurants will prob be packed after the JB win though. the bar at bar la grassa has open seating however, and a single diner may have good luck squeezing in. i actually agree w Mitch C's response to my post upthread where he recs piccolo as a more innovative and noteworthy alternative to lbv. piccolo is still under the national radar, despite tony bourdain gushing about it, but i doubt that will last too much longer.

                                        1. re: soupkitten

                                          Thanks for your concern. Fortunately, given the timing of the meals during my visit, long waits to be seated won't be a problem (with the possible exception of Hell's Kitchen). I already made reservations for La Belle Vie and Alma (even though I might not have needed them for a 5:00 seating in order to make the first pitch), and my late afternoon meal is too early to encounter any waits.

                                  2. For late afternoon, Tilia has an "in between" menu and has fantastic food based on my two visits there: http://www.tiliampls.com/inbetween.html

                                    Unfortunately, you will need a car to get there, or take a cab from downtown. If it's a nice afternoon, a great place to kill a couple hours before running to your flight (walk down the hill to Lake Harriet or through "downtown" Linden Hills before heading out to airport).

                                    The rest of your choices look good, though La Belle Vie is very much a dressy, white tablecloth kind of place unless you sit at the bar (which I definitely prefer) - not my first choice before a Twins game - but your mileage may vary.

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

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: parallevar

                                      >> The rest of your choices look good, though La Belle Vie is very much a dressy, white tablecloth kind of place unless you sit at the bar (which I definitely prefer) - not my first choice before a Twins game - but your mileage may vary.

                                      Thanks for the heads up! To deal with that aspect, I've been known to bring a change of clothes along. Such as this past Friday, when I had lunch in New York at Per Se, then went to Citi Field for a game... ;)

                                      Thanks for the advice - keep 'em coming!

                                    2. Hi, 'member me? :)

                                      I've been kicking around the itinerary for my trip, which is now only a couple of weeks away.

                                      For my Tuesday dinner, I'm seriously considering switching from Restaurant Alma to 112 Eatery. Funny, when I was first planning this, I looked at both menus and I was leaning towards Alma because it sounded better at the time. Looking at them now, I'm leaning towards 112 Eatery for the same reason - their current menu now has more items that sound good to me. Thoughts about the choice between these two? Also - is 112 Eatery somewhat casual like Alma, or is it more dressy like La Belle Vie? (112 Eatery is also more convenient to the ballgame, but I wouldn't choose it only for this reason, since the #6 bus goes right downtown from Alma.)

                                      As for my Wednesday dinner after the game, I ruled out places that only serve early from a happy hour menu, because it just doesn't sound like enough to hold me for the trip home. Right now I'm looking at these possibilities, in order starting with the two that I'm leaning towards the most:

                                      1. Sea Salt Eatery - Sounds like a great setting, plus it's just a short walk from the 50th Street station on the Light Rail. I understand there can be long waits, but I'm guessing if the game is done between 3:00 and 3:30, I'd be there by 4:00 and the waits wouldn't be all that bad at that hour. (?) The one downside is that a lot of the food on their menu is fried, which may be a bit heavy for me considering that I would then be stuck in various transportation terminals/vehicles for the following several hours.

                                      2. Hell's Kitchen - I'm already planning to go there for breakfast earlier in the day. But their lunch and dinner selections sound pretty darn good too. Plus I can walk there from the ballpark, then go to the Warehouse station for the LR to the airport.

                                      3. Stella's Fish Cafe - The Midtown location involves a bit more travel time but I think it's still do-able. Reports on the food seem mostly positive with some consistency issues.

                                      4. Citizen Cafe - Another seafood place; reports are mixed. It's walking distance from the 38th St. station on the LR.

                                      5. The News Room - This downtown restaurant starts serving from their dinner menu at 4, and it's walking distance from the ballpark. But the comments and reviews I've read have been decidedly mixed (and that's being generous).

                                      I'm guessing that all of these are somewhat casual, correct? (Say, blue jeans okay?)

                                      Thanks again for all the help!

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

                                      Restaurant Alma
                                      528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                      Sea Salt Eatery
                                      4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                                      Stella's Fish Cafe
                                      1402 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

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

                                      La Belle Vie
                                      510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                                      News Room
                                      990 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                                      33 Replies
                                      1. re: nsxtasy

                                        P.S. It seems like it would be really easy to confuse Restaurant Alma with 112 Eatery! One chef won the James Beard Award for Best Chef - Midwest in 2010, the other won the James Beard Award for Best Chef - Midwest in 2011. One chef also owns a casual restaurant called Brasa, the other also owns a casual restaurant called La Grassa. Weird...

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

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

                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                          Nsxtasy and all MN hounds - This thread was very helpful to me as my husband and I are also traveling to Minneapolis (from L.A.) for all three Dodgers-Twins games. However we get in on Sunday night June 26th and don't leave until the following Saturday. Therefore I didn't need to worry about coordinating meals with games as much as Nsxtasy did.

                                          We booked 112 Eatery for Wednesday night - with the day game, we don't anticipate a problem with an 8:00 reservation even if the game goes extra innings. Thursday night will be Restaurant Alma and we chose Piccolo for Friday night.

                                          Moving backwards, on Monday and Tuesday we figure to eat dinner at the ballpark (or at least on Monday, with the right to change our minds and eat somewhere else before the Tuesday night game). We're used to Dodger Stadium where the food is horrific and we always bring our own, so it's refreshing to know that Target Field features at least a few decent items. Well be on the lookout for the Kramarczuk sausages for sure.

                                          On the Sunday night when we get in, we decided on the bar at Bar La Grassa since it will be flexible in case of flight delays. Figured we will make do without a reservation for that night.

                                          We booked the Target Field tour for Monday at noon so we'll either have breakfast first or a late lunch afterwards. Also we have rented a car but will also take advantage of the light rail. I think we'll end up with plenty of opportunities to check out various bakeries and ice cream places - ice cream is a priority - so far I have Crema Cafe, Izzy's, Sebastian Joe's and Pumphouse Creamery on my list. I doubt we'll manage them all though. :-(

                                          Also we have to try a Jucy Lucy so based on that lame show Food Wars we thought we'd probably go to Matt's Bar for lunch one day.

                                          Anyway if not for this thread I would have been posting a giant "please help" but I didn't need to. Thanks again everybody.

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

                                          Crema Cafe
                                          3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                          Pumphouse Creamery
                                          4754 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                          Sebastian Joe's
                                          1007 W Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55405

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

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

                                          1. re: Debbie W

                                            Terrific!

                                            Incidentally, in case it helps you squeeze ice cream into your visit, the website for Crema Cafe notes that they have a cart selling Sonny's ice cream during the week on Nicollet Mall at 8th, and at the Mill City Market on Saturdays. Here are the website addresses for the ice cream places:

                                            Crema Café (Sonny’s ice cream) - www.cremacafeminneapolis.com
                                            Sebastian Joe's (2 locations) - www.sebastianjoesicecream.com
                                            Pumphouse Creamery - www.pumphouse-creamery.com
                                            Izzy's - www.izzysicecream.com

                                            -----
                                            Crema Cafe
                                            3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                            Pumphouse Creamery
                                            4754 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                            Sebastian Joe's
                                            4321 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                                            1. re: nsxtasy

                                              Thanks, Nsxtasy. I plan to consolidate all my reservations and notes as to other places into a document complete with websites, and store it on my phone for easy reference. I have other possible to-try places as well including Sea Salt Eatery and Hell's Kitchen. Now that I've finally finished all the travel arrangements and gotten all our dining reservations, I can concentrate on other stuff to do with our free days. We were originally going to go to western (rural) Wisconsin to visit family which is why the trip is extended after the games, but they are coming here next weekend so we bagged the Wisconsin travel in favor of a couple of leisurely days in Minneapolis. This change worked out very well in terms of allowing us to try a lot more restaurants.

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

                                              Sea Salt Eatery
                                              4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                                              1. re: Debbie W

                                                >> This change worked out very well in terms of allowing us to try a lot more restaurants.

                                                Whether you visit for two days or six, it's clear choosing restaurants in Minneapolis is a lot like doing so in Chicago (where I live) or Los Angeles (where I visit from time to time - I love Animal, and Griddle Cafe for breakfast). Whatever places you choose, you're still only scratching the surface, and there are many, many more good ones you won't be able to squeeze in! Incidentally, I use games in Chicago as an opportunity to do the same thing, to try new restaurants near the ballparks (the Dodgers played at both already this year).

                                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                                  I have the same problem in New York. I always try to mix in restaurants that I love with new-to-me restaurants and there is never, ever close to enough time. I like to try to do what a city does well - not sure what that is in Minneapolis, exactly - but I tried for locally sourced ingredients. I read they have a lot of Vietnamese but so do we here in L.A. I think we'll be checking out the Midtown Global Market and most likely the Mill City Farmers Market. Food and baseball, what's not to love (we did the same last year when the Dodgers played the Red Sox - mixed in some spectacular meals in Boston and a trip to Cooperstown to boot).

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

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

                                                  1. re: Debbie W

                                                    I'll be going to Midtown Global Market too - in part to check out Salty Tart Bakery.

                                                    I've done Milwaukee the same way, building meals around baseball. I usually get around by public transportation, too, although I rent a car in L.A. but stay within walking distance of the stadium.

                                                    It's a bit easier in Minneapolis because the stadium is a few blocks walk from downtown with its concentration of restaurants (although La Belle Vie and Alma are not right downtown, but lots of other places are).

                                                    1. re: nsxtasy

                                                      Definitely will be checking out Salty Tart Bakery as well. I think we'll have lunch at Midtown Global Market one day. Would you have any recommendations as to where that would be good?

                                                      We totally did the public transportation thing in Boston, in fact we only took a car for the Cooperstown side trip. We also walked back to our hotel from Fenway twice because getting onto the subway after the game was a total zoo (were staying at Copley Square and it was a nice walk).

                                                      I just couldn't figure out how to do an entire week in Minneapolis on public transportation only, especially if we wanted to do any exploring outside of the immediate city. It's not like New York where you can just get a cab anywhere (though we tend to take the subway a lot too).

                                                      I've been to Milwaukee a bunch of times due to my late stepdad being from there, but have never been to a baseball game there. I don't care where I eat in Milwaukee as long as I get multiple visits to Kopps. I've even gone twice in one day before. We don't have frozen custard in L.A. (though Strickland's in Irvine close to where my mom lives is sort of ok). The closest good custard is in Vegas at Luv-It.

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

                                                      Salty Tart
                                                      920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                                      1. re: Debbie W

                                                        >> Definitely will be checking out Salty Tart Bakery as well. I think we'll have lunch at Midtown Global Market one day. Would you have any recommendations as to where that would be good?

                                                        The market has a website at www.midtownglobalmarket.com with 17 places listed for "lunch, dinner, or takeout". Hopefully the locals here can chime in with recommendations in the market as well as nearby.

                                                        >> I just couldn't figure out how to do an entire week in Minneapolis on public transportation only, especially if we wanted to do any exploring outside of the immediate city. It's not like New York where you can just get a cab anywhere (though we tend to take the subway a lot too).

                                                        For the Twin Cities, the Metro Transit website at www.metrotransit.org has good information. Like most cities, public transportation tends to be better if you're spending time in or near downtown, not so much if you're traveling far, especially to the suburbs. I've found that between the light rail and the high-frequency buses (in MSP these are the ones with low route numbers), Metro Transit should be perfect for my trip, even though I'm not staying downtown. They also have a lot of fare options that are good deals - free transfers, and unlimited passes for six hours, one day, and seven days. Even if you have a car, you may find yourself using it to get around downtown (it's 50 cents a ride within the downtown zone).

                                                        >> I've been to Milwaukee a bunch of times due to my late stepdad being from there, but have never been to a baseball game there.

                                                        One advantage to Milwaukee is the retractable roof on Miller Park, so there are no rainouts. My biggest worry for the Dodger series is if any of the games are rained out - especially with Thursday an off-day for both teams, and the possibility that a rainout would be made up that day. That would present me with the choice of missing the game to make my Wednesday night flight home, or making alternative travel arrangements. Any rainouts could also change my dining itinerary. I'll try to be flexible!

                                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                                          Thanks, and sorry for the delay on the reply. I'll check out the link for Midtown Global Market, and I'm sure we'll be using public transportation around downtown. We're staying at Aloft which is on Washington near the Metrodome, it appears to be very close to a light rail station. Hoping - especially for your sake - there isn't a rainout. We don't have those here in L.A. though I did think of the possibility that it could happen in Mpls. We got screwed by one in New York for the final subway series at old Yankee Stadium, as we couldn't get back to NY for the rescheduled game which was some months later, and had zero luck selling our tickets.

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

                                                          Metrodome
                                                          900 S 5th St, Minneapolis, MN 55415

                                                          1. re: Debbie W

                                                            Yes, Aloft is about four blocks from the Metrodome station on the LR. But it's not all *that* far from Target Field - about a mile or so, so it's walkable on a nice day. Target Field is on the opposite side of the main portion of downtown from Aloft/Metrodome - Target Field is just northwest, the Metrodome is southeast - so it would be even closer when you want to go from the hotel to downtown restaurants like 112 Eatery or Hell's Kitchen. La Belle Vie is a bit further, a little too far to walk from the hotel I think - it's southwest of downtown, near the Walker Art Center and Loring Park.

                                                            1. re: nsxtasy

                                                              The goal is to have nothing to do with a car when Target Field is involved - all three games plus the tour (and breakfast or lunch either before or after the tour so maybe Hell's Kitchen for breakfast that day). Walking is good, light rail is good. BTW in trying to figure out the rotation, I'm pretty sure that neither Kershaw nor Billingsley will be going in Minneapolis, leaving Lilly, De La Rosa and Kuroda - not an issue for me because I see them all, but not great for you, assuming you've seen a lot of Lilly and don't particularly care about the other two. For myself, I'm more interested in seeing Mauer and maybe he'll be back by then.

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

                                                              1. re: Debbie W

                                                                Yes, I'll be doing a lot of walking too, as well as light rail and the bus system (I'm going to try to get over to St Paul while I'm there). I'll need to take the bus from La Belle Vie because of the time constraint (5:00 res before a 7:10 first pitch); fortunately multiple bus lines (including #4 #6 #12) run frequently near La Belle Vie up Lyndale onto Hennepin. I'll walk from my other dinner (I've decided to do 112 Eatery rather than Alma) and from my breakfast at Hell's Kitchen.

                                                                The rotation could get shuffled since there are two off-days between now and then. Otherwise, this would be my fourth time seeing Kuroda this year (twice in Chicago and once in New York), sorry to miss Kersh and Bills although I saw Bills win at Wrigley and I've seen both in previous years in Chicago, Milwaukee, and my one game at DS (the only time I've seen them in whites rather than grays). I probably won't be eating much at Target Field since I'm eating before the games, although I always at least LOOK to see what they have. I'd be interested in hearing how you like the food and tour!

                                                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                  I'm definitely looking forward to the Kramarczuk sausages at Target Field. I don't drink very often at ballgames but maybe a local beer would be in order. Also a friend of mine (actually a Mets blogger who I've known IRL for a long time) went last year and she said the wild rice soup was good. For the day game we got Legends Club seats so we should have some additional food options for lunch that day.

                                                                  I might have miscounted on the rotation. We see Kershaw tonight and Bills for the throwback unis day game tomorrow against the Reds, so counting again it might be Bills, Lilly then De La Rosa in Minneapolis. Kuroda started 4th but he's now 5th. Mattingly did one minor shuffle already - it had more to do with a rainout in Pittsburgh than anything else, but De La Rosa is new, so who knows.

                                                                  1. re: Debbie W

                                                                    If you've never had the wild rice soup, it's a local specialty and it's very good. It's chicken-based and very creamy. I had some business for a while in the Cities about 20 years ago and I had so much of it I sort of OD'ed on it, but I liked it a lot.

                                                                    1. re: Debbie W

                                                                      Looks like the games will feature Bills, Lilly, and Rubby. The MSP forecast is for scattered showers Monday, nice on Tuesday-Wednesday, with moderate highs around 81. Since you'll be there the rest of the week, you'll be there for the 90+ temps on Thursday-Friday.

                                                                      If the forecast holds up for Monday, scattered showers probably don't result in a game postponement, although they could possibly delay my flight in. I really hate to change or cancel restaurant reservations at the last minute, but if it's because of a flight delay, there's really nothing I can do to avoid it.

                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                              I'd say that frozen custard is ice cream the same way that gelato and sherbet are ice cream - they're like similar species in the same genus (or do I mean the other way around?). MSP has great ice cream, but we aren't known for good custard - in fact, our one dedicated custard place has closed. Me, I eat lots of local ice cream, but make special trips to Madison and Milwaukee just for the custard at Leon's and Michael's.

                                                              Anyway, to keep this on-topic, here's a link for Debbie W to a semi-recent MSP ice cream discussion (note that Liberty Custard is now closed):

                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/621740

                                                              Picking a favorite ice cream place here is like picking a favorite child, but I recommend plugging them all in your GPS (or making a hand-drawn map) in case you happen to be passing one of them while you're here. Remember, you can get off and back on a bus within a certain amount of time, as long as you have a transfer!

                                                              Anne

                                                              1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                It may be located in the suburbs but Adele's custard is still open. I know many of you loved Liberty and will dismiss Adele's but I think Adele's is good.

                                                                -----
                                                                Adele's Frozen Custard
                                                                800 Excelsior Blvd, Excelsior, MN 55331

                                                                1. re: AnneInMpls

                                                                  The only rule for ice cream is that it must contain at least 10% milkfat. The only rule for frozen custard is that it must contain at least 1.4% egg yolks. While GENERALLY SPEAKING, frozen custard is suposed to be churned for a shorter time period, thus incorporating less air, for the most part ice cream and frozen custard are both usually made from cream and milk, sugar, and egg yolks (plus flavorings such as vanilla).

                                                                  To add to the confusion, sometimes in the east (especially in Pennsylvania) ice cream is made without the egg yolks, which causes people there to differentiate between this eggless ice cream and frozen custard. In the rest of the country, most good-quality ice cream contains egg yolks anyway, thus making it virtually the same as frozen custard. Variations between recipes and brands are pretty wide. Haagen-Dazs ice cream, for example, has less air in it than many frozen custards, negating the argument that frozen custard has less air in it than ice cream.

                                                                  Whatever you call it, it's yummy.

                                                2. re: nsxtasy

                                                  I personally prefer 112 Eatery to Alma. I think the menu is more interesting and varied, and the food is better. I realize this is a minority opinion. It is also a somewhat casual place.

                                                  Across the street from 112 Eatery is Saffron, which is really something you shouldn't overlook, if you can get there.

                                                  Stella's is really not worth a special trip and neither is the News Room. These are fine for locals who want something casual in the vicinity, but I'd never recommend them for anyone trying to pick memorable meals. In the same vicinity as the News Room, I'd recommend Solera (tapas), Barrio (upscale Mexican bar food), or Zelo (competent, well-prepared Cal-Italian).

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

                                                  News Room
                                                  990 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                                                  1. re: Jordan

                                                    Thanks. Keep in mind that my Wednesday dinner has a time constraint, namely that I need to be seated by 4:00 in order to make my flight later that evening. That rules out a lot of places that open at 5:00 or that only serve from a happy hour menu before then. I wouldn't even be considering Stella's or the News Room except for the limited choices due to the time constraint, although as you can see they're still not my top options either. I'll keep the additional suggestions in mind too - thanks again!

                                                    1. re: nsxtasy

                                                      You might consider the Bulldog NE, a bar that offers some interesting choices, including some of the best burgers in the Twin Cities. I think they'll be open at 4.

                                                      -----
                                                      Bulldog NE
                                                      401 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                      1. re: nsxtasy

                                                        Neither the News Room nor Stella's is worth either detour for you. Both are mediocre at best. I'd just find something in the area that's open and go with that. It won't be any worse than either of those places.

                                                        For instance, Kieran's Pub, at 6th and 1st Avenue North (a 5 minute walk from Target Field and a block from a light rail station) has food that is just as good as both News Room and Stellas. Given a choice between those 3 options, it would be an easy choice.

                                                        Note that I'm not giving a strong recommendation for Kieran's but it is a decent alternative to the other two possibilities.

                                                        -----
                                                        News Room
                                                        990 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                                                      2. re: Jordan

                                                        I agree on 112 Eatery being slightly better than Alma, and a lot more convenient. Also, jeans are fine, especially that time of day.

                                                        I also agree with Jordan that Stella's isn't worth the special trip. I think it's overrated and wouldn't go back even if it didn't involve a special trip. There are many better choices in Uptown than Stella's. I think the attraction if the roof top deck and now that there are so many new places, I think less and less people will be going there. Mpls isn't exactly known for their seafood and Stella's is mediocre, even for Mpls.

                                                        Also, I would not risk missing a flight for Sea Salt. Parking is a huge problem for week day day games at Target Field so anyone that possibly can will take the train and you can wait forever to get on one.

                                                        I don't think the News Room is that bad, there are just many better choices.

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

                                                        News Room
                                                        990 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                                                      3. re: nsxtasy

                                                        Certainly 112 and Alma are both excellent. I'd prefer Alma by a significant margin, but I don't think you'll be disappointed by either.

                                                        Based on my experience, I'd definitely NOT recommend Hell's Kitchen for anything but breakfast. I've been decidedly unimpressed by everything else there, though my last experience was a few years ago (saw no reason to return....).

                                                        Pretty much every restaurant in town besides La Belle Vie, and even that one to some extent, is casual. I've seen people in jeans at La Belle Vie. It's a Minnesota thing....

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

                                                        La Belle Vie
                                                        510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                                          nxtasy,

                                                          Are taxi rides out of the question? Because my first choice would be to taxi up north to Victory 44 right after the game, then taxi back to the light rail. The trip is 15-20 minutes (one way) if traffic is light, so this plan would work only if the game ends by 3; but if it lasts until 3:30, things might get tight, given rush-hour traffic. You'd need to sit at the bar and be sure that the staff knows your tight schedule, and arrange for your return taxi to be ready the minute you've paid your bill. But the food is worth it (per my one visit, at 3pm on a Saturday, when I had friendly, prompt service and awesome food). Victory 22 definitely gets my vote for late-afternoon food to impress a visitor.

                                                          I'd suggest the nearby Travail also/instead, but they don't open until 5pm.

                                                          Otherwise, for wow-a-visitor-at-3pm food, my suggestions are:

                                                          Be'wiched Deli
                                                          It's on Washington Ave, and is quite walkable from the stadium. They do gourmet sandwiches,salads, and soups. Their food is fabulous, and has wowed everyone I've brought there, but it's not "dinner food", if that makes a difference.

                                                          -or -

                                                          Brasa
                                                          A casual place owned by Alex Roberts of Alma Restaurant. It's not quite within walking distance, but it's on a good bus route with quick and frequent service. Everything is great, and I adore this place. In fact, I had Brasa's lovely food for dinner tonight.

                                                          If the game runs really late, either Be'wiched or Brasa could supply a good take-out meal to eat at or en route to the airport.

                                                          Finally, here's an ultimate fall-back plan, if the game goes REALLY long and you haven't eaten by the time you get to the airport: Try Surdyk's Flights in the airport's "central mall" area. They've got good food and wine.

                                                          Have a great time in Minneapolis!

                                                          Anne

                                                          P.S. Citizen Cafe isn't a "seafood place," though they do seem to have more than the average number of seafood dishes. (I think they're more noted for meatloaf, burgers, and brunch). I'm one of those "mixed reviews" - I've been there once, and didn't hate it, but I wasn't wowed. I definitely wouldn't send a visitor there. Me, I'd choose Sea Salt every time over Citizen Cafe (not *everything* at Sea Salt is fried; i.e., beer and raw oysters :-). However, if the menu appeals, given your time constraints, C. Cafe would probably be just fine.

                                                          -----
                                                          Brasa Rotisserie
                                                          600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                          Bewiched Deli
                                                          800 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                                                          Victory 44
                                                          2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                                                          1. re: nsxtasy

                                                            Alright, it looks like a lot of this was already tackled, but I feel like I owe you my two cents for all the help you give me on Chicago trips :)

                                                            1) Alma vs. 112 - Different experiences, for sure. 112 has a much larger menu and a more laid back vibe (not that Alma is stuffy in any way). If you go to 112, the tagliatelle with foie meatballs is a dish I have dreams about. Save room for the butterscotch budino too. Casual dress for sure...again, not sure about shorts, but I would feel more comfortable wearing them to 112 than Alma.

                                                            2) Mid afternoon during the week, Sea Salt should be OK. Unfortunately, once you're down that far, there's no turning back. If they're crushed, you're going to be stuck with airport food.

                                                            I can't recall hearing any good reviews about the non-breakfast fare at HK, so I would probably avoid it. I'd skip the other 3 as well. I would keep Vincent in mind for this time, even if it is the HH menu.

                                                            A couple other oddball possibilities along the light rail line, both at the 38th street stop...

                                                            -Ted Cook's - BBQ might not be the best idea right before a flight, but I think Ted's does a pretty good job and it's less than 2 blocks from the rail stop.

                                                            http://www.tedcooks19thholebbq.com/Me...

                                                            -Busters on 28th - Really good bar food with a huge beer selection. Excellent burgers with house cut fries, potato chips and onion rings. This is a 10-15 minute walk from the rail station, but they turn out food pretty quick, especially midday. Stop next door at A Baker's Wife for one of the best plain cake donuts you'll ever eat.

                                                            http://busterson28th.com/

                                                            Hope that helps!

                                                            1. re: BigE

                                                              If you get to A Baker's Wife, you have to get one of their amazing lemon bars.

                                                              1. re: BigE

                                                                Isn't Ted Cook's take out only? Good BBQ, but not a sit down place...

                                                                I still think you should eat somewhere downtown. It can take an hour to get on a train right after a weekday game. So even if the places along the way aren't busy, you're losing a lot of time just waiting to get on a train.

                                                                1. re: Bobannon

                                                                  Really? I've taken the light rail to a bunch of Twins games, and I don't think I've ever waited more than 10 or 15 minutes after a game to get on a train.....

                                                                  1. re: mtullius

                                                                    Yes really. I have season tickets and have taken the train many times as well. It's not bad on a night game. It's considerably worse on weekday day games when everyone is trying to avoid the outrageous parking fees. He's already on a tight schedule. I wouldn't risk it.

                                                                    1. re: Bobannon

                                                                      I'll be flexible. If I decide on Sea Salt - which may be weather-dependent, seems like not the best choice if the day is brutally hot - and I have trouble catching a train, I can always change plans and eat downtown instead.

                                                            2. Wow, even more great choices! Thanks, everyone!

                                                              For Wednesday after the game, I'll probably wind up playing it by ear, doing whatever I'm in the mood for. I'll have extra flexibility, since reservations won't be needed when eating that early. And I may need to change plans at the last minute anyway, if the game runs late (or, if it gets rained out).

                                                              1. I vote for Alma...112 Eatery can be a bit inconsistent & overly salty, but my experiences at Alma have always been great. If you go to Sebastian Joe's I recommend getting a chocolate dipped waffle cone with your ice cream selection. If you go to Izzy's I recommend the Dizzy Izzy. When there are so many great flavors of ice cream, 5 little scoops of different flavors can't be beat!

                                                                Ted Cook's is take out only, and there are better BBQ places. I like Sea Salt, but it's true that if you don't want something fried your options are limited (pickled herring, blackened catfish, peel and eat shrimp, oysters on the half shell, maybe a few other things).

                                                                -----
                                                                Sebastian Joe's
                                                                4321 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: Quince

                                                                  FWIW, the blackened catfish po' boy is my go to at Sea Salt, so there is at least one good non-fried option.

                                                                  1. re: Quince

                                                                    Alma's always has a very regional and season menu. IMO, it is generally much better in the fall/winter than the summer. I would definitely add BLG to your list over 112

                                                                  2. Nsxtasy, how was your trip. Where did you end up eating and what were your thoughts?

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Bobannon

                                                                      It's at the end of this month. I promise, I'll report back afterwards on all my food!

                                                                      1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                        In case anyone is wondering - my trip is still on. (There was some shocking news today about one of the teams playing in the games I'm attending on my trip, but it shouldn't affect the playing of those games.) Thanks again everyone for the help - I'll report back afterwards about all the meals and stuff!

                                                                    2. Well, I'm back at the hotel after tonight's fun-packed game, and I gotta tell you - LA BELLE VIE WAS FANTASTIC!!! I just loved almost everything I had, and all the extra touches were wonderful as well. La Belle Vie is comparable to the expensive high-end restaurants in Chicago and New York, just a real culinary gem.

                                                                      Where to begin? It was a bit confusing at first because there is virtually no signage for the restaurant, either outside or inside. But no worries, I found it. I was seated, took a look at the menus, decided to go a la carte rather than either of the tasting menus. I was served complimentary bread and then an amuse bouche of two gougeres that were very nice. When I hesitated about ordering alcohol, the waiter mentioned that they have "non alcoholic cocktails" and I absolutely loved these! I had the "ginger mojito", a sweet concoction of lemon, lime, mint, and ginger that was terrific. Later in the meal I had another non-alcoholic drink, a "fallen angel" that was a spicy butterscotch soda and I didn't really care for it (too spicy) but that was the only thing I didn't care for in the entire meal. The waiter noticed that I didn't drink much of it and offered to take it off the bill without any prompting on my part.

                                                                      I ordered two appetizers, an entree, and a dessert, and loved all four dishes. One app was rabbit agnolotti (like rabbit ravioli, only long instead of square) accompanied by sweetbreads and shaved black truffles. Yummy! One characteristic of all the dishes was exceptionally flavorful sauces, a sign of a master chef. I wound up using the bread mostly to sop up those great sauces. My second app was seared foie gras, accompanied by a foie gras torchon, rhubarb, and pistachio cake. Another winner! This was one of the best seared foie's I've ever had, with the outer skin ever so slightly crispy and salty. My main was a combination of beef tenderloin and braised beef short ribs and this too was incredible, with a slight sweetness to the delicious short ribs, almost like a barbecue sauce. It was served with bone marrow that was okay, and the most incredible parsnip puree. Dessert was an almond milk cake topped with blueberries, and accompanied by banana sorbet and dabs of vanilla sauce (like a thick creme anglaise). This was followed by five wonderful complimentary mignardises: a white chocolate blueberry one, a malted chocolate one, a blueberry jelly, a small profiterole (filled with creme patissiere), and a nut cookie.

                                                                      Service was perfect - efficient, friendly, and knowledgeable. The room was lovely - although I was the only diner in the dining room. I hope that was due to the early hour (I needed to leave by 6:30 to go to the game) and not to any lack of business on the restaurant's part, because it's really a local treasure that Minnesotans ought to be supporting.

                                                                      This was a fabulous dinner, in which one dish after another "wowed" and astonished with the sheer deliciousness and intensity of flavors. I'd put it right up there among the very best meals I've had this year (right alongside lunch at Per Se - how's THAT for praise!).

                                                                      More tomorrow!

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

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                        So, So happy to hear you had a wonderful time at LBV!! And your glowing review of Patisserie 46; it really makes us Minnesotans light up with pride for our little metropolis!! Our entire lives, we are informed that we live in a "fly-over" zone and "why would [we] ever live here?!" Thank you Nsxtasy, for reminding us that we are indeed loved. If for nothing else than our great pastry. ;)

                                                                      2. Today was my day for riding around town (got eight rides on my one-day Metro Transit pass!) and checking out pastry shops and other stuff. Fun!

                                                                        I got off to a not-great start, arriving at Sweets Bakeshop, only to find that they were closed and didn’t open till 11 a.m. Huh? A bakery that isn’t open in the morning???

                                                                        My next stop, though, was the holy grail of pastry lovers – Patisserie 46. I absolutely LOVED this place. It trumps any single bakery we have in Chicago. We have a lot of bakeries that do a few things well, but no one bakery that does as many things well as Patisserie 46, in all categories – entremets (individual sized mousse cakes), sweet cakes (financier, bostok), specialty breads (croissants), and conventional breads. The selection was enormous, and everything I’ve tried so far has been heavenly. Pastry lovers in the Twin Cities sure are lucky to have such a fabulous bakery in town!

                                                                        Next up was Butter Bakery Café, where I tried their award-winning eclairs. Meh. Oh, they weren’t BAD. They just weren’t anything like my own idea of the ideal éclair. The filling was not just crème patissiere, but rather, was mixed with whipped cream and possibly some gelatin, I’m guessing. I prefer a straight crème patissiere, or only enough whipped cream to lighten up the texture. I’ve had some great eclairs – notable ones in Chicago include Three Tarts, Gourmet Frog, and Beard Papa’s, and in Indianapolis, Rene’s Bakery. These didn’t do it for me. The rest of the items looked okay, tending towards comfort food type bakery items.

                                                                        From there I went to Crèma Café to try Sonny’s ice cream, only to find that they don’t open till 2 p.m. Grrrr… Don’t people in Minneapolis eat lunch? Just kidding – I found out on my next stop that they do.

                                                                        My next stop was Midtown Global Market. I love big public markets, especially when the vendors represent absolutely top quality, although I didn’t get enough things to make a judgment on that. I went to Salty Tart, and I was very surprised at how small it is and how limited the selection is (and how much of that selection is ordinary items like cupcakes and cookies). I only got one item, but it was an excellent one, a great idea and very well prepared and delicious – a sugared brioche filled with pastry cream. Yummy! But I’m not sure why Salty Tart Bakery gets the hype and awards, and Patisserie 46 doesn’t; IMHO it should be the other way around. Oh, and I got several items from Café Finspang in the market, but haven’t eaten them yet.

                                                                        So that was it on the pastry/dessert shops. Final score: one winner, 2-3 also-rans, and two places I didn’t try because they don’t open early enough. Oh, and I did not make it to Rustica; I had already tried several places, and had filled up my stomach and my carry-on with goodies. I’ll think about going there on a return trip to the Cities (and Patisserie 46 will be down for a return visit for sure).

                                                                        I then went to St. Paul, because I wanted to check out two shops. The first was the Grand Hand Gallery, a wonderful gallery selling artisan handcrafts, where I picked up a few items for the kitchen. The other was Cook’s, an excellent shop selling cookware, cookbooks, and cooking supplies a few blocks away. I also noticed and poked my head into several food-related stores lining Grand Avenue between the two, including Golden Fig (gourmet foodstuffs), Penzey’s (the nationwide spice store chain started in Milwaukee – we have a few in Chicagoland, and also several locations of The Spice House, started by the daughter of the Penzey family), and restaurants like Brasa, and Bread and Chocolate. This stretch of Grand Avenue in St. Paul is a great destination for Chowhounds! Actually, I enjoyed seeing St. Paul; while both cities are lovely, it seemed like Minneapolis is flat and St. Paul is hilly and more wooded, giving it a different personality.

                                                                        I have a reservation at 112 Eatery in a little while. In the meantime, thanks again for all the pastry recommendations. They really panned out (pardon the bakery pun). Did I mention how much I loved Patisserie 46? :)

                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                        1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                          I understand about the Salty Tart. There is always such a small selection of somewhat plain items, but the quality is very good. The owner's credentials seem to fuel her reviews. As for Patisserie 46, I have had mixed luck there. The pastries are very beautiful and there is a huge selection, but I have had items from there which lacked flavor/quality. It's been very hit-or-miss the dozen or so times that I've been there. Their eclair, BTW, was really terrible when I was there a few weeks ago! Interestingly, the Patissierie 46 folks moved here from Chicago to open a bakery!

                                                                          Rustica should not have been missed. They offer fewer, higher-quality items than P-46. They are more rustic and are more inclined to do a perfect lemon tart than the fancy individual pastries at P-46. Their Bostok, their bittersweet chocolate cookies, and their kouignaman are addictive. The fruit and nut loaf is amazing; it isn't sweet, it is slightly sour and dense and is amazing with a good cheese.

                                                                          Many of the other bakeries around here, including Butter, tend to be more comfort food American-style operations. Good within their category, but not awe-inspiring. I agree with you that real pastry cream is a delicious basic that should never be skipped. I feel the same about real buttercream - a rarity to find anymore. I really hate powdered-sugar frosting and refuse to call it buttercream.

                                                                          It sounds like you're having a fantastic tour of the cities - locals would do well to copy you! Have fun at the game and say hello to my son if you see him there!

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Salty Tart
                                                                          920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                                                          1. re: sandylc

                                                                            I agree on Salty Tart as well. There are usually only one or two items that interest me and I'm not sure it's worth the hassle of parking and getting in there. I know there are a number of other great places to eat there but sometimes i just need a treat. Also, while most of what I've had there was really good...I had a major miss one time. Some sort of chocolate cake with caramel sauce and wild rice. The wild rice was uncooked. Maybe it was supposed to be like that? i dont' know...maybe i'm missing something. But i hurt my teeth biting into it.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Salty Tart
                                                                            920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                                                            1. re: sandylc

                                                                              I gotta say again, I really LOVED everything I had at Patisserie 46. I understand that it's one thing to offer a variety of items, and quite another for all the items to be top notch quality. I like to check out bakeries and pastry shops, and have ranked over 20 of the ones in Chicago in a topic on Chowhound. We have some bakeries back home that have a nice assortment but the quality is terrible. However, I tried a half dozen items at Patisserie 46 in various categories and I thought all of them were excellent. I was very impressed - not just by what they offered, but by how they tasted. Delicious! So you're welcome to disagree, but I was really, really impressed by Patisserie 46. I only wish it were closer to my home!

                                                                              Oh, and I had quite a conversation with one of the Patisserie 46 owners while I was there, since we both are very familiar with the bakery scene in Chicago. He told me he figured that an "authentic French bakery" - his term for the type of bakery that has the same variety as P46 but is lacking in Chicago - would probably open within the next couple of years. (Not that HE would be the one to do so, just that there is a gap in the Chicago market.)

                                                                            2. re: nsxtasy

                                                                              Thanks for posting about your excursions, so fun to read! P46 is one of my fav places in Minneapolis- as is LBV.
                                                                              I live a few blocks from P46 and seriously crave their food, from the sweet stuff to their quiche. The quiches are just fabulous. And one of the things I like most is their simple coffee cake.
                                                                              If I could afford to I'd eat at LBV constantly.

                                                                              1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                So glad you liked St. Paul. Grand Ave. is my 'hood and we feel pretty fortunate to have it. Still wish you would have checked out Bars Bakery on Selby, which I feel is miles better than Salty Tart, but I know you wanted European, etc. I'm telling you though - you missed out! I've never understood the allure of Salty Tart. I, too, am always underwhelmed by the selection and it seems like every time I've been there I've practically had to beg someone to wait on me. It shouldn't be so difficult to get someone to sell stuff to you.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Salty Tart
                                                                                920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                                                                                Bars Bakery
                                                                                612 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55102

                                                                              2. Dinner tonight was at 112 Eatery. Overall, I would say that it was very good – not exceptional, but very good.

                                                                                When I arrived, I was still in shorts. I asked whether they would be okay, and offered to change because I had long pants with me, but they said don’t bother, I was fine. And sure enough, at least half of the adult diners tonight were also wearing shorts. So that’s that.

                                                                                They brought me complimentary bread, and it was warm and excellent. I also liked the fact that the butter was not rock hard, and instead was spreadable.

                                                                                Again, I ordered two appetizers, a main course, and a dessert. The first appetizer was seared foie gras, and it was excellent, my favorite dish of the meal. It was slightly different from the foie the previous evening; here, the seared outer skin was a bit thicker – not thick or tough, but not as paper thin as at LBV. It was done perfectly, so that was a winner. There were two accompaniments on the plate. One was frisee with a light vinaigrette which was good. The other was something unusual – a French fried poached egg. It was good and unusual – not something that blew me away, but was reasonably good.

                                                                                The second appetizer was steamed mussels in a guajillo sauce. The mussels were good, perfectly cooked and larger than average. The guajillo and tomato based broth was good too.

                                                                                As a main course, I ordered a double portion of their sweetbread appetizer. It was fried and reminded me a bit of fried chicken. It was good too. It was served on a bed of ratatouille that was also good.

                                                                                For dessert, I ordered the tres leches cake. This was good too. It was surrounded by a pool of what I assume was the same sweetened milk base that the cake was soaked in. I liked this; it had a little bit of brandy to add taste to it.

                                                                                So everything varied from good to very good. There weren’t a lot of dishes that made me light up and say “Wow! This is incredible!” Maybe the foie gras did that, but that’s about it. But there weren’t any bad dishes either; everything was quite good. And I can see why it’s so popular (especially since it’s not quite as expensive as LBV, and the casual attire and style makes it appealing). It was a good, enjoyable dinner.

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

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                  Personally I'm a bigger fan of Isaac Becker's other establishment - Bar La Grassa. That said, the butterscotch budino at 112 is TO. DIE. FOR. If you ever get back there, definitely try it. A little on the sweet side, but addicting at the same time.

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

                                                                                  1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                    Should've gone with Alma ;)

                                                                                    It never disappoints (for us, anyway)....

                                                                                  2. Today was my final day in the Cities. (I’m sitting in the Hennepin County Library downtown using their wifi before catching the LR to the airport.) I started with breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen, and I gotta say, I just LOVED the place! The food was excellent – I had the porridge and the bread pudding with crème anglaise, and both were great – but there’s so much more to the place! Such style! I love how you go down the steps and everything’s dressed up in black and red and looks like the vampire night club in “True Blood”! And the stuff written on the wall, especially what’s over the tables just outside the entrance to the kitchen, just cracked me up. And the stage and the old movies. What character! What a place! Very special.

                                                                                    After the game, I had a late lunch at Zelo, and it really turned out to be perfect for my needs. I decided that Sea Salt is probably great on a pleasant day, but today was uncomfortably hot (I know, it will be worse tomorrow) and I had been sitting in the sun at the game. Also Sea Salt is a bit of a walk from the LR and I have my overnight bag and didn’t feel like walking all that far with it. So Zelo it was. I had the lemongrass crab cakes and I liked them a lot, for their high crab content as well as for the added flavorings and the presentation. It was an excellent dish. I also had a “bacon and blue” salad, which was basically a chopped salad, and it was just fine. I passed on dessert, as their desserts seemed to lean towards the heavier/sweeter and I was more in the mood for something light, and was quite satisfied with the two dishes I had. Thanks to Jordan for the suggestion of Zelo.

                                                                                    And thanks again to everyone for all your helpful suggestions!

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Zelo
                                                                                    831 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                      Glad it worked out for you! It sounds like a great trip. I love Hell's Kitchen, too. Did you visit the bathrooms while you were there? The "scary pictures" are a treat.

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

                                                                                    2. By the time I got to the airport, I found that I was still in the mood for something light. I checked out Surdyk's and French Meadow Cafe. Surdyk's sure seems hidden away; from the outside it looks like a store that only sells packaged foods, and you don't even realize that you can sit and eat and they have a waitstaff! Anyway, I looked at both menus, and the beet and pear salad at French Meadow caught my eye. So I sat at the bar at French Meadow, the woman at the bar mentioned they can put grilled chicked on it so I did, and it was an excellent salad.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: nsxtasy

                                                                                        Nxstasy - We are still in Minneapolis and I don't want to take the time to do a full writeup now, but suffice it to say we are eating very well. So far we've had dinners at Bar La Grassa, 112 Eatery and Restaurant Alma. Dinner tonight is at Piccolo. Lunches have been at Kieran's (after the tour of Target Field on Monday), Midtown Global Market, and Matt's Bar. On our non-lunch days we had breakfasts at Hell's Kitchen and Al's Breakfast. We've hit up three ice cream shops so far: Crema Cafe, Pumphouse Creamery and Sebastian Joe's. And one bakery - Salty Tart. I'm going to say our favorite dinner so far has been Bar La Grassa - we liked it substantially more than 112 Eatery. As to lunch, Matt's Bar is the winner, not sure what my husband would say, but I loved the Jucy Lucy. As to ice cream, today's stop at Sebastian Joe's was probably our favorite of the three. Might try to hit up Izzy's tomorrow. Our flight doesn't leave until 9:45 tomorrow night so we can do lunch and ice cream. Will also be checking out the Mill City Farmers Market tomorrow since we're staying right by there. Anyway I will write more details when we get home and also spend more time reading what you wrote.

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

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

                                                                                        Restaurant Alma
                                                                                        528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                                                        Al's Breakfast
                                                                                        413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                                                        Crema Cafe
                                                                                        3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                                                                                        Pumphouse Creamery
                                                                                        4754 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

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

                                                                                        Sebastian Joe's
                                                                                        4321 Upton Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                                                                                        Salty Tart
                                                                                        920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

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

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