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Jun 29, 2011 09:53 AM

Hazel's Northeast

Looks like this one isn't in the database yet (or I missed it), so for the record, it's at 2859 Johnson St NE in north(east) Minneapolis.

I liked it. It's close to home and my SO and I have been meaning to try it for some time now. We finally did last night. The bleu fries (fries with chunks of bleu, bacon crumbles, and ranch dressing for dipping) started us off on the right foot, if a totally unhealthy one that probably moved my first heart attack up 3 or 4 years. She had a cup of melon and carrot gazpacho soup. Very nice, with good crunch from small chunks of celery. I went with the boring choice - house salad with ranch. Some of the freshest greens I've ever had in a restaurant, anywhere. I almost suspected (but forgot to confirm) that they're growing them in a garden out back.

We both had the Swedish meatballs for the entree. They're served on a bed of garlic mashed, and have a little dollop of lingonberry preserves. A very good, simple dish. Comfort food. Sadly, we didn't have room to sample the desserts.

At $35 (pre-tip) for the both of us, the price was almost ridiculously reasonable. This is not fine dining, and you won't find any foam or nitrogen-frozen experiments going on here, but the food is locally sourced, harvested-5-minutes-ago fresh, and good. We'll be back again.

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  1. I like it too. My sister and I had lunch here a couple of months ago. We went specifically to try the fried green olives...cream cheese stuffed green olives, breaded and fried. They were just ok....not bad but incredibaly salty. Which I guess I should have guessed. And it was a generous serving. A little goes a long way with something that salty,

    Anyway, we also split a bacon cheese burger with hand cut fries, which is nothing too unique but it was such a GOOD burger and really good fries. We both thought it exceptional and have been meaning to get back there. Service was perfect.

    I love Amici're lucky to have two good neighborhood restaurants.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bobannon

      Amici is good, but not overly consistent. Last week 3 of us went there. Both of the people I was with ordered the same pasta dish. One was perfect. The other tasted like they dumped about half a cup of orange peel into it. Bitter and nasty. If they'd up their consistency I'd feel good about recommending them to others.

      1. re: shadowfax

        I really think Hazel's is a good breakfast/brunch spot in NE. I am not a personal fan of pancakes or french toast, but my friends rave about the banana french toast and cakes. I have had the omelets and black bean cakes - both were good, but not amazing. Not many places in NE serve breakfast every day - so it is a good find!

        I have only dined at Amici twice, both were fine. One bonus with Amici is it delivers! So my hubby and I will get their pizzas or pastas delivered when we are extremely lazy. I think they only deliver during dinner hours.

    2. Hazel's is on the big daily deal site today.

      1. Hazels's is great for breakfast. They serve very good coffee too. (True Stone) The service there is WAY better than Amici. The people at Hazel's will greet you and seat you, or give you some coffee and tell you how long the wait is, where at Amici they won't even look at you and pretend they are too busy to deal with "all these customers". Many breakfasts on that block have proven this over and over.

        1. my SO and i have breakfasted at hazel's a couple of times. i really enjoy the, food, vibe, people-watching and all. she's generally underwhelmed...possibly because they do seem to have a light hand when it comes to seasoning (where both their breakfast sausage and their sausage gravy are concerned, particularly), but hey, they're serving family recipes.

          the chicken-fried steak and eggs is good. and i have misplaced-texan feelings about chicken-fried steak.

          one other thing about amici: not only do they deliver interesting pizzas, their pizzas are also available with a pretty darn nice gluten-free crust.