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In Minneapolis next month, need 2 dinner spots, one breakfast, and one lunch...

I'll be in town next month for work and need a couple recs for a few good meals. I will be staying at the Marriott City Center on 30 South 7th Street and will not have a car, but would be willing to take a cab if it's not too far. I need 2 dinner spots, one breakfast, and one lunch. I've searched a little, and am hearing a lot of good things about Bar La Grassa, so I think one of my dinner spots are set. Anything you can recommend nearby and good? For breakfast, it would be cool if I could find a nice little diner near by, but lunch and my second dinner I'm pretty open. I'm pretty open to different flavors, just looking for solid recommendations and consistency. Is there anyplace I simply must not miss? Thanks, Brandon

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

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  1. Any cuisine preferences?

    If going to Bar La Grassa, make sure you have a reservation well ahead of time. And will will need a cab from your hotel. But it's not that far, so your fare won't be too high.

    I'd say don't miss Saffron for your second dinner. And you can walk there from your hotel. Another short cab ride (or walk across the Stone Arch Bridge) will bring you to Alma.

    Hell's Kitchen for breakfast.

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

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

    14 Replies
    1. re: Brad Ballinger

      It's hard to argue with, or add to, anything Brad has said here.

      ~TDQ

      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        Thanks for the info guys/gals, I appreciate it. As for any specific type of cuising.....not too sure. I like most foods and enjoy trying something new when I'm in a new city. I love steak, seafood, Pizza, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Mediterranean, etc. I guess it just depends which menu sounds appealing.

        Bar La Grassa sounds good for one of my dinners, just still deciding on the second one. Any nice seafood or steak houses nearby? I also will be traveling solo, so looking for something with either bar seating or that can suit a solo diner.

        The Breakfast menu at Hell's Kitchen looks good and I think that is also a done deal unless there is something else that rivals it. Read a lot of good stuff about their lemon ricotta pancakes which sound interesting.

        As for my lunch, unless there's something else that stands out, I wouldn't mind some pizza....something quick, easy, and hot. Been reading a lot about a few different places that I kind of lost track. Anyplace nearby worth checking out?

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

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

        1. re: Bran808

          A couple of pizza options for you, are across the river into Northeast (short cab ride on par with the cab ride length to Bar La Grassa)). Both are Neopolitan in style: Punch and Pizza Nea. Most would argue that Punch is more authentically Neopolitan. Others prefer Pizza Nea for the firmer crust. I'm happy at either place.

          But if you are crossing the river, I'd point you to Kramarczuk's Deli for something more unique.

          1. re: Brad Ballinger

            there is also black sheep pizza-- but if i were the op i'd go for one of the food trucks downtown. arguably better food, more unique experience, certainly cheaper, & "easy"--no cab necessary. my rec would be world street kitchen http://www.eatwsk.com/

            1. re: Brad Ballinger

              I know that others disagree, but I don't think Pizza Nea is worthy of mention in the same breath as Punch or Black Sheep. FWIW: their oven is gas-fired, which seals their fate for me.

              Not too far either is the original Brasa location. Great rotisserie style and slow-cooked meats, and southern/cajun style sides.

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              Pizza Nea
              1221 W Lake St # 106, Minneapolis, MN

              1. re: mtullius

                I'm with you on Nea. Not terrible, but not on part with Punch or Black Sheep, which I highly recommend for lunch.

                1. re: mtullius

                  Black Sheep is gas fired.

                  +1 for food truck lunch. Plus then you've got a built in walking tour of downtown. Subscribe to the TCfoodtruck feed on twitter and you'll know menu and location of most/all on any given day.

                    1. re: LauraB

                      So they say.
                      Maybe it sees coal from time to time for marketing/looks, but unless a coal fire turns on and off with a knob and gets in there via teleporter, it's a gas oven. But props for the great marketing ploy.
                      And it's a HUGE oven by any restaurant standard. Keeping it up to pizza temps with coal alone all day, every day would be an economic disaster.

                        1. re: splatgirl

                          Are you kidding me? Have you read ANY of the bazillion articles done on Black Sheep and its $100,000 coal-fired pizza oven?

                          http://www.twincitiespizzablog.com/wp...

                          http://slice.seriouseats.com/images/2...

                          http://www.mspmag.com/images/restaura...

                          Oy vey. (shaking head in disbelief)

                          1. re: MSPD

                            Thanks for the links. The photo in the serious eats post shows the gas flame burner. There's also a separate heat source under the hearth.

                            My point was that if we're advising on brick oven pizza places and 86'ing based on the use of gas as mentioned upthread, then Black Sheep does not get a full pass...

                  1. re: Brad Ballinger

                    Like them both: but wouldn't take a cab to either...black sheep or food truck for me too...

                  2. re: Bran808

                    >> I also will be traveling solo, so looking for something with either bar seating or that can suit a solo diner.

                    A few weeks ago, I dined solo at La Belle Vie - arguably the best-known high-end restaurant in the Twin Cities. I sat at a table, rather than at the bar. I thought the staff was extremely accommodating, and made me feel right at home. The meal was fantastic, the best I had in the Cities and comparable to the very best places in other top cities. You can read my detailed report at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7819...

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                    La Belle Vie
                    510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

                2. There are some decent food truck options in DT Mpls these days.... we had a nice lunch recently at, I believe it's called, Sunflower Kitchen?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mtullius

                    I remember one called Dandelion Kitchen -- was that it?

                  2. I'll echo the food truck rec for lunch - my current favorite is Hola Arepa - normally somewhere on Marquette

                    1. I'd throw in a suggestion of Masa for dinner, right on Nicollet Mall, a short walk from your hotel. Excellent higher end Mexican. Also, maybe for lunch The Local (Irish Pub) would be a solid choice. I'd usually mention and recommend the 112 Eatery, but I think you have enough solid options. Enjoy the city.

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

                      Masa
                      1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: Maggie19

                        Second Masa, add Vincent and Lucia's. Not currently trendite darlings, but yummy.

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                        Masa
                        1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                        1. re: sandylc

                          Thanks for all the responses, I appreciate it. I do like mexican, so I'll look into Masa. Pizza is also sounding pretty good too, cab ride or not. I'm from Hawaii so the food truck scene is not as prevalent, so that also may be something for me to check out. The hardest thing for me is that since I'll technically be on "lunch break" with classes shortly after, I don't have a lot of time to wander around and check out what tickles my fancy. I also usually like to just check out online menus and go in and just order to save time. We'll see though. Are all the food trucks located in one central area? Anywhere I can check into menus and locations?

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                          Masa
                          1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                          1. re: Bran808

                            A bunch of food trucks are in the "core" of downtown Minneapolis, and work well for a quickish lunch.

                            For locations, see this interactive food truck map:
                            http://www.citypages.com/microsites/f...

                            For a helpful guide, see HeavyTable's Food Truck directory (click on the links to see more info, like menus and locations):
                            http://heavytable.com/minneapolis-st-...

                            Enjoy your visit!

                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                              Thanks for the info on the food trucks. I think my flight arrives right around lunch time, so maybe I'll cruise around and check out some of the lunch trucks on my first day in, and do something else the next day. Seems I'll have more time early on to explore.

                              1. re: AnneInMpls

                                FYI, if you're into Twitter, @TCStreetFood keeps a pretty good daily rundown of where the trucks are located, listed separately for Mpls, and St. Paul.

                                1. re: MSPD

                                  Just wanted to thank you guys for some of the recs. Had a great time in Minneapolis and loved the food. I was able to try Punch Pizza for my first lunch. Fantastic pizza. Like some had reviewed though, the middle was totally soggy, (haha, maybe because I ordered it "Doppio" with Xtra olive oil, sauce, and cheese) but it was still great. The crust was used to soak up all the juice. Great Start.

                                  The next morning I took a cab to Al's Breakfast (of course after hearing about it a while back on Triple D). I had the corned beef hash and eggs a short short Blueberry pancakes. The service was attentive, but I found the corned beef hash a bit short on Corned beef. So much to the point that I almost questioned myself if I actually order it or just plain hash browns. Plus, it was a little greasier than what I would've wanted. The pancakes though were light and fluffy and tasted pretty good. Not the best I've had, but still good. All in all, maybe I expected too much.

                                  Later that night, I wasn't too hungry, but a friend and I hit up Bar La Grassa. As many have stated, the Soft eggs and lobster was fantastic. Just the right consistency in my opinion with just the right amount of truffle oil. We also shared the crab ravioli and the carbonara....both of which were very tasty. And to finish it off, we had the salted caramel crepes. The dessert was very good with just the right balance.

                                  The next day, we were in downtown, and we were able to check out some of the food trucks. We decided on Dandelion Kitchen and was not disappointed. I hadn't eaten a grilled cheese sandwich in years and it sounded so good that I couldn't resist. Very good. Not too greasy and the roasted tomato was a very nice touch.

                                  The next night, I was able to sneek away for dinner. I was craving seafood and was trying to decide between Sea Change or Oceanaire. I went with Oceanaire. I'm glad I did. Service was great! The server took his time to explain the menu and made some great suggestions. I ended up going with the crab cake appetizer. While it was tasty, for $17, I was expecting a little more than a 3oz. portion. I then ordered the Fin and Shell Fish stew for my entree. It was great. Pretty decent sized portion, although I have had some with more shellfish. The flavor though, was spot on and the bread was perfectly crusty. Needless to say, I soaked it all up with no remorse. Fantastic.

                                  My last day there, I had one spot left for Breakfast and went to Hell's Kitchen. The corned beef has was great with BIG chunks of fresh corned beed and crisp onions and celery. I also heard some good reviews of the lemon Ricotta pancakes so I had to try them. I was not disappointed one bit. Nice lemony flavor with the creaminess and slight texture from the ricotta. Very nice. Thanks for a wonderful time and some good eats.

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

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

                                  Punch Pizza
                                  3226 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55416

                                  Sea Change
                                  806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

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

                                  1. re: Bran808

                                    Thanks for reporting back! I'm glad you had a good time.

                                    ~TDQ