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FAQ: New To the Minneapolis-St. Paul board? Read This First!

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Are you new to Chowhound? Or just to the Minneapolis-St. Paul board? Perhaps visiting from out of town? We've got some tips to help you get started.

If you're brand new to the site, you should read our Site Etiquette (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/367605) so you don't break any rules or step on any toes.

This board is focused on discussing chow in urban Minneapolis-St. Paul, including the following Minnesota counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota (including the city of Eagan), Hennepin (including the cities of Minneapolis and Bloomington where the Mall of America is), Ramsey (including the city of Saint Paul), Scott (including the cities of Savage and Shakopee), and Washington (including the city of Stillwater.)

For tips on the rest of Minnesota, including the cities of St. Cloud, Rochester, Duluth, Lanesboro, Red Wing, Moorhead, and for all of Wisconsin (including the city of Hudson) please see the Great Lakes Board: http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/72

We've divided up this thread into separate posts, just to make things neater. Please read to the end. The sections are:

HAVE A HOT TIP?
HAVE A QUESTION?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THIS BOARD
STILL HAVE A QUESTION?
AFTER YOUR MEAL

  1. HAVE A HOT TIP?

    If you've got a great tip or a recommendation for someone, dive right in and post it. It's great if you can include some details of why you like a place, but even those short tips on where to find a great taco or donut are appreciated.

    To start a new thread, use the "Chowhound Discussions" menu in the navigation bar at the top of the page to go to the index of the board, and then choose the "start new thread" button.

    1. HAVE A QUESTION?

      The Minneapolis-St. Paul board is a pretty active place, and a lot of questions have been covered recently--the Chowhound archives are a great resource.

      Start your quest for an answer with a search of all the great info that's already out there. The search box is in the top right corner of the screen. If you're searching from this board, it should default to searching Minneapolis-St. Paul. Just add your keywords and go. On the search results page, you can change your search criteria to add more keywords, or change your sort order or the dates you're interested in.

      Prior to 2010, Minneapolis-St. Paul was discussed on the General Midwest Board along with many other Midwestern cities. To search those archives refer to http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/8 When searching the archives, include “MSP” as one of your search terms to limit your results to this area as Chowhounds often used MSP in their subject lines in the past (not so much so in the present) to distinguish their threads from other Midwest discussions.

      1. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON THE MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL BOARD

        Here are just a few of the subjects that are common on the Minneapolis-St. Paul board, and some suggestions on how to find that information:

        Where should I eat near the Airport? Mall of America? Downtown Minneapolis? Downtown St. Paul? Minneapolis Convention Center, The University of Minnesota? TCF Bank Stadium? The State Fair? Target Field? Target Center? The Walker Art Center? Your specific hotel? Other attractions?

        Search terms to try: name of attraction (Target Field, downtown--remember though that there is more than one so clarify which city-- or any shorter versions or nicknames (MOA,U of M)). Examples:

        For near the Mall of America, search: Mall of America, MOA, Bloomington
        For near TCF Bank Stadium search: TCF Bank Stadium, University of Minneosta, UofM, U of M, Stadium Village, Dinkytown
        For the Minneapolis Convention Center, search: Convention Center, Downtown Minneapolis
        For Target Field search: Target Field, Downtown Minneapolis, Ballpark
        For Target Center search: Target Center, Downtown Minneapolis

        Where's the best breakfast/burger/pizza/Chinese food/farmers market/brunch/sushi/burrito/dim sum/seafood/etc?
        Search terms to try: title:best and the type of food you're looking for

        Where should we go for our special occasion?
        Search terms to try: anniversary, "special occasion", proposal, romantic, birthday, engagement,
        These might not all apply to your particular occasion, but they generally turn up the same kind of recommendations.

        Where should I plan my group dinner?
        Search terms to try: "private room", "buy out", corporate, group, "holiday party", "large group"

        Where can I find the local specialties?
        Search terms to try: "unique", "specialties", “signature”

        1. STILL HAVE A QUESTION?

          Minneapolis-St. Paul hounds are a great resource, but help them help you by including some important details. Tell them:

          - Which city (Minneapolis, St. Paul, or other suburb) you'll be in. This is especially important as both Minneapolis and St. Paul have “downtowns”
          - Which part of the city you’ll be visiting (ie., downtown, near a particular landmark, or in a particular neighborhood)
          - How far or how long you're willing to travel
          - Whether you will have a car.
          - Where you are visiting from.
          - What your budget is. Descriptions such as 'expensive', 'moderate' and 'cheap' mean different things to different people, so use dollar values.
          - What types of cuisines you're interested in.
          - Any other special circumstances (traveling with kids? vegetarians? non-chowhounds?) that will help.

          If you've done some of your own research, mention what you found so hounds can help fill in the gaps, rather than rehashing what you already know.

          1. AFTER YOUR MEAL

            Most importantly, after your trip or your meal, thank the Minneapolis-St. Paul hounds for their help by reporting back. Tell people which suggestions you used and how the meals turned out, plus add tips about any great places you discovered on your own. This helps make the board more useful for everyone who visits after you.

            1. FEEDBACK

              If there's something you think is vitally important for new members of the board to know that we've missed, please comment on this Site Talk thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/704997