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Sep 28, 2011 07:16 PM

Last great meal in Minneapolis/St. Paul?

Our time in Minnesota is coming to a close as we move to the east coast in 2 months. We have probably 2-3 more occasions of going out to eat at an "adult" restaurant and a handful more than that of hitting new kid-friendly locations. I'm wondering if there are any "must not miss" restaurants in cities that we haven't been to yet. Or, your opinion of where your last great meal in Minneapolis/St. Paul would be.

Here's a not exhaustive list of the commonly-recommended places we have eaten, perhaps it will help you see where the holes are. Off the top of my head we haven't been to Sea Change, In Season, Bangkok Deli, or the new place in Midtown Global Market.

Bar La Grasa
Bachelor Farmer
La Belle Vie
Strip Club
Cafe Levain
Cafe Maude
Pizzaria Lola
Cave Vin
Al Vento
Sea Salt
Ngon BIstro
Haute Dish
Red Stag
Obento Ya
Punch, PIzza Nea, Black Sheep
Tilia - for brunch
I think every sushi restaurant in the cities - for those that remember our efforts from 4 years ago
Most Vietnamese, Thai, and Indian restaurants

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

Cafe Maude
5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

Cave Vin
5555 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410

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

Cafe Levain
4762 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55407

Al Vento
5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

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

In Season
5416 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55419

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  1. Meritage would be a good place to try if indeed you have not been (I did not see it on the impressive list above). I have been very impressed the last few times I have been there and I really like the new oyster bar space.

    If I were leaving, I think the two places I would want to return to the most before I left would be:
    The Strip Club - I love the small plates and overall experience. It is also such a "Minnesota-specific" restaurant both in ingredients, inspirations for the menu, and history of the space.
    Piccolo - I find the food to be creative and like the small plates approach. While not as uniquely Minnesotan as the Strip Club, I think it still definitely has a Minneapolis-specific vibe.

    410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

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

    1. Have you been to Khyber Pass for Afghan food? Sadly, they might not be around when you come back to visit.... There's also Flamingo for excellent Ethiopian....

      As far as last meals, I'm kind of a broken record, but for us it would definitely be Alma. Just such a midwestern vibe: great food, not pretentious, local ingredients...

      Khyber Pass Cafe
      1571 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

      1. We actually have been to Meritage and Khyber Pass - I forgot some restaurants on the other side of the river! I would like to get back to Khyber Pass before we leave, especially because we can take our daughter there. We thought the food at Meritage was great, but the space was busy and cramped and didn't quite replicate that sitting in a brasserie in Paris vibe they're going for.

        I'm now reminded that Gorkha Palace too might be a must do again place.

        I was also thinking a last meal at Alma might be at the top of our list. Thanks for the reminder!

        Khyber Pass Cafe
        1571 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

        410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

        Gorkha Palace
        23 4th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

        1. Maybe one last round of BBQ ribs and tres leches cake? We'll miss you, of course.

          Honestly, though, I'd say a stop at Kramaczuks. Izzy's. Whereever your favorite farm is for Honeycrisp apples. I know these aren't "adult" restaurants, but they are what screams Minnesota to me. Maybe Hell's Kitchen for the porridge and lemon ricotta hotcakes. A stop at the Hmong market. One final visit to the St. Paul Farmers Market. These would be my must do's if I were to leave. Maybe some combo of Heartland, Meritage (though it sounds like this isn't a must-do for you), Ngon, and 112 Eatery just because they have been particular favorites of mine and the food is solid. Also, the Nook.


          2 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            First off, SweeTango > HoneyCrisp. Run to Byerly's, Kowalski's, or an Apple Orchard and see if they have any SweeTangos left (last time I was at a Byerly's they had some, but they were not in very good condition, almost all had some bruising). Plus, you can find HoneyCrisps nationally. SweeTango still isn't available in large enough quantities to have wide availability.

            After that, go for one of the restaurants that sources local ingredients. I'd probably pick Heartland. You'll be able to get great food on the east coast, you won't be able to get stuff from our farms there.

            1601 County Road C W, Saint Paul, MN 55113

            1. re: Danny

              Whether it's SweeTango or Honeycrisp, get it from an apple farm, not Byerly's!

              But, if you DO go to Byerly's because you don't have time to go the orchard, get some wild rice soup while you're there.


          2. For a "Minnesota memory meal" with your little one, Bread and Pickle for local food, a walk around Lake Harriet, and cheese curds.