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Downtown weekend

I know this has been covered a zillion times before but I'm asking anyway for help

Hubby and I are coming to the cities the weekend of March 9th, so we have a late night dinner, a full day of meals on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. We are staying at the Crowne Plaza downtown which I think is a pretty decent location.

The trick here is that my husband is NOT a foodie at ALL. He likes super basic food, no fancy sauces, veggies anything like that. I'm a bit more advenurous, but we need something will will suit us both.

I don't want to be paying 30-50 for a plate of food that he won't eat I guess, so any suggestions for good food that a non-foodie will eat?

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  1. I believe there's a Crowne Plaza in downtown St. Paul and one in downtown Mpls. Which will you be at? And the crucial question everyone will want answered - will you have a car?

    1. If it's Minneapolis, I recommend Bar la Grassa. They have a lot of things on the menu, items can be ordered in smaller portions (to mix and match). I would also consider Haute Dish or 112 Eatery.

      If it's St. Paul, Meritage would be my choice.

      All of these restaurants appeal to discerning palates but also have many choices that will satsify the unadventurous. With the exception of Bar La Grassa, they all have burgers that in my opinion rank among the top burgers in the Twin Cities.


      1. I'm sorry!!! It is the downtown minneapolis one, i believe connected by the skywalk to nicollet mall? Near the Target center I think. And yes, we will be driving in from Fargo so we'll have a car although if the weather is decent we'd prefer to walk, especially if we have a few cocktails :)

        1. The Minnesapolis Crowne Plaza is on 2nd Avenue South, between 6th and 7th Streets. For those old enough to remember, it's the old Northstar Inn, which once housed the Rosewood Room.

          Via skyway you can get to Mission American Kitchen in the IDS building. They will have something for both of you. Also, via skyway, you can get to Porter and Frye in the Hotel Ivy. Just ate there three weeks ago, and I'd recommend it. You'll find it more "upscale" than Mission. For a longer walk, I'd go with the 112 Eatery recommendation (make a reservation). For lunch, drive across the river into Northeast, and go to Brasa. And speaking of Northeast, you would also find that Modern Cafe would suit both your expectations.

          1. You could try Ike's for breakfast or lunch--they have some good burgers and meat sandwiches. Not a foodie destination, but good food. You might also consider Barrio, on Nicollet--pretty fun atmosphere, and kind of "street food" Mexican. I've generally had good experiences there. You might also think about Vincent for lunch or dinner--it's French food, but they have a burger that many (including me) consider one of downtown's best. It's stuffed with short rib meat and gouda, so not sure if that would make it too fancy for the husband. It's really good though, and you can get some other things there that are really well prepared and sometimes unusual.

            For Sunday brunch, you could think about trying Tilia in Linden Hills, which is SW Minneapolis. Tilia can get full fast, but if you're on the earlier side, you can generally get a spot, and the chef there just made the James Beard list. For brunch they have some classic stuff, but some wonderful and unusual things, too. And, if the wait is too long, you can go down the street to Zumbro, which is always good for a solid brunch.

            Also, as Brad points out, the Crowne Plaza isn't all that close to the Target Center, though definitely walkable. Have a great weekend!

            5 Replies
            1. re: baa

              Plus 1 for Ike's, especially for breakfast or brunch.

              I think FireLake is good too and would suit both you and your husband, and is walkable via the skyway.

              1. re: Bobannon

                Oooh...FireLake looks GREAT. My husband would be all about that Elk and whatnot on the menu and Ike's looks perfect for Sunday brunch.

                1. re: Cgrout

                  Totally spaced Firelake. You'll like it. A lot.

              2. re: baa

                Target Center is 4 blocks from Crowne Plaza and totally accessible by skyway. Watch out though, it has inconsistent evening hours. It would probably take longer via skyway than street level. Plan on a 10 minute walk, tops.

                1. re: baa

                  Ike's really is great for breakfast & brunch. I would recommend it, too.

                2. Your husband sounds a bit like my parents from Iowa. They are not foodies and are subject to sticker shock at some of our high-end restaurants. Of the places already mentioned, they have enjoyed meals at Bar La Grassa, Brasa, and Ike's, so I would echo all of those as options. And I'd add breakfast or brunch at Red Stag in Northeast Minneapolis.

                  1. not foodie but affordable and close to you would be 8th Street Grill. They have $5 long islands on Fridays and drink specials daily, thought of it since you mentioned cocktails....

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Cgrout

                        I don't want to poo-poo danionavenue on this, but the food at 8th Street Grill is really not great. I haven't had drinks there, so maybe their drink specials make up for it, but I would at least consider another spot for the food part of Friday. If you don't mind spending $30-$50 (for food that your husband WILL like), how about Fogo de Chao? It would be a LOT of food, but it's basically all-you-can-eat meat, with a gigantic salad bar (which also features a lot of meat, apparently). Way more expensive than 8th Street Grill, but if you want to splurge it might be a fun spot.

                    1. For Sunday brunch head to Hells Kitchen, not far from your hotel. If you like pizza (who doesn't) take a taxi over to Black Sheep on Washington. Your hubby with thank you.

                      1 Reply
                      1. Ike's Food and Cocktails is always consistent in the quality of the food. The main thing that I come here for is the burgers! They are definitely on my top ten list for burgers in the hard competition out there. The burger, shakes, and fries are awesome; you wouldn't think it based on the everything menu. The apps are good too. If you get a chance to do brunch here, I recommend it. It is family style and they start you off with a large carmel roll. The GM, Bill Morris, does an outstanding job with the restaurant. http://www.ilikeikes.com/