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Sep 20, 2012 08:03 AM

Next weekend in MSP

Spouse and I going up for first time visit next weekend. Staying downtown at W Foshay, no car. But plan to use the Nice Ride bike system and public transportation where convenient, not opposed to shorter taxi rides as well.

Doing several museums and plan to just cycle around to see different parts of the area.

Dining options are looking like:

the Bachelor Farmer - brunch - perhaps cocktails at Marvel bar one night after dinner
Saffron - dinner
Haute Dish - dinner
The Butcher and The Boar - Dinner

Travail and Victory 44 look good but not convenient without a car.

We LOVE bakeries so options include:
Salty Tart
Rustica Bakery
Angel Food

Pat's tab for a lunch and something from the tab.

Places with an awesome craft/micro tab list?

Appreciate everyone's feedback on all the places I listed.

Also looking for a nice cheese shop to bring back some fabulous WI and MN cheeses - the good, special stuff - artisan.

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  1. Surdyk's for cheese. Period. I like the stuff out of the left-most case of the counter.

    Double check Bachelor Farmer doesn't need reservations, that is a hard get, but maybe it's different for brunch?

    Patisserie 46 is a bakeshop you might want to investigate.

    Travail is definitely worth the trouble (you have to line up before 4:30 to get in when they open at 5, or you're looking at a possible 2+ hour wait). It's the most adventurous / fun / foodie option on your list. It's only 10 minutes from downtown, so maybe not too terrible a cab fare. Victory 44 is a great second option if you venture that direction but can't nail the logistics of Travail, though I find it a bit more expensive / portion.

    3 Replies
    1. re: semanticantics

      +1 for P46 - hands down the best quiche I have ever had. One warning about P46, avoid getting a table next to the display case which is filled with wonderfully decorated desserts, unless you don't mind indulging your senses. P46 is primarily a bakery, so order at counter then grab a table.

      1. re: semanticantics

        No reservations are taken for the Bachelor Farmer's brunch, which is excellent, by the way. I recommend the pork shoulder with rye pyttipanna.

        1. re: Quince

          I am all over the pork shoulder and rye pyttipanna - sounds devine

      2. Maybe consider pre-dinner cocktails and appetizers at La Belle Vie's lounge? I think they have a great cocktail list, and some delicious appetizers, and the room is beautiful. Plus, it's across the street from the Walker Art Gallery, and there's a Nice Ride station right there.

        If you're going to Rustica and want a quick lunch, Punch Pizza is right next door, serving Neopolitan-style pizzas. There are some differing opinions on Punch (as always when pizza is the topic of conversation), but I think it's a great version of Neopolitan. (Punch/Rustica are also pretty close to the Nice Ride station near Lake Calhoun.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: baa

          Thanks for the rec on La Belle Vie, looked really interesting but a bit formal for dinner for my taste so apps and cocktail is perfect!

        2. You've done your research well. The bar in the W (top floor) has very good cocktails, FYI.

          I'm struggling to come up with a bar with a good micro/craft tap selection downtown. Bulldog NE isn't too far away (across the river into Northeast). I think Butcher and Boar does, too, but I'm not 100% certain.

          I also second the La Belle Vie suggestion.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Brad Ballinger

            Manny's is the kitchen for the W, so the room service there is super fun!


          2. If you walk a block south on Marquette from the W and hang a right on 10th, you'll see Devil's Advocate on the left. That's your "places with an awesome craft/micro tab list".

            There's actually a cheese shop about 50 yards to the west of the front door of the W. It's inside Haskell's (wine shop) which is on the left side as you walk down 9th. It's tiny and I don't think of it as a premier source of cheese, but there may be a couple things there of interest.

            semanticantics nailed it with Surdyk's for cheese. On the other side of downtown, walkable from the W, is the Lunds grocery store on Hennepin (closer to the Sculpture Garden, Walker, etc). They'll have a very good selection of cheese.

            The rest of your plans sound perfect. Enjoy.

            4 Replies
            1. re: MSPD

              Lund's definitely has a great cheese selection (well, the ones I've been to), but you're going to pay for it. A lot. Kowalski's are the same way, great selection, shocking prices.

              Also, Surdyk's will give you a taste if you're curious about something. Don't know if everyone does that. They are also generally knowledgeable about pairing cheese with a wine or other things.

              The only better cheese shop I've been to was in Glasgow and the cheese were just on a counter, unrefrigerated. It was heavenly.

              1. re: semanticantics

                Surdyk's will let you taste MANY types of cheese as you decide. I think my max has been 11 cheeses, but it might have been more. Plus, the staff really knows their cheese - they can describe each and every one in the case, and are great with suggestions if you're looking for something specific.

                Visitors should be sure to taste our wonderful local offerings. I'm especially fond of Shepherd's Way Farms (MN) and Carr Valley (WI).

                Enjoy your visit!

              2. re: MSPD

                devil's advocate is a good rec for sure.

                if it were me, i would combine a nice-ride afternoon jaunt around the minneapolis riverfront area, then across the stone arch bridge and through the st. anthony main area, st anthony falls, and end up at alma for dinner. then hit surdyk's and/or lund's NE for cheese. or they could get cheese first, then get back to downtown across the hennepin ave bridge and hit haute dish on washington or bachelor farmer/marvel on the way back to the hotel.

                another day could include a nice-ride around uptown, calhoun/lake of the isles, rustica bakery, walker/sculpture garden, loring park...

                i will just say that i don't think pat's tap is particularly good, located close to anything else of interest, or really very remarkable in any way... it's just a mediocre bar experience. if the op is going to go that long distance from downtown on a bike or in a cab, you may as well hit grand cafe or corner table or piccolo or hell, even buster's is infinitely better... and get much better food/superior experience, right?

                1. re: MSPD

                  thanks for the recs, Devil's advocate looks great - and I guess I was having a "b" day yesterday - as in tabs not taps - but I guess enough on tap means a nice tab :)

                2. Republic, over on Cedar, has a great tap selection and isn't too far from downtown.