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Favorite restaurants from the past

Today I was driving down Central Ave., and I passed by the old Pannekucken (sp?) building which, in recent years, has been occupied by various Indian restaurants with little to no success. Anyway, I remember my parents taking me to this Pannekucken when I was a kid, and I started to think about all of the restaurants that I enjoyed that are no longer around.

Here's my list in no certain order:

1. Shakey's Pizza. Enough Said.

2. Skippers (The AYCE fried fish was a steal back in it's day)

3. The fast food Chinese restaurant on Hennepin in Uptown (I think it was called Chinese Express). It's heyday was in the 90's, when you could actually order your food so spicy, you'd break a sweat. It was housed in an old Rax building and after it closed became a Thai restaurant. The broccoli with crispy garlic in brown sauce almost turned me into a vegetarian.

4. Rocky Rococco's pizza in Dinkytown. That was some good pizza (There is still a location open in Brooklyn Park, but the pizza is not the same as it was back in 1992).

5. The old Rainbow Cafe in Uptown. Best turtle cheesecake ever.

6. Benjamins (Roseville location). I swear they had the thickest cut onion rings you have ever seen. There would be like one whole large onion per order. The neon orange dipping sauce that came with them looked nasty, but it was delicious.

7. Mother Tuckers (Roseville location). Because when you are 16, that name is just funny. Although they did make a mean patty melt, and if I am not mistaken, they were one of the first restaurants in town to offer Buffalo Wings (circa 1987).

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  1. 1. I miss Bali Hai (Roseville?). It seemed so exotic for its' time with the Polynesian theme and the dinner show with dancers in grass skirts.

    2. Winfield Potter's in St. Anthony Main. They had a great brunch.

    3. The Poodle Club on East Lake St. It was a dive, but in a good way. Greasy $3.00 breakfast with a free cocktail. Cured many a hangover, plus great people watching.

    4. Skippers too. They had some kind of Cajun spiced fried fish that I crave to this day.

    5. Jimmy's on Minnehaha in S. Mpls. for their giant roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy.

    6. The OLD Figlio. Lots of good memories there.

    7. Rupert's American Cafe. Always ordered their shrimp scampi appetizer before an evening in the nightclub. Lots of mints were needed to cover up the garlic.

    I'm sure I'll think of more. Great topic! Thanks for posting this.

    6 Replies
    1. re: justalex

      No prob!

      I believe Bali Hai was in Maplewood and yes, I remember that place. I was a little kid back then, and I remember being spooked out by the creepy statues.

      1. re: jeff55432

        I just thought of this one (and only you old schoolers may remember it): George's in Fridley (East River Road and 37th Ave). Technically in was in Fridley, but it for all practical purposes was in Northeast. It was a middle-eastern restaurant/nightclub with belly dancing. It was an interesting joint to say the least (rumor has it that it was eventually shut down due to the fact that the belly dancers offered "services" on the side if you know what I mean). But it was one of the first restaurants in Minneapolis that offered Gyros, and from what I can remember, they were awesome (from an 8 year-old's perspective).

      2. re: justalex

        I'm still amazed they decided to re-brand Figlio's. Apparently the phrases, "don't mess with a good thing" and "if it ain't broke don't fix it" didn't mean a thing to the owners. My boyfriend, then husband, ate there about once a month since it opened. Even had my 30th surprise birthday there. Miss it a great deal.

        1. re: KristinK7

          Have you been to the new Figlio in the West End?

          1. re: Jordan

            No, is it worth a shot? I'm a bit gun-shy after trying Il Gato.

            1. re: KristinK7

              Wish I could tell you -- I haven't been to the new Figlio. I'm probably not your best reviewer, as I was never a huge fan of the old Figlio, either.

      3. I liked Mexico City Cafe at Selby-Dale.

        1. Onion rings at Anchor Inn
          Mama Lu's where I fell in love with ribs
          Sri Lanka House of Curry, medium told me what my heat threshold was and made me to never let get my beer glass empty

          2 Replies
          1. re: stymie

            And my absolute favorite, where I learnded to love great Chinese food: Mandarin Yen on old Hwy 12, fell victim to a 394 off ramp. Relocation to Bloomingto didn't last very long.

            1. re: stymie

              Chef Heather from the Sri Lanka Curry House now cooks meals to eat in or take out every Wednesday at the Our Kitchen Diner at 36th and Bryant. Call to get on her mailing list or to let her know you're coming to eat or want takeout. She's still an amazing cook and a lovely lady. And she doesn't make the food super hot but has some nice chutneys and sambals for extra flavors. 612.250.6556

            2. The New French Cafe: Many a great dates
              The Loring: I know the pasta bar is in dinkytown, but loved the original
              Figlio: The new one feels like a glorified Fridays
              Bobino: Good food at fair prices.
              The Nook: I know it's still there but I miss the dump it was before the fire.
              Auriga: One of the great Mpls restos. The last week it was open were some of the great bites and nites ever at a Resto.
              JPs American Bistro: Loved it for apps and wine. Still miss his fries
              Porkys: I still am in withdrawal over those onion rings
              Blue Star Jazz Room: The smoking ban killed this place. A smokey basement jazz club with huge steaks at a fair price. By no means the best steak, but the best atmosphere by far for a Mpls jazz club
              The Town Talk Diner: Adult malts and big kid fun

              I could go on and on, but those are probably that hurt the most from a food and good memory standpoint. But as Axl once reminded us, "Nothing lasts forever, even cold November Rain."

              5 Replies
              1. re: Db Cooper

                Right — The New French. That was one of my favorite places. How long has it been gone?

                1. re: GH1618

                  I'm guessing it closed somewhere around 2003 or 2004, but I may be off a year either way. I loved their bar and many a great chef that are still trucking in this town were in the kitchen there.

                  1. re: ssioff

                    Porky's on Lyndale South. Onion rings and graham cracker pie. Loved it! Porky's on West Lake for picking up drag races on Lake Street.

                  2. re: Db Cooper

                    Truly miss the New French the most of all. I have add to that is the old warehouse district, Robert Thomson, etc.

                  3. Matin — a Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, somewhere near the New French.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: GH1618

                      One of my favorites too. Some soup! Shrimp, mussels, tomatoes, pineapple, chillis, (if I remember correctly) absolutely divine.

                      1. re: GH1618

                        but I'm referring to the one in Uptown on Hennepin.

                      2. The old Grand Bakery on 38th and Grand - 15¢ donuts, 20¢ pastries.

                        A&J Gem Café - killer breakfast including Cajun hash browns

                        Café Zander - one of the best restaurants in town.

                        Sinbads - one of the best Middle Eastern buffets anywhere.

                        What was the name of that Mexican restaurant with the tortilla making machine that was replaced by Campiello? They had excellent breakfast tacos.

                        Ditto on the old Loring - exceptional food and a fantastic room.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: ChancesR

                          I miss Zander too. That place was pretty solid. Always had good food and service at a fair price.

                          Was the Mexican type place in uptown called "Two Pesos"?

                          1. re: dalewest

                            Many good memories of late night runs to Two Pesos.

                        2. Sri Lanka on Hennepin Av. S
                          Giorgio's on Lake St.
                          Figlio (the original)

                          1. I miss Aquavit. It's always struck me as odd that Scandinavian cooking for many years in The Cities resembled stuff you'd find in a church basement. It's better now, but I miss Aquavit's effort and presentation.

                            I also miss Suzume, a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant on the corner of France and 51st in Edina in the 90s. The (non-sushi) food wasn't bad at all, but I loved the place for being just like the hole-in-the-wall restaurants I remembered from Japan.

                            1. I find it bizarre that I've lived in MSP long enough (18+ years) to know of "the good old days."

                              I agree with many of the places posted.

                              I'd add both of the Table of Contents outposts to the top of my list. Goodfellows had great meals. Chez Bananas was always fun.

                              Also - Lalibela on Lake Street had great Ethiopian food (although I have no clue as to whether it was authentic). I also had a soft spot in my heart for Sidney's.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bob s

                                Some of my favorites have already been mentioned.

                                Chez Bananas for the peanut chicken dish, cilantro pesto scallops, and Sebastian Joe's chocolate banana chocolate chip. Plus, toys on the tables!

                                Town Talk Diner -- the Kitchen Sink burger, adult malts, the chopped salad, the spirit of fun there.

                                Sidney's for brunch -- breakfast pizzas!

                                Buca di Beppo in Minneapolis, when it was the original location and they were still willing to have fun with the menu. I remember the ridiculous appetizer combo specials served on a half-sheet baking pan swimming in marinara sauce.

                                Table of Contents was my "nice night out."

                                Caffe Solo, for very late night pizza and pasta combos. Venison pizza, anyone?

                              2. Win Schuler's in St. Joe/Benton Harbor.

                                Le Balloone at the small flea market in Brussels. Intimidating what one man could do with two hot plates and a large toaster oven serving 6 tables.

                                The Weisse Rossl in Ansbach, Germany. Always a welcoming smile, a liter of beer with a shot of Stroh Rum, and 200g leberkase with egg without asking.

                                Lums. The finest use for cheap light beer yet known.

                                Sambo's. The last known 10 cent all you can drink coffee 24 hours a day.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                  Didn't the Sambo's chain eventually turn into Big Boy?

                                2. Red Fish. Blue in St. Paul was one of the most underrated restaurants at it's time,

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jeff55432

                                    Thanks, I was the Sous chef there

                                  2. S. Anderson's Sunday brunch in the Jemne Building when it was still part of the Minnesota Museum of Art.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: GH1618

                                      The closing of Soile's place was one of the greatest culinary losses of all time!

                                      1. re: GH1618

                                        She also did a simple lunch one day a week, I think. And it was wonderful. Very simple. One entree, a salad, a dessert, I think. Wonderful food and place.

                                        1. re: GH1618

                                          Soile Anderon's brunches were fantastic. I loved it -- was so sad when it deserted St.Paul's urban landscape.

                                        2. As a child I dined (I think that would be the word. Certainly nobody just ate there.) at Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale. The hors de oeuvres tray was mile-high and chock full of delights.

                                          I had my first cup of chilled tomato consomme there with a squeeze of fresh lemon in a little metal bowl tucked into a dish of crushed ice.

                                          I remember being afraid of our tuxedoed waitperson.

                                          Shieck's with its live entertainment.

                                          Howard Wong's with the fire-breathing dragon outdoors.

                                          The old Nanking which actually had live turtles in the entryway pond. Yikes! Samonella?

                                          Dayton's Skyroom with it's "lady's lunches." The chicken salad was tucked into a large lettuce cup.

                                          One year while Christmas shopping with my mother we had lunch at Murray's and I remember she ordered a Pink Lady. Thought we were the utmost of pampered ladies ourselves.

                                          We revisited Murray's on our45th wedding anniversary this year. The food was great but it was a disappointment to see so few people dress for the occasion. Game night. The mood was all wrong for what was once such elegance, faux or not.

                                          My husband and I honeymooned in the North Star and ate our honeymoon meal in the Rosewood Room. The menu went on for pages and pages.

                                          It's nice not to have to dress to the nines to go out for a good meal, but I do miss the ambiance and manners of the old places where you paid for food and the experience.

                                          And while I'm at it ,I miss Will Jone's column in the Tribune as well. He was the voice that told us what to try next.

                                          Oh, and stay off my lawn. Heh.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: Jardinera

                                            I have many of the same memories as Jardinera (were we separated at birth????). My parents were divorced and my father was in the wholesale liquor business. He would take me for the day and I would visit his customers with him. I probably ate at Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale monthly. I ALWAYS ordered the turkey dinner. Try as they might, the waitstaff could not talk me into anything else. Always served with a Shirley Temple with as many cherries as I wanted. I remember thinking the statue outside the entrance was pretty racy, not to mention fascinating ( I was about five years old).

                                            I remember going to the Nankin and ordering chow mein. At the end of the meal they served you a scoop of choc. chip ice cream in a little metal bowl. It was very dark in there and very glamorous and exotic.

                                            On Saturdays, my Mom and I would shop at Dayton's and eat in the Dayton's Skyroom. I would have the "Little Bo Peep" which was chicken ala king. My fave.

                                            I also remember a restaurant called Michael's which was in Golden Valley and the Parker House in Mendota Heights where my Mom would always have a Grasshopper made with ice cream at the end of the meal. She would let us kids have one spoonful each.

                                            Man, I feel old but I promise to stay off your lawn.

                                            1. re: Jardinera

                                              Your mention of a Pink Lady reminds me of our family dinners out at Little Jacks in NE Mpls. It was my parent's go to place for birthday and anniversary dinners. I remember being about 8 or 9 and my parents letting me and my sister order a Pink Lady (with booze) to share. The good old days...

                                              1. re: Jardinera

                                                As a child, I spent a lot of time downtown shopping with my mom and grandma. We went to the Nankin all the time with my mom and grandma. I loved the cinnamon ice cream. As an adult, I enjoyed the Wanderer's Punch. We also ate at the Dayton's Skyroom a lot. Great memories.

                                              2. I haven't lived in the cities for all that long, but I guess it's long enough to miss some favorites:

                                                Town Talk - I seriously miss the creative cocktails, the fried egg sandwich, cheese curds and the bloody marys with the pickle wrapped in cream cheese wrapped in pastrami. One of my favorite restaurants.

                                                Nankin - don't lecture me about authenticity. I loved their cream cheese wontons.

                                                Lincoln Del - the desserts. Yum!

                                                Baja Burrito on like 13th and Hennepin - I'm not even a burrito person, but they were awesome!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: drew13000

                                                  Oh man do I miss the Lincoln Del. Yes for the desserts! I would love to find that cookie recipe...it was the one with cashews, and butter, and chocolate, and a bunch of other stuff. Yum.

                                                  1. re: Bobannon

                                                    There are rumors of a Lincoln Del cookbook being written.

                                                2. One that I haven't seen listed here yet - Taco Cabana in Uptown. Decent tacos at a decent price back in the 90's.

                                                  1. Another one I should mention was the old Tandoori Indian restaurant in River Place (circa 1985). It was the first fine dining Indian restaurant in Minneapolis, and I remember the samosas being the bomb. Also, I remember the window in the hallway where passersby could watch the chefs work the tandoor oven.

                                                    1. Hmmm.... one more came to mind. I can't recall the name of the place, but it was in Bandana Square in the early 90s, back when that place was a mall. (The Dakota was originally there.) It was a pretty casual place, but they had an awesome platter of French fries, topped with rosemary, garlic, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Those fries were some of the best I've ever had.

                                                      Anyone recall this place?

                                                      19 Replies
                                                      1. re: Jordan

                                                        Could you be thinking of Polly's Slow Food? I remember them because it's the only place I've ever found strata on the menu.

                                                        1. re: Rowdy

                                                          Thanks for replying! That doesn't sound right, though. I think the place might have had a pseudo-Italian name. The menu was, as I vaguely recall, along the lines of a Figlio ... trendyish but pretty mainstream.

                                                        2. re: Jordan

                                                          Was it Bocce or Linguini and Bob? I think both fit that description though I may be mistaken in my memory that both were in Butler Square.

                                                          1. re: vadouvan

                                                            Both of those were in Butler Square in Minneapolis.

                                                            1. re: powerfall

                                                              Oh, gosh, I remember that one. I still have their sour cream twists recipe.

                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                my mom has a recipe for that too. I must get it from her because everybody likes them so much.

                                                            2. re: Jordan

                                                              2nd floor of Bandana Square? We used to go there almost every Sunday, and I can't remember what it was called, sorry! The Dakota was on the first floor, I think. Will keep that on my mind, back burner!

                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                  I don't believe it was. Not that it narrows it down, but it seems they had a blackboard in the entry with the specials, and that you could look down to the first floor from some of the booths. Polly's Slow Food is such a unique name, but I don't remember knowing it.

                                                                  1. re: KariSea

                                                                    It was in Bandana Square. One of their signature things was Sour Cream Twists - a sugary roll.

                                                                  2. re: sandylc

                                                                    I loved Polly's! There was one on Robert Street in West St. Paul too.

                                                                    1. re: gryffindor249

                                                                      Yeah, me too! I'm not sure what killed Bandana Square and St. Anthony Main. They were both always packed with customers, including the restaurants.

                                                                  3. re: KariSea

                                                                    I found this. Filbert's? Mullarky's?

                                                                    1. re: ChillyDog

                                                                      Filbert's! That's the place I was thinking of!

                                                                      1. re: ChillyDog

                                                                        Wow, that's a great find! I think it was Filbert's that I remember, too. I remember it being a one-word name. My mom & I would traipse to Bandana Square in Saint Paul from St. Louis Park for lunch on Sundays quite often in the late 80s--fun shopping there, too. Thanks for that pull from the archives!

                                                                        1. re: KariSea

                                                                          We used to go to bandana square when I was a kid. A remember a train museum, a fancy soap shop, a candy store, and a malt shop/diner type of place. I loved when the Dakota was there. What is there now?

                                                                          1. re: BillyP

                                                                            Per Wikipedia, Bandana Square is just office space now.

                                                                      2. I miss Chet's Taverna on Raymond in St. Paul (Now the location of Foxy Falafel I believe).

                                                                        Great intimate resto. Mike Phillips (formerly of Craftsman) was the Chef there. Current Craftsman chef Benjamin Jacoby worked there as a dishwasher and apparently picked up a thing or two from Mike.

                                                                        1. Ha! Just remembered another one. They had fabulous short ribs, so tender. It was a ladies lunching place by day and a nightclub at night. I recall something about Polar Bears and it was in White Bear Lake.

                                                                          My aunt took me there when I was in my 20's with her Secret Pal club of 70 somethings. Loved it!

                                                                          1. not that far back but JC's BBQ, I went quite frequently when it was going.

                                                                            can't remember the name but a burger place off central I think, "____ ___ N.E." old fashioned type burger place.

                                                                            1. I'll play.

                                                                              Licciardi's Drive-in on Central. Frozen lemonade with giant hunks of lemon floating around in a huge waxy cup of slushy, puckery yet sweet, brain-freezing goodness.

                                                                              Jolly Troll. Just because.

                                                                              Charlies Cafe Exceptionale They treated little girls like princesses and fried ice cream was such a neat novelty.

                                                                              The restaurants at Donaldson's and Powers. Mom'd get a martini with her club sandwich and I'd get shrimp cocktail.

                                                                              Palm's bakery. The best cake doughnuts, ever.

                                                                              Mud Pie, The New Riverside Cafe and St. Martin's Table - all solid vegetarian fare.

                                                                              Also - Nankin and The Uptown Bar.

                                                                              And that funky French french restaurant that was in St. Anthony... name escapes me.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                Oh, yeah, Mud Pie! I wasn't there very often, but that was where I was first introduced to vegetarian food that wasn't salad. They had a "chik'n" patty sandwich (okara maybe) that I just loved.

                                                                                Reading this thread reminded me of a couple of other places:

                                                                                - Zaroff's, as close as I've ever found to a NYC deli here.
                                                                                - Udupi, which moved and then morphed into Nala Pak and then... I liked that they concentrated on southern-Indian cooking, not some amorphous "Indian" food. We're used to good Chinese restaurants specializing in a cuisine; why not other big countries?

                                                                                1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                                                                  i liked the swiss alps restaurant in highland.

                                                                                2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                  Jolly Troll Smorgasboard in Golden Valley, ah yes! Tons of food and even more crap to look at.

                                                                                3. Hmmm. I attempted to start a similar thread a few months back and the mods pulled it saying that tips down memory lane aren't what they want to see. But this thread no has too much momentum, so...

                                                                                  Two additions. Chez Bananas (were my wife and I were engaged -- I put the ring inside Mr. Potato Head). Table of Contents for the quintessential neighborhood finer dining spot.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Brad Ballinger

                                                                                      Thanks, I was the sous there for two years before helping open red fish blue. Table was and still my favorite restaurant to have worked at.

                                                                                    2. Jeff-It was Szechuan Express! There was one in a former Farrell's Ice cream parlor off 98th st in Bloomington too.Their Kung Pao would knock you down in a sweaty mess!

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Gastron

                                                                                        YES! That was it! I even went to the one in Bloomington once. That food was so good considering that it was a "fast casual" concept. Dare I say, their food was even better than Little S and Tea House. And that was almost 20 years ago. I cannot believe that they went under consider how popular they were (especially the uptown location).

                                                                                        1. re: Gastron

                                                                                          Loved that place. I believe it was a husband and wife that owned and ran the place. Great people making great food. Became the Szechuan Empress which lost the magic.

                                                                                        2. I thought of another Roseville restaurant that is long gone that I fondly remember. It was The Coachman Supper Club. Back in the 70's they offered a free shrimp cocktail to every diner.

                                                                                          Awada's on Plato was also a favorite of mine. They had the best Coquille St. Jacques I've ever tasted - loads of mashed potatoes with garlic butter, perfectly cooked scallops and bacon. I've tried to recreate it at home but I can't get it 'just right'. *sigh*

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: justalex

                                                                                            I remember Awada's also. They used to have a Sunday brunch that was to die for. Far better than anything offered today. Out of curiosity, why did they shut down? That was somewhat of a landmark in that part of St. Paul.

                                                                                          2. The owner was convicted of money-laundering for cashing checks for a sports bookie. A real shame as Awada's was a long-time institution.

                                                                                            I agree. Their brunch was great.

                                                                                            1. 1. Curry Leaf Deli - St. Paul

                                                                                              2. New French - downtown Mpls.

                                                                                              3. Boston Sea Party - Bloomington. Because as Josef Stalin once said: Quantity has a quality all its' own.

                                                                                              1. JP's - loved to sit at the bar and have dinner/drinks..

                                                                                                Uptown Cafe - breakfast was good - fast - and fun.

                                                                                                1. Some of my favorites:

                                                                                                  Garuda in St.Paul for filipino food. Wonderful chicken adobo and lumpia.

                                                                                                  Nankin. As a kid I loved the wonton soup.

                                                                                                  The Fountain Room at Young Quinlins. Ok, now I'm feeling old. Going there with my mother was a special treat. A tea sandwich kind of place. Does anyone else remember it?

                                                                                                  The Lincoln Del. For the puffy cheese omelets served in the oval metal pans and the incredible display of desserts.

                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: karykat

                                                                                                    Oh, I forgot about Garuda! That was the first restaurant I found (even before I found a place to live) when I moved to St. Paul. Sopa da Marisco was my favorite.

                                                                                                      1. re: powerfall

                                                                                                        I made some chicken adobo over the weekend so it got me thinking about Garuda's again. Another thing on their menu that was fantastic were their empanadas. With beef, raisins and spices. Wonderful.

                                                                                                        1. re: karykat

                                                                                                          Didn't the family start up the bakery A Toast to Bread when the restaurant folded? If that is the case, you can buy their empanadas at the St. Paul Farmers Market in addition to their other baked goods.

                                                                                                          1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                                            Yes, they did start Toast to Bread. And make great breads. I hadn't noticed empandadas at the Farmers Market but will ask.

                                                                                                            Thanks for the thought.

                                                                                                      2. Pasquals great southwestern food, best potato salad ever.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: becjust

                                                                                                          Pasquals potato salad has been usurped by the potato salad in the salad section of the lunch buffet at Himalayan.

                                                                                                          There is no comparison though...Himalayan nails what potato salad should be - there is no gummy or starchiness in it, just full on flavor. No snootful of herbs and spice, but full on flavor that makes you get out of your seat, grab a bowl or plate and grab some seconds.

                                                                                                          1. re: becjust

                                                                                                            Loved the double taco with guacamole at Pasquals!

                                                                                                            1. re: becjust

                                                                                                              Pasqual's food was great, but ordering food was painful.

                                                                                                              I've eaten at fine dining establishments where the wait staff was dressed as if to serve royalty, and those people were more down-to-earth than the staff at Pasqual's. Service with a smirk seemed to be the rule, there.

                                                                                                            2. The Pickled Parrot. The original one downtown. They had the greatest chicken fajitas ever. They had a slight flavor of soy sauce, which sounds weird, but they were fantastic! I'd get them without the tortillas and make a salad out of the whole thing. There was a time in 1998 when I was unemployed, and I would take interviews based on how long it would take me to get to The Parrot after work. I interviewed at a place across the street and was very sad they didn't hire me.

                                                                                                              I also loved the Lincoln Del, but just because of the chocolate pie.

                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: sheepy

                                                                                                                sheepy, where was there another location of Pickled Parrot?

                                                                                                                1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                                                                                                  It was in Eden Prairie on Technology Drive. Didn't last long.

                                                                                                                  1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                                                                                                    Also, the bar next to (i.e., across the driveway from) the Lagoon Theatre in Uptown that changes names every 3 weeks was a Pickled Parrot for a while.

                                                                                                                    1. re: bob s

                                                                                                                      The Uptown Pickled Parrot reflected poorly on the original. Bad service and bad food.

                                                                                                                    2. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                                                                                                      There was also a Pickled Parrot in Apple Valley. The space is now Valley Tap House.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ChillyDog

                                                                                                                        I had forgotten completely about the Apple Valley space! I stopped going there only because every time I went there, I ran into some gross people I used to work with.

                                                                                                                        I had also forgotten about Pronto. Loved their Sunday brunch. Before my sister became vegan, we went there frequently.

                                                                                                                    3. re: sheepy

                                                                                                                      Good old Pickled Parrot! They sure led the pack in bringing stone crab claws to the cities. One of the owners had a house on the gulf coast of Florida and made sure he got a load of stone crab to bring back to the PP.

                                                                                                                      1. re: bkmnus

                                                                                                                        Anyone know where to get Stone Crab claws these days in MSP?

                                                                                                                      2. re: sheepy

                                                                                                                        I thought the ribs at the Pickled Parrot were awesome. I noticed they serve them now at the Loon Cafe. I want to go there someday to try them again. It's been a really long time.

                                                                                                                        1. re: shoo bee doo

                                                                                                                          Speaking of the Loon Cafe, can we mourn previous incarnations? I liked the Loon better before it became a "sports bar".

                                                                                                                      3. 1) The Blue Horse - Best table side ceasar, Bannas Foster and Cherries J. ever!!!!!!

                                                                                                                        2) Mad Mad Mexican - Best chips and cheese.

                                                                                                                        3) The original Nankin for some Minnesota Chow mein and Wonderers punch

                                                                                                                        4) The New French Cafe

                                                                                                                        5) Yvettes

                                                                                                                        6) Sri Lanken Curry House

                                                                                                                        7) Pickled Parrot - Best ribs

                                                                                                                        8) Damico Cucina - I really miss this one. The italian scene in the TC really took a hit when this closed

                                                                                                                        9) Tejas

                                                                                                                        10) Azur

                                                                                                                        11) Prontos

                                                                                                                        12) Ferrels

                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                        1. re: Latinpig

                                                                                                                          Thanks for jogging my memory about Pronto. My favorite was their antipasto 'tower'. A multi-level thingamajig with tapas sized plates of wonderful prosciutto, olives, bruschetta and other lovely bites. Also loved Tejas when it was in that failed building downtown. The space was incredible, almost intimidating in its' scale. I remember it most for the ambience, not for the food. At 50th and France it was more approachable. I loved the individual corn meal cakes and table made guacamole.

                                                                                                                        2. T. Wright's in Deephaven near Hwy 101 and Minnetonka Blvd. They had the biggest, thickest, best prime rib in town. That was the goto place whenever my late father-in-law from Ohio came to town and he was the expert on meats as his family had a continuous history as meat proprietors back to the 15th Century. Other than that...

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Davydd

                                                                                                                            Yes, I loved T Wright's as well. We had one in Brooklyn Center....back when we actually had "nice" restaurants in BC...pre-ghetto. It was our go to place for nice family dinners in the 80's.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bobannon

                                                                                                                              Wasn't T Wright's the place with a salad bar that seemed to be about two miles long?

                                                                                                                              1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                                                                                                                                Not quite two miles but, yes, probably one biggest I had ever encountered. :)

                                                                                                                          2. Over the holidays I've spent a lot of time driving the 494 strip (to/from the airport/MOA). I remember when Mother Tuckers was in what is now Joe Sensers. My other memory is the Criterion. They had one night a week with all you can eat crab legs. Unfortunately my memories are me being crazy full from the crab legs because as a poor newlywed, it was a special treat to eat at the Criterion.

                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: suburban_mom

                                                                                                                              Hubby and I loved the Criterion. We didn't like their pseudo-butter stuff, so we actually took along a stick of th real stuff and have them melt it for us! Rumor had it at the time that they were put out of business by the Vikings, who discovered it and ate them out of business - don't know if this is true or not.....

                                                                                                                              1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                The 494 location was actually their second. For many years, they were in a classic old space on University Avenue, long before the influx of ethnic restaurants along the old ave. University used to be the street where many car dealers were located. The Criterion was a main gathering place for legislative power dinners. It was always a hoot to sit there and listen to the deals being made.

                                                                                                                                The quality at the 494 location was sub-par in comparison to the St. Paul location. We used to be regulars in St. Paul, but after getting poor quality (read "old") crab legs at the Bloomington spot a couple of times in a row, we never went back. That's what killed them as far as we were concerned. Better them than us. LOL

                                                                                                                            2. Gannon's. The Blue Horse. Table of Contents St. Paul. Nankin's chicken wings and pressed duck!!! Pearson's Drive-in (big-burger) when it was just across the Ford Bridge.

                                                                                                                              1. Two more that I should add:

                                                                                                                                Amos and Amos BBQ on West Broadway (that BBQ sauce......mmmmm.....)

                                                                                                                                and Lucille's Kitchen on Plymouth Ave. (The gumbo, the chicken wings, and the mac n' cheese that apparently had heroin in it because it was so addicting).

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: jeff55432

                                                                                                                                  Oh yes, Lucilles. Abu Nadir is missed, too.

                                                                                                                                2. Nan's - This was where Hazel's is now, and before that Pop. At least once every six months my Mom and I end up reminiscing about going here when I was younger. To this day I miss the giant grilled cheese they served, as well as the fries.

                                                                                                                                  Lee Ann Chin (Downtown & Ridgedale) - That is before it became the flailing fast-casual version it is these days. I'm surprised no one else mentioned it, but maybe nostalgia has fooled me into thinking the food was better than it was.

                                                                                                                                  Porky's - I don't think anyone would say it was the best burger in TC, but it was damn fine for what it was.

                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: BrandonWarn

                                                                                                                                    Yes, I miss Nan's too. I thought of it recently and couldn't remember the name. But we went there a lot when I was a kid. My grandma lived NE.

                                                                                                                                    I also agree on the old lee ann chin buffet downtown and Ridgedale...there was also one at the Depot in St Paul. And it WAS a lot better back then. I loved that I could unlimited amounts of that salad and cream cheese wontons.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bobannon

                                                                                                                                      And son, whatever you do, don't forget about Lee Ann's Shrimp Toast. I went to the Depot location on a date for NYE when I was in HS. I think I may have eaten about 100 pieces of that shrimp toast and about the same amount of cream cheese wontons. I was just a small plate/apps/tapas guy 20 years ahead of the curve I guess.

                                                                                                                                      I never eat at her fast causal outposts anymore. I find them to be so bad compared to the old buffets that it just angers me. There's too much good authentic around now to settle for that garbage.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                                                                        That is why I refer to the fast casual locations as "Grease on Chin".

                                                                                                                                        It is a shame that people pay them to convert what might be real food into that cr*p.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                                                                          Oh god, that shrimp toast was to die for!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: BrandonWarn


                                                                                                                                        thats the one I was thinking of above, my dad would take us there regularly.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: BrandonWarn

                                                                                                                                          Porky's was great for garnishing their hamburgers with a deep-fried onion ring. I worked nearby and (of course) ate many noon meals there. Later moved to Maplewood where there exist nothing but chains. So sad to hear Porky's closed.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: BrandonWarn

                                                                                                                                            Had many wonderful celebratory dinners at the Lee Ann Chin's at both Ridgedale and the Depot in St. Paul. Miss them both.

                                                                                                                                          2. I'll go with opposite ends of the dining spectrum -

                                                                                                                                            Fugaise - I had the best meal of my life there, and it was my introduction to fine dining.

                                                                                                                                            Uptown Cafe - I went there every Tuesday for a Farmer's Glory burger and a Newcastle, then passed out in my booth with a food coma.

                                                                                                                                            1. Sri Lanka Curry House - Rotis consisting of chillies, braised in chillies, topped with chillies.

                                                                                                                                              Tandoor - Original Location and ambience

                                                                                                                                              The Buttery - After work drinks and free hors d'oeuvres when business attire was business attire.

                                                                                                                                              An unnamed diner just over the WI border on 94 nr. Hudson that used to do a really good breakfast (on S Side frontage). I can't remember its name.

                                                                                                                                              Chez Colette @ the Sofitel when it really resembled an authentic brasserie (early 80's).

                                                                                                                                              Napoleon's Bakery for excellent croissants and good baguettes decades before the scourges of Panera et al.

                                                                                                                                              Poodle Club - where I always wished I liked bloody Marys

                                                                                                                                              Sherlock's Home - cask ale and object lesson in how to run a hospitality enterprise

                                                                                                                                              Manny's - Old location.

                                                                                                                                              Jennings Red Coach Inn

                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: bishopsbitter

                                                                                                                                                I had forgotten about Jennings....I googled it and came up with this interesting piece:


                                                                                                                                                I, too, miss the Colette and also La Terrasse from the 80s.

                                                                                                                                                Yes, Panera is a sad thing.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                  Yes, I forgot about La Terrasse. I was a regular there in the 1980s. I liked the Salade Biarritz.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                                    Remind me about that salad - ?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                      It was a seafood salad on a base of greens, with bay scallops and langoustines (and possibly another seafood item). Also tomato and hard-boiled egg, I think. It was a long time ago.

                                                                                                                                              2. When I was a kid (about 37 years ago) there was a great restaurant in Richfield called The Pantry. They made a wonderful open-faced sandwich called Fat Reuben. My mom's favorite.

                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ibew292

                                                                                                                                                    I'd forgotten about their malts! They were fabulous.

                                                                                                                                                1. The Pearl Diver
                                                                                                                                                  brunch circa 1979

                                                                                                                                                  Also whatever resto was at the top of the IDS in that same era.

                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: splatgirl

                                                                                                                                                    Windows on Minnesota, top of IDS.
                                                                                                                                                    Minnetonka Mist, out on the Lake.
                                                                                                                                                    Rochelle's Turkey Club, 65th & Nicollet?
                                                                                                                                                    Anchor Inn, St. Louis Park (Bunny's Now).
                                                                                                                                                    King's Inn, St. Louis Park, then Hwy 7.
                                                                                                                                                    Leaning Post, Miracle Mile Area.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Royboy1256

                                                                                                                                                      I am never, ever going to recover from the demise of The Mist and the rooftop patio. The current state of things in that spot makes it all the worse.
                                                                                                                                                      And the Bottle Basket. Where else on Earth was there a liquor store with dock access?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: zfwp

                                                                                                                                                      Now a vegan, I so vividly remember going to Becky's with my mom and grandma and having the salisbury steak.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Anyone remember Cicero's pizza in the Leisure Lane mall in Edina? They had a theater organ where the organist controlled a couple of dozen instruments that were mounted on the wall. Bunch of video games on the second floor. Food was pretty standard, but it was an unusual place.

                                                                                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Vrooman

                                                                                                                                                        I think there was a Cicero's pizza in Brooklyn Center too, in the Westbrook Mall. I have been trying to remember the name, but I'm sure that was it. Same set up with the organ too.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bobannon

                                                                                                                                                          There was one in Rosedale too. Don't recall if that had an organ as well. Restaurants are too refined today to have a big streak of goofy.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Vrooman

                                                                                                                                                            Yes I remember the Rosedale one from early 70's (moved away in 1980). They had an organ with the pipes... I recall the organist was blind and an excellent player! I never saw him stumped on people's requests! I still have a menu from there... Orange!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: cleangroove

                                                                                                                                                              Romeo Salsa's Bistro replaced Cicero's in Roseville and their Chicago deep dish pizza "in my memory" was very good.

                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Vrooman

                                                                                                                                                              Cicero's Pizza Was at Har Mar Mall in Roseville and did have a blind organist.

                                                                                                                                                          2. re: Vrooman

                                                                                                                                                            I remember the Cicero's with the organ in Edina. We lived nearby when I was a kid. It was the go to place for birthday parties etc. Noisy as all get out but rather entertaining when you were 9.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Vrooman

                                                                                                                                                              Had my 8th birthday party at the Cicero's in Edina. We have a great picture of me hugging my dad. I have a great big grin on my face and he looks like he's being tortured!

                                                                                                                                                            2. anyone remember the Forum Cafeteria downtown??

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MarkG

                                                                                                                                                                I do! I know I went there a few times as a child. I don't recall any of the food, but I loved the interior of the restaurant. When it reopened I had wanted to take my mother there, figuring even if the food wasn't that good, we could have tea and look around, but they closed before we got there.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: MarkG

                                                                                                                                                                  I think I do! I was very young when my mother brought me there. The food was good to a small boy the dumb waiters were more interesting. Just imagine! A tiny little elevator JUST for dirty dishes!!!

                                                                                                                                                                2. Thanks for the post. Nice to see it keeps on going. Here are a few of my old favorites…

                                                                                                                                                                  Rupert’s American Café

                                                                                                                                                                  La Tortue

                                                                                                                                                                  Tobie’s ( owned by Tobie Nidetz, who was GM and Chef at American Café and Pickled Parrot

                                                                                                                                                                  Coco Lezzone

                                                                                                                                                                  Café di Napoli


                                                                                                                                                                  Fuji-Ya (the original)

                                                                                                                                                                  The Haberdashery in the old Radisson hotel

                                                                                                                                                                  GuadalaHarry's in St. Anthony Main

                                                                                                                                                                  Two Pesos in Uptown

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I love them all but no one mentioned the Camelot in Edina. Hard to find a more unique fine dining restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Mplsjohn

                                                                                                                                                                      I know I ate there once, but I have no memory of the food. It is a cool building.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Mplsjohn

                                                                                                                                                                        I remember it. I only ate there once. The food was ok, mostly steaks and "fine food" staples. The idea was rather cool and very unusual at the time.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Mplsjohn

                                                                                                                                                                          Had a homecoming dinner there in high school. I remember feeling so fancy and the dessert they set on fire.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Mplsjohn

                                                                                                                                                                            A friend of mine went to prom on a group date, and the girls were told they were going to the Camelot.

                                                                                                                                                                            They were taken to the camel lot at Brookdale for a picnic dinner, prepared by the guys. Real silverware, plates, linens. They said it was more fun than any fancy place.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. With a caveat that I've not lived in Minneapolis very long:

                                                                                                                                                                            Aquavit - This place only lasted another year after I moved here, but it was an absolute gem-stunner and sure-fire way to impress. Great food, great room, ahead of it's time sadly. I wish we could have it back.

                                                                                                                                                                            Oddfellows - Their venison liver with cranberries was better than any venison liver dish I've ever had, including St Johns'. Great place for dates.

                                                                                                                                                                            JP Bistro - Andrew was the best host in town. Bartending Sundays for date-night, he always found a way to make our evenings special. Great wines.

                                                                                                                                                                            Vietnamese Place in Dinkytown - It was on the first level of that brutalist office building across from Burrito Loco...always the same 3 people working...I never had to tell them my order. They did the Viet coffee right and their pho was better than Quang or Pho Tau Bay.

                                                                                                                                                                            Goodfellows - Not so much for the food (though it was good) but for the room. If I wanted to feel like I was in a scene from The Thin Man, or I wanted to give my grandparents some nostalgia, this was the place.

                                                                                                                                                                            Brasserie Zinc - Better than what we have now (save Meritage) in this category.

                                                                                                                                                                            Bobino - The quail. The lamb dishes. The cheese. The salads. The wine pours. A brisk evening watching some frenchy foreign film on the wall of the Starlight Lounge. I miss it.

                                                                                                                                                                            La Tortuga - The space was a rotating cast of Mexican places (now home to Karta Thai), but first it was La Tortuga. This was a date-night staple and family-affair we loved the fact we sometimes had a 6 year old bringing our food. Great sopes and tlacoyos.

                                                                                                                                                                            Honorable Mentions: Auriga (though I'm happy it lead to Picollo), Rock Star, Steven Brown Porter & Frye.

                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Foureyes137

                                                                                                                                                                              I was also a fan of Oddfellows and Bobino. They were pretty regular stops for us in the early '00s. Red was another one that didn't last long but made an impression. I'm thinking about it now because the chef from Red moved to Bobino and cooked there for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                              I only made it to Aquavit once. I thought it was pretty interesting but sort of chilly and cerebral. Still, it was unique, and I would have liked to see it last longer.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jordan

                                                                                                                                                                                This thread is sad testament to the fact that good food does not guarantee the survival of a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                Aquavit looked interesting on the surface, but when I stood in their entry looking at their menu, I saw nothing that I was excited to order, so we left.

                                                                                                                                                                                Bobino was excellent the two times we managed to get there.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                  Indeed, the only things I've ever been excited to eat are typically things I've had before or at least know about beforehand...thus an expectation to enjoy.

                                                                                                                                                                                  One of the things I so loved about Aquavit (and what largely set it apart from other restaurants) was that while nothing may have excited me looking at the menu, many things made me curious (monkfish liver? wtf!?) and upon eating, any number of emotions...which is for me a deeper illustration of what a restaurant represents than giving me what I expect.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Sometimes I want steak and foie gras because I get excited to eat steak and foie gras. Sometimes I want to be surprised. In it's place in time, no where in the Twin Cities was better at surprising me.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: Foureyes137

                                                                                                                                                                                I've always wondered where Andrew from JP's ended up. He was easily one of my favorite hosts ever alongside Nick Mancini and Pat Montague from J.D. Hoyt's. I can still remember his last night there that included a magician, a mariachi band, a mime, and a whole lot of drinks. We knew that whenever we weren't sure where we wanted to go to dinner or for a drink, JP's was a sure-fire hit. I still have an autographed menu from those guys on my wall in my home office.
                                                                                                                                                                                Andrew, please phone home!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                                                                                                                  I know I have seen Andrew working at Bryant Lake Bowl and Barbette, but that was a couple years ago, and am unsure if he is still at either place now.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. The old Rainbow Cafe in Uptown had a great croque monsieur. I wish I could go back in time.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Shakey's is so right! The one in Burnsville for the thin and the one at the U of M (Washington Ave.) for the pan. But from my youth (1960s):

                                                                                                                                                                                  The Cafe di Napoli

                                                                                                                                                                                  The Forum Cafeteria

                                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: lifecomm

                                                                                                                                                                                    The last time I was at Cafe di Napoli was in the mid 90s. What struck me of interest is at one time it was considered THE Italian restaurant in Minneapolis and considered a big deal. The tomato sauce on my spaghetti tasted like Campbell's Soup to me. Either they had really gone down hill by that time or our tastes and expectations of a restaurant had gone way up since my parents' generation (pre 1960s).

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davydd

                                                                                                                                                                                      The Cafe di Napoli started sometime before WWII - when my father worked at Honeywell. He and coworkers would visit weekly throughout the war and claimed that this was its hay day. My first memories are from the early sixties and I thought it was pretty good - especially the French bread and spaghetti with meat sauce. However, by the end of the seventies it had run its course and the food never was as good. I'm sure childhood memories have clouded my good judgment. But I loved the wall murals of Italy and the general décor. As I recall, they had huge bottles of wine at the cash register and other sights for young eyes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Bombay Deli on Central. Haven't had anything close to Vik's since this delightful place closed.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: teamkitty

                                                                                                                                                                                      Here here! Man, I would love to see the woman who ran this reincarnate* it as a food truck.


                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Speaking of pizza, did anyone ever eat at Perry's near Dinkytown? I think there is a Perry's on campus now, but it isn't the same stuff. This was deep dish only, and the wait time was always at least an hour. Had to be around 1975 when a friend introduced me. I've never had anything like it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sheepy

                                                                                                                                                                                        Tuesday Special - 2 slices, a soda and a small salad for under $3.00. Yes, I remember Perry's.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: sheepy

                                                                                                                                                                                          Wow! I just posted a picture of "The Chateau" where Perry's used to be (on 13th Ave) to facebook. I haven't been to Perry's in 33 years! Yep, the prices were very good and the pizza had an interesting thick crust. The side pieces were my favorite as the cheese would form a crispy edge - delightful. Great memories!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: sheepy

                                                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for reminding me--I had Perry's pizza a lot--it was my treat to myself between classes. I loved those cheese & pepperoni squares on that yummy dd crust! Boy, by '78, when I got there, you would get your food right away, by the slice. They must've figured out a system. Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Brothers Deli: They had the best kosher pickles ever. Their cheesecake was great.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Lincoln Del: I just remember the food was good and they had this huge display of desserts.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Anchor Inn: Piles of fried seafood served family style.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Daytons: They had a bar upstairs in addition to the tea room. I discovered this back in town getting fitted for bridesmaids dresses. Booze and shopping!
                                                                                                                                                                                            Kings Inn: Cheese frenchies and ordering via the crappy radio speaker at the table.

                                                                                                                                                                                            One I do not remember the name of was a diner at around 49th and France. There was a tiny really old movie theater in the same area. That diner had really good fries and burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The other one I can not remember the name of was in Bloomington off Hwy 100 south of 494. It was originally the Green Giant Club. The building was like two Polynesian structures and it had fish ponds in the lobby. The restaurant changed names a couple of times but seemed to always have decent food.

                                                                                                                                                                                            The Bridgemans in Bloomington in the same area. That one actually had food, not just ice cream. Malts came with a wedge wafer cookie.

                                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                                                                                                              There's the Convention Grill, at 44th & France . . . or just half a block south; they serve decadent burgers and malts to this day! There used to be some diner, too at right on the SW corner of 49th & France, back in the early 60s, I believe. My dad worked in that little district, when there was a car dealer right on 50th & France, and used to go there for lunch, I've heard. Most recently it was an $$$ upscale dinner place, if I'm not mistaken, but I believe the only dining at 49th & France now is at Caribou Coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KariSea

                                                                                                                                                                                                The Convention Grill is awesome! Another place I haven't been to in 30 some years. Next time I'm in the Twin Cities - I'm going! The shakes/malts were/are terrific.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: lifecomm

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Yep. Still terrific! Not to mention the INCREDIBLE french fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                                                                                                                Yes, apparently the Convention Grill is still in business per Edina's historical society. The restaurant at Hwy 100 in Bloomington was Henrici's, later Stonewings. It is now some sort of sports bar with all the cool decor removed. There is a Bloomington history Facebook page that has lots of information about things past in that corner of town.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I work on 50th and France and drive by the Convention Grill quite often. I was going to eat there once but it was too busy. I'm not a burger eater anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. Anyone remember Diamond Jims? I don't think this really qualified as a memorable restaurant for the food. It was somewhere on the St. Paul side of the river. It was all faux victorian bordello decor. They had a saloon girl in a corset swinging above the dining room.

                                                                                                                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                                                                                                                  It was in Lilydale. Red Wing Pottery made their dinnerware. It had pink and black old time cars on it. I've seen postcards of the interior. Some of the artwork on the walls included bare breasted women. It must have been very racy for the time and place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ChillyDog

                                                                                                                                                                                                    What era are we talking about here?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                      The RW Pottery closed in 1967, so right around that time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was there around 1975. Been trying to find some photos etc. or anything about the place online. It was so odd you almost need to show someone a picture. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                                                                                                                          The oversize postcard I had was of the interior. I probably have a scan of it somewhere. I'll keep looking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: ChillyDog

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Doing a google search with Lillydale instead of St. Paul found a copy of a postcard http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2270/20...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is currently a comedy club but still standing

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sadly they seemed to have stripped out all of the tacky Victorian swank.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. re: blackpointyboots

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wasn't Diamond Jim's located down the road from The Mariner?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I remember The Mariner mostly as the place I first encountered Blackened [Insert your favorite meat] menu items...Blackened Ribeye or Red Snapper were my favorites.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sometimes, it's best for these things to remain in our memories...I don't think I'd enjoy it nearly as much today as I did in 1985.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: uptowngurl

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That book is a great find. Thanks for sharing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: uptowngurl

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes. Great and interesting information.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: uptowngurl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Wow! Thank you so much - this would make a nice Christmas present!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Non restaurant related, but does anyone remember the Pop Shop? They made homemade sodas (pop). I remember they had a location in Columbia Heights/ Fridley right off of the old hwy 100 (now 694). I remember the strawberry soda being the bomb.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: jeff55432

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Totally remember it! There was one in Apple Valley. Cream Soda was my fav!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jeff55432

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I still remember the commercial and slogan...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    "Pop Shop doo we da da da da da...real soft drinks without the real hard price...POP SHOP!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The Lincoln Dell was awesome..I would take my Grandmother there every Friday after she had her hair done.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Always the Matza Ball soup and the sandwich called the Dell I believe. sooooo good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Mannings on Como Avenue where Finnish Bistro (hyuck!!) is now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Rocky Rococcos in Roseville (best arcade games)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: TCtoothpick

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There's still a Manning's on Como Avenue. Further west than Finnish Bistro.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Again, not restaurant related, but does anyone remember the bar that was inside Apache Plaza? For the life of me, I cannot remember the name.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: jeff55432

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the bar in apache plaza was called "The Wells" a cousin to the "Stonehouse"!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Does anyone know the name of the restaurant that was around 80th and Lyndale in Bloomington. It had kind of a supper club type atmosphere. There was an upstairs party room too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Mplsjohn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Actually the Ranch House. For many, many years an institution in that part of town. Once Gregory (the son) got hold of it it's days were numbered. And --- let's not forget Eddie Webster's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mplsjohn

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Actually --- it was the Ranch House, at least originally. A local institution and great supper club/restaurant for many, many years. Gregory was a son. Once he took it over it's days were numbered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. help... I am trying to remember all the hot spots in the late 70's and early 80's. There was a restaurant on 66th and Lyndale ..was it the Heidleberg? Anyone remember?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Summerfileds, and that disco in Edina, Infinity, the Left Guard.....help me out here I have a bet!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: trouble66

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Originally the Heidelberg restaurant and Richfield Tavern. Turned into Rush's in the 70's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Fuddruckers lol not quite the fine dining like most of you mention. Went there as kid. Butcher on the right when you went in half cows hanging there. Could pick you doneness of burger (which is just now coming back) You leave any funny name and they call it out when your order is ready. Salad bar or toppings for your burger and fries. In house bakery with the best cookies.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: daislander

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I am intimately familiar with Fuddruckers in Bloomington. I was the architect that designed the building. It was a restaurant concept out of San Antonio, TX. The franchisor was from Minnesota. I flew down to Texas to learn first hand about them and to see their restaurants. It was a great concept with a butcher shop on premise that cut up a side of beef that you could view while standing in line between cases of long neck beer (Lone Star in Texas). Only 12 steak sandwiches were held out of a side. The buns were also baked on premise. The menu was very simple back then and served on a plastic frisbee tray. You added your own condiments.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The most interesting part was all the tile work. We used imported Mexican imperfect tiles and the idea was to install them in a, well, rather crude way. That was a hard concept to get Scandinavian heritage Minnesotans to adhere to. They strove for perfection and I had to say, no, no.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Bloomington was the first Fuddruckers in the upper Midwest. Maybe even outside of Texas, but I am not sure about that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Davydd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Funny people mention Fuddruckers. They just demolished the building that housed the Roseville location last week. Not sure what if anything will be going up in its place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Db Cooper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Ridiculous. I can't believe so many people flock to McDonalds and not a great place like this was. It was very reasonably priced I think base burger was 5.99. Mc'D is canada is actually quite expensive. Your paying 5.99 for a shity little burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: daislander

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I took my mom to the Bloomington Fudds a few weeks ago. I think the burger was $10.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: Davydd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          neat! Ours was white tile and chrome. Total 50's diner style.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. When I was a kid, we used to go to the York Steakhouse in Rosedale mall. Of course, I was a kid, so I didnt know any better, but their rotisserie chicken was great.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Also, the Salad bar at "Professors" in Roseville. Peal and eat shrimp!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: BillyP

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Was the York Steak house the place where you slid your tray down the line cafeteria style and ordered while in line?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: BatMan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes it was. They also talked in a code between order takers and cooks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: BillyP

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So funny...I was just thinking about that place! My friend and I would go shopping at Rosedale and stop at York for fries with cheese sauce! I miss that place! (We were in our mid-teens and didn't have a lot of money, hence just the fries!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Name of the former restaurant located at 2300 University Ave. NE. It is now German food. It was there as early as the 70's.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Holcombe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Was that Arthur's or something near that? I remember my parents going there frequently when I was young, but can't remember the name or why they always chose that spot. I'll email the old man this AM and see if he can recall.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Update: I confirmed the restaurant was indeed named Arthur's. I never ate there, but I exist mainly because the old man met my mother there at a wedding reception. That's why they always went back. He informs me they don't go now, mainly because they don't like German food all that much and don't really care for Nazi themed parties.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Wow, all these great places I'd forgotten! How about Sgt. Preston's at Seven Corners? I could go for one of those giant sandwiches right now.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Does anyone remember the sit-down restaurant at Ridgehaven Mall, in the early 80s? They had a library-like interior, and served yummy popovers. They were between Byerly's and Target. And at Bonaventure, the French restaurant? They had great French onion soup, and croque monsiours, and some great pastries. This would have been in the 80s, too, in the space that Champp's occupies now. What was the name of that good place?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: KariSea

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A trip to the library, and help from the librarians plus a look at their Polk directories from the 80s, and here are the names I've trying to remember: Le Bistro Cafe at Bonaventure by Ridgedale, and Hark to Bounty restaurant was at the Ridgehaven Mall, back when there was a Room & Board store and a United Stores there. Some of used to drive out to Yorktown Mall, too, to the full bakery for Le Bistro: La Patisserie. Lots of good times and laughs at those places!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. August Moon off of 394 & Xenia in Golden Valley. The first "Asian Fusion" restaurant I ever visited. An absolute favorite. As a kid I loved Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. The Lincoln Del, for sure!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Also, Fuji-ya when it was in it's first location.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A few others, mostly for the nostalgia factor. My eating tastes and style and have changed over my decades on the planet, so some of these wonderful memories would be unsatisfying if present/available today.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Can anyone remember the name of the bar/restaurant that was located at Highway 5 and Mitchell Road in Eden Prairie in the mid 80's? Was it Benjamin's?? Buca is there now.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: mgjersvik

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When we lived in Plymouth, MN we loved the Red Pepper Chinese restaurant on Carlson Parkway. I heard it's no longer there. Haven't found anything close to it here in SE Michigan.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: mgjersvik

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I believe It was called Greenstreets. I ate there with my parents as a kid all the time. They had peanut shells on the floor and had a person who went around drawing caricatures of you and your family if you wanted them. I would always get nachos and pick off the jalapenos since I couldn't handle the heat at my tender young age.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I remember a Mexican restaurant being built and opening next door during the late '80's time period. It was around for a while and I think it was called Mexican Garden. Of course there was a McDonald's on the corner there too, which was removed when they widened the highway. It's the only instance of a McDonald's ever being demolished that I have seen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Does anyone remember Fitzgerald's in downtown St. Paul. Trying to find out the building it was in or an address. Circa 1986 not sure when it went out of business. Email me if you have any info

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        patrick.smith00 (at) gmail.com

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: snakecow2000

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          It was one of the original tenants of Galtier Plaza. It was a great place.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. In addition to Dayton’s Tea Room and Young Quinlan’s, Charlies, et. al. I recall:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Lee’s Village Inn in Highland
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Lexington on Grand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Smokey’s BBQ south on Cedar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Puritan on 8th St near Nicollet? Used to get a Salisbury steak dinner after my music lesson at McPhail
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          And lastly – the Aloha Drive In north of the airport off 34th Ave.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: etoiledunord

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Jax is still around and still going strong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Lexington has changed hands a few times and is going to reopen soon under new ownership.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jordan

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              "The Lexington has changed hands a few times and is going to reopen soon under new ownership."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Which hasn't worked yet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. My favorite was Chouette! Food was fabulous and atmosphere was incredible. I also LOVED The New French Café. Miss them both!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. I have tried for years to remember the name of a bar and restaurant in downtown Minneapolis in the 1960s and 1970s. Open for lunch and dinner, very dark and smoky and all the advertising people went there. I was young but it seemed sophisticated. Not the Blue Ox but similar. Any ideas?

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: dlgoldie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Black Angus? steakhouse my Uncle managed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: ibew292

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Does anyone remember a bowling alley on Hwy 94? There was a restaurant inside called Captain Jack's Pizza. They had the best pizza. The place was on the south side of 94 in the area now called Woodbury. There pizza was great!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Cool, very cool.i stumbled on yours , by remembering my parents taking us to farrells ice cream parlor in st. Paul. We lived in canada at that time in 1969. First time and will always remember how cool the american ice cream store was. Thanks for sharing your thoughts too, enjoyed the read. JEFF

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Plantation Pancakes on Hennipen after a night at Uncle Sams
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Victoria Station in Rosedale
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Breakfast at Mamas at 7 corners near UofM West Bank
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Professor Munchies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Poppin Fresh (before they became Bakers Square)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rudolphs on west Hennipen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pracna on Main
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  St. Anthony's on Main
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Sri Lanka Curry House (N. Mpls. Location)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't remember the name of. 24 hr. steak house/greasy spoon (Harold's?) somewhere near Universtiy Ave,, Prior, Kasota area of St. Paul.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MNinTX

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pracna is still in the present as is Rudolph's on Lyndale Avenue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Two more western suburb Lake Minnetonka area places come to mind. One was Billy's Light House on Highway 12 in Long Lake. I drove by that building last week and saw it was still there but apparently empty for many years. We had a lot of "business" luncheons there when I worked in Wayzata.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The other was the Copper Stein in Tonka Bay in the Excelsior area on County Rd 19. It was a longtime favorite that has been closed for many years. A couple of other restaurants tried in that spot and failed until Hazellewood Grille & Tap Room came along 10 years ago. Hazellewood is still going strong.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Davydd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Before it was Billy's Lighthouse it was Hanson House. Family owned, something bad happened? and they had to sell. Surprised the land hasn't sold for development!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JosephNapoleon

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Before that it was the Firefly, and before that Ranwicks Resort. The land sold but the Condo crash happened when back to bank

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Anyone else remember The Crest on Whitebear?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      As a kid in the sixty's I used to love their Ham with Raisin Sauce.