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City Pages "Restaurant Guide"

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  1. I'm definitely happy they showed some love to Maya Cuisine and Taco Riendo by putting them in the (much deserved) top taqueria spots.

    1. Is Manny's really still the best steak in town?

      1. Putting is nicely, the CP list is highly suspect.

        Putting it bluntly, the CP list is BS.

        CP owner Village Voice Media has fired people in all its publications, including CP. Does anyone really think Village Voice is paying for all these drinks meals so that staff can develop and write smart lists?

        Not a chance.

        My guess is the CP picks are a strange stew of free drinks and chow provided to CP staff, CP staff helping friends who own some of these places, a heavy dose of favoritism and bonus points for CP advertisers and just plain BS.

        In re the just plain BS: The steak joint list. Cliched writing about most of the places. And, again, do you really think Village Voice Media signed off on the tabs for these places in CP expense accounts? No way.

        4 Replies
        1. re: SarahInMinneapolis

          I agree and disagree. I know a writer for CP that covers food. They are not comped by the paper or the business. They pay their own way. Now does CP look out for advertisers or a writer looks out for people they are friendly with? Entirely possible (but I do not have proof so I cannot say it is so). The list posted is apparently only a preview, but it's a goofy start.

          Dosa King not mentioned in Best Indian bothers me. Top 10 Cupcakes? Is that needed? Where is Top 10 Cookies or Donuts or Pie? If St. Paul didn't place 1st in Farmers Market I would've torched every copy I could find.

          1. re: SarahInMinneapolis

            That makes sense. Any best of list anymore is either going to be bought or behind it seems given how quickly restaurants excel or fail. By the time most places are the best, they become somewhat watered down versions of what they were in order to meet the volume.

            CP is definitely losing out on the cred in my mind to the few really good food blogs out there.

            1. re: SarahInMinneapolis

              I also agree and disagree. I agree that the CP Restaurant List is BS. That's nothing new, though. It has been suspect for years.

              I disagree that it's because they are bought off, or that it has anything to do with Village Voice Media. That's a little too tin-foil hat for me.

              I think the simpler explanation is that there are relatively few new places in any category that open each year in the Twin Cities, and keeping "Best Of" type lists fresh year after year is difficult.

              In reality, we shouldn't expect top 10 best Italian, best steak, best whatever to change relatively little from one year to the next? Sure, new restaurants pop up, but from one year to the next, top-eating lists in the Twin Cities should get shaken up that much. Isn't the top 5 ice cream places the same usual suspects for the last 5 years? #1 moves around depends on who's list it is and what year it is, but that's it.

              The real reason these lists mean little is because the CP has to move papers to keep their circulation numbers high, and thus keep their ad venue high. Best Of Anything lists are a way to do that, to reach a market that isn't the core CP readership. Same reason the Minnesota monthlies come out with their crappy Best Of lists. And they can't stay stale, they can't be the same as last year, otherwise people don't pick them up anymore.

              So they need to make dumb picks if for no other reason to have a list that looks different than last year's, and different than their competitors'. That's my take on it, anyway. (Yes, the steak list is idiotic. Capital Grille isn't top 10? Seriously?)

              That's why a place like CH is so valuable. People that eat at these places on a regular basis make the recommendations, and it doesn't matter if it's the same places year after year.

              1. re: foreverhungry

                I love both Fuji-Ya locations being listed under the same entry, because of course they are totally the same.

            2. Tilia and Sea Salt are kid friendly if you enjoy the experience of waiting over an hour with a hungry child in a crowded space. Not my thing.

              9 Replies
              1. re: kevin47

                I have heard the same thing about Travail but I have never had to wait longer than 15 minutes for a table of 2. Possibly try before 6 or after 9....or call ahead and get an estimate of waiting time....time it out.

                1. re: brlattim

                  After 9? That's super kid friendly. I don't see Travail as demonstraby superior to V-44 and I don't see Tilia or Sea Salt as demonstrably superior to much of anything, so I'm a bit prejudiced against the idea of joining the herd for either experience.

                  1. re: kevin47

                    Most countries don't eat as early as the US in my experience living abroad. You are right though, 9 is late for some...but for some reason people think having kids means you have to cut your hair short, grow a pelvis, and be in bed by 10pm. I have 2 kids and can eat at 9. Its possible. I have a friend that basically died the moment she had kids. Shame really. Kids notice when parents have no personalities, friends, or lives.

                    Victory 44 is more expensive than Travail in my experience and the menu doesn't change as often. I love V44, but I find it to be a lesser version of Travail personally. Travail is overhyped, but 99% of restaurants are these days with blogs and reviews posting every day.

                    1. re: brlattim

                      I think with their new tasting menu at V44 it is no longer much more expensive.

                      1. re: brlattim

                        When I go out at 9 for dinner, I am annoyed when there are kids.

                        1. re: sheepy

                          Kids or poorly behaved kids? I understand one, but good parenting pretty much takes care of that....and it might include just paying your tab and leaving immediately (I have done that twice in my life with kids). More times than not a poorly behaved kid comes from a poorly behaved adult. You usually can spot a parent thats in control pretty quickly.

                          I agree kids shouldn't be eating that late unless they are like 16 or something but I think America has become slightly overly contentious with everything upsetting everyone. Its a restaurant, not a catered meal at your house.

                  2. re: kevin47

                    Actually,I think Sea Salt in the summer is very kid-friendly. You have the whole park to wander around in while waiting for food and sitting outdoors lessens the impact when, say, your two year old decides to shriek at the top of his lungs.

                    1. re: eajohnso2000

                      Wandering around the park entails leaving someone at the table to wait (and wait, and wait) for the food. The dining space is too big for that kitchen. Otherwise, it would be perfect, and the food is certainly kid friendly.

                    2. re: kevin47

                      My wife and I went to Tilia on the early side on a recent weekday (5:30) and roughly half the tables had children. There was no wait at that time. Don't rule it out.

                    3. While I agree that a few entries are suspect I will say how MUCH I appreciate that i don't have to click 10 times to see the top 10 lists.
                      I think they got the craft cocktails list right.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: MplsM ary

                        Are you kidding me? No Parlor and La Belle Vie but Butcher and the Boar and The Lowry make it? Icehouse, but not Johnny Michaels James Beard nominated program at La Belle Vie. We don't have 10 good cocktail bars in Minneapolis but City Pages still couldn't get this right.

                        1. re: astadtler

                          La Belle Vie was placed 3rd in Cocktails.

                      2. The thing that bugs me about the CP list (not so much this "official" restaurant guide, but the one they maintain under "Find a restaurant" on-line) is that nobody keeps it up. Sure, they're fairly quick to *add* restaurants. But there must be a couple dozen plus rooms that are closed (some for a long time) yet which are still on the list.

                        What good is it to scan the list, think Abu Nader is a good idea (it was, for some items), and drive up there only to find it's been boarded up for months? A sad case of letting something good die from neglect.

                        1 Reply
                        1. MSPMag's list of restaurants seems a good deal better than the CP best of List.

                          1. Here's a more interesting CP list:

                            50 best dishes...

                            http://blogs.citypages.com/food/50_fa...

                            They're about 1/2 way through it. I'm interested in trying some of these.

                            1 Reply