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"Date night" offers--need suggestions

I would also suggest you look at Groupon. There are often deals available along the lines of $15 gets you $30 at a restaurant.

Jul 21, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Valley Natural Foods

I guess it's what they put there since they can't have wine.

Jul 02, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Valley Natural Foods

I dropped by briefly on Saturday. It's a big store, very nicely decorated. The produce section was a bit small, I thought, proportionally. Meat and seafood counters were nice. A substantial cheese area. There's also a salad bar and hot foods bar.

I didn't shop very much, but prices that I saw were reasonable. One peeve -- and this is a personal one, I admit -- is that they have what seems like a lot of space devoted to "natural remedies", essential oils, fancy soaps, and the like. This occupied a big chunk of real estate in the center of the store, similar to the layout you find at Whole Foods. I'd rather see that space devoted to more food.

Jul 01, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

State Fair 2014

Most creative/Minnesotan has to be the "jello salad ice cream." It sounds both brilliant and awful, and yet I want to try it.

A lot of breakfast-themed foods this year. Is the waffle the most common new ingredient?

Along those lines, the PB&J French Toast sounds like one of those things that someone should have come up with years ago.

I'm leery about the walleye mac&cheese at Giggles. They did a "walleye roll" (like a lobster roll) a few years ago, which was a good concept and very tasty, but so full of tiny bones that it was impossible to eat.

Several of these items could be in a mix-and-match game. Pick one from the left column and one from the right column -- any combination works!

Pizza Strips
Pretzel Taco
Prime Rib Dog
Schnitzel Curds
Shrimp Tots

Jun 26, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

A few days in Minneapolis area - did my CH homework

Lucia's is serving brunch on Saturday, not lunch.

Jun 26, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

It's Tuesday, and We Want Steak!!

I thought of Manny's, too, but from a little Google research, it looks like they only serve Choice steak … at Prime prices … although it is extensively dry-aged.

Jun 24, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul
1

Pizza Burgers (MSP, but elsewhere in Midwest okay, too)

And then there's this...

Jun 19, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

ten top MSP breakfasts

Hell's Kitchen still makes MY list! We had a great brunch there on Mother's Day.

The Twin Cities are blessed with a multitude of great breakfast spots -- more so than most cities I've experienced.

Some of my favorites -- and I won't call them a top ten, just good ones that stick out in my mind -- include the aforementioned HK, Al's Breakfast, Craftsman, the Birchwood, Butter Bakery, French Meadow, Sun Street Breads, Bon Vie, Barbette, the Kenwood, Hot Plate, Good Day Cafe, Edina Grill, Mickey's Diner, Meritage … I'd best stop!

Jun 19, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Easygoing First Date Places?

Cheeky Monkey?

Jun 16, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul
1

Looking for delicious, inexpensive food within a 1-2 mile radius of Surdyks

Sorry if my response was unclear. I wasn't saying "not really" to Zen Box but to the OP's question to me about walking across the river to downtown.

Jun 16, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for delicious, inexpensive food within a 1-2 mile radius of Surdyks

Well… not really. Not worth the walk, if you want cheap eats.

It's a pretty good hike across either the Hennepin bridge or the Central Ave bridge. The Hennepin bridge is much more scenic, and you can stop at Nicollet Island. The Inn there is nice, though not cheap, and you an always picnic in the park there. In fact, grabbing a to-go meal from either Surdyk's or Lund's and having a picnic on the island would be a lovely summer afternoon.

Once you cross the river, you're on the north end of downtown, which is mostly offices. You could turn north on 1st, 2nd, or Washington and hit some of the trendy restaurants in the North Loop or Warehouse District-- the Bachelor Farmer, Haute Dish, 112 Eatery, Saffron, Origami. Some great food but not inexpensive. Perhaps Black Sheep Pizza would fit your bill.

If I was to do a big walking loop, I'd probably have that picnic, then walk along the riverfront to Izzy's for ice cream, and head back on the Stone Arch Bridge.

Jun 16, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for delicious, inexpensive food within a 1-2 mile radius of Surdyks

There are a ton of cheap places in that neighborhood. Off the top of my head, you have both Punch and Pizza Nea, so you can do a Neapolitan-style pizza competition. There's the Bulldog NE, Kramarczuk's, and Brasa. You've also got some sit-down places that aren't super-cheap but aren't very expensive: Red Stag, Gardens of Salonica, Masu Sushi, Butcher Block, Ginger Hop, Gorkha Palace … and probably some others I'm not thinking of, as well.

Don't discount takeout from Surdyk's Cheese Shop or even the Lund's.

Jun 15, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul
1

Places to eat around University of Minnesota - and candy?

All righty, then. Let's move on from the derail of this thread.

Jun 11, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Places to eat around University of Minnesota - and candy?

Next to Tofu House is YogurtLab -- a pretty good rendition of the frozen yogurt-with-lots-of-toppings craze, if you like that sort of thing.

Jun 11, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Places to eat around University of Minnesota - and candy?

Well, they use baguettes ("crusty bread") and mayo, although I don't know what you mean by "traditional mayo." As I said, it's not the best I've ever had, but it's recognizably banh mi.

I'm pretty sure there's no Vietnamese equivalent of VPN Neapolitan pizza certification for banh mi, so this is just hair-splitting between opinionated people.

Jun 11, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Places to eat around University of Minnesota - and candy?

Just to clarify, they do offer (more or less) traditional banh mi as well as some Americanized variants, but they are certainly not the best I've had. Most of the Stadium Village restaurants that I've recommended are fine for a decent lunch but not standout places for a memorable meal.

Jun 11, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Places to eat around University of Minnesota - and candy?

Well, yes, because Jasmine Orchid closed last year. It's been replaced by an outpost of Little Szechuan which has "CNN's 50 Best Chinese Restaurants in the US!" displayed all over its windows.

Jun 11, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Places to eat around University of Minnesota - and candy?

I work about a block from the Commons Hotel.

First, the Commons is really nice. They took an old, tired Radisson and remodeled it last year into something with a very local, quirky, academic flavor. There's a small hotel restaurant, the Beacon, which is nice.

Because you're smack-dab in universityville (Stadium Village), most of the local grub is cheap and college-focused. I recommend the Punch Pizza, half a block away, for a casual lunch or dinner of excellent Neapolitan pizza and/or high-quality salads. Other options include things like Chipotle, a decent burger place called MyBurger, and a passable banh mi place called Bun Mi.

If you head northwest from the hotel across campus, or follow University Ave northwest, you'll come to the campus business district on the north end of campus, called Dinkytown. There are more cheap eats there, as well as some quite good restaurants. I recommend Kafe 421 or the Loring Pasta Bar (partly for food, partly for cool decor -- be sure to check out the bathrooms).

On the more casual side, Al's Breakfast is a local institution and practically a national landmark. Annie's Parlour is a classic burger and malt joint. Wally's Falafel is a good lunch option, too. In the evenings, the Kitty Cat Klub is a good place for a drink and to check out the funky, laid-back atmosphere.

The brand new light rail line has a stop practically at the front door of your hotel. The line starts running this weekend. You can take it to either downtown (as mentioned) or to some stops along University Ave. in St. Paul where you can access good ethnic grub, particularly southeast Asian.

My recommendation for a great meal along the green line is Ngon Bistro. Take the line toward St. Paul and get off at the Victoria Street stop and walk one block east. This restaurant is a Vietnamese-French fusion place that uses some terrific local ingredients, including some of the best pork around.

Jun 11, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul
2

Have Co-op Produce Prices Risen Astronomically, or Am I Just Noticing?

I like Cub better than Rainbow -- I generally find that their produce is good. Meat is OK, fish is fine if you want frozen. The selection is surprisingly good for a mass-market grocer -- Nueske's bacon and Morey's smoked fish are available at good prices, and they have a decent range of cheeses. If they could just up their baked goods game to even the level of Archer Farms and offer a better selection of deli meats, I'd be very happy with them.

Jun 06, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Canteen...really, a toast bar?

When we lived in SoCal a few years ago, we went to this joint for breakfast:

http://www.dishbreakfastlunchanddinne...

They did have toasters on every table, but it was part of their down-home shtick, I think. At least we had our own toaster. The description of Canteen -- with toasters on the bar so you can line up to toast your bread -- sounds more like the breakfast rush at a Hampton Inn.

Jun 02, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Excellent dinner at Parka

Isn't a turkey reuben a Rachel?

Jun 02, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

epazote?

Yes. I have a bottle of the dried stuff from Penzey's, and I use it sparingly.

When I'm using the fresh herb in tortilla soup, I throw in a few whole sprigs and remove them before serving.

May 29, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Feeding and entertaining 10 teen girls in Minneapolis/MoA area

For dinner, how about Buca di Beppo? It's a chain, but it started here, for what that's worth. The one in St. Paul is a short drive from the MOA. It's loud, the decor is entertaining, and all the food is served family style. Not too expensive, and you can load up hungry, athletic teens with pasta.

Near the convention center (south end of downtown Minneapolis), I'd recommend breakfast or brunch at Key's Cafe in the Foshay Tower. Key's serves up big portions of traditional diner food -- eggs, pancakes, hot and cold sandwiches, etc. Nothing particularly exotic, but it's of decent quality and a good value. The Foshay Tower itself is an historic Depression-era skyscraper with an observation deck up top -- $5 for teenagers. Good way to get a panorama of the city area.

Staying in the downtown area, with time to kill, I'd suggest a walk through Loring Park and the Walker Art Center outdoor sculpture garden (home of the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry), or head the other direction toward the river and check out the St. Anthony Falls (visible from the pedestrian-only Stone Arch Bridge) and the Mill City Museum, also on the riverfront. That's a fun museum that should only take a few hours of your time. Izzy's award-winning ice cream is just a few blocks away.

May 29, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul
3

Private party room with good food and drink

Concur with Create. They do a really nice job.

May 29, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

epazote?

I use fresh epazote in tortilla soup. Local Mexican markets often carry it. Surprisingly, I've been seeing it stocked at the Cub on 60th & Nicollet recently.

May 26, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

craving a good burger in NE Mpls (Syrdyk's area)

I third the recommendation for the Bulldog. The English muffin one with truffle oil is great, as is the junk burger, and the rooster - with a sweet sriracha glaze.

May 25, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Go to place for fine dinning????

Well, it's "dining", not "dinning."

I do think LBV is the best in the Cities and possibly the only true fine dining experience. I also really like the food (though the atmosphere is more casual) at Haute Dish, Craftsman, and Icehouse.

I miss having Don Saunders do fine dining in this town -- his restaurants Fugaise and In Season were just a notch below LBV in my esteem.

May 22, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Potatoes Minneapolis

That's OK. In California, they have no idea what Minnesota's "California burger" is.

On the other hand, they do have California rolls...

May 16, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul
1

Favorite restaurants from the past

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.

May 05, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

4 hour early morning stopover

I'm thinking Ike's would be my choice. They have a pretty hearty breakfast menu -- big steak and eggs with hash browns will get the day started!

Apr 22, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul
2