112 Eatery has been around since 2005 and is located in the Minneapolis Warehouse District. It does not need any introduction, as it has made the Mpls St Paul Magazine’s readers’ poll top restaurant list consistently 10 years in a row. Chef Isaac Becker and his amazing food have been awarded Best Chef, Midwest in 2011and semi-finalist for Outstanding Chef, 2014 from the James Beard Foundation.
Young Joni is located in Northeast Minneapolis next to my favorite craft brewery and taproom Dangerous Man Brewing. I was excited for Young Joni because of the owner, Chef Ann Kim, who also owns Pizzeria Lola in Southwest Minneapolis.
Right in the heart of downtown Hopkins on the southeast corner of Mainstreet and 10th Ave N. is where you will find Samba. We would have never heard of Samba if it wasn’t for my sister-in-law and husband. They hosted their wedding rehearsal dinner there and often raved about the place. Samba-Taste of Brazil as it is known is where you will find some authentic Brazilian food prepared and served by a Brazilian family.
The NOOK is a St. Paul institution that has been around since 1938. They are known for their burgers, but specifically their Juicy Lucy burgers. A Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger that has the cheese inside the meat patty instead of on top. Supposedly, two bars in Minneapolis (Matt’s Bar and 5-8 Club) claim to be the inventor of the burger, though other bars and restaurants have created their own variations of it. The NOOK is my favorite Juicy Lucy spot and the one I always recommend. A big thanks to the Food Network Show ‘Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’ for introducing me to the NOOK.
For my first post of 2017, I introduce you to the Mercury Dining Room and Rail located downtown Minneapolis on the corner of 5th and Marquette. I discovered Mercury in a Mpls.St.Paul. magazine article, and chose to try them out because their menu looked attractive.
For my last post of 2016, I would like to write about Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter as a promise to my good friend James who recommend it. The Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter is a family owned and operated German restaurant in Stillwater that has been around since 1966.
The week prior to Thanksgiving we celebrated my good friend Paul’s birthday at Eat Street Social. Eat Street Social is located on W 26th St, off of Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis. Over the years, that particular corner has gone through numerous transformations. It’s nice to see that area is still alive with this hip neighborhood bistro that is serving great food and unique craft cocktails.
I have to admit that I was not familiar with Red Wagon Pizza. It was not on my list nor my radar. We had dinner there with our friends Jessie, Lucas, Nate & Kristen. Jessie was the one who recommended the place and we went along for the ride knowing she has good taste in restaurants. Red Wagon is a wood-fired pizza joint located on Penn Ave in Minneapolis. According to the owner, the restaurant specializes in modern American pizza paired with American craft beer. Red Wagon serves 36 beers on tap. Guy Fieri highlighted the restaurant on his show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives back in May.
A little bit of history on the Minnesota State Fair before I begin. The first Minnesota State Fair was held in 1859 near what became downtown Minneapolis. This was a year after Minnesota was granted statehood. Today, often referred as the “Great Minnesota Get Together”, the annual Minnesota State Fair is one of the most popular tourist destination in the region. The fair attracts nearly 1.8 million visitors annually. The fair is always held 12 days leading up to and through Labor Day. The 2016 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug 25 – Sept 5. There are many reasons why I love the Minnesota State Fair, but for me it’s simply all about the food. Each year, I look forward to the State Fair new foods list to find out what new creations have been concocted. I often attempt to try one or two items from that list along with my usual favorites. And this year, was no different.