Traveling and dining in other Arizona cities and beyond
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6 years ago

My duration in the twin cities is soon drawing to a close. Next week will be my final one there. Will definitely update the list with the good finds (must be at least somewhat good with the 10 extra pounds I've put on since I started working there!).
Posts: 68
Joined: 8 years ago

6 years ago

Awesome, I'll be going to my brother's wedding Dec 6-8th and would love to hear what you found!
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Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 8 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

6 years ago

Yeah, please do post, misterk

I'll be up in MN for Thanksgiving, and The Boys are supposed to be taking me to http://www.newbohemiausa.com
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Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 8 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

6 years ago

New Bohemia
233 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414 - for reference, it's right across the street from Surdyk's
(612) 331-4929

Hit up New Bohemia with family, including my oldest newphew, Aaron, a budding Foodnik. Cool place, great taps that were heavy on local Minnesota brews, and excellent sausage mostly sourced from small farms.

Each of the "Adventurous Sausages" below was $8, and come on a toasted bun with a side. They gladly pre-sliced them into quarters so we could split them family-style. We ordered the:
Wild Boar (really nice topped with the Apple Jicama Slaw)
Smoked Elk
Duck/Cilantro (my favorite by far)
Rattlesnake/Rabbit/Jalapeno (couldn't really detect the jalapeno)

Sides were: Sweet-N-Hot Peppers, Spicy Kraut, Mushroom Saute, Apple Jicama Slaw, Peppers & Onions

Here's a link to more pics . . .
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52687695@N ... 8265073133
New Bohemia, Minneapolis
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Case of sausages at the front counter
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Sausages served family-style
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Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 8 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

6 years ago

The St.Paul ex-pat in me thinks this thread should be renamed St. Paul/Minneapolis . . .

Hmong Village and HmongTown Marketplace in St. Paul, MN
Hidden gems? No, hidden GOLDMINES . . .

I'd read about Hmong Village, it's only a few miles from where I grew up on the East Side. Other than some stickers on the doors, there is absolutely no signage from the road or on the building identifying Hmong Village. It's an indoor mall of easily 200+ vendors in mostly garage size'd stalls selling just about every product and service the Hmong population could ask for. I finally made my way over there on Saturday, and was blown away. Can't wait to visit up there again and take the nieces and nephews, and plan to arrange a Foodnik meet up. HmongTown Marketplace has plenty of signage, is the smaller of the two and is broken up into a number of buildings

There were 20+ food vendors, most selling pho, grilled meats, fried foods and papaya salad among many other things. After stuffing myself to the gills for two days (Thanksgiving, New Bohemia, Mom's birthday dinner at Buca), I could only do so much damage by myself. And though I wanted to try out some of the oddities like grilled intestine and cow udder, I saved those for a group outing

Here's a link to the full set . . . and below are the few things I tried (in addition to a number of versions of bubble tea) . . .
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52687695@N ... 8269438173

Meatballs two ways
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Kad's Deli - Didn't care for the taste or texture of the Thai meatballs on the left ($2), very much like the solid meat blobs you get with pho. The ones on the right were excellent though ($1), had more of an Italian meatball texture
Pork Belly, Black Rice, and a chili/cilantro dip
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Dragon Express - This Pork Belly came with a TON of black rice ($8). I ate maybe a 10th of the rice. This alone would probably be a meal for an entire family
Disappointing Hmong Eggrolls with a cloying sweet chili dip
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Dragon Express - These Hmong Eggrolls were disappointing (4 for $3). Not bad, just nowhere as good as Vietnamese eggrolls. And they'd been sitting under a heat lamp . . . fresh out of the fryer would have done them more justice I'd think
Hmong Sausage with a thicker chili/cilantro dip
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Newave Place - The Hmong Sausage was very good . . . had a lot going on inside it ($3). Really sweet friendly old lady, and I preferred her thicker chili/cilantro dip
Bangkok Sunrise Bubble Tea
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I had a couple versions of bubble tea, and both were great ($3)

Hmong Village
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hmong-Vil ... 4073370703
1001 Johnson Parkway, St. Paul, MN 55106

HmongTown Marketplace
217 Como Ave, Suite 2-100, St. Paul, MN 55103
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6 years ago

Sorry for getting back after Thanksgiving. Always wanted to make it Hmong Village in St Paul, but it wasn't in the cards. Alas. But New Bohemia is good stuff!

Man - I have quite a list of places to write about, but I'll start with one of my final dinners out: Babani's in St. Paul, which claims to be America's first Kurdish restaurant. Didn't take too many photos in there, but nice family-run place and some good, simple Middle Eastern grub. Had the tasty bajan reshk appetizer (fried eggplant covered with yogurt sauce, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, lemon):
Bajan Reshk
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and the Chicken Tawa (chicken sauteed in lemon and other spices and baked in layers of potato, green pepper,
onion, and dried limes):
Chicken tawa
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One of the more amusing pieces what the background story on the menu. Never heard of a restaurant introduce its owner as hailing from a family known for its "patriotic sentiments, fierce fighting habits and sexual prowess" before, but there's a first for everything. In quiet, unassuming downtown St. Paul, no less.

Babani’s Kurdish Restaurant
544 St. Peter Street
St. Paul, MN. 55102
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Mike Z
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Location: Central Tempe

5 years ago

I was up on a Midwest trip last week. Some of the MN hits . . .

Wanted to hit Babini's, but couldn't sway the friends I went to the RUSH concert with. It's been over a decade since I've been, but wanted to get back if only for another couple glasses of their lemonade. It really is something else . . . http://heavytable.com/kurdish-lemonade- ... n-st-paul/


My favorite Thai place. They’re especially good with fish, so I had the Walleye fillet. They do it a couple ways. I went with the skin on poached, covered in a black bean sauce with mushrooms, lemongrass, green and red onion. I also recommend the fried Thai Catfish in chili sauce and the Fisherman's Delight . . . if there's any Thai place in AZ that rocks fish, I'd love a recommendation
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Tavern on Grand

It’s famous in MN for walleye. They claim to sell more of it than any restaurant in the US. No pics . . . forgot all about it until halfway through. The blackened walleye dinner with wild rice did not disappoint on the MN comfort food front, especially when you mixed in a bite of the fish, wild rice, and tarter sauce. We also split an app of Dragon Puffs which we inhaled . . . “Diced jalapeños, onions, three cheeses, bacon and cilantro wrapped in a puff pastry, baked to a golden brown and served with a roasted cumin ranch”.
Some nice taps listed on a giant chalkboard with a MN bent, btw

Day Block Brewery Co

Amazingly polished for a young brew pub. Was a cool little Plan B after golf was rained out (40 degrees and POURING . . . in MAY . . . Hmm, why did I move to AZ again?)
It's down on Washington Ave in Minneapolis in the shadow of the construction of the new Vikings stadium.

They're brewing some good beers. A nice mixture of styles, my favorite was probably their ESB. Currently there’s a really interesting rotational, The Federales Mild, a pilsner brewed with among other things “locally foraged pine growth”. You can really taste the pine, in a good way

Hot pretzels were solid. A- on the grainy but a hint too sweet mustard, and meh on the cheese sauce, though. Dad dug their Korean wings. I had the crab quiche special. The crust seemed to be a mixture of pie crust and their pizza crust? The star was the micro greens salad with green apple, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and a house made beer vinaigrette. The brown sugar crusted walnuts . . . mmm . . . holy crap, that salad was fantastic, everything worked in harmony
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Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 8 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

4 years ago

If you’re in MN, you have to hit up Sanctuary. It's across the street from the new Guthrie. The girl and I had an amazing night here on Valentine’s. (fyi, They’re not usually open on Sundays, except for special occasions and the occasional themed dinner). High end-ish ($140 before tip), very cool space, whimsical gargoyle statues, changing art installations (currently paintings by a local artist (http://www.jodibee.com/paintings.html), the music had me putting on Transglobal Underground later, and you get treated like gold from the moment you walk in when Co-Owner Michael greets you. The girl and I WILL be back

Chef Patrick “Frenchie” is a bit of a trip on their FB, and after that meal, I’d happily eat anything he sends out

We started off with . . . I forget what she had, but I had their Vesper Lynn, they describe it as an
“elderflower scented bond martini”. Nice, very nice

Apps . . .
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Tartlets and 'Oysters'
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Up front is their “garlic, spinach, and parmesan artichoke tartlets, provencal olives, cornichons and a shot of white verjus”. Seriously, one of the best spinach artichoke dips on top of this buttery pie crust . . . I think I’d freebase the crust. Our waitress told us that Chef changes 2/3rds of the menu every couple months, but they keep these tartlets on because the last time they took them off people revolted
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“rocky mountain bison ‘oysters’, with pineapple salsa, and garlic-chili soy sauce syrup”. These were flat out FANTASTIC. Like the best pork tenderloin you could hope for. I’d never had animal nuts before . . . I’m thinking they’re generally just deep fried gunk like mozz sticks . . . but I figured if I was going to try them for the first time anywhere, that this should be the place. I was right, we both loved them

Entrees . . .
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U-12 Shrimp
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I had the “U-12 shrimp, with spaghetti dero di sepia in a saffron-champagne broth and black olive tapenade”. The girl wasn’t impressed, but I loved it (I don't think she got enough of the broth). I’ve put olives in pasta, but man, that concentrated tapenade was something else
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Duck Breast
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She loved the “wild acres farm duck breast, with Mexican vanilla mashed potatoes, blood orange sauce, and pico de gallo” . . . and two little saffron dusted malted milk balls that the waitress went out of the way to point out. I had a couple bites, and the crust on the duck was mouthwatering, but the blood orange sauce was the true winner on that plate . . . just bursting with blood orange flavor. Ima have to figure out how to make it and put it in my arsenal

Dessert . . .
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I don’t EVER order dessert (sorry, Zach), but Valentines’s . . . the girl . . . when in Rome, right? . . .

She ordered the “chocolate soufflé cookies, brown sugar cinnamon ice cream, and banana, hazelnut, chocolate milk shake sauce”, with mint sprigs on marrinated cherries. I thought it was fine. She wanted to rub her face on the plate

I ordered a port the waitress recommended, Smith Woodhouse 20yr Tawny. Neither of us had had port before, but . . . we’re both now acolytes. Our port education has started in earnest . . . we tried another at W.A. Frost later that night, and picked up a bottle of another Tawny the next day

As dinner was winding down, Chef stopped by the table to ask how everything was which was nice. Oh, and I have to mention . . . if we were done with a plate, not a single member of staff walked back towards the kitchen without taking it away. Not a one. Fairly impressive

So, yeah, we loved Sanctuary, can’t wait to go back



903 S. Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Last edited by Mike Z 4 years ago, edited 2 times in total.
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Posts: 84
Joined: 7 years ago
Location: Chandler

4 years ago

Looks great. I can't believe I didn't check this thread out before I went; was just there a few weeks ago.

I hit up 112 Eatery while I was there. Pretty good stuff...had a few different appetizers for my entree. Duck and radicchio salad, mussels, and sweetbreads with grits. All pretty tasty but the sweetbreads were my favorite.
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112 Eatery


112 N 3rd St

Minneapolis, MN

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Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 8 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

4 years ago

Hit a few places back up in MN last weekend

Keys at Foshay Tower

In downtown Minneapolis, such a cool place for brunch. The art deco mixed with the modern, high ceilings, wall of windows with light streaming in, loud and lively but you could still talk across the table. Awesome waiter who gave us a quick rundown and said whatever subs or changes we’d like he could make happen

A full bar and a perfectly cooked breakfast. I went with the Keys’ Everything Omelette . . .
Three eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, Italian sausage, mushroom, onion, tomato, green pepper, broccoli, cauliflower & American cheese blend with a side of hash browns. It may sound like overkill, but every bite was a bit of a surprise. Love it
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Surly Brewing

A Surly beer is probably on a tap in every bar/restaurant in the Twin Cities, like Four Peaks is in the valley. They did not mess around with this place . . . shot for the fences. A somewhat imposing shiny gleaming behemoth of a beer hall with a huge outside area, a merch shop that would make KISS proud, and some very cool industrial art using pipe and broken concrete. It’s quite impressive
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Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar

After seeing the girl’s friend in a live Bollywood performance, the girl was in need of coffee; I was in need of a beer; and we both wanted to sit outside. Was a nice compromise. It’s down in Lowertown St. Paul, right near the Saints new baseball stadium. A small but well chosen tap list, and just about any variation of coffee you could want. You want a chai cappachino with a dash of baby panda tears? This is your place. I just read that they’re expanding into the space nextdoor and bulking up the menu. For now, get their chocolate chunk cookie. Trust me

Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company

Been to the shop before on the Minneapolis East Bank, but first time eating at their restaurant, and I’ll tell ya . . . it’s the best kept breakfast secret in town. Full menu available at 8am six days a week. Yeah, breakfast foods but also golumpki, piroshok, goulash, on and on . . .

I went with a couple perfect potato/cheese pierogi and Nalesnyky. Savory crepes stuffed with a ground meat mixture, topped with a horseradish sour cream sauce and a side of kraut. Saurkraut for breakfast? Oh yeah, baby
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A fun Irish joint in St. Paul’s West 7th neighborhood, live music every Fri/Sat/Sun night. Excellent fish & chips, but, as a sister restaurant to The Nook, they’re really known for their burgers. Their Reuben Burger the other night was stellar . . . kraut, swiss, 1000 island and corned beef. And the girl isn’t big on red meat, but she was digging the Paul Molitor, a Juicy Nookie stuffed with pepper jack
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Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 8 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

3 years ago

Not too much to report on this trip, family wedding and a short retreat. We did manage to hit up Mucci’s Italian twice. They opened in the West 7th neighborhood this past winter, and seems like they’ve been rocking and rolling since day one

So popular in fact, that they started selling a few frozen items for take home (includes cooking instructions). Mucci’s does get loud, and we wanted a quiet evening, so we brought home a small lasagna that serves 2-4, and a pint of sauce and meatballs. The lasagna was a bargain at $15, and is a perfect portion for 4 people. Was fresh tasting, with a great texture on the noodles. The gravy was solid, but the three small meatballs were disappointing. Tasted fine, but a skimpy portion, and they basically disintegrated at the touch; mushy with no structural integrity. Not that I wouldn’t pick them up again, but next time I’d fish them out once the sauce is thawed, and give’em a quick pan fry

On weekend mornings from 8 am until noon or sold out, they do a handful of donuts and coffee. We rolled in about 10ish on Saturday, and supply was running low. We got the last mascarpone chocolate filled topped with fried salami. Both were excellent and fresh fresh fresh
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Mucci’s Italian – St. Paul, MN
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Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 8 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

1 year ago

If anybody could use some Minneapolis/Saint Paul recommendations, just let me know. I've been up here two years now, have been to a ton of spots, and have a pretty good lay of the land
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1 year ago

Man I hope Holy Land is still going strong, those walleye kabobs still put a smile on my face 7 years later.
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Mike Z
Posts: 494
Joined: 8 years ago
Location: Central Tempe

1 year ago

I was just in there Saturday :)

Yeah, going strong. Fair State Brewing opened across the street, and you can bring your Holyland food over to eat with some great beers. There's a second smaller location down in the Midtown Global Market near Lake & Chicago
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