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52 Hours in Minneapolis – Best Late Afternoon Meal? And Itinerary Review


Restaurants & Bars Minneapolis-St. Paul

52 Hours in Minneapolis – Best Late Afternoon Meal? And Itinerary Review

nsxtasy | | May 1, 2011 01:11 AM

Hi Minnesota Chowhounds,

In late June, I will be visiting for a few days during the week, Monday through Wednesday. I will be dining solo, and watching three baseball games at Target Field. I’ve put together a tentative itinerary based on research, mostly here on Chowhound. Because of the ballgames, dinners close to downtown Minneapolis will generally be more convenient for me. I particularly need help with finding the best place for a late afternoon meal after the last game before flying out, so I’ll start talking about that first. I’ve tentatively made the rest of my choices, but I’m still open to suggestions if anyone thinks I’m way off base and there’s something better I might be missing.


The Wednesday game is an afternoon game with a 12:10 pm start. Most likely it will end between 3:00 and 3:30, so I would have time to eat something after the game. I would need to be done by around 5:30-5:45 or so to catch the light rail to the airport for my 7:50 pm flight home. Thus it would probably need to be at a place that’s either open all afternoon, or opens no later than about 4:00 or maybe 4:30, for me to be done that early. Downtown Minneapolis or nearby would be particularly convenient because of its proximity to the light rail and the ballpark, as well as its abundance of restaurants. I’ve checked on Opentable to see what’s available that early, and there are a couple of places that sound interesting (Independent, and Spill the Wine) and a couple more that also sound interesting but only serve early from a happy hour menu (Forum and Zahtar); however, I don’t know anything about how good they are. And I’m open to other suggestions too. (I only checked on Opentable because it’s a quick way to see what’s open at a particular time of day; I’m not wedded to the restaurants listed there.) I’d love to hear some recommendations for this meal, because I’m just not sure what my best options are. So here’s my question in a nutshell:


It doesn’t have to be fine dining; it could be cheap eats, or something ethnic, or a local specialty of some sort, just as long as it’s really, really good.

Oh, and just doing some contingency planning – if the game runs late (always a possibility) I might have to go straight to the airport and grab something relatively quick once I’m there. I’ve looked through the discussion of places at the airport itself ( ), and it seems like the best food options there are French Meadow Bakery and Café and Surdyk’s Flights. I’d probably go to the central “mall” area of Terminal 1 and look at both menus and pick whichever sounds the best. Unless there’s someplace better there to check out…? But that’s just a backup plan; I’m hoping that the game doesn’t run late, in which case I won’t have to worry about eating at the airport.


There are two night games on Monday and Tuesday beginning at 7:10 pm. I’ve made reservations at two restaurants, to arrive when they open at 5:00 pm, and have let them know in advance that I’d like to be done by around 6:30 pm. That should be do-able, and should give me enough time to get to the stadium for the game. I’ve selected La Belle Vie and Restaurant Alma for these two dinners. I had also considered 112 Eatery, Sea Change, and Piccolo, but after checking out the website menus for all five, La Belle Vie and Restaurant Alma just sounded more appealing to me.


On Tuesday, I’m probably going to “graze”, maybe find some light lunch fare and some pastry. I understand there’s a public market on Lake called Midtown Global Market, and I love walking around a good public market. I also love desserts and I understand the Salty Tart Bakery is one of the best around, and is right in the Midtown Global Market, so this is a big part of the reason for hitting that market. I’ll probably also hit Rustica Bakery and/or Patisserie 46. These seem like the best choices for what I like, European pastry – stuff like croissants, French macaroons, entremets (mousse cakes), bostok, éclairs, etc. I’m not looking for “comfort food” type baked goods – no cookies, no lemon bars, and for heaven’s sake enough already with the cupcakes! :)


On Wednesday, I’m going to have a regular sit-down breakfast before the afternoon game which starts at 12:10 pm. It seems like Hell’s Kitchen is THE place for a great and unusual breakfast/brunch in the Cities, so that’s my plan. I should add, I love breakfast/brunch type places, for savory dishes and especially for sweet dishes. The website menu at HK got me with Shrimp and Crab Cake with Poached Egg, Lemon-Ricotta Pancakes, and Bread Pudding with Crème Anglaise (and I don’t know how the heck I’m going to narrow it down from those three dishes!).

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

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