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Thursday, May 16, 2013

DeRushaEats: Favorite Three Restaurants

Local blog LOLOMG! asked me a bunch of questions this week about Twitter and social media and how it's impacted my life. Then they asked me to make some lists.

Lists are hard. Not so much because of who I include, but because of who gets left off (I meant to include all of you in my top three favorite Twitterers to follow!).

But the top three restaurants list was really hard to make. I decided to rank the restaurants that are my biggest go-to spots, the places I go to over and over again and continue to love.

1. The Strip Club in St. Paul
2. Brasa in Minneapolis
3. Black Sheep Pizza in Minneapolis

I don't write about The Strip Club often because I'm friends with Tim and Christy Niver (we were just in Chicago on a vacation together) and chef J.D. Fratzke, and I think it's lame to promote your friends' restaurants without disclosing it. And if I'm writing about restaurants of people I hang out with socially, it could make you question everything I write about. "Why's Jason writing that? Did he hang out with those people? Do I have to hang out with Jason to get some publicity? I don't even like the guy!"

But I've been sending friends there for five years, and they get the same warm hospitality that I get. The drinks are amazing, the food is incredible—whenever my wife and I are near St. Paul, we try to stop at The Strip Club. It's my official number one.

Brasa continues to be awesome. Opened by Alex Roberts (since we're disclosing, I don't know Alex!) years ago, my wife and I just had dinner there last week and it was perfect. The tender pork, the rich beef, those yams and andoille sausage... I just love Brasa. Its casual, laid-back vibe conceals the care that goes into the flavors and the food. Plus, I can bring the kids!

And despite the growth in delicious, creative pizza in the Twin Cities, I keep going back to Black Sheep Pizza. I love the coal-fired flavor, the sausage is spectacular, and I find the service to be really warm and inviting.

Now are these the best three restaurants in the Twin Cities? That's an entirely different question. But when it comes to my personal top three, that's where I stand.

How about you? What are your favorite Twin Cities restaurants and why? 

Post your thoughts in the comments—I'll visit some of them and write a future story on them.

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

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Comments, page 1 of 2 1 2 Next »
May 16, 2013 02:54 pm
 Posted by  AW

One of my favorite restaurants is Wok in the Park in St. Louis Park (http://wokintheparkrestaurant.com). The service is friendly and attentive—I never see the bottom of my water glass—and their wonton specials feature deliciously unique combinations of flavors. My favorite entree is Wok's Cherry Own Curry, with fun noodles instead of rice, and the green papaya salad is a refreshing warm weather option. I just caution that one "flame" of heat is what might be two or three in other Minnesotan restaurants, so proceed with caution.

I love that everything is made fresh (and with no MSG), so they can easily make substitutions for allergies and adjust the heat level to any preference.

May 16, 2013 08:55 pm
 Posted by  Jon Anon

1. McDonald's
2. Burger King
3. None

Nos. 1 and 2 are the only places I can afford to "dine out".

May 16, 2013 09:01 pm
 Posted by  Angie G.

Just three IS hard! But here's my go at it:

1. Bar La Grassa: amazing food, unbeatable service. And I daydream about the lobster and egg bruschetta.

2. Cafe and Bar Lurcat: Brussels. Sprouts.

3. W.A. Frost: classic.

May 16, 2013 09:25 pm
 Posted by  Tipo Ordinario

I take dates I think I might feel serious about to lard based restaurants. Top 3
2. Hook Fish & Chicken
3. 112 Eatery

If they really eatup the grease heavy dishes instead of looking for a salad I know I am out with a future obese person stoking up for a heart attack and that's our last date.

May 16, 2013 10:03 pm
 Posted by  msp2dc

Blackwoods, Duluth, MN
Keys Cafe, White Bear Lake, MN
Snuffys, Roseville, MN

May 16, 2013 10:09 pm
 Posted by  nitramk

1. Hovie's Deli in Eagan - good food, friendly owners who know your name :)
2. Ansari's - good food & nice atmosphere
3. Perkins - a classic

May 16, 2013 10:21 pm
 Posted by  Buffalo Springsteen

The Butcher Block
Al Vento
The Band Box

May 16, 2013 10:47 pm
 Posted by  Evan H.

1) The Dock Cafe, Stillwater
2) Kieran's Irish Pub, Minneapolis
3) Blue Nile, Mpls
(Bonus salivatoria: Matt's Bar, Kincaid's, Ruth's Chris, Gyropolis in Bloomington)

May 16, 2013 10:54 pm
 Posted by  Elsabet

Harbor View Cafe

Bachelor Farmer

In Season, etc....

May 16, 2013 11:04 pm
 Posted by  mkweinhagen

Cossetta's on W. 7th in St. Paul for the BEST Italian... everything. Oh so Italian.

D Spot in Maplewood... no ambiance but an unbelievable variety of AMAZING chicken wings. Darin is a genius... all made from scratch and he will experiment just for you.

Vietnam Star in Maplewood... the Hot & Spicy chicken is unparalleled. Great friendly service and truly tasty, authentic Vietnamese food.

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TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally bring the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly editor-in-chief Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Chef Jason Ross, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

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