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Thursday, December 1, 2011

DeRushaEats: Downtown Minneapolis for Holidazzle, Part 1

It’s that time of year, where families flood Nicollet Mall in dowtown Minneapolis on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for the Holidazzle parade. And far too many of them are lined up at Chipotle. So I put together some of my top spots for families to eat within walking distance of the parade.

Since it starts at 6:30 p.m., it’s best to get here early, eat, watch the parade, then get a hot cocoa and head home.

Here are some of my top downtown recommendations for families:

Hell’s Kitchen: First of all, what kid won’t be excited to go to a restaurant named Hell’s Kitchen? Second, it’s dark, crazy décor will be fascinating to your little ones. Third, it’s a really big restaurant. Fourth, breakfast for dinner. Kids love that. Don’t miss the lemon ricotta pancakes—they’re on the kids menu for $4.95. They’ve got a Cornmeal Pancake ($2.75) topped with berries, and a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich with the best peanut butter I’ve ever had ($4.75). For the adults, I love these same items, and the Mahnomin Porridge is great. 

They use Stonebridge Beef—which is the same grass-fed beef I buy from farmer Mike in Long Prairie, Minnesota. I’ve eaten the grass the cows eat (it’s delicious), so you can’t go wrong with Today’s Minnesota Meat—something created for that day. It’s $25, but you’re downtown, and it’s delicious.

Hell’s Kitchen also has a great bar, which is key for a night out with your kids. It’s key for a night out with my kids, at least.

Hell's Kitchen
hellskitcheninc.com
80 9th St. S.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
612-332-4700

The Depot Tavern: You’ll take a little walk to get to The Depot, the newish restaurant right by First Avenue, but it’s a great place to bring a couple kids—from little ones to teens. No kids menu here, but plenty of food for kids, and a friendly staff.

I loved the Diamond Dog when I was there—it’s a ¼ pound all-beef dog, wrapped with bacon, deep-fried, and served on a pretzel bun ($8). Perfect for kids.

The small bites have lots of friendly options too: the Cayenne Cheese Curds ($7) are kid favorites (they’re not that spicy), and the chicken-fried steak fingers would also delight your little guys and gals. Think about a sampler—three half portions of any appetizer, for just $12.

They’ve got grilled cheese (with apple and honey!) for $8.50, as well as the classic for $5.50., and a bacon-pepperjack version if your kid likes some spice ($7.50).

Lots of salads and soups too (the smoked brisket chili is really nice).

The Depot Tavern
thedepottavern.com
17 North 7th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403
612-338-1828

Stay tuned for a few more of my favorites—like Holidazzle, I run multiple weeks.

Posted on Thursday, December 1, 2011 in Permalink

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

Old to new | New to old
Dec 2, 2011 08:10 am
 Posted by  StPaulHockeyChick

Thanks for bringing up the Depot Tavern. One additional selling point - they do well with vegetarian and vegan diets!

Dec 2, 2011 09:40 am
 Posted by  Erin

Last year with a 10 month old we went to Skyroom at Macy's and that worked well. I know it's not anything resembling fine dining, but it was basically empty except for other families and you can pick and choose things for your kids, which older ones would love. I think they stay open a little later around Holidazzle.

Neither of these options you list is very appealing to me - I've had far too many bad experiences at Hell's Kitchen to want to go back, and Depot Tavern isn't that great either, so I'm looking forward to your next installment. Right now, Chipotle is sounding better and better... especially since it's pretty much guaranteed to please my toddler.

Dec 2, 2011 11:55 am
 Posted by  Tim Larsen

Took my 3 rugrats to Hell's Kitchen last night. Good recommendation. They LOVED the temp tattoos, we loved that the restaurant was prepared for an onslaught of kids and families and thus rushed the food out asap for the hungry little mouths. Third time there in as many months. Like it

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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 Senior Editor Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Home Cook Stephanie Meyer, Chef Jason Ross, Savvy Mom Kristin Boldon, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

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