Best Test

I’ve lived in several cities since infancy, and there’s something about each place I still cherish. In Columbus, Ohio, where I spent my early childhood, I liked the morning glories in our backyard and the ice-cream parlor down the street from our home, the Big O. (Only later did I grasp the double entendre.) My fondest memories of Chicago include visits to the Art Institute, and, in Baltimore, where I briefly lived after college, few things made me happier than a stroll through the local fish market. (I’m still entranced by sea creatures as only a Midwesterner can be.) I swear, too, that I can remember the smell of the marmalade factory in Bellflower, California, where I was born, even though my parents left the city shortly thereafter. What else could explain my appetite for oranges?

I’ve lived here for 20 years now, and this issue—our annual “Best of the Twin Cities” edition—reminds me why. It’s chockful of stuff our staff has unearthed that’s not only great, but even surprising and unknown to longtime residents like me. For example, can you answer the following?

1.  What downtown Minneapolis steakhouse has one of the best lists for Cabernet Sauvignon in the entire Midwest?
2.  What regional park is so lush and crisscrossed with trails that last year searchers called in a plane after several mountain bikers got lost in it?
3.  On Fridays, where can you find a family-sized feast of kung-pao chicken or beef with broccoli, along with appetizers, a la Big Bowl for just $20?
4.  What local drycleaner has an iPhone app that will track your order?
5.  In winter, where can you find the largest congregation of trumpeter swans west of the Rockies?

If you got all five questions right (see answers below), congratulations. You just might know Minneapolis–St. Paul better than anybody else living here. Still, I’m confident you’ll find some curve balls in our “Best of the Twin Cities” package, which takes up the entire feature well. It’s the biggest collection of “Bests” we’ve ever printed and, I’d wager, the best batch, too. I’ll bet you a jar of marmalade you’ll agree.


Darrell Eager Darrell Eager is an advertising and editorial photographer whose work has appeared in such publications as Fortune, Runners’ World, Smart Money, and the Wall Street Journal. In May, he photographed a waterskier for our Summer issue, and his picture of a chocolate bar surrounded by candy helped provide a focus to this month’s cover feature, “Best of the Twin Cities.”
David J. Turner David J. Turner, who photographed Target trend expert Julie Guggemos, is a Minneapolis-based commercial and editorial photographer who contributes regularly to Minnesota Monthly. He has a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has collaborated with many local artists and studios. When he isn’t on assignment, Turner can usually be found near Minneapolis’s Lake Nokomis with his wife and their dog.

Best Test Answers

1.  Manny’s, see page 56.
2.  Lebanon Hills Regional Park, see page 64.
3.  Lunds and Byerly’s, see page 59.
4.  Mulberrys, see page 80.
5.  Monticello, see page 66.