photo by Joshua Resnick – fotolia
Jason: From the Buck Hill slopes to Burnsville Center’s food court, a lot is happening in this southern suburb. Visit the new vibrant downtown, see a show at the Ames Center, and grab a bite.
Morgan’s Farm to Table: Yes, a hotel restaurant worth visiting! Inside the Best Western Premier Nicollet Inn, the grass-fed beef of the steaks and burgers comes from Wisconsin farms. The pork is from Fischer Farms in Waseca, and your salad will have Harold’s greens, Steve’s tomatoes, and Larry’s cage-free eggs. 14201 Nicollet Ave. S.
Blue Ox Sandwich Factory: For more than a decade, Blue Ox has been a local counterpoint to the Jimmy Johns and Subways of the world. Where else can you get a meatloaf sub or a huge variety of chicken sandwiches, fried and grilled? (Get the Swamp Thing, rubbed with Cajun spice.) 14270 Buck Hill Rd.
Joy: In early adulthood, I managed a trendy clothing store at Burnsville Center. I discovered a beautiful city, with rolling hills and a tight-knit community. Here are the best bets beyond the mall.
Roasted Pear: This is your go-to for cocktails and pizzas (or burgers, or sandwiches). Acting on a reader’s tip, I visited years ago. The roasted-pear pizza with Gorgonzola cheese sold me. It’s just the right balance of sweet and savory. 14200 Nicollet Ave.
Byblos Lebanese Grill: Go to Byblos with the one you love, because you’ve got to order the pungent toum. It’s so garlicky that you’ll be vampire-proof for a week, but so addictive. This and the flatbread alone make a meal, but don’t miss the chef’s special sandwiches. 14637 County Rd. 11