Friday, October 03, 2008

Top Ten Fridays - Joe Biden Edition

In honor of Joe Biden's debate performance last night, I thought I'd list ten Twin Cities restaurants that have caught my fancy of late.

10. ZENIOS. This uptown restaurant features reasonable prices, and a great happy hour. The best part is that the clientele is upscale (not a fleece in sight!), the floors are clean, and the service is excellent. When we went, the waiter recognized that he was a bit late delivering my appetizer, so he offered me a free beer.

9. EARTH TO JOES. This funky Apple Valley cafe emphasizes all natural ingredients. The menu is a departure from TGI Fridays, but those willing to engage the more creative dishes (plantains on a bed of beluga lentils takes the cake, and even the cake is good) will find their patience rewarded.

8. SOUL JAMAICA - Generic name aside, this eccentric soul cuisine joint in downtown Anoka serves up red beans and rice that would probably put your mother to shame. If your mother is Jamaican, and assuming she doesn't also make incredible red beans and rice. Well worth the drive.

7. BEV'S - While Frogtown is known for an eclectic mix of Southeastern Asian cuisine, sometimes you just want pancakes. Bev's serves pancakes six ways from Sunday, and six more ways on Sunday. Of course, none are of the mu shu variety, but you can't have everything.

6. COO-COO-VA-VOOM! - Most strip clubs brag about their chicken wings ironically. This Wayzata establishment proves that you can have your meat and eat it too. It won't win any awards as a first-date destination, but some people are just prejudiced.

5. SARCONIS - A steakhouse in downtown that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? It's true. SARCONIS has about the best New York Strip in town for all of $17, so it's not just the name that has me wondering if this is just a mafia front. Just try to eat up before Petey Shorts breaks out a Tommy Gun and lights up the place.

4. SAVAGE - Yes, it's in Savage. It's also just about the most daring restaurant in the Twin Cities. Spicy jambalaya that is actually spicy? A stuffed chicken dish that isn't phoned in? A martini that is prepared correctly. I'm going to have to rethink Savage.

3. THE HOT POTATO - This refreshing Riverside establishment eschews the nightly barrage of loud bands for which the neighborhood has become famous in favor of a low-key approach. As the name implies, the emphasis here is on food, and you won't find any nachos on the menu, all though an place with a name like The Hot Potato had better deliver when it comes to french fries. Fortunately, for them, they do.

2. NEW KYOTO - Those familiar with Richfield's Hub shopping center wouldn't confuse it for a sushi destination spot, but it nonetheless plays home to some of the best raw eats in town. It is said that you can tell a good sushi chef by the tamago. If that is true, then New Kyoto's chefs are the best in the business. Oh, and the fish isn't bad either.

1. AZURE - This recent entry in the Jordan neighborhood bar scene may not stick around past the housing bust. The track lighting and glowing-blue floors might have been a little optimistic for the most violent neighborhood in Minneapolis. Still, I'll enjoy the best cocktails in town, just as soon as I'm done devouring a generous smoked salmon platter. The diverse crowd is proof that class and quality transcend background.

What are some of your favorite "Joe Biden" stops?


Blogger Steve Boland said...

Where is Bev's?

9:46 AM  
Blogger Kevin Sawyer said...

On the corner of Union and Lincoln, in a little place called imagination next to Katie's Diner.

Sorry for confusing your Google Reader, Steve. I do, however, review restaurants that actually exist on this blog, so keep in touch.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Memphis Evans said...

My mental process:
1. Man, these sound like great restaurants! What with the kids and all it would take me years to actually get to any or all of these. Wistful sadness.

2. Oh, they're all fake? What a brilliant work of imagination! Admiration, followed by disappointment, dominated by relief.

9:53 AM  

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