We asked F&W Best New Chef 2005 Seth Bixby Daugherty to be our guide to the best dining options in the Twin Cities for convention delegates (and all other food-and-wine-curious visitors) in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention from September 1-4. Plus: Enjoy fantastic F&W recipes from the midwest and the southwest, in honor of John McCain's great state of Arizona.
Recipes and Slideshows
More Recipes Representing Minnesota and the Midwest
Barbecued-Pork Burritos with Chopped SaladChipotle-Corn SaladQuick Chicken-and-Cheese TamalesSkirt Steak Fajitas
Restaurants and Markets
Though chef Seth Bixby Daugherty’s got his hands full with his Real Food Initiatives, putting nutritious, local foods in public schools in the Twin Cities and around the U.S., he gladly stepped away from a cooking class to share his go-to spots for Dutch babies, hemp bread, Hmong snacks and other delicious Twin Cities’ classics:
Lyndale Market and Nicollet Mall
For a proper food tour of the Twin Cities, the first place to start would be the farmers’ markets; they’re all about corn and tomatoes right now. We’ve got the daily Lyndale Market—right downtown near the International Market Square, or IMS—and one market every Thursday on the pedestrian-only Nicollet Mall. Those are can’t-miss.
The best supermarket in town has to be the Wedge. I think it’s one of the largest co-ops in America; they have everything local, and they’re really into the low-carbon, small-footprint idea. I lived in New York City for a number of years, and the Wedge reminds me of the old Balducci’s: They’ve got things hanging from the ceiling, carts filling the aisles, it’s totally packed. It’s got a great energy and a great feel.
Minneapolis has one of the largest Hmong populations in America, so you have to check out our Asian markets: United Noodles rivals any market in New York City’s Chinatown.
Original Pancake House
For a classic breakfast spot, my wife, two kids and I go to our local branch of the Original Pancake House. They’re known for risen pancakes, like their Dutch baby. They have four franchises around the Twin Cities area; there’s always an hour-long line, no matter which branch.
French Meadow Bakery
For coffee or pastries, the French Meadow Bakery is awesome; they’re known for their hemp bread, but everything is outstanding.
If you’d like to see some modern art, you’ve gotta go to the Walker Art Center and then eat at Wolfgang Puck’s place, 20.21. Try the tamarind-glazed pork spare ribs or the whole crispy sea bass with crispy ginger.
For cocktails, I have to recommend the new W hotel in the Foshay. The Foshay Tower was the first high rise in Minneapolis. The hotel has a steak house, Manny’s, with a great bar; there’s a really cool bar, Prohibition, on the 27th floor, too.
For a large-scale international experience, Eat Street runs along Nicollet Avenue South near 28th Street West: There are a ton of restaurants there, all nationalities represented.
Restaurant Alma and Brasa
I know I’ll always get something delicious at Alex Roberts’s Restaurant Alma and at his smaller rotisserie place, Brasa. At Brasa I get the beans and rice, the pulled pork or the roasted chicken.
Solera and La Belle Vie
I also love both of Tim McKee’s restaurants; I just ate at Solera a couple of days ago. It’s a tapas place, and I don’t even look at the menu. I just look at the waiter and say, “Bring me some good food.” That always works. And La Belle Vie is a home run every time I go. It’s not like I’m wondering, “Oh my God, I’m going to drop $200-plus, is this going to be good?” I order the tasting menu and I know I’ll be set.
Adele’s Frozen Custard
For the best ice cream, you’ll have to take a 30 minute drive outside Minneapolis, but it’s worth the trek: Adele’s Frozen Custard on Lake Minnetonka, serves house-made frozen custard. It’s so rich you can almost taste the egg yolks. Generally we go with the chocolate. (800 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior, Minn., 952-470-0035)