When traveling to an area of the county that I have not seen previously, I always like to find the eateries that the locals go to. I can get Applebee’s and Outback anywhere and it won’t be any different in Topeka than it was in Walla Walla. So I used to have to search around or ask strangers where to so but now there is an alternative.
The Food Network TV show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives specializes on ferreting out these gems for you. Their host and his team search out one of a kind and often unusual restaurants and give a run down on the owners of the establishments and their menus. The menus are often quirky and sometimes downright strange but I have always found the food in these joints to be excellent.
Here are a few of my favorites in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area from that have been featured on the show.
Donatelli’s. 2692 East County Rd E White Bear Lake MN 55110 (http://donatellis.com)
Very authentic Italian fare. They make their own pasta and the marinara sauce is fantastic. Well worth the drive.
The Modern Café 337 13 Ave Northeast, Minneapolis MN 55413 (www.moderncafeminneapolis.com)
1940’s diner interior with a unique and fun menu. Great specials available in the eatery that is right in the heart of Minneapolis. Try the housemade French fries with herb mayo.
Al’s Breakfast 413 14 Ave Southeast, Minneapolis MN 55414
Old time counter type of place where you often have to stand and wait as the seating is so limited. It is worth the wait as the chef/owner (a James Beard award winner) will impress you with his interesting takes on the old standards. Try his whole wheat, honey pancakes.
Kramarczuk Sausage Company 215 East Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis MN 55414 (www.kramarczuk.com)
This restaurant and bakery make dozens of different sausages from around the world. It also boasts a fantastic cafeteria style restaurant featuring European cuisine.
There are quite a few other eateries that have been featured on the show and I encourage you to fire up your laptop while traveling and have a look. You will be pleasantly surprised.