Rather than including separate entries for each restaurant, I’ve created a compilation post of food memories that have stood out to me in the past few months. Lately I’ve been appreciating dining out more than in the past. I’ve also been socializing more which adds to the fun factor of it.
Punch Pizza (Various locations throughout the Twin Cities | MN) – Napoli with pepperoni
The pizza here is so delicious and carries unique stylistic features compared to other establishments. It’s cooked in a wood burning oven which allows for it to be heated up quickly. The crust is chewy with a sourdough like flavor. While they don’t slop on the sauce, it doesn’t need to be done because this pizza works with a lighter ratio. The slices are a bit flimsy but eating it with a fork and knife just makes you appear more classy. *Bonus points for being a business that is known for treating their employees well.
Pizzeria Lola (Minneapolis | MN) – My Sha-roni!Pizzeria Lola is one of the BEST spots in Minneapolis for food. While they mostly serve pizza, there are also interesting appetizers and specials to choose from. Similar to Punch, the pizza is cooked in a wood fired oven. The product is vastly different though. It makes me happy knowing that the owner is of Korean heritage (like me) but that doesn’t change the fact of the food here being AMAZING. There are many unique types of pizza to choose from but I’m in love with My Sha-roni! which is more of a traditional type. It’s outfitted with a vibrant red sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and house made fennel sausage.
The restaurant has neat quirks to it, like a photo booth in the back where you can take picture strips and hang them on the wall for others to admire your wonky poses. It’s also notable that the plates are all mismatched which adds to the overall charm factor. This is definitely one of my favorites and a must go if you’re in the area. Although make sure that you’re not super impatient if you’re coming for dinner because wait times can be long depending on the day.
*Young Joni, located in Northeast, is also owned by the same woman (Ann Kim) and is equally (if not more) wonderful!
Unami Bowl (Apple Valley | MN) – Pad Thai with chicken
This was a spur of the moment find. I’ve noticed that I tend to revisit a lot of the same restaurants often. It can be extremely overwhelming with so many businesses to choose from. Yelp helped me to find this place after a day at the zoo. It follows the quick serve, order at the counter model where you pick up your food when it’s done being prepared. The period from ordering to receiving the food was short. I thought that the food was quite good. I didn’t really know what to expect going into it but I left happy. I liked how the Pad Thai had a nice presentation aesthetically and was very flavorful. The noodles had a consistent texture while the supporting ingredients were plentiful.
Dairy Queen (Various locations but Minneapolis | MN has the best ones) – Oreo BlizzardI don’t treat myself to Blizzards as often as I used to. The occasions that I do choose to get them are exciting though. It reminds me of high school when I would get them with my dad every week.
For whatever reason, the DQs in Minneapolis are so much better than any other locations that I’ve been to. (Being from Minnesota means that I’ve been to a lot of them.) The soft serve is thicker and has a sweeter taste than others. It’s truly magic in the form of dessert. Now that my dad is somewhat far away, my mom has taken it upon herself (subconsciously or not) to assume the role of accompanying me on weekly DQ outings. Something about still being able to carry on the tradition in my twenties is very fulfilling and nostalgic. I’m a lucky girl!
My Huong Kitchen (Minneapolis | MN) – Bun cha gio (egg roll noodle salad)Vietnamese food is so spectacular and it’s very convenient that there are a good number of options to choose from (in terms of restaurants within the Twin Cities). There are a whole handful of them on Eat Street in Minneapolis. I tend to rotate when I go to the area, although this one in particular has a special charm. The restaurant is smaller than some of the other options but it feels cute. I like how it has the family business dynamic going on where you can really experience it due to the intimate size of the establishment. The walls are bright green there are plenty of plants around which adds cheerfulness in the overall atmosphere.
Bun Cha Gio is one of my favorite things to get. The egg rolls are always yummy and I enjoy how they are nestled atop a bed of rice noodles and veggies. It’s a comfort food with a refreshing quality to it. The egg rolls here are especially good in comparison to other places. The exterior is extra flaky and light while the inside is packed with ingredients and a nice meaty flavor. They give a generous amount of vegetables on the side which is always appreciated.
The Blue Door Pub (Minneapolis | MN) – Cluck Yeah!Service was an issue for me when eating here but the food totally made up for it. The sandwich was packed with coleslaw on top of the fried chicken patty. Underneath were some very well flavored pickles. The sandwich was delicious with a juicy chicken breast as the core. The breading of the chicken was delightful to consume with a good crunch to it. Coleslaw added a nice sweet and salty quality. It’s hard to describe how good this was. It totally made me forget about how detached our waitress was. The fries were also excellent with a wonderful potato guts ratio. The texture was soft with a bold potato taste.
Lyn 65 (Richfield | MN) – Chicago style diner burgerThe restaurant itself it quite romantic, although I think the tables are a bit close together in the main area. They have a decent sized bar area with a patio open for the summer which makes it easier to get a table. The wait can be long.
Having a good burger always improves my day. The one here is really great. It’s nice that they include a decent amount of pickles and cheese. The burger itself is “melt in your mouth” satisfying while the fries are also good and salty. What’s great is that they include complimentary ice cream cones for dessert. While the ice cream isn’t necessarily the greatest, it’s a thoughtful and much appreciated gesture. After all, who in their right mind would turn down a free ice cream cone?
The Yard House (St Louis Park | MN) – Chicken lettuce wrapFirst and foremost, this place is great…if you’re really into drinking and waiting forever to get food/service. They have several pages of beers to choose from on the menu and you can order a giant glass of it that will most likely surpass your height while resting on the table. Although for food, it is overpriced and service is slow. Painfully slow.
Nonetheless, I included this because I was pleasantly surprised by what I ordered. An important tip is to come during Happy Hour so that you’re able to get affordable prices. I really liked the chicken lettuce wrap and was surprised to find that the chicken came inside of a crispy wonton bowl. There were three kinds of sauces (one is hidden in the photo) that included a peanut sauce, sweet and sour and a sesame one. What was really great was that there was a nice stack of lettuce leaves included for making wraps. I had more than enough which is usually not the case when ordering things that involve lettuce leaves.