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Curiocity: My Favorite South Minneapolis Eats … So Far

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Al Vento

(credit: CBS)

Sara Boyd Sara Pelissero
Sara Pelissero joined the WCCO web team in August of 2009. You can...
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The best thing about moving, for me anyway, is discovering a new world of restaurants in your local ‘hood.

There’s simply nothing better than having a delicious meal, eating yourself into a food coma and knowing that sweatpants and a comfy couch are just a few blocks away.

And for me and my fiance, we’ve landed in the perfect new neighborhood to try some (somewhat) hidden gems. Perhaps I was a bit out-of-the-loop, but as it turns out, south Minneapolis truly has some great dining.

While we’ve only been living in our new home for about a month and a half, we’ve already eaten our way around the block and then some. Here’s just a few of our favorites stops.

Al Vento
5001 34th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Website

This cozy little Italian restaurant keeps things fresh with an ever-changing menu and plenty of classic specials. Stop by Sunday or Monday for half-priced wine bottles all night or on Tuesdays for Date Night — four-course meals for the crazy pricetag of just $20 a person. The pasta here is fresh and filling — especially the tortellini. (They were giant!) The mother sauce (red sauce) is outstanding and the Sicilian stuffed mushrooms are a perfect start to any entree. I have yet to try out Sunday brunch but I hear it’s phenomenal.

Birchwood Cafe
3311 E. 25th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Website

I’ve been to Birchwood Cafe a few times now and every time I say the same thing: I want everything on the menu. And if it wasn’t for that whole “rising obesity in America” thing, I would totally do it. Everything at Birchwood seems to take this formula — start with a classic comforting dish, add a unique spin and of course, use the freshest ingredients possible. The result is utter and complete joy on a plate. Breakfast is heavenly with a variety of scrambles, freshly made pastries and some of the best waffles around. Stop in for lunch to enjoy a giant, delicious turkey burger or choose from their array of deli salads — all impeccable.

matts Curiocity: My Favorite South Minneapolis Eats ... So Far

(credit: mattsbar.com)

Matt’s Bar
3500 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Website

I knew moving so close to Matt’s Bar would be trouble, and as my non-stop Jucy Lucy cravings will tell you, it is. The place is pretty much a dive but it doesn’t matter at all. The Jucy Lucys inside are enough to keep the masses coming. Get an order of fries for the table, a few of those perfectly melty, cheesy burgers and you’re set. Or go the route I have on a few occasions and skip the cooking, call Matt’s and get your order to go.

Longfellow Grill
2990 West River Parkway
Minneapolis MN, 55406
Website

For a perfect lunch setting on a sunny afternoon, you can’t go wrong at Longfellow Grill. This urban eatery has a great patio for sipping cocktails, diving into homemade macaroni and cheese or enjoying a fresh, summer salad in the sun. The menu has something for everyone no matter what meal you come for and offers a great selection of sandwiches, burgers and classic entrees. Make sure you try the sweet potato fries with Longfellow’s chipotle pesto aioli — they’re ridonkulous.

Buster’s On 28th
4204 28th Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Website

I cannot tell you how excited I was to find out there was a gastropub just down the street from my new house. I was even more elated to find out the pub was everything I was hoping for and more. The sandwiches and burgers at Buster’s are perfect for lunch — not to mention, the sweet potato fries (yes, I’m a tad obsessed) are a true treat to any meal. The Elian Gonzalez (Buster’s version of a “Cuban”) is a tasty mix of shredded pork and sliced ham on tasty focaccia bread. The turkey panini is a nice surprise with caramelized strawberries and balsamic cream cheese. All of the bread for Buster’s sandwiches are baked daily, right next door from A Baker’s Wife. And the beer? Well, that’d be worth a post of its own.

A Baker’s Wife
4200 28th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

So speaking of A Baker’s Wife, if you’re looking for a tasty pastry any time of the day, look no further than this wonderful local shop. Between the cookies and cakes and the fresh-baked bread and croissants, this bakery has you covered. Try the American tea cakes or a sour cherry cream cheese danish and you’ll understand why this place is a neighborhood favorite.

Beyond these spots we’ve also enjoyed the pizza delivery of Carbone’s (the thin crust pizza is delish!) and the awesome sushi happy hour at Midori’s Floating World Cafe. But I feel like we’re just scratching the surface. What’s your favorite south Minneapolis eatery? What should we try next?

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