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Suburban Spotlight: Jamie Checks Out Eden Prairie

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(credit: CBS) Jamie Yuccas
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EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) – All this week, the WCCO Morning Show is touring the Twin Cities in their Suburban Spotlight. For Tuesday, the focus is 11 miles from downtown Minneapolis in the southwest ‘burb of Eden Prairie.

It’s located in Hennepin County and is the 7th largest suburb with around 62,000 residents. In 2010, Eden Prairie was ranked the best place to live by Money Magazine for its family-friendly appeal and incredible booming economy.

Settlers didn’t come to Eden Prairie until 1851. The Picha Heritage Farm is home to one of the area’s first families, established in 1903.

Terry Picha says six generations have worked the land. It started with an 80-acre wheat and cattle farm, but is now 5 acres of nurseries and greenhouses.

“We don’t have a lot of land here in Eden Prairie anymore because we can’t afford to,” Picha said.

In 1946, the city added Flying Cloud Airport and business took off. Almost 100,000 flights take off and land every year.

The 1960s saw the city’s parks explode in size. Eden Prairie has 125 miles’ worth of walking and bike trails.

In the ’70s, the community got a major interstate — I-494 — along with Eden Prairie Center. Thirteen million people visit the mall each year.

Now, the area is home to almost 2,200 businesses, including SuperValu, the third-largest food retailing company, the hearing aid designer, developer and distributer Starkey Hearing Technologies, the Minnesota Vikings facilities at Winter Park, and employee-owned photography company Lifetouch.

Workers have been settling into subdivisions ever since and looking for recreational opportunities like the Eden Prairie Art Center. It provides classes for adults and camps all summer to kids.

Restaurants also dot the city. Viewers told us some of their favorites, which included the Italian dishes at Biaggi’s, steaks from Wildfire, sushi at Kona, and Greek at Santorini’s.

But since 1977, it’s the burgers at the family run Lions Tap that bring people from all around the Metro to Eden Prairie.

Only burgers and fries make up the menu, but the burgers are laced with a secret seasoning. They wouldn’t tell us what was in it, but you can buy it for $5. The single-patty burger is even cheaper at $3.30.

Cooks can crank out 75 burgers in just 10 minutes.

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