petersgrill cmault Restaurant Review: Peters Grill

(credit: Coco Mault)

By Coco Mault

Despite Minneapolis’s penchant for razing, there are numerous remnants from the city’s past that still stand. Some historic pieces are more hidden than others, but there is comfort — and fun to be had — in seeking the treasures that remain. And some aren’t hidden at all. Take a look at the neon sign for Peter’s Grill jutting out from the U.S. Trust Building on 8th street. This restaurant is decidedly not hidden. In fact, it’s hard to miss.

When Peter Atcas and his brother John graduated from owning a fruit stand to running their own restaurant in the early 1900s, Peter’s Grill has been a Minneapolis staple. Atcas was intent on selling large portions of quality homemade food, and that is just one of many details that Atcas set in place that still remains today. And even though everything may not be made in-house anymore, they have food with a very homemade take.

Today, the restaurant is owned by Atcas’ nephew, and the kitchen still serves wholesome food. Peter’s menu is a full one, offering everything from hearty breakfasts to homemade soup to burgers with homemade buns. There are even steaks, chops, and seafood options. For light eaters, there are fruit and cottage cheese options, too.

Desserts seem to vary from day to day, but their signature green apple pie — Peter Atcas’ own recipe — looks to be available daily. Peter’s Grill also offers up a chocolate pie that comes about as close to grandma’s as you could ever hope for from a restaurant. A thick and smooth chocolate filling with whipped cream tops a surprisingly flaky (thankfully not doughy!) crust.

Their daily homemade soup offering is Fresh Vegetable (small bowl $4.45), along with a soup of the day option (small bowl $4.25). For those of you who happen to be there when the soup du jour is chicken noodle, order it. A generous serving of hot golden broth will arrive at the table brimming with healthy chunks of veggies, chicken, and large homemade egg noodles. The stock is quite flavorful, even buttery.

For sandwich seekers, Peter’s Grill offers theirs on white, wheat, or pumpernickel. Be ready to dress your own sandwich, though. It will arrive in quite plain a fashion. The roast beef sandwich ($7.95) on white was okay. The bread was snow white and sliced thick; the waitress pointed out that the bread came from a very good local bakery. It was a good meal in that wholesome after-school kind of way. The several layers of U.S. Choice roast beef were tasty, but definitely no-frills. Mayo and mustard packets are available on request. Wavy potato chips are served on the side, or $2.95 to substitute potato salad or fries.

Besides the bright green neon light on the restaurant’s large deco-style sign, light spills onto the sidewalk from large street-level windows making the large diner look like prime material for an Edward Hopper painting. The place clearly has its regulars, especially during breakfast and lunchtime, but during non-peak hours the original high-backed wooden booths, hat racks, and lunch counter stools are typically empty, presenting a lonely, Hopper-esque scene. But it’s worth a stop — anyone who enjoys the feeling of going back in time to a wholesome, stylish place will enjoy this surviving piece of Minnesota history.

Hours: Mon to Fri 7 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m.; Sun closed
Breakfast served 7 a.m.-10:45 a.m.; Dinner served 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Comments (12)
  1. Michele says:

    You must have gone on a good day or they knew you were going to write up a review because the place is always empty! The last time, I will never go there again and I will not recommend it to anyone, my companions hamburger was burnt and my ruben sandwich was less than tasteful. Some my call it a historic piece of days gone by but I say a new menu, new staff is needed. They are cheap on the food and it taste like it.

  2. Bob says:

    I have to agree with Michelle’s comment. Your reviewer is clearly out of touch with the reality of this hopeless, empty terrible restaurant that cannot even get breakfast food out in a timely manner. Do you have proof that your reviewer actually stepped foot in the place? Can you publish the receipt please?

  3. don't like peters grill says:

    LOL only 3 comments, show’s you people don’t care about this place anymore time to shut it down.

  4. Kevin says:

    Worked there briefly- horrible, cheapest product is ALL they purchase. Steer clear, this review is bogus and just plain false.

  5. Kay Kirscht says:

    I had a meal there last Friday (eat there about 3 times a year – always dinner). We had the Seafood Special…usually something you steer away from in a local diner. Everything was tasty and fine. I’ve always had good meals there; and I disagree with the comments – Peter’s Grill is *King* of Comfort Food

  6. Cedric Adams says:

    I have been there once and that was enough. The food is awful and the service is worse. I will never come back to this nasty greasy spoon. I would rather eat garbage from the gutter.

    Stop writing about places like this. Peter’s Grill is not charming, it is just bad.

  7. Kay Kirscht says:

    Use your REAL NAME, Cedric, when writing or responding to reviews.
    You died in 1961. Say “hello” to Clellan Card for me.
    Peter’s Grill is what it is – a classic, vintage diner.

  8. That Guy says:

    “When Peter Atcas and his brother John graduated from owning a fruit stand to running their own restaurant in the early 1900s, Peter’s Grill has been a Minneapolis staple. ”

    Come on ‘CCO. That sentence is horrible and y’all are supposed to be professionals.

  9. That Guy says:

    Also, go back more than once, at various times, and do not let them know you are a reviewer… I was there, once…

    1. Kay Kirscht says:

      Agree with you, That Guy, on both counts. Restaurant review on this website may have been handed to the Interns (which would explain some entertaining but really odd stories on the ‘cco news app in the past). Cub journalists gotta start somewhere, but I really miss the work Parker Prairie did on this site earlier in the century. He took site content and editing seriously, and had some of the highest page-views in MN. Innovated. Now, making the site *pay*…that’s the rub. Hope this gets to you, ThatGuy (and thanks for your real name). Know I’m off topic now, but it was the only way to reply; feel free to strip this comment out!

  10. Pla-eese says:

    Not impressed with the food or the price. I love the decor.

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