Casa Chaaltun by Tescala // Merida, Mexico
The Twin Cities’ BBQ scene has been lacking for quite some time, but things have began to change around the metro. One place that has been doing it’s thing for years is John Hardy’s down in Rochester. The small, shack style restaurant sits right off highway 52 for any wayward traveler looking to fill up while on the road. If you came here for decor and fine dining service, you came to the wrong place. Here you’ll lineup to order just like everyone else and you’ll receive the same awesomely prepared food, just like everyone else. The ribs are a crowd favorite, but the sampler is also worth tackling if you want variety. Dry rub guy/gal? Do you like a plethora of sauces? They’ve got you covered. If you happen to be in the Rochester make sure to stop by 1 of their 2 locations for some of the best BBQ in the state. Click the link below for more info.
Location: 3012 Lyndale Avenue S, Minneapolis
Hours: Mon-Fri: 3PM-2AM, Sat-Sun: 11AM-2AM
The corner of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street has gone through quite the transformation over the last few years. The new Country Bar, Iron Door Pub, and Lyn-Lake Brewery have breathed life into what was beginning to look like one of the southside’s biggest question marks. If you remember Rusty Quarters, 1Up, or any of the other failed attempts at arcade bars, you know that the people over at the newly established Up-Down are definitely on to something.
The bar feels like an arcade first which is a great thing, they offer a wide array of games including pineball, jumbo jenga and ski-ball. You’ll see plenty of your favorites like The Simpsons, Off-Road, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and NBA JAM, but there are also plenty of gems in their collection. If you came for the booze you wont be disappointed, Up-Down offers around 60 taps as well as a full bar. Food? They have a small kitchen that serves up pizza by the slice, not mind blowing but definitely a good filler between pints. Pinball aficionados might scoff at the limited selection, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better one in the cities. Be aware that this place can get packed during evening hours and over the weekend, if you’re there to play you should aim for week days or earlier hours.
Up-Down is by far the best “barcade” I’ve ever been to in the Twin Cities, there is plenty of room for improvement, but there really isn’t much to complain about either. If you follow our advice on when to attend you should be good, click the link below for their official website.
Our “All City” series is a collection of some of our current favorites from the Twin Cities. The series is meant to introduce music from the Twin Cities’ scene to wider national/international audiences. This installment features the likes of Allan Kingdom, Drelli, Finding Novyon, K. Raydio, Greg Grease and Dwynell Roland among others. We hope you enjoy All City Vol. 5 as much as we do, check it out below and stay tuned for volume 6.
Location: 2555 N Pulaski Rd, Chicago
Hours: Mon-Sat: 7AM-5PM, Sun: 9AM-3PM
Chicago is one of those cities where you can literally eat just about any type of food under the sun. Whether it’s Swedish pastries in Andersonville (really, that’s the name), Ethiopian food in Roger’s Park or tacos in Little Village; it’s all there. One of my favorite spots in the entire city is also probably one of the smallest, in the summer the line really stretches down the block. El Cubanito cooks up Cuban style steak sandwiches that could easily stand up to the traditional Philly that’s often favored. If you’re simply looking for a snack, they also make a damn good empanada; all of which can easily be had for under $10. Cuban food is often slept on, but one stop here and that’ll all change. If you’re ever near Logan Square and need a bite to eat, check out El Cubanito; you wont regret it.
Location: 313 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 11AM-11PM, Fri-Sat: 11AM-Midnight
Tucked in the corner on one of Dinkytown’s busiest intersections, above the Kitty Kat Klub; lies one of Minneapolis’ best burger spots. At night the old school signs reading “Annie’s” in bright lights can’t be missed. Up the stairs and through the old parlor door, Annie’s interior looks as if it has never seen a makeover (in a good way). They have a decent variety of sandwiches, including a pretty good BLT; but everyone knows the burgers are the only way to go. No frills, no special sauces; just straight up hand/homemade burgers with lots and lots of cheese. Annie’s is a true parlor, they serve some of the city’s best malts and milkshakes to accompany any of the tasty burgers you decide to try. Overall this place is definitely the best spot for a classic “no nonsense” burger, the price is right and the service is fast; if you’re ever on campus make sure to stop in for a bite. You won’t regret it.