Tag Archives: Restaurants

Phil’s Last Stand

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Location: 2258 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago
Hours: Sun: 10:30AM-10PM, Mon-Tue: 10:30AM-Midnight, Wed: 10:30AM-2AM, Thur-Sat: 10:30AM-4AM

Chicago’s hot dog game is on another level; red hots, char-dogs, grilled or raw onions, Chicago style toppings or old school style, poppy seed bun or plain, NO KETCHUP; it is it’s own madness. Last weekend we were out late in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood and decided to stop by Phil’s Last Stand to finally find out what all the hype’s about. {2:00am, Saturday}: Upon entering, the place was full of all sorts of Chicago’s finest, everyone from drunken college kids, fed up locals; and yes the odd bum or two. Classic atmosphere at any Chicago stand around bar close, the interior was packed but the picnic table filled patio was pleasantly vacant. Both the burgers and the hot dogs were awesome, and like my friend Blanco said, “This place doesn’t give a fuck about fries”; they literally filled the entire basket around the hot dogs. Phil’s easily earned it’s spot within my top 5 hot dog stands in the city, good food, decent prices and they offer more space than the average stand. If you’re ever in West Town or the Ukraine Village on an empty stomach, i’d highly recommend a stop here; you wont leave hungry.

Harold’s Chicken Shack

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Location: Numerous (Best are 87th & Kedzie, 83rd & Ashland)
Hours: Vary by location

Growing up in Minnesota, KFC and Popeyes were the marquis chicken places aside from a few token spots like El-Amins, Shorty & Wags, and Pizza Gallery. When i came to the city of Chicago, it was clear that one name rang loudest in the conversation over chicken; Harold’s. A Southside institution, Harold’s Chicken Shack has reached national acclaim for having some of the best wings, not only in Chicago; but in the entire United States as well. When driving on the Southside you’ll see a Harold’s in just about every neighborhood stretching down into the city’s south suburbs, you can find them all across the city but they are most prevalent out south. The chicken itself is great, Juicy, Crispy and lathered in a sauce locals have named “Mild Sauce”; it’s like a blend of BBQ, Honey BBQ and ketchup. They provide a variety of sauces but Mild is really the only way to go, if you’re ever in Chicago you CAN NOT leave without eating at one of the many around town. Thank me later.

Lions Tap

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Location: 16180 Flying Cloud Drive, Eden Prairie
Hours: Everyday // 11AM-10PM

The Twin Cities metro has it’s fair share of culinary gems, but one step further into the true suburbs might surprise you. One such low key institution is Lions Tap in Eden Prairie. Dating back to 1933, the place has come a long way transforming into one of the top 500 restaurants in the nation. Craft beer? Yup, they’ve been brewing their own for decades. Burgers? Yup, they offer 6 varieties including Bacon Cheese, Mushroom Swiss, and California; all of which come in single or double. Throw in a basket of fries and you’ve got a damn good meal at just under $10. The “after soccer game” vibe isn’t so bad once your food has arrived, if you happen to find yourself out by Valley Fair or Mystic Lake Casino, I’d highly recommend a visit.

C C. Club

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Location: 2600 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Hours: Sun-Sat: 8AM-2AM

As Minneapolis’ bar scene becomes more and more introverted, the old diamonds in the rough are beginning to reclaim their old shine. Dive bars like Liquor Lyle’s, Mortimer’s, Gringo’s & C.C Club are busier than ever proving that it’s not all about the trendy spots. Situated on 28th Street and Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis’ Lyn-Lake neighborhood, the C.C Club maintains a staple, statue like presence in the area. Popular for it’s happy hour specials (2 for 1s) the corner bar also serves up some damn good “dive” food (cheese curds, burgers etc). Pool tables, dart boards, and video games complete the scene; along with plenty of thirsty locals looking to have a good time. A perfect place to pregame or grab a last call, don’t be surprised if you bump into someone you know after a few visits. If you’re ever near 28th & Lyndale and in need of a drink, stop on into the C.C Club.

Raising Cane’s Chicken

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Location: 825 Washington Ave SE #104, Minneapolis
P: 612-378-3243
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30AM-10PM, Fri-Sat: 10:30AM-Midnight

Cane’s is one of those places that you might pass everyday without noticing it, but once you stop in you’re hooked, possibly for life. Situated in Minneapolis’ Stadium Village neighborhood, Cane’s has quickly become a local favorite among hungry University of Minnesota students. Originally based solely in Louisiana, Cane’s specializes in premium chicken; they only have chicken strips and chicken sandwiches…that’s it. The simplicity of the menu adds to the greatness of the restaurant, you know the chicken’s good when that’s all they serve. For all my sauce savvy eaters beware, Cane’s strictly prohibits any other condiment but their own “Cane’s Sauce” which tastes like a mixture of familiar flavors (Thousand islands?), but is still very much a mystery. This place wont put too much of a beating on your wallet either and I’ve found it to be a great hangover cure as well. Stop in and get a taste of what you’ve been missing.

Mickey’s Diner

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Location: 36 7th Street W, St. Paul
Hours: 24/7

Located in downtown St. Paul, Mickey’s Diner is quite possibly Minnesota’s most iconic diner. The classic box car was originally designed in New Jersey then transported to Minnesota in 1939. Known for their pancakes and breakfast plates, this is a place where a slim wallet can take you far. Milk shakes and malts are a must with any burger, everything is cooked to order so you’ll know it’s fresh when it hits the table. If it’s hockey season beware, things can get crowded quick, Mickey’s is a very small diner so make the trip during off hours. Click the link below for their official website.

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The Weiners Circle

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Location: 2622 N Clark Street, Chicago
P: 773-477-7444
Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10:30AM-4 AM, Fri-Sat: 10:30AM-5 AM

The Weiners Circle is definitely a top 10 hot dog shack in the city of Chicago. Situated just south of Chicago’s bustling WrigleyVille corridor, this place can get pretty out of control around bar close, which makes for an interesting experience. During the day you’ll get the toned down version but venture here late on a Friday or Saturday night and i guarantee you’ll leave full and with a smile on your face. Obscene comments, offensive remarks and all; this place actually has some pretty good food. The char-broiled cheddar burger is a personal favorite but i’ve heard good things about their char-dog as well. The Weiners Circle recently inked a deal with Tru Tv for a reality show so be on the look out for that, check out the clip below if you want to see what you’re in for.

The Nicollet Cafe

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Location: 1931 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
Hours: Mon-Fri: 7AM-10PM, Sat-Sun: 8AM-10PM

A lot of people in Minneapolis would consider good cafe’s a dime a dozen, sure there are local favs like Spyhouse or Namaste; but sometimes I enjoy a more low key setting. The Nicollet Cafe on Franklin Street & Nicollet Avenue is slowly becoming a “go-to” place for a good cup of coffee and a quiet space to work. Decent specials, abundant seating and a diverse crowd are all positive things the Nicollet has to offer. If you’re looking for a little something to eat, they also serve sandwiches and breakfest to the shigrin of the Starbucks across the street. In an area saturated with cafe’s, The Nicollet is a nice change of pace from your typical coffee shop; if you’re ever in Steven’s Square stop in for a cup of Joe or a bite to eat.

Complex Mag: “Hidden Minneapolis”

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Jake Heinitz (Greenroom) was recently called upon by Complex Mag to highlight some fun spots in Minneapolis. A list clearly built by a local, Jake throws in a few overlooked locations, with the south side being a hot spot. Taco Cat, Glam Doll, Icehouse, Victor’s 1959 Cafe, Familia Skateshop and B.Resale all get worthy nods among the others, click the link below and check out the list for yourself.

Complex: “Hidden Minneapolis”

The Nicollet Diner


When people think of Eat Street, classic American diners are pretty much an afterthought. Sure, the Bad Waitress sits on 26th & Nicollet offering up great food, but the lower portion of Eat Street has been neglected. This all changed a few weeks ago when the long awaited Nicollet Diner opened its doors after a grueling remodel. The restaurant has that classic diner feel that you find at other places like Uptown Diner & Mickey’s, but remains relatively low key at the moment, meaning you’ll be able to find a seat quickly, if not instantly. Their menu isn’t necessarily special, but a good diner can easily get away with simply offering great breakfast, good burgers and quality shakes, after all; who cares when all you want to do is soak up last night’s party with fried goodness. Sure, I’ve eaten at better diners, but one can do faaarrr worse when hung over; the food was great and the service was adequate. If you live in Loring or Stevens Square, or if you’re simply in the area, stop in and grab a bite to eat, we guarantee you won’t regret it.