Standing right in the heart of downtown NE lies Masu. After passing by Masu well over a dozen times, we finally made our way inside for some sake and noodles. After entering the restaurant, we couldn’t help but notice the unique layout. In the center of the restaurant, there is an enormous curved bar followed by a handful of neon bright Pachinko games tucked in the back corner. If you are looking for more of an intimate setting, the left side of the restaurant has just what you need.
Masu has it all really: it is an aesthetically pleasing restaurant with delicious food, great sake, and an attentive staff. When it comes down it it, we plan to be back for seconds. Most importantly, If you’re looking for a decent bowl of pork belly ramen – look no farther.
Location: 1024 N Western Avenue, Chicago P: 773-451-5625 Hours: Mon-Fri: 11AM-2AM, Sat: 11AM-3AM, Sun: 11AM-Midnight
Best burgers in the city…hands down…the end…Seriously though, the burgers at this place could speak for themselves. Located on Western Ave in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood, Lockdown is far from your average bar. For starters they strictly play heavy metal and the theme is half jail cell half dungeon; their beer menu is chalk full of craft brews, and they have down right awesome food. Take “The Death Sentence” for instance, 20 oz of beef, double stacked with bacon and yellow cheddar; topped with carmalized onions on a pretzel roll. They offer a wide variety of cheeses as well including Brie, Chevre, Gorgonzola and Merkts Cheddar to name a few. Top 5 burger spots dead or alive, that means EVER in Chicago, if you don’t believe go check out Lockdown yourself.
This little establishment is a must stop for Chicago dog lovers and cheeseburger fiends. Uncle Franky’s, the original establishment, offers a legit Chicago style menu at a reasonable price. The food itself is absolutely on point. Whether it’s a Chicago dog, a Juicy Lucy, Italian Beef, Philly Cheese Steak, or some freshly cut fries; Uncle Franky’s does it right. The tiny building is located smack dab in the neighborhoods of NE, and can easily be missed. Next time you are cruising down Broadway, keep yours eyes peeled, you might want to make the stop.
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.
The bar scene in Minneapolis is currently undergoing a huge transformation. Chic rooftops and trendy lounges have began popping up everywhere leaving a stark contrast in many of the city’s neighborhoods. Take Mortimer’s for example, a sleepy, game filled “Dive” with 3 separate bars and TV’s everywhere vs. Moto I; a swanky Japanese style sake brewery and lounge (yes it has a rooftop). Both of these places are awesome in their own way and for separate occasions, but if I’m just trying to knock back a couple of brews, I’m taking Mortimer’s all day. Serving up some damn good burgers, cheese curds and 2 for 1 drinks just about all day; Mortimer’s is a great place to kick back and watch the Vikes or simply get wasted for the low (Pregame!!). All in all this place is a cool bar with crazy drink specials and awesome games, if you’re looking for a chill place to have a brew in Uptown; look no further.
(P.S: This place attracts patrons of all types, beware some are less than cordial)
Where: 2006 Washington Ave N Minneapolis, MN 55411 (Right off of Broadway & 94) Phone: (612) 522-0011 Hours: 8am-?
Although Pappy’s is no secret, we had to put em on. The place claims to be a Chicago style restaurant specializing in Chicago style dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Even though these may be some of their specialty foods, they have an endless menu including catfish, omelets, cheesesteaks, and a variety of chicken wings. They don’t have a website for us to link them to, so hear me out when I say this place is legit. Expect to spend anywhere from $2-7 at Pappy’s, and you will get a damn good meal in return. Also, check out their $2.99 breakfast special which includes eggs, hash-browns and one of a kind toast.
Where: South 10th Street, Minneapolis, MN | M-F 11am – 2am, Sat & Sun 10am – 2am |
Devil’s Advocate is a one of a kind establishment in downtown Minneapolis. First off, the restaurant has 40 beers on tap, which come from all around the world. Every week, Devil’s Advocate finds a way to bring in a great mixture of brews into their door, leaving beer connoisseurs coming back for more; the fun doesn’t stop here though.
DA has a very unique menu, allowing its wide variety of beers to be paired well with their delicious food. Those who come to eat at DA, they think of their world class meatballs. You have never had real meatballs until you have tried these wonderfully scrumptious…balls. They offer falafel, pork meatballs, polenta, buffalo meatbealls and many other dishes that don’t feature the ball.
Whether you are coming in for a quick bite, or simply looking for a new brew to try, Devil’s Advocate does it as well as anyone else.
Talk about a dive bar at its finest. These guys have local music playing weekly, great drink specials, and the best of all, greasy one of a kind bar food. The establishment started in 1955 by Stan Myslajek a former pro-wrestler. Stan created a gigantic garlic-infused roast beef sandwich which has not changed much to this day. The sandwich is absolutely HUGE, I mean it takes a real man to stomach one of these down. While just about all of the food delivered in-front of me looked delicious; the pizza, the nachos, and other sandwiches, when the decision came I had to go with the original. I won’t be the first to say it but. . . “Nobody Beats Mayslack’s Meats!”
Locations: 2925 Cliff Rd E Burnsville, MN 55337 | 1731 South Robert StWest St Paul, MN 55118
For those who still don’t know, legitimate BBQ really does exist in the Twin Cities. After finally hearing about the Rack Shack, we figured why not give it a try. After living in Kansas CIty for a few years and moving back to the TC area, I have struggled to get my fix for something nearly as good, and I only had hopes that this would be the cure.
This monstrous food item above is known as the Hobo. The Hobo is pretty much every side thrown together over a big ass baked potato, making up over 2lbs of BBQ greatness. This dish is insane: with a potato as its base, then soaked in a buttery sauce topped with cheesy corn, creamy jalapeño macaroni, tender pork, beef brisket, bacon blue cheese cole slaw and drizzled in cheddar cheese (and an side of cornbread). Weeew, that was a lot to say, but way more to digest.
Every ingredient added to the Hobo was right on point. Both the brisket and pork were tender and smoked to perfection to accommodate the behemoth of a potato buried beneath. Anyways. . . this place is the real deal, and I really can’t wait to try the next dish.
Sadly, Rodan in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood has closed it’s doors for good. Not many details regarding the reasons why, but the owners did release a statement saying that rent had increased by $2,000 and they “no longer had the fire” to run the place. Hopefully it’s not replaced by something like Urban Outfitters.