Mission: Eat Everything In Minneapolis

March 4, 2015

“The Minneapolis restaurant scene is an ever-evolving wonderland.”

That’s what I thought as I drove home from work last week and spotted two new restaurants’ “Now Open” signs — and two more that had completely changed names and cuisine. Then it hit me – I want to try them all! Enter Monica’s latest life goal – try every restaurant in Minneapolis.

There are several rules to this venture:

  1. Keep it local. If there’s a location in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Roseville, Maple Grove and Bloomington chances are I’ve already been there at some point in my life. I’m more interested in the restaurants doing things small, well and 100% Minneapolis.
  2. Get to it before it closes! The restaurant industry is tough, so if word spreads that a good one is on its way out, I better get eating.
  3. Document & share. While I would love to get paid as a food reviewer, that’s not my interest. It may be blogging, journaling or writing a letter to my grandma about Jucy Lucys – either way, I just want to remember that year I gained 30 pounds in pursuit of a silly goal. And friends/family are a must, because the true beauty of feasting is that it brings people together.

Part I: Say Goodbye!

nyesNye’s Polonaise Room was my first pick for “restaurants on their way out.” I showed up on Friday after work and waited at the bar for my friend to arrive. The bar was red sparkly vinyl, the bartender was a salt-and-pepper-haired gentleman with a no-fuss attitude, and the 60-something man with his fedora and leather gloves placed neatly on the bar next to me was happily eating a prime rib. I immediately succumbed to the old-world vibe and ordered myself an Old Fashioned.

pierogies“Bourbon, brandy or whiskey?” the bartender asked.

As I always do, I told him “whatever you like best” and was served up a bourbon Old Fashioned that now sits at no. 1 on the list of best Old Fashioneds I’ve ever had.

Pierogies, Polish soup, the bartender getting frustrated at my friend’s request for a beer menu, and a wise chat about the beauty of after-college friendships with the gentleman next to us rounded out the evening. All in all, I’m not sure why Nye’s is leaving, but I’ll gladly eat up all their leftover pierogies before they go.

Have a suggestion for a restaurant I should sample next? I’d like to hear from you! Tweet me at @mooonshinee with suggestions.