L'il Help on Visiting MSP

Oski Wow Wow

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Cal grad here looking forward to our upcoming game. Looking forward to visiting, but nervous about the game. Brewster's a good coach and UM is much better than the team we saw in Berkeley a few years ago. Hoping for a well-played, injury-free game.

Need some help on our visit. Staying downtown, going to the Twins game on Friday night, and looking for some recommendations. Looking for some bars/pubs either downtown or near the Metrodome for a mini-pub crawl and an early dinner on Friday. Nothing fancy, but fun "local" places.

Not renting a car, so taking LRT/bus to the game on Saturday. Is Stub and Herb's the best bar closest to the stadium? Will we be able to check out the basketball and hockey arenas before the game?

Looking for a nice spot for Saturday night dinner. Something unique and ideally on/near the banks of the Mississippi. Sea Change and 112 seem to be the best bets so far.

Going to Hell's Kitchen on Sunday, but looking for places to explore during the day. Any help on any of the topics would be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

GoGophers2005

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For the Twins game on Friday I would recommend Maxwell's on Washington Ave. Nice place. Otherwise I would head up Washington a little bit further and hit Town Hall Brewery, Bullwinkles, and Sgt. Prestons. All those places are within 10 min. walk of the stadium but you might need to cab it from your hotel. Tons of cabs available. And that is what I would recommend taking you to the game on Saturday as well. Don't mess with the bus and the LRT doesn't get you close to the U.

As far as gameday goes you can't go wrong with Stub and Herbs. There is also Sally's and The Big Ten. All 3 of these are on the same street in Stadium Village by the stadium (you guessed it, they are all on Washington Ave). STubs and Big Ten are old school places whereas Sally's is a bit larger and typically a younger crowd.

As far as Sunday goes I think one of the best places in town is Minnehaha Park. It has a waterfall called Minnehaha Falls. Not too many cities can claim to have a waterfall of this caliber in its backyard. Its right on the LRT line, probably 10 minutes from downtown. They also have a very nice little eatery in the park called Sea Salt. You can sit outside under the nice big trees and have a few rounds of beer and some oysters or walleye sandwhich.

The 112 eatery is not on the river but its a great place to eat. Just a few blocks away from the new Twins stadium.

Not sure if you will be able to sneak a peak at the Williams or Mariucci Arenas before the game (which to me is a great idea). Maybe email our athletic director Joel Maturi and find out....maturi@umn.edu
I'm not kidding. He reads every email and actually responds to them.
 

anticallihan

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Downtown? How about a World Tour?

I would make sure to check out Brits pub.

This is the most unique place we have downtown.

http://www.britspub.com/


Since you'll be in the area, I would then check out The Local which serves more Jameson than any other bar in the country.

http://www.the-local.com/

I would then end your night with a cab ride out to Gastofs for Octoberfest. This is my favorite bar in Minneapolis. And it just happens to be the first weekend of their Octoberfest.

http://www.gasthofzg.com/
 

anticallihan

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Bars by the Stadium..... honestly none of us can give you any advice because no one knows how busy anything will be....

I think if you can get in early enough, Stubs will give you the best experience. They should have some more unique Micro Brews and a great atmosphere with an outdoor beer garden.

If you want to avoid some of the crowds and hop a free transit to the game, try out Town Hall.
 

KoolAid

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I'm with these guys - go down Washington past the metrodome to 7 corners.

That's where Bullwinkles, Sgt Prestons and Town hall are. Great food/beer/local environment
 

Mayne Street

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Before the Twins game, I would also head to the 7 corners area. Take a cab there from the hotel and walk to the stadium. If you have a decent size group, grab a fishbowl on the patio at Sgt. Prestons.

As for Saturday morning, taking the bus to the game isn't a bad idea, but a cab would quicker and only run you $10. Stop in Dinkytown first and have a drink at the Library. They have a ton of TVs so you can catch College Football GameDay. Walk over to Stadium Village and spend the rest of the morning there.

Brit's Pub and The Local are both great choices for Saturday evening. Gasthof's is also a great time during Oktoberfest and would be worth a visit.

On Sunday, if you want to explore without going too far from Downtown, check out the Sculpture Garden and/or the Walker art museum.

Hope you enjoy your visit!
 

sonnygarcia

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Downtown? How about a World Tour?

I would make sure to check out Brits pub.

This is the most unique place we have downtown.

http://www.britspub.com/


Since you'll be in the area, I would then check out The Local which serves more Jameson than any other bar in the country.

http://www.the-local.com/

I would then end your night with a cab ride out to Gastofs for Octoberfest. This is my favorite bar in Minneapolis. And it just happens to be the first weekend of their Octoberfest.

http://www.gasthofzg.com/

Oski, if you want to see the best "local" bars we have to offer as far as atmosphere, these are the tickets.
 

parkinglotgopher

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A couple of quick thoughts:

On Friday, I think you definitely hit up Seven Corners on the West Bank of campus for beers at Town Hall. With the beer all being brewed on-site, it'll give you something unique. The food is decent too. Plus, if you want to get a bit rowdier, Sgt. Preston's and Bullwinkle's are on the same intersection. On a personal note, I love Bullwinkle's. Not because it's super nice, it's just kind of an old-school, hole-in-the-wall type place that puts out good bar vibes to me. From here, you're only 10-15 minutes on foot from the Dome, as others have mentioned.

Those recommending Gasthof's following the game Saturday (for Saturday night) are not at all mistaken in saying that it's a fantastically fun bar. The one thing I would caution during Oktoberfest is that they have outdoor drinking prior to 11 p.m. (maybe 10, double check the web site), and these outdoor tents hold significantly more people than the bar itself does. Be forewarned that getting into the bar when they shut down these outdoor tents can be difficult. This might be a great place to hit up while the tents outside are still open, with a plan to cab back to campus a/o downtown when they start herding people inside.

Beers to try for some local flavor: Grain Belt Premium, Summit Extra Pale Ale, Summit Oktoberfest (if you can find it around town), Surly Bender (if you got to Sterb's before the game, they'll have a Surly trailer set up serving beer).
 

Oski Wow Wow

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Not sure if you will be able to sneak a peak at the Williams or Mariucci Arenas before the game (which to me is a great idea). Maybe email our athletic director Joel Maturi and find out....maturi@umn.edu
I'm not kidding. He reads every email and actually responds to them.
Thanks so much for your help. The older parts of Cal's campus remind me of Big Ten schools and Midwesterners are always so much nicer than everybody else in America, so it's always pleasant when Cal plays a Big Ten school in sports. That funky dropoff from the floor in Williams Arena always intrigued me. Was in San Antonio for the Sweet Sixteen in 1997 when the Gophs made the Final Four. Have only been to Minnesota on bidness during Winter, so looking forward to getting out and exploring. Some of the horror stories about ginormous killer mosquitoes scared the crap out of me, but hopefully we'll survive. Would like to suck it up one Winter weekend and see Gopher hockey, hoops, and go ice fishing.
 

dpodoll68

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Don't mess with the bus and the LRT doesn't get you close to the U.
Seems to be a lot of animosity on this board toward the public transportation in this town.

I agree that the light rail is pointless if you're coming from downtown, but there is nothing wrong with the bus. I bring an express bus into downtown from the north suburbs, and then hook up with the 50/16 into campus. I do this every single day, M-F, and it hasn't steered me wrong yet. It won't get you there much slower than a taxi would. Plus it's only $1.75 each way, which is much cheaper than a taxi, obviously.

www.metrotransit.org

You can use the trip planner, enter the address of your hotel, enter TCF Bank Stadium as the destination, and it will give you 2-3 different options as to which routes to take. Can't go wrong in my book.
 

AeroGopher

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Thanks so much for your help. The older parts of Cal's campus remind me of Big Ten schools and Midwesterners are always so much nicer than everybody else in America, so it's always pleasant when Cal plays a Big Ten school in sports. That funky dropoff from the floor in Williams Arena always intrigued me. Was in San Antonio for the Sweet Sixteen in 1997 when the Gophs made the Final Four. Have only been to Minnesota on bidness during Winter, so looking forward to getting out and exploring. Some of the horror stories about ginormous killer mosquitoes scared the crap out of me, but hopefully we'll survive. Would like to suck it up one Winter weekend and see Gopher hockey, hoops, and go ice fishing.
Your name suggests Illinois ties. Any connection there?

My take:
Seven Corners (Bullwinkles, Sgt. Prestons, Corner Bar, and Town Hall) is your best bet for a mini-pub crawl within 10 minutes walking distance. All of those bars share a corner on a weirdly shaped intersection, giving the neighborhood the name. It's also one of three "campus neighborhoods" as it also serves students on the West Bank.

You can hit up the other two neighborhoods on Saturday before the game. Head to Dinkytown, check out the line at Al's Breakfast. They open at 6am. Waiting in line is worth it for the experience and the food, but on gameday it could be too insane being as it only has 14 seats. If it is, grab a drink or some food quick at the Library Bar, then take a walk through campus. If you go diagonally Southeast, you'll stroll through the Knoll (oldest part of campus), the Mall area, and down the Scholar's walk into Stadium Village. There Stub and Herbs' beer garden is what a lot of fans are excited about--and it's all because of Surly Brewing.

And here's where I'll differ: go to Pracna on Main in St. Anthony Main that night for dinner. It's got a great patio on the river with a great view of downtown and the old milling district and a really good beer selection, and good food. It's also the oldest continuously operated bar in Minneapolis (since 1890). From there you can walk up the block to Nyes (another really famous bar) or even another block up to Whitey's Saloon or Bulldog NE. From there it's also a short cab ride downtown to Brits and the Local, or the other direction to Gasthof's
 

MNCH

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Try the peanut butter toast at Hell's Kitchen on Sunday. It will change your outlook on peanut butter for the rest of your life. It's that good!

For Sat. dinner plans, there's nothing really great directly on the river as the Mississippi in Minneapolis is pretty much all industrial. But in downtown, you have tons of great dinner options. Murray's Steakhouse is a MN institution and has been for 50+ years, Manny's also just as good.

Great suggestions by other poster on Brit's, the Local and Gasthofs. Campus usually gets overrun by undergdrads at night so I'd head downtown for your evening festivities.
 

GoAUpher

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A lot of folks already chimed in with what would have been some of my suggestions (The Local, Manny's, Minnehaha Falls, etc). But here are some additions...

Places to eat/drink:
Matt’s Bar – This is the place to go for a Jucy Lucy.
Surly Brewing Company – Beer is a food and Surly brews some delicious stuff. Take the tour here and stop by Grumpy’s to drink a lot more of it.
Bryant Lake Bowl – Both a place to eat and something to do (bowling, with very old school ball returns). Located in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood south of downtown.
Mickey’s Diner – Fan of The Mighty Ducks? Remember the diner where Charlie’s mom worked? That was Mickey’s. Located in St. Paul.

Things to see/do:
Walker Sculpture Garden – the Walker MOMA has a crazy ass sculpture garden that is worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing.
Weisman Art Museum – A easy to spot Frank Gehry building on the U campus that is fun to explore if you’re looking for art.
Minnehaha Falls – One of my favorite parks.
The Depot Rink – Want to pretend its winter in MN? Then skate indoors on a nice fall day at The Depot.
Science Museum of Minnesota – I’ve been a sucker for this place since I was a kid. Located in downtown St. Paul near the Excel Center.
 

Oski Wow Wow

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Your name suggests Illinois ties. Any connection there?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Oski_Yell

Oski is Cal's mascot. He's the tawny golden embodiment of all that is pure, right and just in the world. There was a beloved elderly woman who used to do the Oski Yell at Cal games occassionally in the '80s. "Oski wow wow " is good, but not nearly as intimidating as "Whomp 'em, sidda head", her other ancient Cal cheer. Dunno if Illinois ripped off Cal or vice versa. There's also some claim that Georgia Tech ripped off something from Cal during one of the Rose Bowls back before electricity was invented.
 

From the Barn

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For Sat. dinner plans, there's nothing really great directly on the river as the Mississippi in Minneapolis is pretty much all industrial.
There is plenty across the river from downtown.
 

grunkiejr

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There aren't mosquitos downtown or on campus so you shouldn't have to worry about that. If you go to Minnehaha you will find mosquitos there.

For bars pre-Twins you can either do Maxwell's on Washington, 7 Corners (Bullwinkle's, Sgt. Preston's, Town Hall) or the other popular place--and the biggest bar district in town--is the Warehouse District on 1st Ave which is the last stop on the light rail and near the new Twins stadium opening next spring. If you do the Warehouse district there is a wide variety of bars and the LRT to the game is only 1 buck and takes about 10 minutes.

Like people said, Stadium Village (Washington & Oak) w/ Stub & Herb's, Sally's, Big Ten, etc is probably the best place for pre-game. Dinkytown (4th St & 5th St. from 13th-15th) is going to be the other popular place w/ The Library Bar & Grill, Burrito Loco, Blarney's Pub, etc. This is all new for us but these will be the hot spots.

I'd definitely hit Brit's on 11th & Nicollet in downtown at some point. They have an amazing outdoor patio and weather permitting it is great atmosphere day or night.
 

jovs

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Your name suggests Illinois ties. Any connection there?

My take:

And here's where I'll differ: go to Pracna on Main in St. Anthony Main that night for dinner. It's got a great patio on the river with a great view of downtown and the old milling district and a really good beer selection, and good food. It's also the oldest continuously operated bar in Minneapolis (since 1890). From there you can walk up the block to Nyes (another really famous bar) or even another block up to Whitey's Saloon or Bulldog NE. From there it's also a short cab ride downtown to Brits and the Local, or the other direction to Gasthof's
I concur, weather permitting, the patio at Pracna is the nicest view in town. An after dinner stroll along the river can't be beat.

If you are an outdoors type person and Minnehaha Falls is attractive, you could stop and pick up Barbecue at Caps, just out the door from the Minnehaha Falls LRT stop, and walk across the road to the park for a picknick.

http://capsgrille.com/

Or exit at the 38th street stop and walk two blocks west and pick up barbecue at Ted's 19th hole and then get back on the LRT and exit at Minnehaha Falls.

http://www.tedcooks19thholebbq.com/

You would have to buy your Beer at Se Salt while at the Falls, otherwise you would run the risk of getting it taken away by officers.
 

GoGophers2005

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Are people being serious about the mosquitos? I don't remember even seeing one this year and we've been to the cabin almost every weekend. At home I have a much bigger problem with the bees.

As far as Brits and The Local go.....just go there for a drink, the food is not worth it. 112 Eatery and Pracna are much better choices.

I also have to say that Pracna might be the winner for dinner just for the fact that Nye's Bar and Polynaise room is just down the street. Nye's is a Minneapolis MUST.
You will have a much better time at Nye's than you will at Gastof's. If you grow tired of Gastof's there really are no bar's close by to walk to unless you want to add a topless joint (22nd Avenue Station...which everyone should enter at some point). Nye's has quite a few other bars to walk to.
 

From the Barn

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So you're telling me when you have visitors in town the first place you take them is St. Anthony Main? *YAWN*
Stone Arch Bridge, Guthrie, up to Brasa for dinner, very good times.
 

From the Barn

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So you're telling me when you have visitors in town the first place you take them is St. Anthony Main? *YAWN*
And who said it was the first place to take visitors. You said there was nothing there, which is just plain wrong.

Tubby Smith seems to like it too.
 

DiehardGopher

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I never noticed it before but after a summer living in Philadelphia then moving back for school, mosquitoes are much more frequent. Though less than in previous years, I was fishing Leech Lake last week and there were quite a few.

Anyway, all the bars that I would suggest have all been mentioned, however, if you are looking for a nice steakhouse to top off your trip, I would suggest "The Capital Grille". I have eaten at both Manny's and The Capital Grille and I prefer Capital Grille. Manny's has huge portions but the flavor isn't as good as at Capital Grille, who's bone in ribeye cannot be beat.
 

Oski Wow Wow

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Northern Californians are the whiniest weather wussies in the country. Bay Area weather is great except for the rainy season (November-March), but people are always complaining that SoCal weather is so much better. Scrape a windshield full of ice once in your life then pop off.

Was on a business trip somewhere near the Canadian border in February one time. Wasn't super cold, but I wasn't digging it at all. The locals were yammering on about how huge the mosquitos were in Summer, and I was thinking the humidity/skeeter factor would seriously blow. Not worried at all about our visit. Sounds like Twin Cities weather is similar temperaturewise to San Francisco in September.

I'm stoked for Oktoberfest, but one of my buddies is a member of the tribe and that may be a harder sell for him. He's a foodie snob, so he's leaning toward Sea Change or 112. He's also going to be a pain in the ass on Gameday (International Talk like a Pirate Day). F him, we're leaving him home...
 

GoAUpher

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I'm stoked for Oktoberfest, but one of my buddies is a member of the tribe and that may be a harder sell for him. He's a foodie snob, so he's leaning toward Sea Change or 112. He's also going to be a pain in the ass on Gameday (International Talk like a Pirate Day). F him, we're leaving him home...
Excellent point. I nearly forgot about that! Yarrr!

PS: I think it is imperative that you force your foodie snob friend to have a Jucy Lucy. Free beer from me if you get him into Matt's instead of 112.
 

jovs

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So you're telling me when you have visitors in town the first place you take them is St. Anthony Main? *YAWN*
On a nice fall evening, sitting on the patio at Pracna as the sun sets, I can't think of a more relaxing pleasant location. If there is one please let me know what it may be. If the weather isn't nice I would not recommend it.
 

Oski Wow Wow

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I think it is imperative that you force your foodie snob friend to have a Jucy Lucy. Free beer from me if you get him into Matt's instead of 112.
We did go to that place in Pittsburgh where they have the fries piled into the sando and he was OK with that, so he'd throw down a Jucy Lucy. We did have a heated battle over going to Peter Lugar's steakhouse in Brooklyn. I thought it was incredibly old school cool, but he was really whiny about the whole thing.

I know that y'all don't dig Wisconsin (the Beau Allen thread was interesting), but Jingle's next to Camp Randall is an exceptional college gameday bar. Only been there once, but it cracked me up to be wading ankle deep in crushed beer cans after a game.
 

GoAUpher

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I know that y'all don't dig Wisconsin (the Beau Allen thread was interesting), but Jingle's next to Camp Randall is an exceptional college gameday bar. Only been there once, but it cracked me up to be wading ankle deep in crushed beer cans after a game.
I may have a slight (ahem) dislike of our red-clad neighbors, but since I'm living in the fiery pits of Madison myself I'm more the comfortable admitting that the bastard Sconnies have some fine gameday bars and tasty eating establishments.
 
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Cal grad here looking forward to our upcoming game. Looking forward to visiting, but nervous about the game. Brewster's a good coach and UM is much better than the team we saw in Berkeley a few years ago. Hoping for a well-played, injury-free game.

Need some help on our visit. Staying downtown, going to the Twins game on Friday night, and looking for some recommendations. Looking for some bars/pubs either downtown or near the Metrodome for a mini-pub crawl and an early dinner on Friday. Nothing fancy, but fun "local" places.

Not renting a car, so taking LRT/bus to the game on Saturday. Is Stub and Herb's the best bar closest to the stadium? Will we be able to check out the basketball and hockey arenas before the game?

Looking for a nice spot for Saturday night dinner. Something unique and ideally on/near the banks of the Mississippi. Sea Change and 112 seem to be the best bets so far.

Going to Hell's Kitchen on Sunday, but looking for places to explore during the day. Any help on any of the topics would be much appreciated. Thanks.
oski wow wow - here is a question that no one has managed to ask you.......how old are you? that alone will often help determine what type of bar/pub and restaurant scenes you would even enjoy and/or have the money for. once we know that then i think someone can help produce a worthwhile itinerary for your visit.
 

Oski Wow Wow

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Our crew consists of guys in their late 40s. We all went to Cal together in the early '80s. Big Chill with an '80s soundtrack and no knocking up others' spouses. A premium on local color and uniqueness for bars, meals and gameday, but we'd like to squeeze in a high end memorable dinner on Saturday night.
 

DiehardGopher

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Well downtown bars won't really hold the same school spirit as the campus bars would such as Stub and Herbs, Sally's or The Big Ten, but you can make your choice of bars yourself based on the summaries posted by others. As for restaurants, Manny's is the place to go if you want amazing amounts of food (72 oz. double porterhouse, 2lb crab legs if memory serves, 3 lb lobster tail, 50 oz. bone in ribeye, and their sides are big enough for 2.) Mannys is also going to be a bit more spendy. You also get a Manny's "show" where your waiter or waitress brings the entire menu out on a cart so you can actually see the size of things before you order and judge accordingly. It is a wonderful experience.
 
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