Nye’s Polonaise Room — “Best bar in America”

Decor inside Nye's bar
Decor inside Nye’s bar

Nye’s Polonaise Room, located on Hennepin Avenue in “Nordeast” Minneapolis and voted best bar in America by Esquire magazine, is probably the most exciting and fun place Jane and I have been to in the Twin Cities thus far. Nye’s is not Polynesian, but rather Polonaise — the French word for Polish. Nye’s features authentic, imported Polish beer, great food, and fantastic live music from the “World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band.”

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Cafe Latté on Grand Avenue

Cafe Latté store front
Cafe Latté store front

A trip to Cafe Latté is a must for anybody living in or visiting the Twin Cities. Located on St. Paul’s famous Grand Ave., Cafe Latté has what is arguably the best cake to be found in the Twin Cities area. In addition cake, they also offer several different types of soups, salads, and sandwiches, which vary from day to day and season to season.

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Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis

Midtown Global Market store front
Midtown Global Market store front

Among all the places in the Twin Cities, there are few to none which can be compared with Minneapolis’ Midtown Global Market. Located on East Lake Street in south Minneapolis, Midtown Global Market offers a vast array of foods ranging all the way from Hispanic to Caribbean to African to Middle Eastern to Asian and back. In addition to hot and prepared food, there are many small shops and stalls which sell spices, normally hard to find ingredients, canned goods, frozen goods, baked goods, cheeses, and handmade crafts. On occasion, musicians add their own “spice” to the market by performing at the center. A visit to the market is a must for anyone living in the Twin Cities.

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Noodles & Company @ Mall of America

Indonesian peanut sauté from Noodles & Company
Indonesian peanut sauté from Noodles & Company

Last Thursday, Jane and I visited the Noodles & Company at the Mall of America for a bite to eat. Noodles & Company is a quick and casual dining experience with over 20 locations in the Twin Cities, and many more across the country. They serve soups, salads, some sandwiches and many noodle dishes inspired by Asian, Mediterranean, and traditional American recipes. My personal favorite dish from Noodles & Company is the Indonesian peanut sauté — a dish consisting of rice noodles in a peanut sauce with stir-fried broccoli, carrots, bean sprouts, cilantro, and lime. This time I elected for the $7.75 “make it a trio” option, adding meatballs and a coconut-hinted Thai curry soup. Jane also decided to “make it a trio” with her Chinese chop salad and go with the grilled chicken breast and the tomato basil bisque soup. The Chinese chop salad Jane decided on is billed as having sesame-soy tossed mixed greens, bean sprouts, cabbage, red pepper, cucumbers, carrots, and fried wontons.

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Bona – Vietnamese cuisine

Bona - Vietnamese cuisine
Bona – Vietnamese cuisine

Last Thursday, Jane and I went to one of our favorite restaurants in the Stadium Village neighborhood of Minneapolis near the U of M — Bona. Bona is a Vietnamese restaurant that serves phở (pronounced similar to “fun” without the ‘n’) and other delicious Vietnamese dishes as well as several Chinese-inspired dishes that you’d typically find at a Chinese restaurant in the United States or Canada. Pho is a hot soup consisting of rice noodles, green onion, and meat in a savory beef broth, and makes for an excellent meal on a cold Minnesota winter day (i.e. anytime between November and April), which is one reason we love Bona so much.

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