Consider this list of sweet bar eats -- including gourmet SPAM sliders, and caramel- & bacon-coated popcorn -- the reason you never eat communal bar peanuts again. Gross.
Best Appropriation of SPAM: House SPAM Sliders
The Torpedo Room at Eat St Social, Eat Street
Keen on the Midwest-meets-Polynesia vibe, the dudes at Eat Street Social have concocted a house made SPAM using uber-luxe Benton's Smoky Hams, and put it onto a super-soft bun, so you'll have the perfect oh-so-gloriously-salty complement to their super-sweet tikifestations.
Best Use Of An Item Available At All Gas Stations: Cheetos With Spicy Sauce
Marvel Bar, North Loop
You know what goes f-ing fantastic with a $12 Old-Fashioned or a $200 bowl of punch? Cheetos, straight from the bag with a super-secret off-menu side of spicy aioli dipping sauce.
Cleverest Follow-Up To A Gas Station Item: House-Pickled Eggs
Marvel Bar, North Loop
Because the city's odds-on best cocktail bar cannot hang their hat on specified Cheetos alone, when the mixologists aren't chipping ice and organizing their tools, they're brining their own eggs, to yellow, vinegar-y perfection.
Most Addicting: Puffed Fusilli With Fonduta
Broders' Terzo Vino Bar, Lynnhurst
Apparently there's a way to cook fusilli, then dry it, then cook it again so that it becomes like puffcorn -- and the folk's at Broder's Terzo Vino Bar have figured that way out. Add to that some melty fonduta dipping sauce and you've got yourself some terrifyingly addicting biznass.
Best Version of a Grandma Staple: Deviled Eggs w/Giardiniere and Mustard Seeds
Kings Wine Bar, Kingfield
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we're sure your G-ma makes some wickedly devour-able DE's, but trust us when we tell you that Chef Andrew Kraft's epically-whipped version on Kings' new menu make hers seem like kid's play, which she should appreciate since kids don't usually have hip replacements.
Best Co-opting of the Tot Concept: Mason's Tots
Mason's Restaurant & Barre, Downtown
Whoever said a proper tot had to be shaped like a teeny potato cylinder is fired and replaced with the free-thinkers at Mason's, who've mashed hash-like taters into craggy lumps of flavorful-ness and added mustard cheese sauce for good measure.
1. Red Cow3624 W 50th St, Minneapolis
2. The Torpedo Room18 W 26th St, Minneapolis
3. The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar50 2nd Ave N, Minneapolis
4. Ward 6858 Payne Ave, Saint Paul
5. Terzo2221 W 50th St, Minneapolis
6. Kings Wine Bar4555 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis
7. Mason's Restaurant & Barre528 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis
The Red Cow on 50th Street specializes in fine burgers and specialty sandwiches, made with fresh ingredients and an inventive eye. The burger menu covers a wide range of proteins, always including grass-fed beef, but also including bison, turkey, lamb, and duck depending on availability. Toppings range from the expected (lettuce, cheese, etc) to the extreme (bone marrow, piquillo peppers), but the resulting concoctions are always juicy and delicious. Local Minneapolis beers (plus microbrews from around the country) are in heavy rotation at the bar, but you can also order from a selection of red and white wines, curated specially by the owner.
Craft tiki cocktail bar adjoining Eat Street Social.
Upstairs, at the Bachelor Farmer, you'll find a friendly brick-and-wood restaurant offering a variety of organic dishes made with ingredients from its rooftop garden and other local growers, while downstairs is a dimly lit speakeasy with expertly crafted cocktails. There, at Marvel Bar, you'll want to order the signature cocktail, Oliveto, which features olive oil, egg white, lemon, Licor 43, and Gordon’s gin.
This beer bar and eatery boasts a menu specifically with "food for drinking", as well as a load of other entree options for three squares a day, as well as a a drink menu with plenty-o-beers, adult milkshakes(!), and cocktails, which begs the question why Wards 1-5 even bother to compete.
Terzo Vino Bar is not only one of the best Italian restaurants in Minneapolis, but it’s also one of the best spots for a glass of wine in all of Minnesota. With a cellar holding over 1,000 bottles of 300 different selections, the wine list updates often, allowing you to become well-versed in the Italian way of wine. Plus, it’s reasonably priced (by-the-glass options for just $10-$15), which is perfect because Terzo’s also has some great food that screams to be paired with a decent glass of vino. Expertly prepared dishes include duck egg with sautéed king trumpet and beech mushrooms and a prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with fingerling potatoes and dandelion greens.
A wine and craft food bar in Minneapolis's Kingfield neighborhood.
What once was a Masonic temple is now an American resto with affordable eats and a slew of beer-tails that will almost definitely have you lounging in your very-non-secret-society robe tomorrow to recover.