Eat Local: Minneapolis

We recently spent a week in Minnesota for part family reunion and part quality couple time. I grew up spending a lot of vacations in Minnesota and it has been far too long since I have been back. We spent lots of time hiking (you can see some of the amazing scenery on my Instagram) and enjoying the perfect weather, but you know if I’m in a new location, I’m definitely going to hunt down the best locally sourced restaurants and try them out… We had some great food on our trip, all enjoyed on patios, and these were the highlights:

Pat’s Tap

This was our first meal in Minneapolis. We headed here as soon as we got in to town and, after driving all day, we were more than ready for a good meal and a drink. I saw this place on the internet and was immediately drawn to the laid-back vibe (it doubles as a skee-ball club) and locally sourced food. 

We started out with goat cheese fritters with an onion marmalade and lavender honey. These were by far one of my favorite things we ate all week. The combination of the creamy, savory goat cheese and the sweet honey was fantastic.

goat cheese fritters pat's tap mn

I probably could have made a whole meal of these, but instead I went with the turkey burger and I was happy I did. It was by far the best turkey burger I’ve ever had. It was juicy and had a great mix of herbs incorporated throughout. It was topped with whipped feta, which is my cheese soulmate, and accompanied by amazing fries topped with fat salt flakes. 

turkey burger pat's tap mn

A couple good drinks and a few rounds of skee-ball made this the perfect start to our trip. 

pat's tap minneapolis skee-ball club

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The Copper Hen

This was our big “splurge” meal for the trip. We planned to go all out with several courses, including dessert, which we don’t normally order. 

We started out with their baby potatoes coated in olive olive with homemade green peppercorn tarragon creme fraiche. 

smashed potato fries at the copper hen mn

Then it was on to one of the greatest mac and cheese dishes I have ever eaten (and I have eaten a lot of them).  The decadent four cheese blend oozed out of the middle of every noodle and the breadcrumbs added the perfect crunchy balance. Bonus points for it being the perfect size and served in a mini cast iron skillet…

baked mac and cheese at the copper hen mn

That mac and cheese is almost worth driving six hours for….

We finished the night with another perfect skillet creation… a fresh chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream. It came straight out of the oven and had that perfect slightly underbaked quality that all chocolate chip cookies should strive for. 

chocolate chip skillet cookie at the copper hen mn

From start to finish, this meal was perfection. 

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Stella’s

This one isn’t in Minneapolis, but actually in Battle Lake about three hours away, near where the second half of our trip took place. After hiking, we were ready for a hearty meal and a good glass of wine on a patio. Stella’s definitely delivered on all three counts. 

We ordered the kitchen sink pizza topped with pepperoni, sausage, chicken, roasted red peppers and olives. Even with all those toppings, the star of this pizza was the deliciously seasoned sauce. 

the kitchen sink pizza at stella's battle lake mn

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Stay tuned for a recap on the wine from our trip next week! 

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