A Possible Itinerary for In and Out of Towners Alike

My picks are always the best.  I will not argue about any of these places.  There are other good places, but I think these are the best of the lot that are close enough to the U and downtown.

I assume you are staying downtown. If so: If you get in early enough on Friday, go to Brit's Pub. There is a rooftop patio with lawn bowling. The drinks are overpriced and so are the women, but nothing beats a September evening in Minnesota outdoors. From there, you can find plenty of other local favorites on Nicollet Ave (The Local, The Newsroom, to mention a few). Don't forget to find the Mary Tyler Moore statue!

Before the game, go to Stub & Herb's (Washington and Oak). Great beer selection, but it be will packed to the brim. The game day atmosphere will make up for it. I recommend a porter since it will be early in the morning. A porter is a perfect game day beer for an 11:00 AM kickoff. It tastes like coffee. If they have a coffee porter, get that. My favorite is the Summit Great Northern Porter.

After the game, head over to NE Minneapolis, which is just east of Hwy 35W on University. Go eat at Brasa (Central and Hennepin) and order the rotisserie pork, beef, corn bread, creamed spinach, with rice and beans (unless it is only two of you, then pare it down accordingly). They also serve wine and beer there. I suggest a Surly Furious.

From there, head to Mac's Industrial Sports Bar (Central and 4th) and get yourself some more good beer along with other college football games on TV. The Bulldog is also nice and has a shuffleboard table, which is free to play.

If you are anything like me, you get more hungry the more you drink. And you guys will be drinking a lot after losing to the REAL Golden team. :) So for a late dinner/snack you absolutely MUST go to The Butcher Block (East Hennepin and 4th, but no TV's there--just delicious food). They have 29 different varieties of wings. Did you hear me? 29!! And these are no BW3 boring wings. These are grilled to order and have very distinct flavors. Even if you don't like wings, you will like these. I recommend the green curry coconut variety. Seriously. Trust me. I also recommend ordering a Widmer beer there--it is a West Coast beer that won my heart, so you should feel at home if you are from Cal (although it is from Portland). The Butcher Block is also open until 2:00 AM or later on the weekends--so you can get good late night wings there.

If you end up back downtown, be sure to drown your little brown bear sorrows at Mackenzie's (8th and Hennepin or thereabouts). This is THE best bar in the Twin Cities that no one has ever heard of (okay, almost no one). And it is even downtown, so I don't get why people don't know about it.

If it isn't too late, feel free to enjoy the other splendors that are downtown evening entertainment venues in Minneapolis.

By the way, I'm 30 years old, so I stay away from places that are loud, crowded, and/or have cover charges.  But these places give you some of the best food for the dollar and some great beer.  If you are younger than 25, you probably just want to hang out on Nicollet Ave and 1st Ave N downtown and 4th St SE over by the U.  Any number of these places will do since all they are to me is loud and crowded and charge cover--so they aren't really distinctive.


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