Minneapolis Journals

Gotta Eat, Gotta Sleep: Lodging & Dining in Minneapolis

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A November 2007 trip to Minneapolis by callen60

Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown at Depot Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota More Photos
Quote: Short thoughts and longer reviews of Twin Cities restaurants and hotels.

Gotta Eat, Gotta Sleep: Lodging & Dining in Minneapolis

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Overview

Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown at Depot Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quote:
I left the Twin Cities a few decades ago, after finishing college in a nearby town. I spent plenty of weekends here, before and after concerts, accompanying friends as they headed home for the weekend, and awaiting transportation at the start and end of school years. Then my brother landed here later, occasioning a whole new series of visits that have now come to a close as he heads to New York.There are plenty of things to do here, but those are for other journals. You gotta stay somewhere, and if you’re visiting, chances are you’re looking for someone else to do the cooking while you’re playing or working. For accommodations, the area is big on traditional options, and—in my judgment—a l...Read More

Holiday Inn Hotel - Bloomington

Hotel | "Holiday Inn Express Bloomington-Airport"

Quote:
Minneapolis/St. Paul airport is located south of both city centers, in the swampy land near the junction of the Minnesota and the Mississippi. It’s also near the Mall of America, which has helped create a long corridor either side of I-494 with shopping, hotels, and offices. The airport isn’t too far from either downtown area, and is especially easy to reach from Minneapolis on the light rail system (and, at $2 full fare airport to downtown, must be sending dozens of cabbies looking for fares in other places).But if you still need to stay near the airport, your Expedia or SideStep search is going to turn up a lot of possibilities. It’s worth checking the actual location, becaus...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 14, 2007

Holiday Inn Hotel - Bloomington
1201 West 94th Street
Bloomington, Minnesota 55431
(800) 593-5708

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites

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Hotel | "Holiday Inn Express Minneapolis-Minnetonka"

Quote:
We stayed here in late summer, looking for a location that could be booked with Priority Club Points. Unlike a lot of Intercontinental properties in the Twin Cities, this was available for 15,000 Points a night, while many (even Holiday Inn Express locations) required 25,000. I’m sure that had something to do with its location. I didn’t know the western suburbs very well, and I still don’t, given that we stayed here but spent our time elsewhere. The location wasn’t that inconvenient, even though were substantially outside the city center, and as a relatively new property, was in very good shape. It was easy to access off the Crosstown Expressway (Highway 62), the principal east-west ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 14, 2007

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
10985 Red Circle Drive
Minnetonka, Minnesota 55343

Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown at Depot

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Hotel | "The Depot"

Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown at Depot Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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This Renaissance Hotel uses the former Milwaukee Road train station as the foundation of a hotel complex serving the riverfront area. The station filled the block bounded by Washington, South 2nd Street, 3rd Avenue and 5th Avenue, two blocks off the Mississippi, between the traditional ‘downtown’ and the former milling district, now revived by the Guthrie’s relocation to its industrial blue home on 2nd Street. The entrance is off 3rd Avenue, with the registration desk just inside the door. Large B&W photos of the station’s details, apparently before its restoration, establish the railroad memorabilia theme that runs throughout the hotel. White plaster statues of 1940’s era rail passeng...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 14, 2007

Courtyard by Marriott Minneapolis Downtown at Depot
225 S 3RD AVE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
612-375-1700

Holiday Inn Select & Suites Minneapolis Airport

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Hotel | "Holiday Inn Select Minneapolis Int'l Airport"

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I’m a devotee of Holiday Inn properties, but I have no clue about the ‘branding’ of their different chains. I’d be happier if it the scheme something to do with common English usage. I’m particularly fond of Holiday Inn Express (low price, free breakfast, free wireless, generally newer properties, and a reward system that yields free rooms fairly quickly), but what the heck does ‘Express’ mean? Your experience at the hotel is accelerated? Eight hours of sleep take only five? Checkout is faster? The whole building is headed north at a high rate of speed?I have similar issues with the less widespread ‘Select’ series. What’s ‘Select’ about it? We stayed a night here when a transatlantic trip la...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 22, 2008

Holiday Inn Select & Suites Minneapolis Airport
Three Appletree Square
Bloomington, MN
(952) 854-9000

Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe

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Restaurant | "Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe"

Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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This place is truly a little bit of 1950’s New York right off the banks of the Mississippi. A little west of downtown, the surrounding area is a mix of supply stores and recent condo conversions, and a few restaurants. On a Saturday afternoon, there didn’t appear to be a lot of other reasons to end up in this area, but you don’t need anything other than this terrific restaurant.The old neon sign proudly announces that the Monte Carlo has been around since 1906, and if it ever had neighbors to the immediate north and south, they’re gone now. A narrow, long brick building, it has a long bar at the front, with a small Manhattan-like array of autographed celebrity photos, including George Mika...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 14, 2007

Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe
219 North 2nd St
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55401
+1 612 333 5900

Punch Neapolitan Pizza

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Restaurant | "Punch"

Punch Neapolitan Pizza Photo, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Quote:
If you’re in the mood for pizza, you won’t do any better than this recent addition to the Twin Cities dining scene, featuring authentic Neapolitan pizza. It’s so good that I’d seriously consider adding pizza to any dining itinerary. We crossed the Hennepin Ave. Bridge to reach this location, which sits just north of the river on the east side of Hennepin.Now up to five locations in the metro area, this growing chain of pizzerias is the brainchild of two local restaurateurs, including one of the people behind Caribou Coffee. Pizza—and particularly Neapolitan style pizza, cooked in wood fired ovens—obviously dominates the menu. Punch claims to be one of only a few pizzerias outside of Naples...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 14, 2007

Punch Neapolitan Pizza
210 E Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414
(612) 623-8114

Sawatdee Thai Restaurant

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Restaurant | "Sawatdee"

Quote:
This Thai restaurant is located in a former warehouse on the north side of Washington St. It’s not far from the new Guthrie, and a short walk from the Depot hotel where we stayed on our most recent visit. I had two meals here on separate trips, walking from both of those locations. Both featured great food and so-so to poor service. This is one of several locations scattered throughout the metro area by Thai entrepreneur Supenn Harrison, who claims to have opened the first Thai restaurant in the upper Midwest in 1983. The name comes from a Thai phrase that is roughly equivalent to ‘aloha’. The central Minneapolis location has several booths in the large front windows, with a fairly extensi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 14, 2007

Sawatdee Thai Restaurant
607 Washington Ave South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
+1 612 338 6451

spoonriver

Restaurant

Quote:
Location, location, location. Owner Brenda Langton really scored when she landed this spot directly across from the new Guthrie on 2nd Street. The restaurant occupies a long space down the street, with a stylish bar that also covers most of that distance. Every table seems small and intimate, with diners, servers and bartender back lit by the brightly illuminated bar shelving.And the food is good, too. Langton has been serving vegetarian and organic cuisine for two decades. spoonriver emphasizes fresh, locally grown ingredients (which she further supports with the weekend market under the awning of the adjacent Mill City Museum). My brother and I dined here before one of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 14, 2007

Old Spaghetti Factory

Restaurant | "The Old Spaghetti Factory"

Quote:
At some level, this is what chains are supposed to do: provide a decent and familiar experience in a variety of locations. Once you’re seated, with the menu in front of you, you can’t tell if you’re in St. Louis, Minneapolis, San Jose, or any of the other 40-odd locations of this apparently California-based chain. I’ve dined at all of the above, always because it worked for satisfying a big group or a kid’s request.This location actually is located in a factory. It sits at the SE corner of Park and Washington, in a building that started life as the headquarters of the J.I. Case thresher factory. The emphasis on dark wood and red velvet is common to all Spaghetti Factories, as is the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 14, 2007

Old Spaghetti Factory
233 Park Ave
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
+1 612 341 0949