After a weekend trip in Minneapolis area, I learned a lot about what passes as "food" - and I wasn't disappointed!

In Southeastern Minnesota, we affectionately call them "the Cities" because we want to maintain our rural roots and recognize our famous fellow Minnesotans as well. There are a lot of reasons that Minneapolis and St. Paul get the recognition that they do, and I quickly realized that food is one of them.

TSM Rochester

During my trip, I made a visit to three restaurants and eateries that I'm not sure most people know about. If they don't, they should! Have you been to these places before?

TSM Rochester / The Finnish Bistro

The Finnish Bistro. It makes sense that this Scandinavian oasis is located in St. Anthony Park (a part of St. Paul known for its Scandinavian village lookalike decor and construction). This cafe is a little pricy, but the food is WORTH IT! You're welcomed with a variety of authentic Finnish dining options, as well as everything you'd expect and American cafe to have. I recommend that oatcakes (they're pancakes really) and reindeer sausage!

 

TSM Rochester / Burgers and Bottles

Burgers and Bottles. It's a multi-functional business that literally caters to everyone in Eagen. I saw business meetings held here, young couples, families, and even dudes just hanging out with other dudes for guys night! If the soundtrack doesn't draw you in (Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Spacehog were noted), the food certainly will. I decided to go with a "mac and cheese burger", and it was awesome! The "mac" is served in a fried patty among two HUGE pieces of Angus beef. Burgers aren't their only specialty though.

 

The Joint via Facebook

The Joint. Is it a biker bar? Yes. Is anyone welcome there? Yes. Well, unless you mind the occasional outburst of loud laughter or cursing - but hey, who isn't entertained by that? Sure, this bar caters to regulars but I found out that newcomers aren't ignored. Our chef was honest when he couldn't provide everything we wanted to order (some dumb-dumb forget to ensure there was enough pizza!), but after many apologies, we were given a free basket of fries (along with our chicken tenders and cheese curds), so - who's the real winner here? It's a laid-back friendly place. All are treated equally well!

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