Last week we revisited our Convention manual from our July/August issue to give you contributing editor Andrew Nelson's picks for the best of Denver. Since we are of course, fair and balanced, we now offer the rest of the article, where Andrew picks the top stops in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Spot the Guv
Political reporter for Minnpost.com, G. R. Anderson, Jr., suggests visitors tour the Minnesota State Capitol, inspired by Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica. Your goal: Locate the portrait of former governor and all-star wrestler Jesse Ventura.
A onetime bus depot, the music venue First Avenue is famous as the locale where the 1980s touchstone film Purple Rain was filmed. The Minneapolis pit stop still draws remarkable acts, and glimpses of the man formerly known as a native son. “I went fishing with a buddy on the Mississippi, then walked into First Avenue and saw Prince,” says Anderson about his encounter with the famous Minneapolis native.
Throw the electorate a bone and hit downtown Minneapolis for Manny’s, a high-end steak house decked out in wood and leather with portions as vast as the Midwestern prairie. Zagat’s declares it one of the top five steak restaurants in the country.
Meet the Voters
In St. Paul, flesh pressers should make a beeline for Mickey’s Diner, housed near the Xcel Energy Center. A well-loved greasy spoon housed in an old railroad car, Mickey’s is open 24 hours a day with a menu
perfectly suited for post-politicking—spicy chili or ham and eggs at 1 or 8 in the morning.
Wet your Whistle-Stop
The Muddy Pig bistro, up the hill from the convention site in St. Paul, is ready for thirsty delegates with 48 tap beers, including some local craft brews and a comfort-food menu (plates of pasta and burgers).
“What surprises visitors to St. Paul is the amazing variety of dining choices,” declares St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “Taste the best spring roll you’ve ever had in your life at the Asian Market on Como Avenue. If you want a spectacular wine list and a beautiful wooded patio, I’m sending you to W.A. Frost and Company on Cathedral Hill. If you want a perfectly poured stout in an authentic Irish bar, it’s the Liffey right across from the Xcel Energy Center. And, if you want a $500 Scotch—or at least want to see somebody else enjoy one—go to the Saint Paul Grill at the historic Saint Paul Hotel, downtown on Rice Park.”
Photo: John Noltner for our Minneapolis Destination Guide