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As NFL Labor Dispute Heads to Court, Focus Turns to Minneapolis-St. Paul

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Photo courtesy of MPR

As the NFL labor dispute shifts from negotiation to litigation, the “playing field” will move from Washington, D.C. to St. Paul, Minnesota.

Though the weather is warming up, the temperature can still drop in Minneapolis and St. Paul, which makes their system of glass” tunnels, or walkways, so convenient. Downtown Minneapolis has an eight-mile system of walkways and St. Paul has a five-mile system, making the city easy to navigate if it gets cold. If it is warm, feel free to walk outside without looking over your shoulder. Minneapolis was named the safest city in the country by Forbes in 2009.

For those hard working ladies and gentlemen of the NFL media horde, we provide a rundown of Minneapolis-St. Paul including some top restaurants, points of interest, and upcoming sporting events through the month of April.

Upcoming Sporting Events (home dates in April):

Minnesota Twins
Friday, April 22 Cleveland Indians 7:10 PM
Saturday, April 23 Cleveland Indians 12:10 PM
Sunday, April 24 Cleveland Indians 1:10 PM
Tuesday, April 26 Tampa Bay Rays 7:10 PM
Wednesday, April 27 Tampa Bay Rays 7:10 PM
Thursday, April 28 Tampa Bay Rays 12:10 PM

Local Restaurants:

  • The Jucy (or Juicy) Lucy is a style of cheeseburger invented in south Minneapolis. Both Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club claim to have invented the sandwich, which melts the cheese inside the burger patty resulting in a molten cheese core than gushes out upon the first bite.
  • Brasa Premium Rotisserie: Head Chef Alex Roberts is a James Beard Award winner, so it is no surprise that the “Pork and Spinach” at Brasa is so good that The Today Show featured it on a segment of the five American meals not to be missed (here).
  • Al’s Breakfast: Located near the University of Minnesota, this breakfast institution won a James Beard Foundation award in the “America’s Classics Restaurants” category.
  • Victor’s 1959 Café: Serves Cuban food that is “off the hook” according to Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host Guy Fieri.
  • Wienery: Voted best hot dog in the Twin Cities for three years running by CityPages, Wienery also serves breakfast all day in the west bank neighborhood of Minneapolis.
  • Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge: Believe it or not, they actually serve good food in addition to their exotic drinks and party atmosphere at their new location with a riverfront patio.
  • 112 Eatery: Voted best late-night restaurant by CityPages, 112 Eatery’s foie gras meatballs were written up by the New York Times and their chef Isaac Becker was a best Midwest chef nominee from the James Beard Foundation.
  • French Meadow Café: Local and organic ingredients make their breakfast the freshest and perhaps best in the city.

Things To Do/Points of Interest:

  • TCF Bank Stadium Tour: TCF Bank Stadium is home to the Minnesota Golden Gophers, and for two games in 2010 (and maybe more in 2011) the Minnesota Vikings. The state-of-the-art stadium opened prior to the 2009 season, and is worth checking out. Spring 2011 tour dates have not yet been released.
  • Mall of America: The MOA is one of the top tourist destinations in the country, mostly due to its sheer enormity. Two hundred and thirty eight Statues of Liberty could lie inside the mall.
  • Bryant-Lake Bowl: They may be known more for their locally sourced and tasty food than their bowling, but either one is a good reason to come.
  • Stone Arch Bridge: The only stone arch bridge ever constructed over the Mississippi River, the Stone Arch Bridge continues to offer spectacular views of St. Anthony Falls, the historic milling district and the Minneapolis skyline and is an important link in the St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail.
  • Mill City Museum: According to their official website, the Mill City Museum is “Built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, Mill City Museum is located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront. Here, visitors of all ages learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis.”
  • Nicollet Mall: The Nicollet Mall is a portion of Nicollet Avenue that runs through downtown Minneapolis featuring upscale shopping and dining. The pedestrian mall features a statue of Mary Tyler Moore’s iconic hat toss, which was filmed along the Mall.
  • Loring Park: Active in the summer with festivals and fairs, Loring Park is a good place to relax or go for a run.
  • Lake Minnetonka: Take a boat out on the lake or run or relax in the parks alongside.
  • Warehouse District: In addition to the Target Center and Target Field, which are located in the Warehouse District, there are a number of restaurants, bars and theatres here. It is a good place to check out before or after the game for dinner and drinks.
  • University of Minnesota: Take a walk through the campus and check out the historic buildings. You may be energized by the young people walking around.