Lindey’s 

We need to talk about Lindey’s in Arden Hills. Have you been here?! A short distance from Bethel University, Lindey’s isn’t just a throwback to a northwoods, 1950’s supper club – it IS a northwoods, 1950’s supper club. The location, a product of those begotten years, with it’s mid-century cabin decor, knotted-cedar paneling, and stone fireplace hasn’t changed much in more than half a century.

So the story goes, Lewis Walter “Lindey” Lindemer spent years trying to find a Minnesota restaurateur, from Stillwater to Shakopee, who would serve his steaks in their establishments. He finally found favor it Heinei Borndale, owner and operator of the Coronodo Café and the Rathskeeler (in the basement), on the corner of University and Snelling in St. Paul. When the Wagon Wheel, a tucked away eatery on the side of a hill in Arden Hills came up for sale, he jumped at the chance to open his own restaurant. Paying $200 cash as a down payment, Lindey’s was opened in the spring of 1961. Today, Lindey’s is family owned and run by the second generation of Lindemer’s. Still serving up those steaks, prepared with the exact recipes created by Lindey himself almost 60 years later.

Their menu is unlike the rest – refreshingly simple. With a slogan and web address like “the place for steak,” it doesn’t come as much surprise that your choice is steak, steak, shrimp or steak. And I’m not exaggerating.  At dinner, you can get Lindey’s special sirloin, prime sirloin, broiled shrimp, or prime chopped sirloin. Each coming with salad and specially blended dressing, a greaseless hash-browned potato platter, toasted garlic bread, and sweet pickled watermelon rind. They have Muddy Paws cheesecake or one of their alcoholic “ice cream drinks” for dessert!

Many patrons have been going to Lindey’s at least once a year, for their whole life. I know, because as soon as I mention Lindey’s, the gushing begins about their birthday club. Sign up for their birthday club and list and every year you will receive a postcard in the mail for $25 off your meal, turning even first time visitors into regulars.

Davanni’s

Davannis MNBucketlist

I love pizza so much that I drag (usually willingly) my closest friends and even my Mom, pictured above, to any place that gives me my fix. I can’t help it, I have a thing for a good Italian food. So when I found out that it was Davanni’s 40th anniversary this month, I was pretty excited. I mean, to be honest, I didn’t know it had been around that long and also I didn’t know that it started in Minnesota. And I really ought to know these things! Anyway, did you know that they were actually the first to offer hot hoagies in the Twin Cities? Originally called Pontillo’s Pizzeria, Davanni’s first location, off Cleveland and Grand in St. Paul opened October 1st, 1975, they later changed names in 1983. I decided to check out the newly remodeled Edina location, which will be having a Grand Re-Opening / 20th Anniversary celebration on this Saturday. If you want to go, you can meet the owners, get special deals, play trivia, lots of samples AND Indeed Brewing will be tapping a special cask ale from 5-8pm.

I went early so I could see their new bar (lots of craft beer and wine), the new renovations and the overall revitalization of their brand. Let me jump ahead, I was really impressed! It’s definitely not the dark walls, dim lighting and cramped quarters that I often encounter with restaurants that have been around forever (40 is forever for me). The design is bright, modern, and incredibly inviting. The staff was what really made the atmosphere for me, though. Attentive, friendly, great with suggestions and they actually like their jobs, which isn’t always the case in the industry. I’m going to attribute that to being a privately held company and constantly trying new ideas, from nutriment to innovation.

Now let me get into the food.

Davannis MNBucketlist

We devoured all different kinds of salads, sandwiches, beer and dessert. Hey! We are eaters, and also sharers, so we had to have a little of everything! And the pizza? Deep dish, flat bread, thin crust, white sauce, red sauce, you name it – we tried it. The crowd favorite was the Southwestern Chicken Salad, the Turkey Bacon Chipotle Hoagie and the Artichoke Chicken Pesto Flatbread (see, they are trying new things!). I was partial to the Veggie Hoagie and Garlic Cheese Bread. Needless to say, their Chanhassen location (their 22nd store) will get a little too much of my attention in the future. With the Twin Cities bursting with really great pizzerias, the new changes from layout to menu, to keeping the forever favorites like the New York style pizza and pasta and using their own bakery for bread and desserts, I know that Davannis will have a home here for at least another 40 years.

WANT A GREAT DEAL: When you order online, you can get a 10% discount when you use the code “ANNIVERSARY” at checkout through Saturday, October 31. Otherwise in-shop through the end of the month, a regular pop (it’s Minnesota, we say Pop) is only $1.

 A few recent articles: Star Tribune + Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal + KARE11