The next ice cream stop on the #mnbucketlist is Honey and Mackie’s in Plymouth and it has been on my list since it opened. Oh goodness, look at that… It’s adorable, for starters, with pictures of kids who love their ice cream on the walls. It also incorporates two of my favorite things; big, huge ice cream cones and massive amounts of fries. What could be better than that?! So maybe Chicago dogs are more your thing, that’s cool, ‘cause they got those, too! The name has a really cute story behind it (hint: both nicknames), you should stop by, grab a cone and read about it. Even DeRusha has been here. They have lots of rotating flavors like coffee, chocolate chunk, cinnamon sugar, mini donut, etc. and are open in the winter, so you have ample opportunity to check them out.
A few weeks back, my best friends and I got together, as we do every month for bucket list dinners and crossed off Lucky’s 13 Pub from the #mnbucketlist. With locations in Bloomington, Mendota, Fargo, Plymouth and Burnsville, it’s easy to find one that is near you. With a spacious, rustic atmosphere it was the perfect spot for our big, loud group. They had all sorts of Minnesota-inspired dishes to try, all with their own take on them like the Cheese Curd Burger, the Juicy Lulu, Tater Tots and even Walleye Egg Rolls. We gorged on the free popcorn and the biggest pretzel ever. We were all really impressed with their great tap selection and how attentive and fun the service was too. Whether you prefer dining room, high top or bar seating, they are happy to accommodate. Fun fact: They have bingo on Saturday afternoons at the Bloomington location. Have you even been here?
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.
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.
Jakes City Grille looks small from the outside but is really expansive and beautiful on the inside. I’m only talking about the Eden Prairie location as they have locations all over Minnesota; Eagan, Maplewood, Plymouth and Gull Lake. I highly recommend the flat breads, apple honey grape, specifically, and their pizzas.