A pool table has six pockets, but the pool sharks at Two Stooges Sports Bar & Grill can sink 8-balls into 258 of them. That's because 43 tables inhabit the bar's pool hall, open until 2 a.m. nightly. But the fun at Two Stooges spills out of the pool hall and on to the karaoke stage on Tuesdays and extends to the dance floor on weekends, when live DJs spin groove-worthy tunes.
After taking in all the live entertainment at Two Stooges—not to mention games and fights shown on flat-screens throughout the bar—guests can dig into snacks of boneless wings and juicy burgers. More substantial entrees include pasta dishes and a 10-ounce ribeye topped with butter compound, not to be confused with a secret building in which to hoard butter.
"Your food should be something you get your hands on and become a part of," Rob Dubnecay told a reporter from CBS Minnesota. "Sitting back with a fork and knife is kind of boring."
Rob developed his philosophy—and his palate—while growing up in Chicago, where he honed his motor skills by wrapping his hands around Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian beef sandwiches. Hoping to introduce his childhood cuisine to Minnesota, he founded Chris and Rob's Chicago's Taste Authority, where each week trucks haul in ingredients straight from the Windy City, such as fresh poppy-seed buns and sausages wrapped in old mobsters' hit lists. True to the authentic big-shoulders style, cooks top Vienna all-beef hot dogs with everything but ketchup: mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, pickles, sport peppers, and a sprinkle of celery salt. For 17 years, the family-friendly restaurant has continued to adapt their roots to other Chicago favorites including Kronos Gyro's, sliced Italian beef sandwiches served on Gonella bread, specialty pizzas, and Maxwell Street polish sausages.
In 1971, brothers Bill, Jim, and Tony Nicklow opened their first restaurant, naming it the Shorewood Inn. The eatery prospered for decades thanks to a clear view of Moore Lake and a collection of Greek recipes handed down through the family. In 2005, though, Jim Nicklow retired, leasing the lakeside property to another restaurant. When the building became available again in 2009, Jim came out of retirement to revitalize the old family business.
At the revamped location, chefs roast gyro meat on a vertical spit for tzatziki-sauced sandwiches or mediterranean pizzas decorated with feta cheese and sun-dried tomatoes. Traditional American favorites, such as barbecue ribs, offer edible comfort to diners on strict teddy-bear-free diets. On Sunday, diners put together custom feasts at a brunch buffet with an omelet station and a bloody-mary bar. Shorewood Bar & Grill dispenses culture in addition to cuisine with a schedule of live music, and an outdoor patio is available for al fresco dining.
Authentic aromas of Nepal, Tibet, and India waft up winsomely from the Minneapolis and Fridley kitchens. Chamena (appetizers), such as pyaazi—deep-fried onions and jalapeños ($4.50–$4.95)—tease taste buds and unleash appetite avalanches. Himalayan’s machaa-masu tarkari mixes fish or meat into saucy and curried dishes—try the lamb saag, which is lamb cooked with spinach ($13.95), or the fish curry ($13.95). Vegetarian and vegan entrees abound, including aloo cauli-stir-fried potatoes and cauliflower ($9.95)—and ram-toria aloo, consisting of fried okra with potatoes and spices ($9.95). Potable chow-chasers, such as Himalayan coffee served with milk and spices, and the mango lassi ($2.50 each), sate liquid hunger and awaken hibernating yetis.
As a restaurateur with existing eateries in St. Paul to Minnetonka, Bombay Palace owner and chef Pal Cheema wasted no time putting his personal stamp on what was once a modest Himalayan restaurant in Fridley. Pal adds a health-conscious angle to Bombay Palace's menu of northern and southern Indian fare, constructing dishes with no MSG and a lighter use of oils and butter. And though his chefs create a multitude of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, from vegetable rice biryani to cheesy grilled paneer, they don't neglect their meats. Tender kebabs of yogurt-marinated chicken, lamb, and fish swelter in the heat of a clay-oven tandoor, and a fully stocked lunch buffet offers a weightlifter's shopping list of proteins from goat and lamb to fresh seafood.
After finishing their meal in one of the burgundy booths, diners can peruse the walls' framed artworks, each of which bears a placard with the name of the picture or instructions on where to locate Waldo.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.