In 1962, Lawrence William Yanz opened Hastings Bierstube, where he dished out German delicacies such as bratwursts, Reubens, and 6-ounce sirloin steaks. After his passing in 1983, his sons, Jim and Mike, started two new locations before forming a fourth with a family friend. The sons expanded Hastings Bierstube’s already extensive menu, introducing the Taste of Deutschland sampler platter, which features a selection of wienerschnitzel, sauerbraten, and house-made spaetzle.
Along with slinging authentic cuisine, the owners send lucky diners on vacations to Germany during giveaways, which fall on special occasions such as Oktoberfest and David Hasslehoff’s half birthday. For visitors remaining on American shores, the restaurants host weekly events, including bingo, open mics, karaoke, and live music.
Founded by Pino Montes, an Italian immigrant from the coast of Sicily, Pino’s Authentic Italian and Pizza Restaurant bids benvenuti to belligerent bellies with authentic, home-cooked dishes. Peruse the dinner menu before pursing lips around a forkful of spaghetti alla carbonara, in which pieces of smoked pancetta and parmesan cheese glide their way through a labyrinth of white-wine-laden noodles ($12.95). Meat admirers can opt for the sautéed veal scaloppine saltimbocca, injected with sherry and adorned with prosciutto, provolone, and cream ($20.95). Midday diners can choose similarly succulent lunch fare, such as an authentic pizza topped with oregano and prosciutto ($10.95), or a panini that, like Chef Boyardee’s Christmas tree, is topped with meatballs ($6.95).
Though the particulars of Duke's pizza recipe remain shrouded in secrecy, its resulting flavors—thin, crispy crust, sweet sauce, and obscure toppings such as bacon bits and chicken Alfredo—are practically public domain. Seated among crimson walls and wood paneling, guests dig into pies as the kitchen churns out a well-rounded menu of pub favorites, from burgers and hand-cut fries to classic breakfast fare such as omelets and gravy-soaked biscuits. An extensive lunch buffet lines the walls amid the glow of flat-screen TVs, allowing patrons to imagine that sports commentators are narrating the scoops of soup and pasta when they breathlessly exclaim, "Commercial break!"
Riley's Pub & Grill is known for its barbecue ribs, which the chefs cook slowly until the meat falls off the bone alongside piles of cole slaw and seasoned potato wedges. They also pile burgers and pizzas with unusual toppings, such as pulled pork and pickles. The relaxed bar amps up during special events, including live music performances and bingo nights.
From its humble origins as a soda fountain in 1930s Saint Paul, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar has grown into a franchise with more than 28 locations all over Minnesota and the Midwest. As TV screens blast sports news in the background, patrons at each eatery dine on a menu of classic American and pizzeria fare. Thick, hand-pressed burgers form bunned towers with hefty toppings such as smoked bacon, haystack onions, and chipotle mayo. Families looking to bond can practice fractions on regular, deep-dish, or thin and crispy pizzas or group juggling acts with samplers of 27 juicy wings. In addition to pastas and salads, each location's bar carries a varied drink menu that includes draft beers such as Blue Moon and Samuel Adams alongside wine, martinis, and margaritas.
At Indian Aroma, spicy Northern Indian dishes sizzle inside a traditional tandoori oven. This oven's clay interior adds a smokey flavor to the food, which exits the oven looking as colorful as the dining room's cumin-colored walls. The restaurant's chefs, who are Indian natives, create these curries and biryanis à la carte, but they also serve them up on the buffet alongside spicy sauces, refreshing yogurts, and warm pieces of naan. Together, these components create a meal that is both hot and cool, much like a leather jacket that's been left in direct sunlight too long.
Chefs at New Woodbury Cafe add inventive twists to classic breakfast and lunch dishes such as topping the caprese benedict with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil-pesto hollandaise or scooping portions of signature cashew chicken salad on crunchy beds of greens. Their house specialties include the walleye breakfast of blackened or panko-crusted filet, farm-fresh eggs, and side of house-made hash browns. Servers flit about the warm atmosphere, delivering fresh-baked corn bread and chocolate shakes to diners seated in cozy booths.