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!"
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).
Opened in 2009, PINZ features high-tech amenities and a modern design, all part of its goal to offer customers a contemporary bowling experience that makes them forget about the dingy bowling alleys of the past. While sitting on leather benches, guests reach out to rest their drinks on wooden coffee tables before lacing up a pair of bowling shoes. After selecting a ball from a wooden and chrome rack, they center themselves in one of 10 lanes before sending pins sailing. This upscale experience is thanks to PINZ's 10 Pin Alley, a lounge with a private wait staff, and one of many amenities that sets PINZ apart from other bowling alleys. When not bowling in the lounge or on one of the alley's other 34 lanes, bowlers can grab a bite at Harvey's American Pub—an in-house restaurant and bar that serves pizza, burgers, and hearty entrees—or indulge in entertainment such as billiards and arcade games. The alley also contains a glow-in-the-dark laser-tag arena for settling bets over who is the best bowler.
Since 1986, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with burgers and classic American dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. Amid the sunlit dining room, diners at wooden tabletops have views of 25 TVs broadcasting sports games, competing with a cluster of arcade games for eyes' attention. Chefs cater to taste buds by plumping up pastas with chicken, shrimp, and vegetables and piling rolls with beef patties, barbecued pulled pork, and spicy buffalo chicken. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with an expansive selection of draft beers and wine. The bar and grill draws guests with regular specials and events throughout the week, including daily happy hours, Thursday-night trivia, and Sunday brunch. Every Tuesday, the restaurant serves up free meals to children, as a magician saunters table to table, entertaining kids with tricks and balloon art, crafting replacement siblings on request.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
Typically, the only time a public bar is lit like a cozy living room is when patrons bring chandeliers with them. But at Jake's City Grille's Plymouth location, homey lamps illuminate a wooden bar, which competes with the elegance of the fireplace inside Eden Prairie’s dining room. Red umbrellas, meanwhile, keep the sun in check on Maplewood’s outdoor patio. Each location cultivates its own one-of-a-kind ambience, such as the warmly lit interior of Eagan’s space and the rustic feel of Gull Lake’s confines. These finely tuned atmospheres create a welcoming place to enjoy seared Ahi tuna, marinated chicken breast sandwiches, and cowboy ribeye steaks so fresh they still have the lasso on them.