After immigrating to the United States at age 20, Greece native Dino Adamidis cut his teeth in the restaurant industry as an employee at his sister’s steakhouse. He enjoyed the work, but still aspired to own his own business, a dream he carried with him from Greece. In 1982, he and his wife Vona decided to pursue that dream by opening a small white and blue stand at a local art fair where they sold gyros to spectators, often cinching a sale with free meat samples, saying, “We knew if the people would try it they would love it.” Love it they did, but it wasn’t until 1986—four years and several food stands down the road—that the couple opened the first freestanding Dino’s Gyros with only eight booths and a single particle accelerator.
Today, Dino’s is run by the two oldest children and serves quick Greek and Mediterranean cuisine from six locations. The menu still highlights the classic gyro, often with innovative twists, such as the Greek Philly, a gyro-meat mound sautéed with onions, green peppers, and swiss cheese. Catering services offer the same delicious fare as box lunches, family-style buffets, or busts carved from gyro meat.
Uncle Franky's specializes in classic American comfort food and there's no need to worry about Twin Cities myopia. They're as committed to the authenticity of their Philly cheesesteak sandwich as any Philadelphian. Their take, served on a flaky Gonella roll, comes squirted with Cheez Whiz?and while replacing that with American or mozzarella is an option, Swiss is strictly forbidden, as John Kerry found out the hard way.
The same authenticity marks their Chicago beefs and hot dogs, and their New York-style hot corned beef sandwiches, available local style (with just mustard) and tourist style (with onions, kraut, and Swiss). Diners wash down these eats, as well as classic burgers and hand-cut french fries, with the "World's Best Chocolate Malt," a menu item that has turned Uncle Franky's into a tourist destination for many undercover extraterrestrials.
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.
Warm up your taste buds with an appetizer order of tuna bites (sliced sesame-ahi tuna on crispy wontons atop a spring mix of greens, $8.99) or some spicy stuffed mushrooms (Italian sausage, gorgonzola, and sun-dried tomatoes, presented in a shallow bath of marinara topped with parmesan, $8.99). Woody's dinner menu grills up the prime rib of beef served with horseradish crème fraiche and sides of garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables ($18.99/queen cut). Aquatarians will enjoy Woody’s pecan-crusted walleye, pan fried and served with the same savory sides ($17.99), as well as the succulently stuffed salmon filled with a wild-rice, prosciutto, and portobello blend, finished with classic beurre blanc ($15.99). After sinking your teeth into a build-your-own, hearth-baked pizza (starting at $7.99) or sticking your fork into butternut-squash ravioli ($11.99) for dinner, complete your repast with a decadent dessert or after-dinner drink. Try a slice of the Chocolate Decadence Cake ($5.99) paired with a Keoki Coffee (Kahlua, brandy, crème de cacao, fresh coffee, and whipped cream).
Truffles and Tortes Dessert Cafe's bakers craft layered cakes, frosty beverages, chocolate-covered strawberries, and, of course, delicious tortes. But their penchant for sweets doesn't prevent them from creating a savory menu to be enjoyed alongside their baked goods. They bake quiches fresh every morning, make salads and sandwiches to order, and serve homemade soup all day long.
The sweets and savories aren't the shop's only homemade feature, though. The walls showcase a hand-painted mural. The mural features a bridge spanning a Parisian canal, with two small angel statues perched at the bridge's midpoint. One of the angels seems to have picked himself up a piece of cake from the shop's counter, revealing that the painting must come alive after the shop closes.
For the founders of Sakana Sushi & Hibachi - Plymouth, the road to opening a Minnesota restaurant spanned continents. The group practiced their culinary skills and sharpened their business acumen while living in the Fujain Province in mainland China. After immigrating to America and starting families in New York City, they decided to find a place to raise their children in Minnesota. This led to the collective opening an Asian restaurant in their new home using their combined cooking experience and contacts with fish markets from the East Coast. Their penchant for transforming fresh fish into salmon and spicy tuna rolls and searing savory cuts of steak with szechuan kung pao spices soon birthed two additional restaurants and at least three spin-off sitcoms.