In the mid-19th century, food-savvy Americans invented crêpes and delivered them to the masses in milk trucks. Today’s Groupon celebrates the rigorous crepage that swiftly conquered appetites across the nation with $10 worth of crêpes and crêpe-complementing beverages at La Belle Crepe for $5. Sweet and savory will tempt your buds when you indulge in one of the most charming and adored foods to ever grace this or any other earth, including Superman's Bizarro World, in which, in theory, bad foods should taste good.LibertyFrance: The ideal of liberty consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others.USA: Liberty is used mostly to wear pajama pants outside.
You'll have a major decision to make at Olde Main Eatery: breakfast or lunch? An all-day breakfast menu of omelets and biscuits and gravy pits itself against a slate of light wraps and hearty patty melts. The french toast tempts with its light cinnamon coating, as do burgers and build-your-own deli sandwiches stacked on sourdough, marble rye, and croissant slices. The 150-year-old diner exudes an air of small-town Americana, from its green- and white-striped awning and historic photographs lining the wall, to the staff's impromptu productions of The Music Man.
Ask Peggy Rasmussen how many meals she's served from her kitchen at Peg?s Countryside Caf?, and she'll wager around three million. That's roughly one million meals for every decade the cozy, 55-seat cafe has been in business. Try breaking that figure down into orders of buttermilk pancakes, corned beef eggs benedict, and cinnamon roll french toast, and you'll likely work up an appetite. Which is great, since you can simply eat your way into the lunch rush, when Peg's cooks get busy making hand-breaded tilapia sandwiches, grilled reubens, tuna melts, and a from-scratch, rotating selection of soups and pies.
If you happen to meet Peg between bites of pork schnitzel sandwich, don't be surprised if her face triggers a flash of recognition or a hankering for brownie batter. In 1996, she was one of 75 women chosen by General Mills to form a composite image of the new Betty Crocker. Look around the dining room, and you might find the finished image hanging on the wall alongside photos of thousands of Peg's Countryside Cafe's regulars, taken throughout the years.
Restaurant establishment is a Kozlak family tradition. Back in 1943, Joseph and Gertrude Kozlak purchased what would eventually become the well-known Jax Café. In 1977, their son Jax Kozlak and family embarked on a massive restoration project to beautify and expand a new large space that would become Kozlak's Royal Oak Restaurant, which has since been voted Best Ambiance, Best Service, and Neighborhood Gem by OpenTable diners.
Well known for its steaks, Kozlak's serves top-shelf cuts such as bone-in tenderloin, roasted prime rib, and tenderloin filet crowned with add-ons of rich blue cheese, Cajun spices, or fresh sauteed mushrooms. Single tails of steamed African lobster recline on plates with drawn butter, and Australian sea bass receives a stuffing of spinach and crab before being topped with a butter-tarragon sauce. Kozlak's Royal Oak Restaurant boasts a screened-in patio with a canopy.
Along with the end of Prohibition, 1933 brought sweeping changes across the country. It definitely changed the building at 1928 University Avenue NE in Minneapolis, which had been functioning as a hardware and furniture store for nearly a quarter-century. Proprietor Stanley Kozlak immediately went out and obtained a liquor license, transforming his retail shop into a bar and restaurant.
It would prove to be a smart decision?more than 80 years and two generations of Kozlaks later, Jax Cafe stands as a Minneapolis institution whose reputation has spread throughout the Midwest. This is thanks in part to singular touches such as reserved tables set with personalized matchbooks for expected guests and a stream on the lush covered patio from which diners can net their own rainbow trout for dinner. It?s no wonder Travel Channel foodie Andrew Zimmern has gushed that this restaurant is ?dripping with character.?
Part of that character comes from a certain adherence to traditions. Jax is furnished with patterned carpet, white linens, a grand piano, and a phone booth?yes, a phone booth?and the menu has the classic supper-club meals to match. Fresh Maine lobsters are kept in a saltwater tank said to be the first of its kind in the state, and the selection of award-winning Angus beef includes an 8-ounce filet the restaurant calls ?the steak that made Jax famous.? That?s not to say Jax is stuffy or old-fashioned?the menu also includes beer-can chicken, kids' meals, and craft beers served fresh from the tap, bottle, or keg-sized water balloon.