Since greasing its first lane in 1958, Lariat Lanes has spent the past half century serving its community with family-friendly bowling and entertainment. Located just a short distance from downtown Minneapolis, the pin-punishing emporium touts a lineup of 12 ultrasleek lanes that lend their surfaces to leagues, parties, and daily sessions of open bowling. Memorabilia adorns the alley's walls to create a timeline of storied collectibles, including keepsakes signed by the Rolling Stones, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and the Beastie Boys. In between evading gutters and matchbox cars using the lanes as a drag strip, guests can refuel with hot dogs, wings, and nachos at the restaurant or sip sodas and beers in the bar, where local sports games illuminate TV screens.
In a series of black and white portraits that pop against the backdrop of rich burgundy walls, smiling farm workers stationed around the world stand amid their crops, tools in hand. The photographs are the first hint at Peoples Organic Coffee & Wine Café's mission to link ingredients back to their source. The second hint is the menu, which boasts a roster of local farms: the ham comes from Fischer Farm, the chicken sausage from Schultz Farm, and the bison from Eichtens Family Farm. Chefs spotlight these free-range meats in wholesome burgers, wraps, and salads, which they enhance with fresh, organic veggies and housemade sauces. To complement meals, the café boasts a beer menu filled with choices from local breweries such as the limited-supply Surly and Fulton. Additionally, its wine selection runneth over with biodynamic, organic, and sustainable varietals, which are tastier than their unsustainable counterpart, unicorn tears.
A sibling pub to Minneapolis staple Town Hall Brewery—ranked 42nd on RateBeer's 2012 list of best brewers in the world—The Town Hall Tap pairs delectable brunch fare with mimosas and award-winning brews. Commence daytime feasts with hunks of challah bread brimming with cream cheese and bananas sautéed in Buffalo Trace bourbon, or by scarfing down biscuits and gravy with hash browns. Diners can carbon-date three benedicts to search for evidence of whether the chicken preceded the egg, and a breakfast burrito loads black beans, barley, and hash browns into two fried corn tortillas. Town Hall Brewery taps or tasty mimosas accompany diners as they cozy up to the bar or nestle into booths flanked by retro barroom décor such as a neon Schmidt's banner and prehistoric bottle openers whittled from mammoth teeth.
A bright illustration of a burger and beer towers over Adrian's Tavern, inviting the neighborhood inside to enjoy sandwiches and brews. Since its origins as a steak house in 1931, Adrian's has remained a family-owned-and-operated establishment run by Jim and Karen Pratt. Nine varieties of burgers, craft and domestic beers, and red and white wines satisfy dinnertime hungers and thirsts. The bar welcomes kids with an extensive child-friendly menu, and old-fashioned pinball machines and video games offer families alternative entertainment to staring contests with Grandpa.
Joke Joint Comedy Club packs its schedule with touring comics and local stars, restocking spectators' mirth supplies during several shows every week. Audiences can browse a wide selection of humorists, whose collective resumé includes appearances on Comedy Central and Showtime’s Louie Anderson Presents. Housed in the historic Diamond Jim's Supper Club, the auditorium seats up to 200 chucklers at tables, where they can comfortably rest their elbows and laugh-track cassettes during performances.
When the amusement value of people-watching starts to wear off, shoppers at the Mall of America can ascend to the fourth floor to Rick Bronson's House of Comedy for professionally dispensed laughs. In front of walls painted with off-kilter murals of the city skyline, nationally renowned comedians riff and banter on a thrust stage that makes it easy for audience members to offer hearty handshakes after each good joke. Meanwhile, guests munch pizza, burgers, and northern treats such as poutine and cheese curds. Past standup superstars include Norm MacDonald, Steve-O, Tom Green, and a who's-who of comics seen on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with David Letterman.