Over the last 50 years, The Park Tavern has perfected the convivial trifecta of eating, drinking, and bowling. A menu of gourmet burgers and traditional pub fare mingles with a drink menu of domestic and imported beers and wines for between-frame refueling. On Mondays, the alley fills with high-energy tunes, and bowling balls careen all night during the $5 all-you-can-bowl nights. The Park Tavern rolls out its varied bowling buffets for corporate events, birthday parties, or the anniversary of the end of bowling prohibition during the Nixon administration.
Thom Pham, the founder of Thanh Do, Azia, and the Caterpillar Lounge, first learned to cook as a child in the Vietnamese village of Qui Nhon. As a youth, he helped his grandmother, Bo, run her catering business. After a Minneapolis family adopted 14-year-old Thom, his culinary sensibilities began to shift, creating the mix of local Minnesota flavor and Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai influences found on Thanh Do's menu. When not digging into cranberry curry, diners can chew through spare ribs that chefs have marinated overnight, then cooked over a gentle flame for six hours while reading Goodnight Moon aloud. Pham's team can also cater to vegetarian diets with tofu or mock duck. Sunny-yellow walls and fiery orange lanterns infuse each meal with a sense of warmth, preventing diners from kindling campfires with chopstick friction.
The flavors of the desert and the Mediterranean mingle at Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro, where chefs specialize in the hearty entrees of Afghanistan and the surrounding area. They pair authentic Afghan breads brushed with olive oil and garlic with traditional mezzes such as baba ghanouj and hummus topped with olives, feta, and gyro meat. That same meat goes into classic gyro sandwiches dressed with a dollop of tzatziki sauce and paired alongside crispy french fries. They also layer gyro meat, chicken, beef, or falafel onto skewers before grilling them over an open flame. To balance out the savory flavors without making their napkins out of spun sugar, the chefs create desserts such as baklava and firnee, a chilled cornstarch pudding studded with pistachios.
Drawing on 16 years of experience, Raku Sushi’s master chef Megu Lin prepares upscale Japanese cuisine with a creative twist alongside sushi, sashimi, and other classic dishes. A glow bar and a decorative school of fish strewn across the restaurant’s ceiling add to the contemporary vibes. In the tatami room, the floor mats traditionally used as seats for Japanese-style dining have been replaced with neon-lit floor panels. Raku Sushi & Lougne also has an extensive sake, wine and cocktail list.
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.
At Let's Dish!, families select healthy, hearty meals to eat at home without having to dedicate valuable time to planning, shopping, or preparation. After placing an order online, patrons stop by the shop at a scheduled time to find dishes that are made from fresh ingredients, customized to taste, and then, like Sleeping Beauty, frozen to prevent them from aging. Meal menus rotate monthly and include homestyle selections, such as cheesy chipotle-chicken enchiladas, pulled pork with mashed potatoes, and rosemary and mustard grilled flank steak. The preassembled Dish-n-Dash entrees allow for speedy pickup service, freeing families to spend more quality bonding time sorting the mail by size and color.