When he passed through St. Paul for his popular Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy Fieri made sure to stop at Dari-ette Drive In. Aware of the eatery's reputation for superb Italian-American dishes, the host, during the program's pilot show, asked to try the homemade deep-fried meatballs and pork sausages. Though he seemed a little incredulous about the cooking method at first, one bite had Guy literally licking his fingers while saying, mouth still full, ?I like the crunchy outside.?
A whole lot of people, as it turns out, like the crunchy outside. So much so that the drive-in has kept eaters coming back for more than 60 years. Meatball subs, pastas, and mozzarella sticks come with Dari-ette?s classic marinara sauce?an original family recipe that Guy spent the better part of the segment more or less begging the chef for. Beyond Italian specialties, the 1950s-style diner serves American classics, from four-piece fried chicken dinners and 1/3-pound burgers to ice cream treats such as dipped cones and 10 sundae flavors. Waitresses whisk orders to guests parked in the drive-in's 30-spot lot, but seating at indoor booths, an outdoor patio, or atop a stranger's car is also available.
From its humble origins as a soda fountain in 1930s Saint Paul, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar has grown into a franchise with more than 28 locations all over Minnesota and the Midwest. As TV screens blast sports news in the background, patrons at each eatery dine on a menu of classic American and pizzeria fare. Thick, hand-pressed burgers form bunned towers with hefty toppings such as smoked bacon, haystack onions, and chipotle mayo. Families looking to bond can practice fractions on regular, deep-dish, or thin and crispy pizzas or group juggling acts with samplers of 27 juicy wings. In addition to pastas and salads, each location's bar carries a varied drink menu that includes draft beers such as Blue Moon and Samuel Adams alongside wine, martinis, and margaritas.