Herradura's kitchen hums with the sounds of simmering Mexican sauces and sizzling meats. Chef Rita Castro fries up fresh shrimp, crab, and scallops for seafood fajitas, stuffs taquitos with beef or chicken, and adorns cheese enchiladas with pork, onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Bartenders blend natural juices into pitchers of mango, cactus fruit, and guava margaritas, drawing from an 18-year-old recipe formulated by brothers Raul and Oscar.
Tommy's Malt Shop induces nostalgia with a menu of malted milk shakes, hamburgers, and other classic comfort fare. With 16 different ice cream toppings that can be mixed and matched, made-to-order malts ($3.75–$4.75) arrive mouthside in unlimited flavor combinations that sippers can sprinkle with a variety of candy or fruit toppings, like most judicial summons. The pina colada malt combines strawberry, pineapple, and banana, while Emily's Favorite entreats sweet teeth with an avalanche of hot fudge and butterscotch. Chefs forge fresh burgers to order and with creative twists, such as the Pig Out burger made with a blend of bacon and ground beef ($8.50), or the Cowboy burger ($6.25), slathered in cheddar, barbecue sauce, and caramelized spurs. A garden salad ($7.25), homemade onion rings ($3.95) and a variety of classic sandwiches help round out memorable meals.
Pinatas dangle from the ceiling at Chaska My Love, giving them a perfect view of the restaurant's orange and red walls adorned with murals of iconic Mexican images and landscapes. Below, diners nestle into bright blue booths before tucking into plates heaped high with flavorful dishes, such as carne asada, sizzling fajitas, and guacamole made with fresh avocados. The menu offers a variety of authentic Mexican appetizers, entrees, and desserts, as well as antojitos, which translates to "little cravings" and refers to Mexican street food such as tacos and tamales.
The lengthy menu at Tian Jin Chinese Restaurant includes dishes described as "authentic, flavorful, and unique" by Mpls. St.Paul Magazine that are each inspired by the owners' frequent trips to China. After each trip, region-specific foods are hand-picked to comprises dishes at Tian Jin Chinese Restaurant. Entree selections include whole halibut stewed in wild chili sauce, Mandarin beef with golden garlic, sizzling steak in black pepper sauce, giant walnut shrimp, and a chrysanthemum sole fillet in tomato sauce, a 2012 Taste of Chanhassen Grand Prize winner. Tian Jin Chinese Restaurant also has a sister restaurant in Cafe 99, which twincities.com describes as "the real deal" with dishes not seen elsewhere.
Tokyo Sushi & Grill's expansive menu combines hot appetizers and entrees with cool and contemporary sushi rolls that please both traditional and daring palates. Those embarking on a new journey into raw fish can begin with simple slices of assorted sashimi ($18.95) or warm up to the idea with a cooked roll such as the toasted salmon skin with cucumber ($5.95). Tokyo’s specialty rolls balance sweetness and spice as deftly as a love letter written in hot sauce, and include the Happy Roll (spicy tuna, smoked eel, and banana tempura; $12.95) and the Fire Island (Alaska crabmeat and chili sauce; $13.95). Dinner entrees such as beef teriyaki ($15.95) and shrimp tempura ($16.95) are accompanied by soup, spring rolls, shumai, rice, salad, and a california roll.
As night falls, participants in the noncompetitive Rave Run pull on neon T-shirts, don glow-in-the dark glasses, and stuff their pockets with glow sticks. Spectators look on as the throng of illuminated runners, which includes kids and adults, make their way through a 5-kilometer course that winds through city streets.
The event culminates with an after party, where a DJ spin tunes and powerful lasers cast out beams that illuminate wide smiles and the secret locations of any lost arks in the vicinity. Fog machines and CO2 jets help create a high-adrenaline atmosphere as attendees dance with their glow-in-the-dark compatriots. All the fun is for a good cause; The Rave Run partners with a local charity in each participating city.