Minneapolis Finder Forum MN
RegisterSearchTutorialsMemberlistLog in
Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
Most Overrated Minneapolis St Paul Restaurants
Author Message
Reply with quote
Post Most Overrated Minneapolis St Paul Restaurants 


Some of the restaurants got rave reviews by local papers and magazines. However, they don't seem to live up to the high expectation. Love to hear everyone else's thoughts on the restaurants that seem to be way overrated.

My nomination:

20/21 at the Walker. It is overhyped because of the celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck.

The place is over crowed with tables, not much privacy or intimacy. The sound level was loud. It feels like a cheap cafeteria. Although the floor-to-ceiling window is spectacular, the view isn't. It overlooks the church and busy street traffic.

The food was so-so. The signature duck doesn't taste as good as those roasted ducks from Asian markets. One drink from their menu "Sakitini" (sake martini) tastes rather aweful.

Given all the hypes and raves, it was a rather uninspiring experience. Love to hear other opinions on overrated restaurants in the cities.

Reply with quote
Post Duplex 


My second nomination is the Duplex on Hennepin & 26th.

It is a fairly new restaurant. Star Tribune and MPLS St. Paul Magazine raved abou this place. So, I checked it out with a friend.

First surprise: this place doesn't look like a restaurant from the outside, instead it looks like a fixer-upper house for sale. I don't understand what image the owner is trying to present. Simply put, it looks bad from the outside and it doesn't look like a restaurant. They can make their sign a bit bigger too.

Second suprise: this place is so tiny and the tables are so close. Some of the tables are close enough to eat off the next table's plates. If one party talks loud, no one else can have a private conversation.

Third surprise: the salmon. We had the spinach stuffed salmon and the bison entrees. The combination of spinach and salmon sounds creative, but it has pungent smell which I almost thought it was a stench at first.

Well, the service wasn't that good either, but I have had enough surprises. Don't know where those food critics had their dinners, but this place didn't sound like what they described.

Reply with quote
Post  


The building Duplex is in was, until about 7 months ago, a coffee house. The building seemed a lot more appropriate for that sort of thing. It was one of my frequent haunts as far as coffee houses go.

I've recently become very disappointed by Black Forest Inn. I used to love everything about that place, but every time I go there recently the food seems to decline slightly. The beer selection remains strong, but I don't go out to eat for the beer. This might just be an unfortunate circumstance however. I'm allergic to mushrooms, which are featured prominently in a lot of Black Forest's dishes. So it could just be a matter of them only doing good food if it has mushrooms in it.

Reply with quote
Post W. A. Frost 


I'd give my vote for W.A. Frost. I know it is a highly rated establishment. I have been there quite a few times, but never had a time when I thought it was such a great place and I had to come back and try something else. It is not bad, but just nothing too impressive.

Reply with quote
Post Oceanaire 


My pick for the most overrated is Oceanaire in downtown Minneapolis. I always hear people recommend this restaurant for seafood. And to be fair, the seafood menu is more creative and varied than most. However, the couple of times we have been there lately, the service was TERRIBLE, the place was very crowded, loud and uninviting and the food was only OK (and very overpriced, IMO).

For seafood, I actually prefer Stella's Fish Cafe on Lake Street or the Seafood Palace on Nicollet Ave...both in Minneapolis.

Reply with quote
Post  


I totally agree about Stella's and Seafood Palace. Both are wonderful. Before Stella's become a hot spot, I spent a goodly number of friday afternoons there enjoying the happy hour and free buffet.

Reply with quote
Post MASA 


MASA was hyped by MPLS St Paul magazine as one of the best restaurants. The place is on Nicollet Mall, across the street from the Local Irish Pub. I thought the place was well decorated with a contemporay style. The service was friendly. I don't know much about Mexican foods, but the friend I went with thought the food was just so-so. She said a lot of Mexican restaurants in town served better foods than MASA. At least I wasn't wowed by the food there.

Almost every year, Oceanaire is voted the BEST restaurant in town by MPLS St Paul magazine. Never been there myself, but was told by a friend that she didn't think Oceanaire was that good.

Reply with quote
Post Solera 


This is a Spanish restaurant next to the Orpheum Theater. I can't say I liked it after a dinner there. It was a hot spot after it opened not too long ago. You can easily find some good reviews about this place. A friend and I had the tasting menu. I wasn't impressed with anything served. Maybe that was because I didn't know much about Spanish cuisine. Talked with another friend who had tried Solera's paella, one of their signature dishes. Her comment was, "You call that $--- paella?!". The restaurant has a very stylish decor, but rather lousy foods.

Reply with quote
Post  


I've heard that about Solera. Frankly, if I want Spanish food, I'll find someone doing it authentically in a small restaurant. I don't go downtown to some glizted up place if I want the real thing. Same reason I wouldn't go to The Local if all I wanted was a Guinness.

Reply with quote
Post Ichibahn's 


I have eaten at these Japenese steakhouse type restaraunts in Nashville and Kansas City and loved them .......BUT .........Ichibahn's here in Minneapolis is extremely overpriced and over-rated.

I have experienced better food at Half the price at the other two places so I was very disappointed. It cost my family of four, $181 w/ tip for a meal at Ischibahn's and it was not worth it.

Ischibahn's has a good scam going too. They have a price on the menu for the entre but it comes with some liver side. Of course nobody in our family eats liver so we substituted and were charged an additional fee per person. Then they ask you if you want steamed rice or fried rice and we all choose fried rice, not knowing that this was also an ala carte thing so needless to say I was shocked with the bill. NEVER AGAIN!!


Tom Fenske
tomfenske@sbcglobal.net

Reply with quote
Post  


locotom wrote:
Of course nobody in our family eats liver so we substituted and were charged an additional fee per person.

This is a bad way to do business. Very sneaky! A decent restaurant would never try something like this on their customers.

Reply with quote
Post  


Terry wrote:
locotom wrote:
Of course nobody in our family eats liver so we substituted and were charged an additional fee per person.

This is a bad way to do business. Very sneaky! A decent restaurant would never try something like this on their customers.


Bad business? BULLSH*T. They wanted something that wasn't a part of a set and standard meal. They wanted different ingredients, they should expect to pay extra for that special allowance. How the hell is it bad business to charge people for their own hangups about food? If they didn't want to be charged, they could have opted not to eat the liver rather than demand that the establishment in question substitute some other edible for them simply because they "don't eat liver."

Ridiculous, both of you.

Reply with quote
Post  


Quote:
... simply because they "don't eat liver."

How many people do eat liver here? I know animal innards are considered delicacies in Asian cuisines, but a lot of people here don't find it tempting to eat liver, heart or stomach. They are in the restaurant business and they should have known that. Giving a liver dish up front almost seems like a trick - If you don't like to eat something free that will turn your stomach, try the alternative for only $7.99 per person!

Reply with quote
Post  


Terry wrote:
animal innards are consider delicacies in Asian cuisines, but a lot of people here don't find it tempting to eat liver, heart or stomach.


But if you're going to an Asian place to eat, then you obviously want to try some Asian food. I mean, I don't go into an Indian restaurant and request that my chicken be replaced with beef. It's just so Minnesotan to go somewhere "exotic" to eat (though I would hardly consider Ichiban to be exotic) and then complain about the cost of replacing the exotic foods with ones that are considered more palatable.

Reply with quote
Post  


luciensar wrote:
Terry wrote:
animal innards are consider delicacies in Asian cuisines, but a lot of people here don't find it tempting to eat liver, heart or stomach.


But if you're going to an Asian place to eat, then you obviously want to try some Asian food. I mean, I don't go into an Indian restaurant and request that my chicken be replaced with beef. It's just so Minnesotan to go somewhere "exotic" to eat (though I would hardly consider Ichiban to be exotic) and then complain about the cost of replacing the exotic foods with ones that are considered more palatable.


Exactly. It's not just Minnesotan, it's borderline rude. Like when people would come into Joe's Crab Shack (where I once worked) and complain that it smelled like fish.

Reply with quote
Post  


I went to Lo-To last week. It is in Galtier Plaza, downtown St. Paul (actually to be precise it is in lowertown, hence "Lo-To" short name for it). It is owned by the same guy who owns Fhima's in downtown St. Paul on Wabasha.

Supposedly it's a deli, bakery and wine bar. I met up with a client down there for lunch the other day and it was just o.k.

We stood there at the lunch/deli counter and we actually had to chat amongst ourselves for a minute because the girl behind the counter was on the phone. Another girl burst out of the kitchen double doors while we were waiting and my client and I followed her with our eyes and tried to get her to notice us. After this eye game player, I put my hand up and actually had to wave and ASK for a menu. She huffed and puffed and reluctantly got us a menu. She was wearing street clothes and a backpack so I think she was on her way home.

Anyway.

I always go to websites belonging to these hoity toity places to make sure if shit is in French I can plan some kind of meal prior to going

So I ask where the Chickn Oriental Salad they supposedly serve is, on the menu. They said "We don't make that anymore".

"Oh. Well it was on your website as of yesterday." I noted.

"Yeah that is a really old website" says she.

So we finally both decide to order. She orders the chickien club and I order the proscuitto panini sandwich, both with salad greens on the side, and two iced teas. It was such a warm afternoon, so the tea hit the spot. The greens were just OK. I think it was arugula and pine nuts and some pear slices, with shoots of some kind and balsamic vinegar.

But her club had chicken LUNCH MEAT on it. We're talking Oscar Meyer chicken-flavored, pressed slime circles. Not shaved breast meat, not even chicken nuggets. And my proscuitto panini? No proscuitto here. Just deli ham and some swiss cheese, smashed between two pieces of ordinary toast with some grill marks on it. Not panini bread!

Whatever. For $11 that was way too much to spend on a lunch when I could have done better bringing in a brown bag.

The furniture screamed and shouted IKEA 2004 catalog. It was cute, but I felt like I was sitting in the big giant Swedish department store, in one of those fake table settings and having my lunch at the store right on the merchandise.

The food was overrated, overpriced, overhyped and the place reeked of bad service and bad vibes.

Reply with quote
Post  


bwoodsdesign wrote:

"Oh. Well it was on your website as of yesterday." I noted.

"Yeah that is a really old website" says she.

Did you offer to update their web site? Similar crap happened to me before. I went to Nami with a friend for lunch on a Saturday a couple of years ago. When we got there, we found out that they didn't open for lunch on Saturdays. WTF?! I checked out their web site before going and it said on their web site they opened for lunch on Saturdays. Don't know what is wrong with these business owners. It is like advertising on the newspaper but keep printing the wrong store address or phone number.

bwoodsdesign wrote:

The food was overrated, overpriced, overhyped and the place reeked of bad service and bad vibes.

I heard this place before. Sounds like they will have "Going out of Business" sign up pretty soon!

Reply with quote
Post  


I know! I cannot believe what these restaurant owners are thinking by not constantly having the current, correct info on their sites!

It's funny you should ask. My client was the one who told me that the guy who owned Fhima's and Louis XIII in Minneapolis, even knew him by name. So naturally that was my first thought. Once we sat down, I asked her, "so do you know this guy? Should I offer to update their site?" She said STAY AWAY. They have been having problems if you know what I mean, with the moula.

Apparently, rumor has it the owner is not caught up with certain things regarding finances. If you go to the LT site it's not even up and working right now. Same with Louis.

Reply with quote
Post  


Yeah, heard David Fhima was in trouble with his prior business ventures in California . He was trying to open a second Fhima's in MPLS, but the finance part fell through because of it. Not sure how long he can keep Fhima's going. I thought that was a neat place for a nice dinner date.

Reply with quote
Post  


I live in St Paul and I go by it all the time, it's always busy at lunch and dinner. So that would explain how he's able to keep it afloat.

It's in a very prime location downtown too.

Reply with quote
Post bad service rude staff at 20.21 


rude uninformed servers with snotty attitudes and dirty uniforms, rude hosts,our table was scracthed and sticky from not being cleaned, and host will not seat you at window even with empty tables there (they say they are reserved for four, and then you see two people being sat there and are informed that they are VIPs) food overpriced, signature cocktail saketini is disgusting. Dont go there!

Reply with quote
Post  


jack-

Are you referring to Lo-To? Or Fhima's? I assume Fhima's, 'cause you mentioned the saketini.

Reply with quote
Post  


bwoodsdesign wrote:
jack-
Are you referring to Lo-To? Or Fhima's? I assume Fhima's, 'cause you mentioned the saketini.

From the title of his post "bad service rude staff at 20.21", I think it is Wolfgang Puck's 20.21 at the Walker. I had a saketini there - didn't find it disgusting, but didn't like it either. I had dinner there once, I was treated okay, but the food was mediocre and it felt like eating at a cheap cafe. Loud noise, little privacy. Even with all the hypes, 20.21 is nothing but an overpriced Leann Chin.

Reply with quote
Post  


That's too bad Sad

Reply with quote
Post Re: Ichibahn's 


locotom wrote:
Ichibahn's here in Minneapolis is extremely overpriced and over-rated.

Tom Fenske
tomfenske@sbcglobal.net

I agree. For Japanese around here, The Floating World behing the Resource Center is my favorite.

Reply with quote
Post Re: Ichibahn's 


locotom wrote:
I have eaten at these Japenese steakhouse type restaraunts in Nashville and Kansas City and loved them .......BUT .........Ichibahn's here in Minneapolis is extremely overpriced and over-rated.

I have experienced better food at Half the price at the other two places so I was very disappointed. It cost my family of four, $181 w/ tip for a meal at Ischibahn's and it was not worth it.


I used to work at a restaurant like Ichibahn's, and I saw the whole "family of four" scene carried out many times. You didn't go to a Denny's or something, so quite frankly, what you paid isn't overpriced for four people. You paid $181 with tip, so I'm assuming the bill was somewhere between $150-160 (15-20% tip). That's roughly $35-40 per person, which is pretty much a standard price for a nice restaurant unless you intentionally go during happy hours, ordering only specials, and avoid upsales--none of which you did it sounds like.

What it boils down to, I think, is to realize that there are restaurants where you should and shouldn't bring your kids--unless you just have enough cash to blow that you don't care if you spend $30-40 for your kids' meals and they don't eat any of it. Don't go to Ichiban and expect Denny's prices, in other words. Most better restaurants are a la carte, so that shouldn't be a surprise.

Reply with quote
Post  


Went to Sushi Tango last night, continuing my search for the best sushi happy hour in the city.

Gotta say I was disappointed. Even with happy hour prices ($5 wine and sake, a few $4-7 rolls), I thought it was overpriced and overrated. And the service is slooooooow.

Better deals can be found at Chino Latino ($2 wine, $4 spicy tuna roll), Koyi Sushi (a long list of $4 rolls to choose from), and Azia/Anemone (1/2 price bottles of wine, discounted apps).

I won't be going back to Sushi Tango.

Reply with quote
Post Sushi Tango 


I agree (!) with dorajar-
Sushi Tango doesn't do anything well and the service sucks.

It's really hard to beat Kikugawa in St Anthony Main. Everything they do is on the money and thanks to the smoking ban, nobody goes there anymore so service is almost personalized. Oh, free parking in the ramp behind Nye's is a nice touch.

Best happy hour still goes to Fuji Ya Tues-Thurs 5-7. Sushi on the cheap!

Reply with quote
Post Temple Restuarant & Bar 


Had a dinner a couple of months at the Temple in downtown Minneapolis - not impressed. This restaurant is owned by Thom Pham, who also owns Azia on the eat street. Met him at the restaurant.

The foods were not as creative or tasteful as some food critics want you to believe. Too much hype! Quite expensive for what you get. For the same price, you can get better foods elsewhere like 112 Eatery or Vincent's or Zelo.

Reply with quote
Post Please add... 


Sawadee to the list. Not because they have changed, but they're getting the snot curried out of them by Amazing Thailand, next door to the Uptown Bar on Henn.

Their special this week is Pumpkin Curry (actually squash) served in a jack-o-lantern carved... you guessed it, squash. $13 or so, with your choice of mock duck, tofu, chiken, shrimp, etc. Awsome!

And yes, that mac-n-cheese of curry joints, Pad Thai, is kinkier than everyone else's.

No brainer, Amazing Thai is going to make some waves.

Reply with quote
Post Always thought Tejas was overrated... 


Certainly overpriced... Compared to their other (Tex Mex) restaurant in Uptown, Bar Abaliene, Tejas just isn't worth it.....Their menu is decent, their apps and entrees are all good, but come on, the Tejas Marg is like $9.75????

Reply with quote
Post Tejas 


JD wrote:
Certainly overpriced... Compared to their other (Tex Mex) restaurant in Uptown, Bar Abaliene, Tejas just isn't worth it.....Their menu is decent, their apps and entrees are all good, but come on, the Tejas Marg is like $9.75????


I was there once a while ago. Not impressed by the food or the service.

Reply with quote
Post Azia on Nicollet 


I have an nomination for an overrated restaurant, Azia on Nicollet (i.e. eat street). My fiance and I had dinner there last week. We waited, and waited for menu's. The waiter brought the menus, we ordered drinks, I ordered a coke with no ice. Maybe I expect to much, but our waiter never quite got it right. I know that wait staff have a difficult job, so the screwed up soda was not such a big issue. I think it's important to mention here that it was a rainy Monday night and the restaurant was far from full. But even so our service began to slow down to a glacial pace. We waited, and waited to order. Then we waited and waited and finally our Miso soup arrived, quite flavorless but I was famished so I gulped it down leaving little for my long suffering fiance. Then we began to wait for our sushi......and we waited........ and we waited.......and then our server said it would be right up...............and we waited.......and then.....oops no, we waited some more, and finally the sushi arrived. One sushi selection was very good. The other however, was a little odd, the tempura was suspiously chewy and studded with hard bits , but at that point we had been at the restaurant so long that tuna out of the can would have been marvy. Azia has ambiance and a great fountain, but for Sushi and fabulous service I'll stick to Fuji Ya.

Display posts from previous:
Reply to topic Page 1 of 1
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum