I am exactly 2.5% done with my holiday shopping, which means two things. First, I will be shopping this weekend like a maniac. Secondly, I will need to motivate/reward myself with something tasty after the work of slogging through the retail zones (much like I chant cheeseburgercheeseburger while in boat pose). Eye on the prize.
Here's a little shop n' nosh info if you are headed into the metro's lifestyle centers or buying zones. Remember: you need to plan your work and then work your plan.
MOA: Really? You're that insane? You warrior! Onsite you'll still have to battle the crowds for Tucci Benucch (Hi Asher Miller!) or Crave, but it's better than the food court and they have wine. If you dragged the kids, top it off at SkyDeck and do burgers and bowling.
Galleria: After shopping high-brow, it's ok to go low-brow and sit in the bar of the newish Pittsburgh Blue. Ask for the tavern menu and get the mini Philly cheesesteak if it's happy hour ($3!). For a quick and lighter refresher, People's Organic is the ticket. That roasted turkey & pesto sandwich is a reviver, plus egg sandwich all day!
Rosedale: Sure, you can go to Flame and sit at the bar for chillin's sake. The rotisserie chicken dishes are good bets. If you can forgo the drinky or have kids along, sneak off campus to Maverick's just down Lexington for the roast beef to end all roast beefs. A little closer, but down Snelling, try Szechuan to burn through the shopper's haze.
Maple Grove: There's a katrillion choices up there, but I appreciate 3 Squares for the fact that it has superior beer and good nosh, but is also kid friendly and just off the hubub to be a bit more relaxed. Across the street, Claddagh for Guinness and fish n' chips sans kiddoes. For the quick fix, there is a Five Guys as well as every chain resto known to human kind.
Uptown: Do I really need to tell you to eat at Lucia's because it has been so long that you've almost forgotten how good it is? Don't be afraid to bring the kids to Cafeteria, they have COTTON CANDY. Or swish down to Barbette and treat yourself to bubbly, a bowl of fries, and that egg and lardon salad. YOU deserve it.
50th & France: You might want to grab a glass of wine and quick bowl of mussels at Beaujo's if it's not packed, or you might swing through Rice Paper for a bit of calming zen. You could just scoot up the block and grab a sandwich from France44 Cheese Shop, but why not grab a table at Trattoria Tosca and just relax with some fresh pasta.
Ridgedale: You can hit Origami in the mall, but the vibe over at BLVD is more fun and lively. And the cheeseburger is a beefy bomb of happiness. The other best bar in the area is Bacio. Watch out for Redstone, make sure it isn't divorcee dance night (although the Buffalo shrimp is worth the risk).
Woodbury: I have heard some good things about Lakes Tavern & Grill, looks like they have it all (flatbreads, slider, Cubano sammie). Duc's is a little Vietnamese/Chinese joint you might like or check out Ray J's if your game plan includes beer, wings, and flatscreens.