See you at the Black Forest on September 18th … Thursday … at around 7:00!
We got prices and availability information from most of the viable suggestions made here and here, but the best arrangement was clearly the Black Forest Inn. The way it is going to work is like this: We have a little money from Central Command in New York and other sources, and we’ll put a very small amount of that aside to make sure we can move this operation to the Banquet Room of the Black Forest. That would happen if either we hear in advance that a very large number of people will be showing up, or if we don’t hear and they just show up. Assume we will be using the inside space, as that is more accommodating to the present situation.

The rest of the money will be spent on such things as appetizers and if people are not eating, beer or other drinks.

The Date is September 18th, and we are meeting at 7:00. I recommend that you eat in the neighborhood before 7:00, if at all possible, and below I make specific recommendations.

The Black Forest Cafe is so typical of Whittier, Eat Street and Minneapolis. The only thing Analiese and the other folks at this restaurant want to do is to make sure we have a good time and don’t spend too much money. Many other locations are asking for huge payments just to drink their beer, or minimums we should not have to agree to, or don’t have any space available other than first come first serve.

IF YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO GO, PLEASE DROP ME A LINE BY SENDING A QUICK EMAIL. THIS WILL HELP IN PLANNING. But if you don’t send an email, don’t let that stop you from coming!!!!

Hand guns are no longer allowed in the building.

Where to eat before the meet:

The most obvious place is the Black Forest Inn itself. This is authentic German cuisine. Thursday’s special (and Monday’s as well) is Konigsberger Klops (a kind of meatball swerved with spaetzel). This is one of those German foods that is both very German and very edible for those not used to German food. There is also a sausage and sauerkraut hot dish on Thursdays. That would be more intense. Other than the special I strongly recommend the Jager Schnitzel. Be hungry.

Kitty corner from the Black Forest is my favorite resturant: Azia. Azia is really like two or three different resturants combined with a shared menu. The main (and original) resturant is Azian fusion. The Phad Thai and any of the Bow Tie Pasta’s are good, filling, reasonable price, etc. The Green Curry is the favorite food of half the people I know who eat there regularly. The best single thing on the traditional menu may be the Char. My strongest recommendation is to share among two or three or even four people a Char of the appropriate size. (A Char is a fish, with meat resembling salmon but better.) If you are four and the Char is smallish, order more other stuff.

Azia has an excellent wine list and I recommend a David Bruce (you pick the grape). If you are not sure of the wine, ask Thom, the owner to suggest one, and if you know what you are doing, ask for the reserve list.

Azia also has a major sushi restaurant glommed right on to it.

South of the Black Forest on the west side of the street is Christos, an excellent Greek Resturant. There are three excellent Greek Resturants in Minneapolis and people fight over which is the best. They are all very similar in the overall quality of their food, and very very different in their atmosphere. Today, Christos wins because it is down the street.

Do you know what Pho is? Do you like Pho? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you already know that Eat Street is the home of a number of Pho resturants, and you alread know what to do.

There are three Mexican/Hispanic/Taco places within sight of the Black Forest, ranging across a spectrum of price/fanciness (none are expensive or fancy). The cheapest and best cultural experience is Little Tijuana. (That cultural experience is NOT going to be Mexican… more Anarchist.) The Most Mexican of the choices is Pancho Villa, just to the north, and the third is La Loma, which is in the same block as Azia.

The Rainbo is a Chinese restaurant south of Black Forest that is said by Minnesotans to be an excellent Chinese Restaurant. It is fine. If you are from California or the East Coast (sorry Minnesotans…) go to Azia or a Pho restaurant. To the north a few blocks is a Dim Sum resturant that I cannot remember the name of, and all up and down Nicollet are small Asian (mainly “Chinese”) restaurants each representing the food peculiar to some region of China where the food may be either great or not so great. If you need to have an excellent experience every time you eat out or you yell at everybody, go to Azia. If you want to take your chances and see what happens, to into the basement or back room of any one of these places.

Deserving special mention is Harry Singh’s Caribbean Restaurant. This is in a new location that I don’t think I’ve visited (or maybe it’s an old location and I forgot…). Harry’s used to be in Uptown, and I think it’s moved a couple of times.

I swear to you: Harry Singh’s is the ONLY actually hot food I’ve had in the Twin Cities to date. And it is over the top. This will be an experience you will not forget. Harry Singh’s is to the south of the Black Forest.


From 94 “eastbound” (really, southbound) into Minneapolis, take Lyndale. Go down Lyndale to Franklin and make a left. Go East on Franklin to Nicollet and make a right. The Black Forest will be on your left just past 26th. Cruise the neighborhood for a parking spot. If you are smart (and you are, I”m sure) you’ll NOT turn at Nicollet, and turn a block or two later, and pick up any spot you find between Franklin and 26th.

Westbound on 94, I would do the same thing: Take the “Lyndale Hennepin” exit, and keep picking your turns until you are on Lyndale South (left), and go down Lyndale to Franklin, left on Franklin and right on Nicollet (or vicinity).

35W does not really have exits in the neighborhood! So, if you are coming to the restaurant from any direction in the city, all you have to know is this: The corner of 26th Street East and Nicollet Avenue South is almost dead in the middle of a square formed by Franklin on the north, Lake on the south, Lyndale on the west, and Portland/Park on the east.

If you come to the neighborhood around 5:30 or 6:00 you might have trouble with traffic, but you will find a parking space easily, eat somewhere, and join us for beer at the Black Forest.



  1. #1 Tocarde
    September 5, 2008

    How can you forget little T (aka little Tijuana πŸ˜€ ) located next door to the black forest! Seriously how could you?

  2. #2 E.V.
    September 5, 2008

    Oops. Proofreading needed. Penultimate paragraph needs to read “exits” instead of “exists”.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    September 5, 2008

    Tocorade: I actually did not forgot Little T. I confused Little T with Morelos. Everybody: In the above. substitute little T for Morelos. Next door to the Black Forest.

    I’m keeing “exists” as “exists” until they fix the bridge.

  4. #4 Virgil Samms
    September 5, 2008

    that is said by Minnesotans to be an excellent Chinese Restaurant

    Oh, the snark.

  5. #5 Natalie
    September 5, 2008

    Bah, I was born and raised in Minneapolis and even I know Rainbow ain’t that good. There really isn’t good Chinese food in Minneapolis. There is good Thai, and good Vietnamese, but no good Chinese.

  6. #6 Hessenroots
    September 5, 2008

    Do we need some any sort of credentials or a particular level of “fan cred” to attend? It doesn’t appear that way but I feel the need to ask.

    I’m basically nobody but I’ll be at Little T that night anyway and I’d love to stop by πŸ™‚

  7. #7 Stephanie Z
    September 5, 2008

    I think the dim sum place you’re thinking of was Yummy Chinese at 25th and Nicollet. Now they’re Relax Exotic Chinese. Same staff, but the head chef bought out the former owner.

    Good Hong Kong lobster and bubble tea, according to those who like that sort of thing, and excellent dim sum, but you won’t find the dim sum in the evening.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    September 5, 2008

    Yes, it was yummy. Good to know the name change. Hassenroots, just show up and look for the biological atheist types and introduce yourself.

    Should we get name tags?

  9. #9 Ashman
    September 5, 2008

    Someone tell me the socially acceptable distance to drive to this sort of event.

    Like if I lived 2 hours away would it be consider pathetic to drive that way all alone?

    What if I was like 4 hours or 10?

  10. #10 Felicia
    September 5, 2008

    I would definitely be interested in attending this, but I don’t think I’d have a way to get there! All my available ride options are out because it’s a weekday evening and coming from Bloomington, it certainly would be a trek. πŸ™

    But boy, do I want to!

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    September 5, 2008

    A six hour drive might be pathetic, but since this is the big city, there are lots of reasons to go to town. Like picking up supplies and stuff.

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    September 5, 2008

    Anybody driving in from Edina or Bloomington????

  13. #13 Tony Popple
    September 5, 2008

    How do we recognize the “biological atheist type”?
    Horns and a tail?

    Seriously, I live in Eden Prairie, but I will most likely be coming from Minneapolis. I would be happy to give someone a ride. If necessary, I could swing back down into the lower suburbs.

    Is this event open to the general public?

  14. #14 Otto
    September 5, 2008

    Food, Chinese:
    Seafood Palace, about a block north, on the east side of Nicollet. Their honey shrimp with walnuts is quite nice.


  15. #15 Bjorn Watland
    September 5, 2008

    There’s also the Bad Waitress, if you like slightly slow service. Vegetarians will enjoy The Evergreen, just up on Nicollet. They have “mock” almost everything, from shrimp, fish, beef, chicken, ham, steak, in addition to the real meat.

  16. #16 greg laden
    September 5, 2008

    This event is all about the general public. When you get there if there is any confusion, just ask for me and the staff will point you in the right direction. But right, the horns and pitchforks should be obvious. But in the Black Forest, we may not be the only ones….

    I was going ot mention the bad waitress (right across the street) but forgot. I’ve only had lunch there, and it was fine, but be warned, you have to take care of yourself there, the waitresses are … bad.

  17. #17 Stephanie Z
    September 6, 2008

    I don’t know about the name tags. Getting badge-sniffed at conventions is bad enough. Besides, they’d give the folks who don’t comment too great an advantage over those of us who do.

  18. #18 Felicia
    September 6, 2008

    Tony, if you would be willing to swing down into Bloomington should no other options arise, I would totally be in awe. I really don’t want to miss this.

    If you want to contact me about it, you can drop an email to felicia.atkinson@gmail.com. πŸ™‚

  19. #19 Ana
    September 6, 2008

    Analiese will bring her German, but fully expects that in your company her Irish will win out.

  20. #20 AliceB
    September 8, 2008

    Maybe if every body’s badge was a pseudonym.

  21. #21 Stephanie Z
    September 8, 2008

    But then I wouldn’t be able to say, “Oh, them,” when I see another commenter whose name I recognize.

    Why, yes, I do want it all. Why do you ask? πŸ™‚

  22. #22 Guns Save Lives
    September 9, 2008

    Regarding “Hand guns are no longer allowed in the building.” that’s a shame. Only the good guys will obey this rule.

    Gun-free zones don’t help, they hurt. This is why mass-murders happen at so called ‘gun free’ schools.

    Here is the answer:

    Gun Free Zone – Get Yours Today!

  23. #23 Isis the Scientist
    September 11, 2008

    Isis the Scientist may make an appearance. The question is, will you immediately recognize her hotness?

  24. #24 Stephanie Z
    September 12, 2008

    Isis, we are almost certain to be blinded by your sheer fabulosity. Please don’t let that stop you.

  25. #25 SplendidMonkey
    September 15, 2008

    Good work on the bridge to somewhere. I’m looking forward to this partay πŸ™‚

  26. #26 SplendidMonkey
    September 15, 2008
  27. #27 the real sockpuppies
    September 15, 2008

    Natalie: then you haven’t been to Hong Kong Noodles, on the east bank by the U of MN campus. As per stereotype of “good Chinese food” it is literally full of Chinese and asian people all day and night long. And if you want actual authentic Sichuan food–numbing spices and hot peppers-head over to St. Paul, three blocks or so off of the capitol] on University Av.

    But you cannot say there is no good Chinese in MPLS anymore until you have tried these…

    But the most fun part of Yummi (besides their excellent dim sum weekend breakfast) is that most of the staff are actually Hmong….

  28. #28 the real sockpuppies
    September 15, 2008

    oops: Little Sichuan is the restaurant in St. Paul-absolutely the best .

  29. #29 SteadyEddy
    September 16, 2008

    I’ll be there… πŸ™‚

  30. #30 Heather
    September 16, 2008

    I wish I could go – I’m a recent arrival to MN and haven’t been to the big cities yet. I’m going to bookmark this thread, though, so when I do get out there I’ll know where to eat! Where’s the best Thai food in town?

  31. #31 Sonja
    September 16, 2008

    Heather, you can’t go wrong with True Thai on East Franklin Ave. in the Seward neighborhood. I don’t know if it is the best, but it’s a great restaurant in a cool part of town (near the U of M).

    I’d love to go to the Black Forest Thursday (I lived a couple blocks from there for 11 years), however for us political hacks, one of the best happy hour events of the year is going on at the same time up in northeast Mpls (invitation only). Sorry.


  32. #32 Natalie
    September 16, 2008

    Real sockpuppies, obviously I have not. I am incredibly hestitant to try Minnesotan’s recommendations for Asian food (figuratively burned far too many times), but my gentleman friend is at the U so perhaps we will check it out.

    Your other recommendation is in St. Paul, though, not Minneapolis. I assume St. Paul has restaurants, but I have never been, as St. Paul is boring. It used to be where Minneapolis went to smoke, but not anymore, and is thus worthless.*

    *joke. I go to St. Paul all the time.

  33. #33 Greg Laden
    September 16, 2008

    Sonja: Yea, I’m going to that too, I’ll be commuting back and forth.

    Actually, yes, Sock is right about Little Sichuan on U. Ave. I was doing field work or something over in St. Paul and ate there for lunch.

    The best chinese restaurant in MN is in Dinky Town, but not the one Sock mentions. The other one (on fourth).