The 52nd Super Bowl in Minneapolis means a lot of things but food rules — commercials about food, parties with food, a stadium surrounded by food, game day food specials and more. It’s not so much about the teams on the field as the food on the plate or napkin or toothpick, or heck, maybe just out of the bowl. Hand-eaten nacho chips are an essential snack: Sides of spiced up salsa and overly cheesy dip are optional.
In all the hype about game day food, far too many local owned restaurants have been left out. These are the gems that hide in neighborhood nooks. Here’s my top five restaurants that deserve spotlighting in Edina. Venture out to this southwest suburb dubbed as the home of cake-eaters. You’ll love the food choices, free parking and lighter crowds. You might even come back for seconds.
1. Convention Grill: Home-style burgers, mountains of fries and velvety sweet cream malts keep customers happy in a dining room walled with mirrors and chrome. Traditionally white uniformed waitresses scurry over black checked floors. Americana thrives at the Convention Grill. Edward Hopper and Norman Rockwell would have found inspiration here. Sit by the grill and marvel how a team of fryers make magic from meat and potatoes. The menu’s stayed nearly the same since 1934. Multi-generations revel in the consistency of good food and fond memories. – Convention Grill, 3912 Sunnyside Road, Edina, MN 55424; (952) 920-6881
2. Hello Pizza: Along with Pizzeria Lola and Young Joni, Hello Pizza is one of acclaimed chef/owner Ann Kim’s innovative food spots. The signature pizza line up defines creativity with The New Yorker, Hello Trinity, Adobo Chicken, Meatball Ricotta, Veggie Supremo, and Artichoke and Spinach. Go classic New York-style with the Hello Rita, Sicilian Pan Pie or Classic Cheese. Besides pizza by the slice or whole pizza pies, meatball subs prove tempting — cleverly named Old Skool Balls or Korean Cowboy. Yes, beer is on tap and there’s wine. Eating light? Have a crisp fresh made salad. A retro vibe beats with vinyl music, a better-than-Instagram old-time photo booth and 70’s ear silvery disco ball. Let your taste buds dance! –
Hello Pizza , 3904 Sunnyside Road, Edina, MN 55424;(952) 303-4514
3. Jimmy’s Old Southern BBQ: With “Eat-Barbecue-Party” as the mantra any football fan will feel at home with the comfort food at Jimmy’s Old Southern. The menu has southern roots. The Dixie Bowl, Soul Bowl and Memphis meld smokehouse favorites in unique flavor combinations. Skilled pitmasters smoke pulled pork, brisket and other meats are smoked inhouse. Clever corn muffin tops sing the praises of southern practicality with no wasted crusts. A flight of specially made barbecue sauces heighten the flame. This is a newer concept from Dave Anderson AKA Famous Dave. It’s picnic food on the go. Easy take out options or dine in the family style eating area. The patio’s nice but the weather is not in January but do return come spring! – Jimmie’s Old Southern BBQ, 4501 France Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410; (612) 236-4827
4. Arezzo Ristorante: For a dressy white table cloth lunch or dinner head to Arezzo. Tuscan-style Italian fare and brick-oven pizza will tempt you. Executive chef Gabriele LoPinto hails from Genoa, Italy and prepares everything from pasta to fresh mozzarella from scratch. The meal starts with a complimentary basket of chewy-crisp focaccia triangles. Pleasant saltiness will make you thirsty. The award-winning wine list runs the gamut of vintage goodness with crowd pleasers in every category. The polenta con funghi is an appetizer big enough to be an entrée. Check out the chef’s specials like the Gamberoni Al Guazetto of prawns and pea risotto. Housemade tiramisu ends the experience on a lavishly sweet note. Arezzo is located on the southeastern edge of the 50th & France shopping district. – Arezzo, 5057 France Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410; (612) 285-7444
5. Town Hall Station: A new brewpub shines in the old Wally’s Service Station space off Valley View Road near the Crosstown in Edina. In a nod to its automotive history – Wally’s was the last full service gas station in the Twin Cities — the Town Hall Station embraces a cheeky contemporary look accented with whimsical mechanical touches, including a bigger-than-life clock. American grill fare and namesake craft brews play into the glory of road food, expertly crafted into a whole from humble ingredients. Don’t miss the over-sized sweet corn nachos and flagship Pitstop cherry lager when in season. Other noteworthy brews and libations come together from the bar. Ask about the garnished bloody Mary. In good weather, the spacious patio is a neighborhood focal point. – Town Hall Station, 4500 Valley View Road, Edina, MN 55424; (612) 767-9747