Food & Drink

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BEST RESTAURANT TREND Minneapolis 1999 -

Not five years ago restaurants were scattered around the greater metropolis like bubbles in a pizza crust, with no particular pattern. Now, suddenly, we've got restaurant districts--or, as the city planners like to call them, "Eat Streets." The first surprise was the eastern stretch of St. Paul's Selby Avenue--home to the cluster of upscale spots including the Vintage, the Zander Café, the expanded Moscow on the Hill, the revitalized W.A. Frost, the reimagined Chang O'Hara's, and Tulips. Next came the newly prominent late-night Uptown node: Figlio, Bar Abilene, Passage to India, Dixie's Calhoun and Chiang Mai Thai all serve into the wee hours on weekends. Nicollet Avenue gets credit for paving the way with its buffet of global treats (including Chinese, German, Greek, Mexican, Caribbean, and Vietnamese), and now Northeast Minneapolis's Central Avenue is repeating the formula. And what about the eight Southeast Asian restaurants in the scant few blocks between Dale and Virginia on University? Maybe it's the self-sowing habit of restaurant culture, maybe it's the bull market, but if this trend continues, Minneapolis and St. Paul are but one entrepreneur away from guided restaurant bus tour

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