BEST DINER - 2001
Minneapolis and St. Paul make an odd couple: The former is an uppity, too-eager-to-please debutante, always putting on airs, while the latter is like an old man on a park bench, nodding bemusedly as the world goes by. Consider, as an example of our capital city's civic character, Mickey's Diner. Since its opening in 1939, Mickey's has hardly changed: It remains a dollop of Edward Hopper Americana sitting solidly at St. Paul's geographic and psychological heart. Mickey's isn't for the hipper-than-thou or the health-conscious (the potatoes O'Brien, a hearty hash of peppers, potatoes, and pork, ought to come with the Surgeon General's warning). It is, however, one of the last, best places to experience St. Paul and meet its more eccentric denizens. There's something simple and good here: From time to time, we all ought to slow down and get reacquainted over a milkshake at 3:00 a.m.