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BEST STEAK HOUSE ON A BUDGET Minneapolis 2002 - Carpenter's Steakhouse

Twenty miles north of the state capitol and not too darn far off I-35E is a quiet country steakhouse in the quiet country town of Hugo. It's hard to believe the place is as quiet as it is when you consider that they've got a steak that'll make you swoon: "Chef Tony's Special Steak," a one-pound marinated choice top round that's melt-in-the-mouth tender, rich, big, beefy, and gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. And with your choice of potato, soup or salad, and a roll and butter, it costs $15.95. Yup, we said $15.95. A beer? That'll run you $2.75. A martini, $3.95. No, those aren't typos. The Anderson family, proprietors since 1969, believe in doing things right: They butcher all the meat on the premises, make soups from scratch, grind burgers fresh, and just about fell over in shock when we told them that at some Minneapolis bars martinis cost $11. Some think Carpenter's "Chef Tony" is the best steak in the Twin Cities, bar none. Isn't it time you gassed up the Chevy and hit the road to find out for yourself?

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