BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT (CHEAP) Minneapolis 2003 - Broders' Pasta Bar
5000 Penn Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
This neighborhood trattoria makes homemade egg noodles so fresh and delicate that the menu warns against ordering them for takeout--they'll never taste as good reheated. Here you won't find red or white sauce, or garlic bread, or sugar shakers of powdery Parmesan (this is no chain spaghetti house). Each pasta dish is tossed to order. Weekly specials spotlight regional Italian specialties: risotto with porcini mushrooms, orange, and sage; yellowfin tuna with saffron fettuccine and roasted capers; and rustic spaghetti alla puttanesca with an anchovy and hot pepper kick straight from Italy's boot. You'll blow your diet, but not your budget; nothing is over 15 bucks. Sit around the open kitchen's bar, watching chefs sizzle onions and tangle shrimp with linguine--dinner and a show. The line to get in, especially on weekends, can be daunting, but don't get discouraged: The service is brisk (yet never rushed). Waiting is a fine excuse to lounge on the patio with a glass of good, cheap Chianti and endless olives. Italian wines, available by the glass and half and whole bottles, prove good things are not always expensive (most bottles run less than $25). If that's not price-friendly enough, know that on Mondays, kids eat free before 6:30 p.m.