BEST ITALIAN (CHEAP) Minneapolis 2005 - Broders' Pasta Bar
5000 Penn Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55419
There is a risk, when you note how cheap Broders' Pasta Bar is, that some people will think that cheap is this south Minneapolis restaurant's predominant virtue. Not even close. Excellence, often of the jaw-dropping variety, is the place's virtue; the cheapness is just the thing you can't get over. (Kind of like beholding the love of your life, right as your sweetie says, "Darling, I have inherited a bundle.") See, it's not just the pastas that make Broders' amazing, although it is largely the pastas, those $8 to $12, homemade, handmade, eggy silken beauties that resist the teeth with all the power and allure of rose petals resisting the advance of spring bees. Oh, no. It's not just the deceptively simple salads, glistening with the best Italian oils and scattered with harmonious, yet interesting, accents, like Meyer lemon zest. No. It's not just the rosemary-flecked flat breads; not just the crispy, creamy pistachio-bedecked cannoli; not just the Italian wines beyond reproach; nor is it even just the cheerful, buzzy room with its happy patrons that make Broders' so special. No, the thing you can't get over at Broders' is how much this restaurant likes its neighbors--so much that it offers them cut-rate treats, to help budgets and soul. Get this: In the winter months, Broders' offers an "After Eight" deal, whereby two folks can come in any night except Friday and Saturday and, after 8:00, for merely $20, get two salads, two bowls of pasta (recently some of the pasta options included handmade stringozzi spoletina, or rich Fettuccine Alfredo), and a half-bottle of wine. In the summer, in June, July, and August, this generosity switches to the same deal, but "Before Six." Really! Truly! We are not pulling your leg. All of the patented Broders' sublime, and money left in the budget for ice cream after you walk around nearby Lake Harriet. See? You're not even thinking about how you fell in love with Broders' in the first place, are you? You just can't get over your luck.