A historic diner that was made by a grain-bin manufacturer, a community hub on the edge of legendarily community-lite downtown, a grill-and-go diner run by the name-brand chef who put Café Solo on the map-the Band Box has more contradiction about it than any other 24-seat diner in the state. But if you stop by and try one of chef and co-owner Brad Ptacek's expertly griddled burgers, or his made-from-scratch crisp American fries, you'll be loving the contradictions. Like how the bottomless cup of joe comes from a neighbor's family farm-back in Africa. How the homiest, oldest fashiondest diner around is walking distance to the futuristic nowhere of the Metrodome. How the "baby burger" is there to teach a new generation of Americans what there is to celebrate about the Midwest. And how every offering in this cathedral of the most classic classics seems as old as time, and as fresh as the lettuce on your baby's baby burger.
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A little white building with red trim decorates a triangular street corner in Elliot Park. There's nothing fancy about it, but the Band Box Diner has been a staple of Minneapolis for nearly 75 years. One menu item stands out among t...