Waffles, burgers, soups, and more!
Seafood Pumpkin Stew from Nighthawks
It's officially fall once our soups start arriving in pumpkins. Carve out a pretty gourd and fill it with something rich and creamy and we'll fall in love every time. The Seafood Pumpkin Stew at Nighthawks makes things even richer with a princely mix of shrimp, King crab, and lobster. The whole thing is topped with a drizzle of spicy, caramelly brandy, and a dollop of finely diced apple slaw. Two can share this ample autumn feast, taking spoonfuls from the pumpkin like a pair of woodland creatures in a storybook. But you can only get it on Friday, when it's the dinner special, so plan accordingly. --Hannah Sayle
3753 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
Malted Belgian Waffles from Curran’s Family Restaurant
When you want a waffle you know just what you want, and it isn’t anything “elevated” or “reimagined.” You want a pastry the circumference of a dinner plate with an ice cream scoop of whipped butter, a shower of powdered sugar and a lagoon of fake maple. Go to Curran’s, and your very dream can be manifest.
4201 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
Pork sliders at Lowry Hill Meats
Can a sandwich be a snack? It can with these little $3 babies on special now at Lowry Hill Meats. Korean bulgogi-style ground pork meets funky house-made kimchee and butter lettuce on a squishy bun. Lowry Hill always has a revolving roster of specialty sandwiches, but don’t forget to look for them scrawled on the specials board. Their old standby list of pulled pork, roast beef, and a kimchee grilled cheese will try to tempt you away, but branch out for a novel treat.
1934 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Red Dragon Rice from Dark Horse
With we-aim-to-please-everyone menus like the one at Dark Horse, some dishes can get lost in translation. Chinese dumplings, pizza, and hummus make strange bedfellows, and you can’t expect everything to soar. But Dragon Rice is different. Good Thai curry zings assertively through lavish coconut made richer with cashew. Spring for the addition of shrimp if you like. They’re worth the additional five bucks-- treated gently and cooked al dente just as they ought to be.
250 E. 7th St., St. Paul
Dramen from Unideli
Thanks to Guy Fieri, Unideli is the worst-kept secret in Minneapolis dining. But if the poorly styled culinary badboy's domineering presence has kept you away, it's time to return. Head to United Noodles and remember why critics and diners fell so hard for this ramen shop. Dramen is more or less Unideli's flagship, and that's because it features the most meticulously crafted broth. With glorious black garlic sauce and sesame oil mixed with tantanmen chili, the dish transgresses many sub-genres of ramen, showcasing the kitchen's creativity and brazenness. Add in a fatty, tender slice of pork belly and gleefully wilted bok choy, and the Dramen bowl is a dish worth more than its $13 price tag. -Jerard Fagerberg
2015 E. 24th St., Minneapolis