Conan O'Brien had hotcakes at Hell's Kitchen today

As Blotter recently reported, Conan O'Brien is in town this week: He'll be performing at an invitation-only fundraiser for Sen. Al Franken this Friday and on stage at the Orpehum the following night for his Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television tour. Around noon, today, O'Brien hit Hell's Kitchen for a meal.

Hot Dish talked to Hell's Kitchen server Tanya Peterson to get the scoop on what it was like to wait on Conan.

What was your initial reaction to spotting Conan? I recognized him immediately coming down the stairs. I'm a fan, of course, but I didn't get too giddy--it's not my nature.

So what did he look like? He's very tall and has distinctive features. He's got a bit of scruff on his face--he could have used a shave.

Who was he with and what did they order? He was with his assistant...she had the bison Benedict and he had the lemon ricotta hotcakes. [Ed note: Good choices, *love* those hotcakes!]

Did other diners recognize him? A couple people asked me, "Is that Conan?" and I said "yes." A few people were staring but I don't think anyone approached him. He wasn't even in a booth, he was right out there in the open, but lunch is really busy so only a few people noticed. What were your impressions of Conan? He was very personable, made good eye contact, and asked me my name...He seemed a little jet lagged and you could tell he was tired, but I was impressed with how genuine he was...Most people, celebrity or not, don't take much time to acknowledge their server and make a human connection.

Peterson said O'Brien told her that he found out about Hell's Kitchen from his hotel concierge. In case he needs a few more dining recommendations, here are a few more of our favorite downtown spots that we'd suggest to the funnyman: D'Amico Kitchen for breakfast, Nami for a sushi lunch, La Grassa for dinner, 112 Eatery for a late-night snack, rooftop tapas at Solera, cocktail at Bradstreet.

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Hell's Kitchen

80 S. 9th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55402


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