By Mpls.St.Paul Magazine / Inspired by Alec Soth's My North
Internationally acclaimed photographer Alec Soth is known for his haunting, large-scale photographs of the modern American diaspora. In addition to published photo collections like Sleeping by the Mississippi, Soth has had exhibitions at galleries ranging from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and even contributed to the Whitney Biennial in 2004. When not behind the camera or curating a gallery show, Soth can often be found enjoying a porterhouse or sirloin steak at one of his favorite Twin Cities steakhouses. Visit these iconic, old-school-cool Twin Cities steakhouses for the best cuts (and atmosphere) in town.
Mancini’s Char House & Lounge, St. Paul
Family-owned Mancini’s Char House has been serving solid, no-frills steaks since 1948, and it shows: The throwback supper club stylings and wrap-around wooden bar are the height of American nostalgia. No matter the cut you pick at Mancini’s you can’t go wrong, especially when you consider the epic shareable pickled pepper and marinated tomato plates served to every table.
Murray’s Steakhouse, Minneapolis
Although not quite as old as Mancini’s, downtown Minneapolis institution Murray’s is no less dripping in neon-signed, loungeified nostalgia. And while Murray’s is known for its so-tender-you-can-cut-them-with-a-butter-knife Butterknife Steaks, the menu’s lesser-known pièce de résistance is the Murray’s Original Steak Sandwich, a buttery, garlicky, bacon-covered tribute to old-school decadence.
James Beard Award-winning chef Isaac Becker’s Burch pizzeria and steakhouse cuts a clean, industrial line through a one-time pharmacy; but don’t let its industrial-chic good looks distract you from the menu. With an entire menu column dedicated to their list of globally sourced steaks (running from local grass fed cuts from Grass Run Farm to prime beef cuts from Niman Ranch in Oakland to certified Japanese A5 Waygu) the only thing you can’t order here is a bad meal.
Lindey’s Prime, Arden Hills
In the late 1950s Lewis Walter “Lindey” Lindemer was cold calling restaurants across the greater metro area imploring them to let him to cook and sell his steaks out of their kitchens, and in 1958 he finally got a taker in the Coronado Cafe in St. Paul. After three years serving his steaks in the Coronado’s basement he bought his own place in Arden Hills, and a legendary steakhouse was born. Today, more than 50 years later, Lindey’s Prime is run by his sons, but the Lindey’s Special Sirloin remains virtually unchanged.
Manny’s Steakhouse, Minneapolis
Located at the base of the first skyscraper in Minneapolis, the Foshay Tower, Manny’s Steakhouse is the Steady Eddy of local steakhouses. Offering all the traditional cuts in their purest form, whether you’re a porterhouse person, a bludgeon of beef person or a small filet person, the Manny’s meat cart won’t let you down. Oh, and don’t sleep on their steamed lobster dumplings.