1. These restaurants were ones we visited and reviewed in 2012 only. They are not comprehensive across the 7+ years the site has been reviewing and they are not meant to suggest these restaurants are the best or worst in the area overall. They’re simply a 1 to 33 ranking of those we visited and reviewed in 2012. If you fail to understand this please realize we will ridicule you mercilessly.
2. Aside from Copper River which I reviewed twice in one year; I have visited some of these restaurants on more than one occasion but I took only the first visit for the review into account during the ranking.
3. While the top few and bottom 10 or 11 are pretty set, those which appear in the middle are more squishy.
Restaurants North of the River:
Restaurants South of the River:
1. Copper River Fish & Chop House (second review)
4. Spice Thai Cafe
5. El Parian
6. Nha Sang
7. The Buckboard
8. Burnsville Ale House
9. Panini Grill
10. The Rack Bar and Grill
11. Wicked Palate Food Truck
12. Classic Saigon
13. Saigon Palace
14. Black Stallion Saloon
15. Byblos Lebanese Grill
16. Betty’s Cafe and Pies
17. Pita Plus (closed)
18. Piccolo’s Pizzeria
19. Lone Oak Grill
20. Steak America
Going back over the list of the 32 restaurants we reviewed (some are not listed here because they don’t fall into my definition of NOTR/SOTR such as Tonka Bay or Cannon Falls) I was shocked at just how many were absolutely awful experiences. 11 of the restaurants across the 32 were borderline miserable with several of them being completely and utterly inedible. Moving my workplace from downtown Minneapolis to Burnsville had really affected the reviewing this year, much to my dismay, but at least some of these, while disgusting and expensive, were fun to write about.
It takes a lot of work to end up at the bottom of the Lazy Lightning yearly review lists and with such competition it was a battle to determine some of these. But, no matter how I ran the numbers and no matter how many times I read through the reviews, two restaurants stood out as the worst reviewed this year. First is Northbound Brewpub in Minneapolis. Not only was the food miserable to eat and we got the stinkeye from the chef, they earned a big F- in their handling of the situation on social media–seriously, get a big clue and grow up. However, Steak America reigned supreme as the single worst restaurant of the year, and, of all time. Yes folks, Steak America is the WORST restaurant ever to disgrace the Minneapolis/St Paul Metro Area. Considering the tough competition over the last 7 years, that’s quite an accomplishment. FWIW, Steak America refused my offer to deliver a bowling trophy I found at Goodwill topped with a piece of beef jerky covered in gold leaf. They took particular offense to my calling it the “2012 Disgusting and Lazy Restaurateur Award”. I thought it would go great on their fireplace mantle, how about you?!
What do you think about the rankings here? Do you agree with how the restaurants you tried yourself rank above? What restaurants would you like to see us hit in 2013? Which ones do you think you’re going to try? Whatever you have to say about the 2012 Restaurant Ranking List go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.