Recently, I had the opportunity to get all dressed up and experience one of the most amazing restaurants the state has to offer — Manny’s Steakhouse in Minneapolis.

My wife and I celebrated our 10-year anniversary by traveling down to Minneapolis recently to enjoy a day in the city. As a sports and food fan, one of the top destinations on my list was Manny’s. When the Minnesota Vikings look to wow free agents, they go to the steakhouse. I thought “I want to understand why the Vikings seem to seal the deal with free agents when they go to Manny’s.”

After a day in the city, my wife and I went to the steakhouse for our 6 p.m. reservation. Although it is a well-known steakhouse, it was not a black tie affair. By no means were people in casual wear, but my wife and I didn’t feel underdressed in the least. The host was very pleasant and sat us at a large booth that was near streetview.

Our waiter was fantastic. With both of us working in the food industry and being waiters, we could clearly see that this gentleman knew how to work a table. He spoke very clearly and provided us with key insights into the menu.

While browsing through the menu, our waiter brought out the meat cart. I know it doesn’t sound appetizing by name, but this would be key in our decision making during the meal. His explanations of each cut of beef was impeccable. Now I wouldn’t call myself a food snob, but I did like how he explained each steak, its tenderness, fat content, marbling and more. My wife and I were pretty blown away as he seemed to answer all our questions without hesitation about each cut.

But in my own typical fashion, I passed on eating what is considered the best steak in the world by Men’s Journal for a large Nova Scotia lobster tail. While I fully intended to have a delicious cut of steak, the waiter sold me on the lobster as his presentation made it too hard to pass up. My wife, not as big of a steak eater, preferred the lemon mustard chicken (which was also excellent).

One thing that my wife mentioned she wanted to try was their truffled french fries. We watch several cooking shows together and always hear about chefs using truffle oil to cook different dishes. I can tell you that it was noticeable as the oil added a nuttiness to the fries that I have never tasted before.

We also ordered a side of their loaded hashbrowns that had sour cream, applewood-smoked bacon and fresh chives. The hashbrowns were cooked to perfection, but what really made the dish was the bacon. If you thought you have had great bacon in your life, head to Manny’s to see if it still compares — delicious.

The only drawback was that we couldn’t possibly eat all the food. Our waiter mentioned that it was family-style sides. The sides were monstrous and well worth their weight.

Finally, I want to mention the lobster. I don’t usually order lobster when I go out for fancy meals (it never looks like I will get full), but I decided to take a shot at it. When they arrived at our table with the food, our waiter asked if he could remove it from the tail and present it on a plate for me. I was definitely fine with that as it would allow for less mess later on. The dish was incredibly tender and sweet. Synapses in my brain were exploding with how good it was. Dipping it lightly in butter, I enjoyed every second of the meal.

After the dinner was finished, our waiter offered to buy us an anniversary dessert. Although we were already stuffed, I thought “Why not?” With expectations being a small dessert for two, we ended up getting a quarter of chocolate, Bailey’s cheesecake. So, I added six more notches to my belt and decided to dive in. My wife had a little indulgement but I wanted to try to make a dent — big mistake! Although I did finish the portion I cut off, I spent the next hour laying in our hotel room trying to digest the delicious meal.

As we made our way out of the restaurant, I told my wife how special the day had been and the next time we came here (I hope there is a next time!) that we invite another couple or friends to experience the meal. So if you have an opportunity to eat at Manny’s Steakhouse, I recommend it.

Zach Stich is the managing editor of The Fergus Falls Daily Journal. His column appears Friday.

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