From the moment we started looking into the best places to eat in Minneapolis, one name started coming up over and over again: Hell’s Kitchen. Located in the basement level of a skyscraper (where else would Hell be? ) in downtown Minneapolis, this restaurant has been a local staple of the Twin Cities’ food scene since the doors opened over a decade ago. When you look at the restaurant, with its heavy over the top kitsch decor you have to ask yourself: Is this all style or is there substance? Well we decided to descend into the depths to find out.
When first arriving at Hell’s Kitchen we weren’t sure exactly what we should think. The entire space is filled with various shades of reds and blacks and the walls are covered in a collection of devilish kitsch that would make even John Waters cringe. Then we noticed the artwork. In between black bats and wrought iron were a fantastic collection of pieces from Ralph Steadman. That was our first hint that this place may have a bit more substance than style.
While dining in Hell’s Kitchen we had the pleasure of meeting the restaurant’s founder, Mitch Omer. Mitch is quite the character and was an absolute pleasure to sit and have a meal with. When asked what makes his restaurant such a success he replied “Make consistently damn good food and people will keep coming back to eat it.” Such a simple concept but 100% true. You can read more about Mitch and his incredible journey to opening Hell’s Kitchen in his action packed book Damn Good Food. Fair warning though: apparently Sex, Drugs and Rock N’ Roll, go hand in hand with becoming a famous and success chef, or at least it does in Mitch Omer’s case.
Now no matter how great the decor or how interesting the owner, we all know when it comes down to it, the only true measure of a restaurant is its food. Well I only have one thing to say: OMG! With just the right combination of great ingredients, obsessive preparation, and incedible ingenuity the menu is filled with a variety of creatively concocted belly-busting comfort foods that will make you want to visit Hell’s kitchen on a regular basis.
Hell’s Kitchen features both breakfast and dinner items available all day, as well as a weekend brunch that still draws a large crowd. We visited in the mid-afternoon, and couldn’t resist trying a bit of both. There were a few items that Hell’s Kitchen is famous for (labeled Minnesota Icons) so we decided to give those a shot. We started off with the sausage bread, which is a flavor that can’t effectively be described with words. Made with coffee, nuts, currants, and yes sausage it’s nearly a meal in itself, and devilishly delicious (sorry) when coated in their house made peanut butter. We also tried their Mahnomen porridge which is a completely original recipe made from wild rice, cream, and various fruits and nuts. It was just the right amount of sweet, savory, and warm to make it the ideal starter for a chilly day.
For our entrees, Lauren had the Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes which were, pardon the pun, heavenly. I went for the Huevos Rancheros with sausage and was served a towering portion that would satisfy even the hardiest of tex-mex fans. We rounded out our dining experience with an order of their Bison sliders, which are prepared just like the larger entree, but in a much more manageable size. There were so many other items on the menu we wanted to try (cheese stuffed burger anyone??) I can see why many locals become regulars. Oh I almost forgot, we also had dessert!
If you are planning to visit Hell’s Kitchen, you can definitely order desserts with your meal, or you can make a stop at their sister bakery called, (wait for it….) Angel Food. Packed with creative concoctions you’ll certainly find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Lauren was pretty much in heaven here.
Overall our descent into Hell’s Kitchen was an all around excellent meal and a perfect choice for a unique dining experience. If you are planning a visit, I recommend stopping in during the week for an early or late lunch to avoid the crowds or make a reservation.
Details for Hell’s Kitchen Minneapolis, MN
80 S 9th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402