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Countdown to Netroots Nation, Episode Five: You Must Go to Murray’s

[Editor’s note: the latest in Phoenix Woman’s series on making the most of Netroots Nation 2011 — June 16-19, in her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota.]

In the first installment of this series, we discussed the Meat Coma that one can acquire at Lindey’s Prime Steak House in Arden Hills, a northern suburb of Minneapolis. But for those of you who of necessity would like to confine their intense carnivorism to downtown Minneapolis, there really is only one option, especially if you favor your beef rare: You must go to Murray’s. You must.

How good is Murray’s? It’s got competition at the end of the block, in the form of a McCormick and Schmick outlet, and it’s still going strong. When Brazilian-originated chain Fogo de Chao opened up a location in City Center a block away, Murray’s wasn’t worried: The Fogo de Chao folk tend to overcook the meat they have on those long fancy skewers, and no true steak aficionado will have anything to do with overcooked meat.

Now, steak joints, almost by definition, tend to be pricey joints, and Murray’s is no exception, especially at dinnertime. Their signature item, the Silver Butter Knife Steak for Two — so named because you can easily cut it with a butter knife — checks in at a whopping $96.00. However, you can get beer and a burger there for $9.95 at lunchtime on Twins game days, and there are other $9.95 daily lunch specials throughout the week. And if you don’t mind an early supper, from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm Murray’s features a three-course meal that will only set you back $22.95, a true bargain in this day and age. (Almost all your meals, lunch or dinner, come with complimentary baskets of their insanely salty — and insanely addicting — garlic bread. You can feel your blood pressure shoot up just looking at it, but it’s all but impossible to resist.)

But in many ways, Murray’s biggest selling point is its ambiance and history. It’s been a fixture downtown since before most of us were born, and has shown remarkable wisdom in deciding what to change and what to keep as it strides on into the 21st century. It’s well worth a visit, and a quick jaunt on the #10 bus north on Nicollet Mall up to Sixth Street, then a quick ramble half a block to the west, will take you there.

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