Put Atlas on Your Map

Finding the perfect spot to satisfy my lunchtime hunger is a tricky thing. In downtown Minneapolis, there’s a plethora of eateries. They come in the form of your quick-n-greasy fast food places, upscale-fast-food places, killer burger joints, traditional ethnic food spots, pubs of all kinds, salad bars, high class fine dining and everything in between. So, if you aren’t a part of the brown bag club, you must buckle down and choose. Each day around 11:25am, my cube-mates pop up like prairie dogs from their cubed holes asking what everyone has planned for lunch. We debate and fret over who already ate where when and who’s in the mood for what.

A couple of months ago, I had the good fortune to dine with an executive from the uppermost echelons of my company. He let me name the spot and I took a recommendation from a coworker: Atlas Grill in the US Bank Building on South 6th Street. Atlas rides on the high class dining side – it’s not your everyday lunching grind. But the food! The food was superb. I savored every morsel of the delicately Barbequed Scallops Special on Basmati Rice. A hundred small veggie-laden salads with low-fat bland dressing flashed into my memory as I gratefully gobbled up those scallops. This sudden pleasure in my diet made my whole week.

About four weeks after this first experience, I had occasion to lunch with another executive I work pretty closely with. Again, I got to choose and I chose Atlas as our lunch venue. I just had to see if the scallops were a fluke! After all, they had been the special. This time, I ordered the Gulf Shrimp off the menu and my companion ordered the Grilled Beef Tenderloin, which he graciously shared with me. Both entrĂ©es were simply divine. Succulent meat, sophisticated sauces drizzled on them…wow.

As for the service, I give them a B+. Both servers I encountered were attentive but not harassing, which is always a difficult balance. However, they took forever to bring our check each time, which is a bit annoying when you have to get back to the office. On my second experience there, they brought out the wrong dish for my fellow diner and took their time bringing the correct order out to us.

Neither of these things would prevent me from returning but the cost would keep me from making it a habit. Atlas is more expensive than your typical lunchtime fare so it’s the kind of place I’d go to give myself a rare treat. The cube-mates and I pick one special place to eat each month and Atlas is on our list as a future group event. Tomorrow, we will get our barbequed ribs on at Cap’s on Hiawatha!

1 Comment so far

  1. Erica (unregistered) on September 18th, 2006 @ 1:43 pm

    like prairie dogs from their cubed holes


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