Revisiting Our Favorite Restaurants in Maple Grove

by | Jul 2019

Firecracker shrimp tacos from Malone's Bar & Grill.

Firecracker shrimp tacos from Malone’s Bar & Grill. Photo: Rachel Nadeau

There are endless dining opportunities in Maple Grove—let’s revisit some of our favorites.

Set within the heart of Hennepin County, Maple Grove features many outdoor treasures, including the beauty of seven lakes and 36 miles of parks and trails and 48 playgrounds. Hungry after all that fun? There are endless dining opportunities, and summer calls for embracing fresh, new flavor profiles with seafood, fish, veggies and spices.

Among some of the restaurants featured in Maple Grove Magazine, we’ve cast a wide net of choices for your dining pleasure this summer—or any time of year!

Three Squares Restaurant
Try fish tacos, made with lean, flaky tilapia (the second-most cultivated fish in the world). At neighborhood eatery Three Squares, it serves as the ideal base for some zesty fish tacos. Cooked quickly over high heat, six ounces of blackened Hidden Bay tilapia is diced and served in a soft flour tortilla with guacamole, black bean and corn salsa, crunchy Napa cabbage and sour cream spiked with chili and lime.

12690 Arbor Lakes Parkway

Malone’s Bar & Grill
Shrimp can sometimes seem like a standby, but a little culinary imagination puts it back in the “can’t miss” category at Malone’s, where it gets the full Tex-Mex treatment with firecracker shrimp tacos. Lightly battered and deep-fried, then tossed in signature firecracker sauce, the tasty shrimp shares a soft flour tortilla with crisp lettuce, cucumber, pico de gallo and mixed cheeses. “The sauce is tangy, not too hot,” says general manager A.J. Stevens. Jalapenos, guacamole and chips and salsa are served on the side, and gluten-free corn tortillas are available.

12635 Elm Creek Blvd. N.

The Rusty Taco
Passionate about the perfect street-style tacos, the menu is based on Rusty’s original recipes. The Rusty Taco motto proclaims, “Tacos are the most important meal of the day.” From slow-roasting, chopping and dicing to scratch-made sauces and salsas, everything is made in the kitchen with love. “With breakfast tacos available morning to close, you could make a day of it. People can stay as long as they like,” says regional director Pam Ringgenberg. The menu features tacos such as: fried chicken, black bean, barbecue brisket and Rusty’s taco made with achiote pork, pineapple, onion and cilantro. The sunny, spacious, dog-friendly patio is just the place to savor the sultry Latin flavors of tacos, nachos and margaritas. Your dog won’t feel left out with treats behind the counter and a bowl of water available on hotter days.

6346 Vinewood Lane N.

Highlander Restaurant at Rush Creek
With a spectacular view overlooking the Rush Creek Golf Course, visit the Highlander Pub’s dining room. While there, you can also take in another kind of green: tasty greens that are locally sourced whenever possible. Enjoy the vegetable tacos with two flour tortillas, shredded romaine, diced tomato, feta cheese, cucumber, cilantro, roasted corn, avocado and black beans with a vegetable cream cheese spread. Famished foodies can add a protein, such as blackened shrimp, smoked salmon, chicken or steak for an additional charge. All are served with homemade salsa and tortilla chips. All seafood menu items are sustainable and non-farmed. The Highlander purchases only cage-free eggs, and a gluten-free bun or tortilla can be substituted for any menu item.

7801 Country Road 101

To get a taste of Thailand, look beyond the pad Thai and opt for a more adventurous entrée that incorporates fiery red curry, a staple in Thai cooking. Sawatdee offers some of the most authentic, flavorful Thai food in the area, and the fisherman’s delight pairs the variety of spices the cuisine is known for with an abundance of high-quality seafood. In this dish, tender shrimp, scallops, squid and crab claws are stir-fried with a spicy, red curry, but the heat is tempered by the addition of slightly sweet coconut milk. The entrée is served with steamed veggies and white rice.

7885 Main St. N.

Pittsburgh Blue
Pittsburgh Blue isn’t just for steak-lovers; its seafood section rivals those of the best urban eateries, with fresh mahi and sea bass entrees featured alongside lobster tail and cedar-plank salmon. One of our favorites is the sea scallops Benedict appetizer, a unique creation evocative of a seaside brunch. Three succulent, jumbo sea scallops are lightly seared and set atop applewood-smoked bacon and perfectly toasted brioche and topped with a rich, creamy hollandaise sauce, chives and paprika. The result is a remarkable balance of tastes and textures, a decadent delight that you’ll be reluctant to share.

11900 Main St.

El Rodeo
El Rodeo delivers everyone’s south-of-the-border favorites, including burritos, tacos and enchiladas, plus specialty dishes such as steak Mexicano, a T-bone topped with sautéed onions, peppers and tomato, served with rice and refried beans and tortillas on the side. Dishes are based on three main ingredients found native to Mexico: beans, corn and peppers.

13572 80th Circle N.


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