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The Worst in Twin Cities Dining 2016

What left a bad taste in our mouths.

Eater Inside: Scena Tavern
The end is never pretty.
Scena Tavern

It’s not all glamor and gratuity. Sometimes dining out for a living can render some regrettable experiences. Below are the souls brave enough to stand up and say, “I’m mad as hell - and I’m never ordering that thing again!”

Behold, the worst meals of 2016.

James Norton, editor Heavy Table

It's a two-way tie for last place by two different Chinese-American restaurants on University Avenue that we ate at during our 72-restaurant Green Line Checklist crawl. Even accounting for low expectations, both meals were dazzlingly bad. I won't get into names and specifics here, but you can ferret them out from the crawl easily enough.

A Tour of the Art Deco Glory That Is Il Foro
The room was so pretty, but the end was sad for Il Foro.
Katie Cannon

John Garland, editor The Growler

“A dinner at Il Foro shortly before it closed. Everything about it was hollow and sad.”

Molly Mogren, Hey Elenor

“Heartland. For me, it just never lived up to the hype. “

Nancy Ngo, the Pioneer Press

“Added po’ boys and patties menu items to Dixie’s. Sticking to the classic dishes such as the ribs next time.”

A hollow experience at Hoban in Uptown.
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Jason DeRusha, WCCO and Minnesota Monthly

“Hoban Uptown. I ended up behind the bar looking at their wine selection because the server couldn’t tell me what was they had.”

Joy Summers, editor Eater Minneapolis

“Scena Tavern done me wrong. My first two times dining there were all sunshine and and smoldering cocktails; everything was divine. My third trip was a complete shitshow. The food ranged from meh to truly regrettable. An order of clams, a dish I had adored before was served with an insipid broth that was studded with salumi the taste and texture of pencil erasers. Bad. I had a bad clam. It was bad and I lived with that regret for several days after.”

Mike Marcotte, Local Guy About Town for KSTP, Twin Cities Live

“Walking through the south side of the 3rd Floor at Mall of America. FireLake is fine, but MOA needs better food.”

Alex Lodner, contributor Eater Minneapolis

“Black Dog Cafe in St. Paul. I was excited to try it after their big remodel, but the drinks were some of the worst I have had since college and the bahn mi was dull and nothing remotely resembling an actual Asian bahm mi. My daughter rejected the pepperoni pizza, which is very telling. “

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