Every month I look forward to book club.
It’s a women’s book club that initially formed after the election via social media. We take turns choosing books written by women of all genres. I’ve learned I’m really good at is waiting until the very last minute to cram in each month’s book!
Besides the conversation and exposure to books I might not choose to read myself, I like trying new restaurants. Of course the places have to be conducive to a book club gathering (not too loud, not too small, not too busy where lingering at a table is going to cause an issue). We live all over the Twin Cities and rotate restaurants in different parts of the cities.
Restaurants have included Cooper’s Pub (fantastic veggie burger), Ginger Hop (loved their curries – though on the sweeter side) and Delicata (fantastic pizza with a crisp crust) and . Last month we met at Hy-Vee Market Grille in New Hope, MN. Yup, that’s Grill with an E.
I like shopping Hy-Vee’s. Unfortunately there are no locations super close to our house. They’re probably just too big to be located in the city proper. Sometimes I’ll drive to Eagan on the weekend. That location even has a clothing section.
When we lived in Iowa we were surrounded by Hy-Vees. The city we lived in had half the population of Burnsville, MN yet we had two Hy-Vees on opposite side of town.
The prices are pretty standard and the selection is huge. Their prepared food selection is extensive and employees will go out of their way to help you. Still, they’re not the grocery store I most frequently shop at due to their suburban locations and size.
Some Hy-Vees contain Market Grilles inside the grocery store. The company is cutting back some of these full-service restaurants and replacing them with express formats. Still, there are plenty of Market Grilles at the moment.
I wondered if dining at the Market Grille would be boring because I’d prepared foods from their deli and Chinese food station and thought they were fine. I guessed it would be like eating the deli food, except served at a table.
First, my friends’ enthusiasm for Hy-Vee Market Grilles swept me away. They came totally prepared with coupons. These were generous, “Should I feel bad I’m using these?” coupons. Two people combined their bills and got a free appetizer of their choice. They added a very tasty plate of sautéed asparagus seasoned with prosciutto, parmesan. and lemon.
The other two of us redeemed a coupon that gave us a very large California roll free with our sushi roll purchase.
I never received Hy-Vee coupons in my mailbox – After this outing, I signed up for their mailing list. A month later I finally got a Hy-Vee mailing. Hoping for some Market Grille coupons follow. Not sure if it has to do with proximity
The sushi here isn’t going to change your life. It’s also not going to break your bank account. You can order something simple or one of those monster rolls filled with cream cheese, possibly deep-fried, that’s covered in lots of sauce drizzles for an OK price and get a California roll for free (as long as you have that coupon!).
The french fries were hand-cut, homemade, and only $3 for a sizable portion. All of the dips in the dip trio were pretty good – the guacamole was ok, and the spinach artichoke and queso were tasty. If you want a steak dinner, you can order a sirloin with a baked potato and side for $16.
Someone ordered a big plate of ten seared scallops (not the tiny bay scallops) in a light sriracha-honey glaze + a side for $19. I tasted one, and, while it wasn’t like a chef at 112 Eatery or Oceanaire might prepare, you do get ten scallops that taste better than any of my attempts at cooking them, at least.
I just got done reading Marilyn Hagerty’s fantastic book Grand Forks: A History of Dining in 128 Reviews and I can just hear her version of a Hy-Vee Market Grille review in my head as I write this. You’d better open a Grand Forks location so she can write an Eat Beat review!
Finally – these Market Grilles have a full bar and tap beers. I laughed out loud reading the cocktail menu. I can’t remember the exact costs, but some of the full priced cocktails were as cheap as happy hour cocktails. None of us ordered any so I can’t tell you if they’re good. Sometimes it’s just nice to drink for cheap. I’ve paid $12 too many times for really bad cocktails. Maybe Hy-Vee’s are fantastic. I don’t really care for $5-7 as long as they’re OK.
Plus there are happy hours and daily specials. I had some trouble navigating the Hy-Vee website but saw other mentions of daily specials like half priced sushi and a free appetizer with a $20 purchase on other sites.
As always, free to share any thoughts below in the comments.
Hy-Vee Market Grille (New Hope, MN location)
8200 42nd Ave N
New Hope, MN 55427
There are many more locations in the Twin Cities such as Eagan, Brooklyn Park, Cottage Grove, Lakeville, and Shakopee.