Non-Chain Non-Good Restaurants

I received a notice today from my good friends at AAdvantage Dining. It’s a rewards program offered by American Airlines’ miles program where I earn miles for dining at restaurants in their network. Apparently, I haven’t been picking the right restaurants so I got a slap on the wrist and warning that I would lose my premium status if I didn’t dine at 10 AAdvantage approved restaurants between now and the end of the year.

Being a restaurant junkie who rarely eats at home, the challenge of eating out ten times in 33 days at appropriate restaurants didn’t phase me. However, after taking a look at the qualifying restaurants in the Minneapolis area, I realized there is absolutely no way I’ll meet the required goal.

The problem really comes down to the quality of the restaurants. I think the best way to describe them would be non-chain restaurants with uninspired offers. The food offers are similar to what I’d expect to find in an Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s, Ruby Tuesday’s. Nothing particularly interesting. I’m a HUGE fan of non-chain restaurants. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons I’m a city guy rather than a suburb guy. But I’m not going to hit a restaurant simply because it’s not a chain.
Of course, I’m generalizing and there are a few gems but not enough to add up to ten meals in 33 days. Take a look if you want to see what I’m sayin’: http://www.aa.rewardsnetwork.com/

My zip is 55406. What restaurants do you see on the list worth hitting?

In case you find the program interesting, I believe it pays 10 miles for every dollar spent. At least until you don’t live up to their expectations. I believe the same program is available through other airlines, including Northwest Airlines as the iDine program. On the plus side, the beauty of this program is you don’t have to carry a special card like the Entertainment Book has. You just register your credit card numbers with the service and reap the bennies when you happen to eat at a qualifying restaurant. Painless.

2 thoughts on “Non-Chain Non-Good Restaurants”

  1. I have enjoyed El Maraiachi, Fat Lorenzo’s, and Carobone’s. The Malt Shop is no Snuffy’s, but it is also good. And what’s not to like about Champpppppppps?

  2. I’ll have to give El Mariachi a try. Fat Lorenzo’s is great. A few other friends recently gave it rave reviews.

    I question your Carbone’s call. What do you like there? Nothing stands out on that menu, but they must be doing something right.

    Nothing wrong with Champpppppps. I hit the Eden Prairie one on a regular basis as it’s one of the best lunch options in that 3rd ring suburb. In fact, it looks like it’s my 4th most hit restaurant in the past year according to my Dodgeball history.

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