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Bring Ya Ass: OK, Where Would Charles Barkley ACTUALLY Wanna Eat in the Twin Cities?

Sir Charles is getting some pretty phoned-in food/drink advice.


Barkley vibing HARD on a treat from Krispy Kreme.

At the risk of wet-blanketing an ecstatically fun and rare Minnesota sports moment: You all are doing this wrong!!!

Let's set the table, so to speak.

Following last night's thrilling game-seven Timberwolves victory over the Denver Nuggets, NBA legend/TNT commentator Charles Barkley stated incorrectly* that he hadn't been to Minnesota in "probably 20 years," to which delightful Wolves star Anthony Edwards quipped "bring ya ass." Unfazed, Chuck proceeded to seek restaurant recommendations, considering his Inside the NBA crew will visit Wednesday for game one of the Western Conferences Finals matchup between Minnesota and the Dallas Mavericks. (Ant's favorite restaurant, FTR? Fhima's, according to recent Edwards profiler Tom Kludt.)

*Barkley was in town for the 2019 Final Four, though we forgive him for wanting to forget; the Virginia Cavaliers beat his alma mater, the Auburn Tigers, en route to the championship.

Almost immediately social media users, celebrity chefs, radio DJ Jason DeRusha, and legacy news outlets alike began churning out recs like... Billy Sushi? Owamni? Spoon & Stable?

Look, Barkley has been a wealthy celebrity for decades, and he no doubt boasts a refined palate. (NBA guys are connoisseurs, after all.) But he's also the "Round Mound of Rebound" from Leeds, Alabama—the dude's lifetime of heroic junk food intake is well-documented. After researching multiple news sources and watching the highly entertaining video below, Racket has become the authority on steering Barkley toward Twin Cities restaurants he'd actually enjoy. We're not throwing up half-court prayers here; we've done the homework.

And he's not shy about this stuff.

"Lemon Tastykake is one of the greatest things ever," Barkley says, adding that he microwaves 'em and plops on ice cream. "I don't think kale is a thing… kale is just lettuce, they change the name to charge you more," he adds. Barkley has eaten 12 donuts in a single day ("I am proud of that"), and has bragged "I may not have won a championship, but I've definitely won a pizza-eating contest or two." He doesn't trust guacamole ("It's mush"), and he considers Chicago-style hot dogs to be too garden-adjacent. Hm, we're rethinking that refined palate line.

The most compelling culinary clues come from these anecdotes about Barkley attempting to eat his way out of the Philadelphia 76ers organization, as reported in Timothy Bella's 2022 biography Barkley. We learn that, as a young player, he once inhaled multiple Denny’s Grand Slam breakfasts, "half the menu" at Red Lobster, McDonald’s Filet-o-Fishes, BBQ, steak, and, famously, loads of pizza—Barkley could put down two pies per meal, according to veteran broadcaster Eddie Doucette. Unhappily rostered by Philly in 1985, Barkley was eating "everything I could get to my face, everything that wasn’t nailed down or poison" while gorging his way to nearly 300 pounds, a saga that uncannily mirrors the plot of classic Simpsons episode "King-Size Homer."

Knowing all that, here's the local, unfussy comfort food we think Chuck would dig.


What's the best one-to-one of a Denny's Grand Slam? Gotta be the Tremendous Twelve from Perkins. While Perkins was founded in Ohio, it's the dominant breakfast chain in Minnesota, so much so that the state tourism board chose to highlight it. Runners up: Fat Nat's, Chimborazo, Hazel's, and buzzy Bloomington food truck Scramblin' Egg.


With apologies to Young Joni-ish joints, again we feel Chuck would appreciate chain offerings more, and it just so happens that Racket once ranked every damn Twin Cities pizza chain we could get our hands on—he's headed to Wrecktangle, folks. Runners up: Del Mar Pizza, Broder's, and OG ZaZa.


"You can't go wrong with In-N-Out Burger," Barkley says. Correct. You also can't go wrong with Station No. 6, the metro's newish smash burger star. Runners up: Not 5-8 or Matt's, sorry!


It's a toss up (basketball term) between Cub's deli and the briny buckets from Bull's Horn. Seriously, Twin Citians love the affordable, extra crispy bird that's deep-fried in massive batches at Cub. Need more evidence? A kid who lives by my parents had Cub cater his graduation party with fried chicken, my mom reports. Runners up: Revival, Pollo Campero, and Rooster's BBQ.


"I'm a wings aficionado," Barkley once declared. Well, ya gotta go to Runyon's then, located just blocks from Target Center. It's the undisputed champ. Runners up: Ray J's, D-Spot, and Monte Carlo.


OK, so here's one the underthinking mob got right. It has to be Murray's, the steakhouse hangout for local politicians, athletes, and celebs since 1946. That said, we're deeply sad to report that Sir Charles orders his steaks well-done. He detailed his baby-like meat behavior via Thrillist, writing: "If I see too much red, I just can’t eat it. I’ve tried medium well a few times recently, and it was actually good, but well done is where it’s at. I also always cut up my entire steak before eating it." Chuck, no! Runners up: Lindey's, Manny's, and, honestly, Ruth's Chris.


Barkley loves the McRib, so let's direct him toward an elite local BBQ spot that loves riffing on fast food: Animales. Runners up: I saw someone suggest Ted Cook's 19th Hole Barbecue; it's not the greatest, but it'd give Charles limitless south Minneapolis townie cred.


"My pregame meal was two Fish Fillets back in the day," Barkley says. This isn't much of a seafood town, but he could do a whole lot worse than Anchor Fish & Chips. Runner up: rich-guy fish chain Oceanaire, the Ruth's Chris of the deep. (Update: Turns out Chuck doesn't eat fish anymore. Huh! Good thing Anchor has a killer burger.)


"Tacos might be my favorite food," Barkley says, adding that he's a Taco Bell-head. Try Mi Mexico Querido for Chuckster-sized portions. Runners up: Taqueria Victor Hugo #2 or the localized Taco Bell of the future.


Here's the horrible secret: Most prominent local donut shops are super overrated, especially the fancy ones. That said, should Barkley want to eat one dozen donuts in one day as the Timberwolves begin their defeat of the Mavericks, we'll plug Little Canada's Donut Hut. Runner up: A Baker's Wife, though I've heard chatter of a recent decline in quality.

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