Are you ready for the madness and the mayhem of the holiday shopping season? Black Friday marks its frenetic beginning as everyone realizes there are just a few more weeks left to purchase presents for their loved ones and they hit up the nearest mega-mall. Shopping becomes a competitive sport, so you’re going to need to bring your A game. But you can’t do that without fueling up. A good meal or two is requisite. However, you’re so much better than the puck-like burgers and fried-beyond-recognition nuggets being hawked in the food court. Here’s where to eat on Black Friday when shopping at America’s biggest malls.
Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota: Tucci Benucch
Believe it or not, this home-style Italian eatery is a longtime favorite of Mr. Bizarre Foods himself, TV host Andrew Zimmern, who lives nearby. He’s a big fan of their chopped chicken salad, egg-topped pasta carbonara, and focaccia. The whole menu is rife with comfort foods – ‘zas galore, a hearty chicken parm, handmade mozzarella, and a thick block of meaty lasagna. The kids menu is equally impressive, offering more than half a dozen different types of pastas alongside pint-sized pizzas. It’s the perfect pick-up during a midday rest stop or a nice finale after a long day of consumerism. Find other restaurants near Mall of America.
King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania: Seasons 52
This time of year comes with a free E-Z Pass to decadence and overindulgence. However, one cannot survive on eggnog, white peppermint M&Ms, and sandwiches forged out of Thanksgiving leftovers alone. You need some moderation in your diet. That’s where this health-conscious concept comes in. Almost every dish on the menu is under 500 calories, which will help you start to make up for the entire bourbon pecan pie you scarfed down the day before (their mini pecan pie with vanilla bean mousse and whipped cream only clocks in at a modest 370 calories). Plus, there are plenty of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-sensitive, sodium-friendly, and lactose-free options available, so it’s easy to accommodate a bunch of diners with a variety of dietary regimens. Find other restaurants near King of Prussia Mall.
Aventura Mall, Aventura, Florida: Bourbon Steak
Located just across the street from the mall in the Turnberry Isle Hotel, this primo steakhouse from Michael Mina is worth the walk. Plus, you could use a stretch and stroll after all the calories you consumed the day before. That being said, we do love to indulge once we get there. Start off with Petrossian caviar or Alaskan king crab before moving on to Maine lobster pot pie and Japanese Wagyu New York strip steak. Every meal includes a trio of French fries with three dipping sauces, but you should supplement them with the truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, roasted cauliflower, and grilled Vidalia onions. PS: You’re welcome. Find other restaurants near the Aventura Mall.
South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, California: Marché Moderne
Earning raves as the “best French bistro in California,” this Gallic standout is powered by husband-and-wife team Florent and Amelia Marneau. Their dishes are familiar but elevated to new heights with unexpected accents. Pickled mango confiture brightens cold foie gras terrine while the richness of the sweetbreads is cut by the addition of licorice root. We are always drawn to the salad topped with pink centered rectangles of tuna crusted with fennel seed, coriander, and black pepper — and we always get the twice-fried pomme frites. So simple, yet so unbelievably good. Find other restaurants near South Coast Plaza.