A long list of restaurants are showing their gratitude to the nation's veterans and active duty service members by offering a slew of Veterans Day dining deals and freebies. Rules vary, so be sure to check before dining. Find more ideas here.

Bakers Square: Free pancakes, French toast or waffle, all day. Ten Twin Cities locations.

Bar Louie: Free appetizer or entrée. Two Twin Cities locations.

Bonefish Grill: Free serving of Bang Bang Shrimp. St. Louis Park.

Boston Market: A free cookie or brownie with a purchase. Three Twin Cities locations.

Bruegger’s Bagels: Free small coffee. Many Twin Cities locations.

Buffalo Wild Wings: A free small order of traditional or boneless wings, with a side of fries. Twenty Twin Cities locations.

Cafe Maude: Free house-cut truffle fries. South Minneapolis.

Chili’s: A free entree. Nine Twin Cities locations.

Chipotle: A buy one/get-one-free burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos, from 3 p.m. to close. Many Twin Cities locations.

Cracker Barrel: Free slice of Double-Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake. Lakeville.

Famous Daves: A free two-meat combination dinner, served with a side dish and corn muffin. Twelve Twin Cities locations.

Flat Earth Brewing Co.: Three (free) beers, and "cheers." St. Paul.

Fogo de Chao: A 50 percent discount. Up to three additional guests receive 10 percent off. Downtown Minneapolis.

Hooters: A choice of 10-piece wings, burger, Buffalo chicken sandwich or Buffalo chicken salad, free. Mall of America.

IHOP: Free Red, White & Blue Pancakes, to 7 p.m. Eight Twin Cities locations.

Menchie’s: Free 6-oz. yogurt. St. Paul.

Olive Garden: A free entree. Eight Twin Cities locations.

Perkins: Free Magnificent Seven meal. Many Twin Cities locations.

Red Lobster: A free appetizer or dessert, all day. Six Twin Cities locations.

Ruby Tuesday: A free appetizer. Four Twin Cities locations.

White Castle: Free combo meal. Sixteen Twin Cities locations.

Also today: Catch the culinary action at the Mall of America, where eight National Guard members (paired with a chef from Cantina Laredo, Cedar + Stone Urban Table, Crave, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, Hard Rock Cafe, Margaritaville, Masu Sushi and Nordstrom Cafe) compete with one another using MRE (Meals Ready to Eat) and other ingredients in a spirited cook-off. The event starts at 1 p.m. in the mall's Rotunda and runs until 8:30 p.m. Find more details here.

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