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Props to The Chatterbox Pub-St. Paul

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Saturday afternoon my DH and I hit The Chatterbox after a long afternoon of bike riding. Over a game of 'You sank my Battleship', I enjoyed The Chatterbox Pub Burger. It was great. Ciabatta bread, parmesean curry mustard, and bacon.

Their menu is fairly extensive and they seem to put a lot of thought into everthing.

My DH had the 'inferno' burger, and one would assume that would mean it would be hot. (Call me crazy, but if a menu says something is spicy, that could be debatable, but when you use the word inferno, shouldn't that mean something?) In anycase, it was tasty.

If you're looking for a family place, or want to relive some Atari or Nintendo memories, give it a try.

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  1. Thanks for the info - assuming its pretty kid friendly, correct?

    1 Reply
    1. re: St Paul Susie

      Very kid friendly, especially on the restaurant side (vs. the bar side). They have lots of board games available for you to play at your table or at one of the "coffee" tables in the sofa seating area.

      I'm very intrigued by their battered and deep fried pickles. They also batter and fry their sweet potato fries (and green beans, too, I think), so I still prefer the sweet potato fries a la the Highland/Longfellow restaurants. They don't serve Coke or Pepsi but some local generic brand of cola. It's not bad, actually.

      ~TDQ

    2. I love the deep fried pickles at groveland tap.

      Thanks for the info - we almost went to Chatterbox recently but now we will make the trip!

      5 Replies
      1. re: St Paul Susie

        I've only tried the fried pickles at Chatterbox Pub because they automatically come on the side of sandwich orders. :) Otherwise, I've never had them anywhere. I've seen them on the menu Groveland Tap: next time, I'll have to try them.

        My favorites at Groveland tap are the Cajun Lucy (jalapeno pepper stuff burger) and the Portabella Mushroom sandwich, though, I confess, haven't tried the whole menu.

        http://www.grovelandtap.com/

        (Another sibling to Highland, Longfellow and Edina Grills by the way.

        )

        Let us know what you think of Chatterbox! The sandwiches there are hearty and they have many combinations, some of which are pretty creative for pub sandwiches. I don't think it beats out my favorite haunts, but it's a nice change of pace and certainly a fun venue.

        800 S. Cleveland Av. (at Ford Pkwy) St. Paul. 651-699-1154.

        ~TDQ

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I've been to the Minneapolis original Chatterbox a few times. First couple of times were for weekend brunch buffet, which I really enjoyed. However, at supper time I have found the sandwiches and burgers to be overly salty. I'll be sure to try the new Chatterbox, though. Turning a Perkins into a non-chain place is something I'd like to see more of.

          Here's a Strib story on the new St. Paul Chatterbox:
          http://www.startribune.com/126/story/...

          Town Talk Diner (on Lake Street in Mpls) has deep fried pickles ("Frickles") which I thought were tasty but overpriced ($5.95 for a very few slices).

          1. re: Neitz

            I haven't been to the Chatterbox in Mpls, but I would say your comment about the sandwiches being overly salty would probably also apply to the sandwiches at the St. Paul location. I think, as a general rule, they are a tad overly salty and a bit oversauced...

            ~TDQ

          2. re: The Dairy Queen

            I will check it out - Probably w/in a few weeks. We do groveland tap every now and then. Good with kids, good on the wallet but not the healthiest options. (imho)

            I think groveland tap and I think buffalo wings. But I do the same with Sweeneys.

            1. re: St Paul Susie

              The portabella mushroom sandwich at Groveland Tap is a reasonably healthy option for pub food, as long as you substitute a side salad for the fries. (The side salad isn't that spectacular, I'm afraid.) They've also got a pretty good garden burger, which is a healthy option if you substitute for the fries. They've got a half a dozen entree portion salads on the menu, none of which I've ever tried. :)

              ~TDQ

        2. After going both the Highland Grill and Edina Grill, I mistakenly assumed the Groveland tap would be as good. Wow, were we dissappointed.

          I ordered the Turkey burger because I just love it at the Edina Grill. It was so pre-fab and bland.

          I'll drive the extra couple of miles to the Chatterbox if I'm in St. Paul rather than go to the Groveland tap again. Or, maybe I'll give the Longfellow Grill a try. I'm not a glutton for punishment, just optimistic.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MayrMN

            I think the Groveland Tap is primarily a bar, not a a restaurant in the same vein as the Highland/Longfellow/Edina grill veins. I like the Cajun Lucy and the portabella mushroom burger at the Groveland Tap. I think you'll find the Longfellow Grill to be more similar to the Edina and Highland Grills.

            ~TDQ

          2. Usually, Groveland Tap gets a recommendation for its cajun version of the juicy lucy. I'm not sure I would make a trip, or send people there, for other dishes.

            1. I really enjoyed the potroast at the Chatterbox. It's served in a deceiving bowl from which I ate much more than my fill, it was too good to stop. I love the vertically adjustable chairs in the bar also.

              1. OK, so we finally went to this place, and of course, we have an opinion. The food is a solid B-/C+, right around the same range as Highland Grill, but the atmosphere is what pushes it ahead. It really is very kid friendly: when you need a high chair, they pick a table that will work with one, they have kids' meals, chowbaby could wander a little bit, and there are couches to crawl on.
                I had the french dip, which, while decent, is not junky like I like it, it is all fancied up with onions and ciabatta, and cheese which I nixed. Paz had the burger which he described as OK. This morning we had breakfast there; they only serve breakfast until 11, so be forewarned, late risers. What kind of diner in the Twin Cities does not serve breakfast all day on weekends? Anyway, the blueberry pancakes were fine, Paz' mile high bake or whatever was just OK, etc etc. Sorry I can't give much more detail, it just did not really inspire us to discuss it. We probably will be back for its relative convenience and the kid-liness.

                5 Replies
                1. re: AliceS

                  "And of course, we have an opinion..."

                  HAHAHAHA!

                  Well, of course you do! You're chowhounds! ;-)

                  Sorry to hear that the quest for the perfect French dip goes on.

                  EDIT: by the way, I give Highland Grill higher marks for their chow than the Chatterbox Pub, mostly because I think the Highland Grill has some pretty chowish daily specials... And I love their sweet potato fries (same as Longfellow's). Chatterbox Pub batters and deep fries their sweet potato fries, which I don't like very much.

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I don't often rip on a locally-owned venture, but, golly, I just went back to the Chatterbox Pub and I have to say, I really want to love this place. I adore the idea of it, the seventies family room with the disco ball and the board games and the big poofy sofas. I love the family-friendly only-in-Minnesotaness of it.

                    But the truth is, everything I've ever ordered is so incredibly salty and greasy. And the "fall-back" spice for every dish seems to be chili powder, regardless what stand-out ingredient they mention on the menu, with the super clever and appealing names. I've begun to realize that all the dishes taste the same. Someone in that kitchen needs to exercise some moderation. I want to love it but I have to say, I think today was my last visit to this place.

                    Is there something on this menu that I should be ordering instead of burgers or sandwiches? Is the Minneapolis location better than the St. Paul one?

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      I feel ya, DQ! I have not yet been to the St. Paul location but I have had the same experience at the Minneapolis location. I love the whole idea of the place but the 3-4 times I have had supper there I realized I was not enjoying the food for the very same reasons as you.

                      Actually, my best experience there was the first time I went, which was for weekend brunch buffet. There were several dishes that I found very tasty. But the sandwiches and burgers...feh. So, perhaps you want to give brunch buffet a try to see if there's any redemption there.

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        I think the Mpls location is better than St. Paul. My favorite thing at the Chatterbox is the squash dip, either the appetizer or the wrap. It's delicious and for dining out food, seems reasonalby healthy. Everything else I could give or take.

                        The only reason I go to the chatterbox is because it's a rare place to sit down with some friends and a beer and be able to talk.

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          I think you nailed this place on the head.

                          A coworker took her granddaughter there and she ordered the mac
                          and cheese from the childrens menu. To her horror it came with
                          jalapenos on top/

                    2. Chatterbox St. Paul:
                      Fun diner atmosphere for the kids, crap food for the adults.

                      1. Gotta agree about the fehness. We tried to go there Saturday night (kid friendly and all) though it was too packed, as was the Nook (and this was at straight-up five...I kinda thought even Minnesotans eat out a little later) and I can't say I was too disappointed just to head home.

                        So depressing though because the menu looks so appealing to me. When you get it (burgers and sandwiches) it's always the same thing, regardless of what you order. Meaning they grill, fry, and season everything exactly the same. Blandy McBlanderson.

                        Also sad to report those deep-fried pickles are just purchased from the Sysco man and plopped in the fryer (I have a sister in the know). So nothing special about the Chatterboxes'.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jeanmt

                          heh. Blandy McBlanderson. I love that.
                          To stay on topic, the first time we went there I got the french dip and it was all frou-frou, served on ciabatta with sauteed something on it, I just wanted a damn french dip. I think if you are even sort of in that neighborhood, better options would be Cecils, Highland Grill or St. Clair Broiler.