Pop's St. Paul Experience
Having been disappointed by Bui's apparent untimely demise (see earlier post) we decided to get breakfast elsewhere and ended up at Pops in Dayton's Bluff. It was really great for a number of reasons: the breakfast was made with quality ingredients and was all around tasty, there was a wide selection, it was a beautiful space, they were super friendly, even making a special breakfast for chowbaby, it was reasonably priced ($30 including tip for 3 adults and 2 kids), and overall a great addition to the neighborhood. Will definitely go back!
Pop's Family Cafe
378 Maria Ave
St. Paul 55106
Pop's is sort of a hybrid from my limited experience. They serve a fairly typical yet upscale breakfast with some unusual or regional choices such as a liver dish, grits. . . As I mentioned, the surroundings are quite lovely and put it a step up from your standard diner. In addition, they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and each seems to get its own menu rather than having an all purpose menu for all day. I have a feeling all their meals are above average, and I plan to go back to find out.
Below is the official site as well as the review by Dara in City Pages.
Bad news, Pop's fans. I finally made it to Pop's this evening, only to learn that the Noble family is no longer associated with the restaurant. Apparently the cafe/building owners had to close down for 2 weeks after relieving chef Noble of his duties. Unfortunately, I only heard this news after asking the young server to bring me the missing Lemon Caper Tartar Sauce for my walleye fillet and then receiving 4 convenience packs of generic tartar sauce that I left unopened.
I ordered a half-order of the fabled onion rings as a starter, but I don't know if the bready monsters I received compare to the old. They weren't greasy, but they weren't especially crispy, either. More like fried bread with an onion slice in the middle.
All in all, I had a really weird experience this evening at Pop's. I'd love to hear a current review from someone who ate there during the Noble era and can compare then and now. Of course, I'd love to get the scoop behind the departure of the Noble family as well.
I ate at Pop's for the first time last week for dinner, and I have to say it was one of the worst meals I have ever had in the TC area. We ordered the onion rings, and they were oversalted and spongy. The fried chicken was greasy and bland, the french fries were like the frozen ones you heat up in your oven at home, and the Philly cheesesteak tasted strongly of freezer burn. Please, fellow hounds, save yourself a trip. The rave review in the City Pages led me to go out of my way to visit Pop's, and I felt really betrayed after my experience. It's kind of a relief to know that it was a change of ownership and a subsequent downhill turn, rather than a lack of good judgement in the City Pages review.
we're just moving into the area by pop's and were looking forward to trying it, vaguely remembering hearing good things about the place. we'll avoid it, or maybe do the "1 pancake & coffee, please" test in a bit to see if the quality goes up again.
thanx for the tips, all