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Jan 11, 2007 09:03 PM

Great French Cafe - St. Paul, MN

Hello all,

here is a gem of a find. Kallyste French Cafe and Chocolates. It's at 5 Signal Hills Center which is a dreary little stripmall off Robert Street in West St. Paul. It's tiny and next to a GNC and other mall regulars.

This place has incredible sandwiches. I had a wonderful version with warm goat cheese, shrimp sauteed in butter and garlic, with parsley, raspberry basalmic and orange slices all on a fresh baguette. In addition to a wide variety of sandwiches he also has crepes, fondues, salads and entrees. I haven't had anything but sandwiches so can't comment on the others, but they at least sounds great. Salmon in paper with beurre blanc, swordfish etc.

He also has a huge selection of fudge and Belgian chocolates. Very interesting place.

I don't see how he can stay in business out in Signal Hills. So make the trek and enjoy some really tasty food in a cultural deadland.

Post your experiences.

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  1. Oh thank you, that sounds wonderful - way to take a risk, trying a French Cafe on that stretch of Robert!

    1. misterpatrick, thanks so much for the recommendation -- I would never have found this place without it. I had a great sandwich there last Saturday: a baguette with turkey (hand-sliced off a roasted breast, not that nasty pressed stuff), mushrooms, Swiss cheese, leeks, and PLUMS, which sounds a little odd but tasted fabulous. My dining companion had the same sandwich you did and liked it very much. Bruno, the owner, is a tres charming guy from Corsica; he said he's been open about 19 months now.

      It's a little hard to imagine eating dinner there, but I bet it's tasty.

      1. Wow! I frequent that area and I've never noticed the Cafe! (And hey! It's not a totally culturally dead land. Ali Baba's, Pineda, El Taquito, er, k, maybe that's it.) Can't wait to try it and get to recommend it to others.

        5 Replies
        1. re: s.again

          Please do, and report back! I'll warn you that the menu is a little bit crazy-looking -- I'm not sure what the organizing principle is supposed to be -- but if you persevere you'll end up with something very tasty.

          1. re: mcgeary

            I will happily do that. My sister is a serious Francophile and has spent a great deal of time in that country. My dad and I are going to try to drag her snobby *ss over there and get her opinion too.

          2. re: s.again

            Don't forget Beirut Restaurant, just a bit further south on Robert. Excellent Lebanese, with what might be my favorite baba ghannou in town. The owner tells me it's all in the way he roasts the eggplant. And on Wabasha, not too far away (just as you curve around the bluffs, near the ubiquitous Boca Chica) is a bakery that just opened a couple of months ago. Look for the yellow awnings saying BC [2} signs (meaning "Bread, Coffee, Cake") and for outstanding and unusual loaves--I brought a loaf of the Apple Chipotle into work with me and had to almost beat my co-workers away once they'd tasted it.

            1. re: clepro

              The only thing better than Beirut's baba ganouj (which is great) is the garlic sauce. That stuff could bring me back from the grave! Don't miss it.

              Thanks for the info on the BC [2] bakery - I'll look for it when I'm in the area!


              1. re: AnneInMpls

                *heh* True. I've bought take-out containers of the garlic sauce and just sopped it up with pitas. Fabulous!

                BC [2] has great sweet stuff too, including a good tres leches cake.

          3. Actually, the menu looks a lot like menus you'll see at small cafe's in France. Especially the little abbreviations. Be sure and chat with Bruno as he's a great guy. He makes the bread himself and can also bake quite a tale.

            1. Try the lobster sandwich with the leeks, carrots and onion and the apple hard core cider sauce with ginger and sour cream.. Delicious... And somebodyelse was enjoying the beef bordelaise and the gratin dauphinois...

              2 Replies
              1. re: andrea_c

                I was there last month and forgot to post about it. I also had the lobster and leak sandwich, and thought it was just lovely. It’s one of those places you just can’t believe is in that kind of strip mall. Can’t wait to go back and try some other items from the menu. Had a chance to chat with the owner for a while, a very nice man who really seems to love what he does. Among other things, he told me he all the baked goods, including the breads, are made fresh there each morning.

                This place is really worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood, and it just might be worth the drive if you’re not.

                Uncle Ira

                1. re: Uncle Ira

                  You all have no idea how happy I am to see this here! I live near Kallyste's, and every sandwich I've had there has been outstanding. My favorite is probably the lobster; I did that swooning thing my sister always hated to see me do the first time I tried one. I've been worried that he wouldn't get enough business stuck there in the middle of Sad Signal Hills as he is, so am pleased to see that others have sniffed him out. Charming man, great sandwiches. Reasonable prices. GO!