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Niche Chow in MSP

Very often the benefit of focus is passed by in the name of satisfying the broadest possible audience. What's lost is the quality. The specialized or niche chow joints are owner operated, zealous about what they do, and always narrowly focused.

Neighborhood small wine shop: The Wine Thief, thoughtfully narrow selection, zero attitude

Coffee shop in the barrista arts category: Kopplin's, great equipment and dedication

Old school sandwich shop: Maverick's, proper roast beef and braised meats (happens to be next to a Subway franchise, ideal for the compare and contrast experience)

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    1. re: St Paul Susie

      Maverick's is in Roseville at that strip mall at Lexington & Larpenteur--same mall as St. Paul Bagelry.

      Those roast beast sandwiches are wonderful. (And, why, oh why, does anyone go to Subway when Maverick's is right there?)

      I always thought the Wine Thief was a cute little shop, though, I'm not knowledgeable enough about wine to evaluate it.

      And boy is that coffee shop racking up the press mentions. I peeked in once on my way to the Nook and it looked appealing--wasn't open at the time. Will have to stop in once of these times.

      ~TDQ

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Roseville - not that far - but outside my "range for a sandwich"

        But I might have to find an excuse to go up there sometime.

        1. re: St Paul Susie

          Fair enough, but, it's only a couple of blocks North of Como Park, if you ever find yourself there. Or, if you're en route to the Ice Oval. Or renewing your license tabs or getting a passport. Or heading to Rosedale shopping center or the bizarreness that is Har Mar. Or checking out the new AMC theater--or even at the State Fairgrounds for some non-State Fair reasons. There's always an excuse to take the longish way so you can hit Maverick's.

          ~TDQ

    2. I agree, Maverick's has a great roast beef sandwich, but then I live in Roseville. However, I get to the Midtown Global Market, El Burrito Mercado, Pete's market & El Ray's in Milwaukee, Pike's Place Market in Seattle, Reading market in Philly, etc. You just have to go where the good stuff is.

        1. re: begegi

          It's in St. Paul, next to the Nook, on Hamline at Randolph.

          ~TDQ

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            'Went today. I had a Colombian "micro-crop" from their Clover machine.
            Good! The coffee had a very clean, pure flavor. Lots of fruity/winey qualities - les dark, earthy notes (which I miss).
            I noticed that their business cards have a space to customize your coffee specifications. Apparently this would be handed to the barrista when ordering, giving them your preferred grind, volume of grounds, and steeping time. Apparently I should specify a longer steep to extract the darker flavors...

          2. re: begegi

            490 Hamline is the street address.

          3. Coffee & Tea Ltd. in Linden Hills has the best coffee in the TCs...not the best Coffee Shop, but the best shop for coffee. Nobody comes close in terms of bean & roast quality.

            http://www.swjournal.com/articles/200...