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Take Out in MSP

I'm looking for some great take out in the twincites - I work in Bloomington, MN and live in Arden Hills, MN - so pretty much anywhere in the downtown metro(s) that I can stop and pick up a good meal.

I'd specifically like to know not only the place, but which dishes you like to pick up there, I'm open to all types of food.

I saw this post, but it doesn't cover much ground - but, maybe there are other posts that covered the topic better that I didn't find, I'd be interested in reading those too:

And one other thing to consider, although it's not all that important, is that I'm not always able to eat my take out immediately when I get home, I often have to put it in the fridge and heat it up an hour or so later.

Here are some of my favorites so far:

Chicken Parmigiana, Grilled asparagus and a baguette
Osteria I Nonni/ Buon Giorno
981 Sibley Memorial Hwy
St Paul, MN 55118View Map
(651) 905-1080

Pecan praline Ice cream (for desert) at Izzy's:

PAD Thai/Drunken Noodles and spring rolls at True Thai

The Original sandwich (#13) and beer cheese soup at Jersey Mike's

Lasagna and loaf of Italian bread at Brianno's (not far out of my way from work

Fried Chicken and fries from Countryside:


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  1. I like Crescent Moon on Central Avenue for Afghani takeout. We usually just tell them we want a combo platter for two, which leaves us with tons of leftovers. The combo platter comes with this amazing cardamom-scented rice, lots of grilled vegetables, various kebab meats, pita bread, potatoes in some kind of yummy sauce, and probably some other things I'm forgetting. They also make a huge and delicious Afghani pizaa, which everyone should try at least once.

    For barbecue, I like Rooster's on Randolph and 35E in St. Paul. Not really in your geographical range, though.

    1. Actually Rooster's could be right on the way home, I'll have to check it out...

      Sometimes I take 35W, sometimes I go around the lakes and come down W Mississippi Blvd., sometimes I take 35E and often I go through Highland Park. So, pretty much anything in St. Paul or Mpls. could be on the way...

      5 Replies
      1. re: ddornfeld

        I hate to be contrary, but I really dislike Roosters. It is, indeed, cheap, but the chicken is not so great and the fries are inedible. If you must try the Rooster's chicken, my recommendation is to call your order in ahead of time so all you have to do is run in, pay for your food, and go. If you spend any amount of time in the restaurant, you end up feeling and smelling like you're covered in a mist of grease. I really wanted to like the food at this place, because I tend to have a fondness for divey, quirky, neighborhoody joints, but I really just did not.



        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I was not talking about chicken. I was talking about barbecue. (Although I do think Rooster's chicken is serviceable. You're right about getting takeout only...I don't think I've ever sat down to eat there.) I like Lee's and Dee's as well (it's Victoria and Selby). I am starting to think that my BBQ tastes differ greatly from most people on this board, since everyone else seems to like Ted Cook's, which I have found to be extremely sugary and not at all to my liking.

          1. re: Mill City Modern

            Ah, okay, thank you for the clarification! Do you recommend both the BBQ chicken and BBQ ribs at Roosters, or, just the BBQ ribs?

            If you must have fried chicken and you're in the neighborhood of Roosters (ie., on Randolph), my recommendation is to go just a few blocks farther on Randolph to Skinners, whose fried chicken I much prefer. I don't know if they do take-out, though.

            Here's a link to a recent fried chicken discussion, where the pros and cons of Roosters vs. Skinners was discussed.



            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              Ribs ribs ribs. We like our ribs. Though we make them ourselves more frequently these days.

        2. Forgive me any trespasses in the following recommendation.

          If you want to pick up fried chicken, drop by Popeye's on Lake, get some spicy chicken, a biscuit, and a side of red beans and rice. Make sure and have some Louisiana hot sauce at home to put on the chicken and in the beans and rice. They'll give you packets of it at Popeye's if you don't.

          1 Reply
          1. re: eleaticstranger

            I tried Popeye's once out of curiosity. I got a couple of pieces of chicken and several of their sides, so I could get a sense of what the place was like. I didn't like any of it. I thought the chicken was relatively meatless (too skinny) and much too greasy. The sides were dry and salty. That's my 2 cents.

          2. Your lifestyle sounds like mine - I do lots of reheated take-out.

            If you want take-out chicken, go to the Mississippi Market and get a whole roasted chicken (plus any side dishes that appeal to you). Then take it home and reheat it with a big squeeze of lemon (use an entire lemon, and stuff the rinds in the cavity). This is so good that it'll impress company. Byerly's rotisserie chicken will do in a pinch (but the sodium will shorten your life...) I would recommend the Wedge, except they don't do whole roast chicken, the poops!

            When I do take-out from True Thai, I get the papaya salad, the beef laap (lap?), and the pineapple curry with chicken - all spiced at level 3, aka medium. Oh, swoon of utter delight! Plus, there's enough food to last for days.

            I'm also quite fond of take-out from the Birchwood Cafe (not too far from True Thai). It's good for when you want to pamper yourself but don't have time to eat in a restaurant. Salads are good, and many of the soups and main dishes reheat well (remember to remove the bun before reheating a turkey burger in the microwave).

            India Palace (just off Hwy 35 @ County Road B) is nice, and highly reheatable. I like the eggplant dishes.

            Punch pizza is perfect for reheating, 'cause I don't think they cook it enough at the restaurant (I love those almost-burned bits). A salad usually lasts well for at least 45 minutes - more if you get the gorgonzola and walnut salad, which is made with romaine lettuce.

            Another great takeout place, if you're in the mood for meat and rice: Caspian Bistro (Washington & University, SE Mpls, 612-623-1113). I love the ground chicken kabob and the ground lamb kabob. Everything reheats beautifully, and one dinner serves at least two people.


            6 Replies
            1. re: AnneInMpls

              Anne, I can't visualize where, in Mississippi Market, the whole roasted chicken would be. Oh, wait, you're probably referring to the deli counter at the MM at Selby/Dale? I'm pretty sure the MM at Randolph/Fairview does not have the roasted chicken.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Yeah, it's probably only at the Mississippi Market at Selby/Dale. I suppose that's too far out of the way for a Bloomington - Arden Hills commute... (I'm trying to figure out how to swing by there on my way between Edina and the U of M/Mpls, but no luck.)

                So Byerly's it is - for roast chicken, that is.


                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  It's not so far out of the way and if it's a chicken, I'll definitely detour for it! In fact, I think I'll stop by there tonight and check it out...

                  1. re: ddornfeld

                    I must confess that the chicken pieces at the Wedge are also delicious, and reheat pretty well. And it's easier to get to by freeway than the MM at Selby/Dale. But a whole chicken is much more fun.


              2. re: AnneInMpls

                I love the beef laap (or I've seen it spelled laab) at pretty much any Thai restaurant, good ideas there.

                I've never been to Brichwood, but I'll stop and check it out sometime. I think they have a menu online (http://www.birchwoodcafe.com/), now I'm hungry.

                And I'll have to check out the Caspian Bistro, that sounds really good!

                Thanks for the recs..

                1. re: ddornfeld

                  If you see the chocolate shortbread at Birchwood, be sure to indulge. It's excellent, and I don't (usually) have much of a sweet tooth.

              3. I don't know if it's too far out of your way, but I love Lee & Dee's BBQ in St. Paul at 161 Victoria at (Selby?) (Marshall?) one of those, I can't remember which one. I always get the ribs, of course.

                Also, I've become a fan of the take-out at China Jen on Snelling in Roseville, although you may have to be patient with a language barrier. Also, sometimes they claim to be "out" of certain dishes (notably the scallion pancakes) when you call for take-out, which I interpret to mean that it's something with which they just don't want to hassle. Just about everything I've tried is good there--most recently, I ordered the Kung Pao Chicken to go and was delighted. I think there's a China Jen thread bouncing about if you search on it that will talk about various other dishes people have liked, including for take out.

                Also, if you're coming up Snelling, Shish Mediterranean Grill & Café might not be too far out of your way:


                Also, I confess I haven't been able to make it there yet (it's on the very long list of places I've been meaning to try) but if you were coming up Snelling, you'd pass right by Khyber Pass Cafe (at Grand), which could make an interesting stop, Also the Black Sea (2-3 blocks North of University). I can't vouch for the take-out, but if you ever try it (or if anyone else can speak to it), please do let us know.




                4 Replies
                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Lee and Dee's - I've always meant to go there but have never stopped. I will now, thanks! You gotta love ribs...

                  China Jen - I've read a lot about it on here, but have never stopped. I often go to Saigon Star and get the seasame beef or any of the pho. Yum.

                  Khyber Pass - I haven't been there in a couple of years, but I really liked everything I had there. Another place I haven't been in a while is Babani's (544 Saint Peter St
                  St Paul, MN 55102 (651) 602-9964), which is really good, but hard to get to.

                  Shish - I've tried to find that place by driving around by Macalester without a map, but I never saw it... I thought of it a couple of times when I was in the area. Maybe they have a small sign.

                  1. re: ddornfeld

                    It's hard to find--I had to drive by several times when I first looked for it. It's a really small storefront on the south side of the street, across from Dominos. It's West of Macalester Street, but not by much, just a few doors down from the Coffee News Cafe. They do have a sign, but it's sort've arty/hammered and soldered steel looking and doesn't jump out at you.


                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I've had take out from the Black Sea and it's quite ok. We usually do the börek, when I'm not feeling like making it. The Döner kebab is good too.

                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      I've forgotten about Black Sea-I've gotten take out there and it was a lot of food-cheap and good.

                    2. I'm interested in people's opinions on places that regularly do take out (besides chains), specifically places where you can run in and within 5 minutes be walking out with food. I ask because today I was driving around Cedar/Riverside and just couldn't decide where to stop without having to wait 15 minutes to have a meal put together (yes, I could have called ahead somewhere but I was trying to be spontaneous). Obviously bahn mi is a great, fast take out food. Any other ideas?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: katebauer

                        I haven't been there in a few years, but the Mediterranean Deli on Cedar (1 block south of Riverside) had the best falafel, hummus, and baba ghannouj I've ever had. Tiny storefront; take-out only.

                        1. re: katebauer

                          I used to pick up soups/curry dishes/etc from North Country Co-op. I haven't gotten any food there in awhile, so i don't know how good it is. And I don't know how substantial of a meal this would be....but there's the chinese bakery Keefer Court. (they have BBQ pork buns, curry puffs and if nothing else, you can pick up dessert!)

                          1. re: katebauer

                            The Holy Land (Central & Lowry and Midtown Global Market) is usually quick. The buffet, at the Central location, is almost instant. The MGMkt location has roast chickens, too. (I'm very big on roast chicken!)


                            A few of the other stands at MGMkt are pretty quick - I'm thinking of La Loma's tamales, Los Ocampo's tacos, and Bymore Meats' goat birria by the pound. But use caution when choosing a stand if you're in a hurry, as some places are slow - I'm thinking of the Nepalese/Tibetan place, for example, but it's worth waiting for those delicious meat momos.


                            This is a great thread! I'm getting lots of ideas for next week's dinners!


                          2. Great. Good to know there's stuff nearby that doesn't require waiting for a meal to be prepared. Other similar places in Minneapolis would be great to know about. It seems like a lot of these recommendations require calling ahead or sitting and waiting while the kitchen prepares something.

                            1. I know, I know, this is all I ever post about, I'm being very boring and repetitive BUT, I have to say it yet again because it is just too wonderful -

                              The chicken pot pie at Colossal Cafe is one of the finest things I have ever eaten. Ever. The pastry is incredible. They have them available for take out on Thursdays - Sundays, but best to call ahead and reserve one (or three), because they run out. Need to bake at home at 350 for 40 minutes. Also, they freeze well.

                              Colossal doesn't have a Web site, but they are on 42nd east of Cedar just a little bit. (612) 729-2377.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Cassandra

                                Just a quick tip: I tried to have lunch at the Colossal this week, and a sign on the door says that they're closed until Feb. 2. (They're also not open Mondays.)

                                1. re: mcgeary

                                  oh, I'm so sorry :-(

                                  I hope you will try again.

                                  1. re: Cassandra

                                    I'm *far* too interested in the pancakes, flips and pot pie to let a little old "Closed" sign deter me forever. I'll report back after I do make a visit.

                              2. two recommendations in Minneapolis area: Yum in St. Louis Park: don't miss the seafood gumbo, there or to go, Patty Cake and other baked goods; wonderful -- a form of yuppie , nouvelle Jewish deli; Lucia's in Uptown, Minneapolis: excellent restaurant and take out: try the soups, breads, and chocolate chip cookies.

                                1. I'm sure that this has been mentioned elsewhere on the board, but I stopped by the La Loma in the Mercado today and had a combo plate with a chicken tamale, carnitas taco and a a cheese enchilada. I vastly enjoyed all of it. I haven't been to the Mercado much since the Global Market opened, so I shall have to remember to return there soon.

                                  1. I second Lee and Dee's they have good chicken too (and these kind of fried corn hush puppy
                                    type things yum)
                                    Also Saigon on University and Dale (Best PHO and Vermicelli Salads and Banh MI we think)
                                    Mac's Fish and Chips (on Larpenteur and Hamline)
                                    Maverick's on Lexington

                                    Those are the fast places I can think of that might be on your route

                                    Some slightly of the route are Burrito Mercado (on Cesar Chavez on the west side)

                                    Here's something else I've done lately if you like Punch type pizza. I went to Axel's on Grand
                                    and asked if I could buy just their pizza dough (it comes in a risen ball) I paid 2 bucks for each.
                                    We were having a bunch of kids (teens) at our house and this worked great. My friend who
                                    lives in NY taught me this tip. Even if you just have a few ingredients and a salad..it works great.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: cherrylime

                                      Great tips, especially Mavericks, Lee & Dee's, and the banh mi at Saigon.

                                      Have you been to Mac's Fish and Chips lately? Several months ago (around September, I think) they changed the fish they were using AND increased the prices. We had a couple of downhill alerts from disappointed 'hounds (which I can't seem to find due to search engine problems...) I'm just curious if you've been recently enough to tell us whether the quality of the food has returned to chowish standards.


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Interesting about Mac’s... I was there a month or two ago and didn’t notice any difference. The two fish sandwich's I had were just as tasty as always. Maybe what happened in September was just a temporary blip in their supply?

                                        Anyone else been there recently??

                                        Uncle Ira

                                        1. re: Uncle Ira

                                          Ira, this isn't exactly responsive to your question, but I was able to find the thread where the "downhill" alert of Mac's was raised (my post, then BigBubba's reply to my post.) I'm encouraged that you've had a recent positive experience. Was it more recent than mid-August when BigBubba went?


                                          EDIT--oh, doy! I see, Uncle Ira, that you say you were there a month or two ago... Do you recall whether the fish was haddock or halibut?


                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen


                                            I couldn’t swear to it, but I think the fish was the same halibut I’ve always had there. I know I enjoyed my lunch.....

                                            By the way, I completely agree with what you said in the previous thread about their tartar sauce... it’s dreck. I can live without that, but I do wish they had good fries.

                                            Uncle Ira

                                    2. No, haven't been lately. But all this talking about it has got me craving it..

                                      1. I'd recommend Broder's Cucina near Lk Harriet for takeout Italian sandwiches and pastas, which would reheart nicely. Also Lucia's takeout in Uptown, as mentioned above, is very good....

                                        1. If you like Chinese, try the New York Chinese Restaurant at 843 Sibley Memorial Hwy
                                          Saint Paul, MN 55118 It's on the other side of the 35E hwy bridge from Buon Giorno!
                                          The owners are a husband and wife, the husband does most the cooking, he just doesn't
                                          pour on the sauce, he cooks it on and caramelizes the onions and peppers like it should be! If it's not on the menu just tell them what you want, many customers have their own
                                          specials named after them!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mikemcg62

                                            You know, I’ve driven past that place hundreds of times and always wondered about it. It’s good to hear about it here. Have any other hounds ever been there?? I’ll have to stop in and at least pick up a menu and check it out.

                                            Uncla Ira