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Jan 24, 2007 09:55 AM

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 (, 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.