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Vegetarian Restaurants - MSP

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starburst Mar 12, 2007 03:27 PM

Any recommendations for good vegetarian-friendly restaurants? We're looking somewhere to go for my mom's birthday this Thursday and she's a strict vegetarian. The restaurant does not have to be fancy at all, we've gone to Tampopo and Evergreen Taiwanese Restaurant before. I would prefer a restaurant in Minneapolis or St. Paul. While the restaurant does not have to be big, hole-in-the-walls are fine too, it needs to be able to seat 7 of us. Previously, I would have considered Uduipi, but not sure now that it has changed owners/name.

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  1. Abacus RE: starburst Mar 12, 2007 04:43 PM

    Hi there,
    I highly recommend Cafe Brenda in downtown Minneapolis.

    http://www.cafebrenda.com

    They serve wonderful vegetarian and seafood options. It's always a lovely place to eat - and should easily accomodate your group. I'd take my mom there!

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      eatshoplocally RE: starburst Mar 12, 2007 04:46 PM

      cafe brenda also opened another restaurant - I forgot the name but its also in Minneapolis - but its much better than Cafe Brenda in my experiences.

      4 Replies
      1. re: eatshoplocally
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        soupkitten RE: eatshoplocally Mar 12, 2007 05:43 PM

        spoonriver. it is really nice & veg-friendly. love the windows & welcoming space. it is next to the new guthrie on the river. if i took my mom there i think she'd feel special and have a great time

        http://www.spoonriverrestaurant.com

        1. re: eatshoplocally
          Chris Mitra RE: eatshoplocally Mar 12, 2007 09:58 PM

          My favorite vegetarian-friendly place, for a special occasion, would be Spoonriver (Brenda's other restaurant). I always liked the food at Cafe Brenda, but really disliked the space due to the big-office-building feel. Spoonriver solved that -- really cool space, and great location next to the Guthrie if you want to see some theater afterwards (or before).

          As mentioned below, Lucia's is consistently good, and always has at least one different vegetarian entree each week.

          While we're talking about veggie friendly places (although this does not apply specifically to your birthday dinner), I'd like to put in a plug for Triple Rock, of all places, which has a surprisingly good selection of vegetarian and vegan meals -- for cheap. Nothing super fancy, but some nice vegan/veggie comfort food before a show. I usually oscillate between the vegan meatloaf and the "vegan Chef's Revenge," which has never let me down. I think there is also something on their menu called "The World's Best Vegetarian Sandwich" which apparently lives up to its name (to an extent), but I've never tried it. Maybe next time!

          1. re: Chris Mitra
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            soupkitten RE: Chris Mitra Mar 12, 2007 10:01 PM

            3rock has the best vegan sausage. maybe not on mom's b-day tho.

            1. re: Chris Mitra
              PastryPrncss RE: Chris Mitra Mar 13, 2007 07:41 AM

              Ooooh. Triple Rock also has The Best Bloody Marys ever. Tasty.

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            eatshoplocally RE: starburst Mar 12, 2007 04:47 PM

            oh, and French Meadow Bakery Cafe is good for a large party - casual and lots of vegetarian selection

            1. aerobicidal RE: starburst Mar 12, 2007 05:01 PM

              The other restaurant from the Cafe Brenda people is Spoonriver, near the new Guthrie. I've never been there but heard mostly decent things.

              Anyway, two other recommendations would be Heartland in St. Paul and Lucia's in Minneapolis. Heartland always has a vegetarian and non-vegetarian three-course prix fixe, and I've always had good food there. Lucia's is also consistently good and always has a vegetarian entree. Both of the menus are online, but Heartland's changes daily so it won't be exact, obviously. Both restaurants are also really politically commendable (support local and independent producers, etc.) if you're into that. They also have good service, which I think is pretty uncommon in MSP and nobody wants bad service on their birthday.

              As a vegetarian, I can't think of too many nicer restaurants in MSP that I've felt alienated by, so the list could be pretty endless: Vincent, LBV, Alma, any Asian restaurant, and so on, depending on what suits the event best.

              1 Reply
              1. re: aerobicidal
                bob s RE: aerobicidal Mar 12, 2007 05:24 PM

                I went to eat at Spoonriver last week for the first time. Had a very nice lunch of curried cauliflower soup and a vegetarian special of black bean and banana patties. I'd think that it would be an option for you. I'd try to make a reservation, though. The place is very narrow, so you'd want to make sure they were ready for a party of 7.

                bob s

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                eatshoplocally RE: starburst Mar 12, 2007 05:31 PM

                Also being a vegetarian, I think I have had my best meals at Lucia's, and they never make you feel funny about it - just always ask for the wine bar menu too as they will give you both menus if you ask and there is always a vegetarian option on one or the other.

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                  soupkitten RE: starburst Mar 12, 2007 06:15 PM

                  hey has anybody tried the new all veg place in the dooomed space on hennepin--- formerly antoine's//new uptowner//sri lanka ad infinitum???

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: soupkitten
                    aerobicidal RE: soupkitten Mar 12, 2007 06:34 PM

                    Yes, I did and posted a rant about it some time back:

                    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35941...

                    On a more positive note, I'm happy that there are several options for good vegetarian (mostly South, which is my favorite) Indian food, particularly Bombay 2 Deli, India Cafe in Bloomington, and South Asian Foods in Fridley. However, none of those are really full-service restaurants, and certainly not the spot for birthday/special occasion dining unless your definition is extremely low-key.

                    1. re: aerobicidal
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                      soupkitten RE: aerobicidal Mar 12, 2007 07:37 PM

                      yikes. well i guess i'll cross that off the list. . .thanks for the writeup

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                    Mill City Modern RE: starburst Mar 13, 2007 08:34 AM

                    If you liked Udupi, check out The Vegetarian. It's on Central as well (nearest cross street is 40th, I think). All veg menu of north and south Indian food, and very very good.

                    1. burnunit RE: starburst Mar 19, 2007 02:44 PM

                      Udupi is now Nala Pak. It is still my number one no holds barred top of the list first on my lips recommendation for vegetarian food in the TC.

                      Second on that list is Evergreen Chinese/Taiwanese on 22nd & Nicollet. It's in a basement. You'll get over that in a hurry. Oh my when you get things like 3 cup tofu and the faux pork...with faux porkfat! It's fake fat! It's something they do with agar agar and I don't know for sure what all but it's amazing!

                      Harry Singh's Original Caribbean. (They're still open right? I mean, I know closing and moving is a tradition there) 2653 Nicollet Ave. Awesome.

                      Cafe Brenda and Lucia's do very good things with vegetarian food that isn't too fussy, quite clean, and with really good service and feel like more "fine dining" experiences.

                      Royal Orchid has been very good and is willing to make their dishes without fish sauce upon request. Holy Land Deli (falafel), Seward Cafe and Birchwood have been pleasant spots for me. Bombay 2 Deli is v good.

                      Oh! Blue Nile. That was fun, but it's been a while.

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                        IronLionZion RE: starburst Mar 19, 2007 02:52 PM

                        If you like Indian, try India Cafe on 494 and Portland in Bloomington. I haven't been yet but heard good things about it from posters on this board.

                        Any Indian restaurant will have several vegetarian options...well any place except Kabobs, that place is all about meat.

                        Ecopolitan on Lyndale has vegan food. I haven't been (I like meat!).

                        There's also Good Earth in the Galleria in Edina. That place has decent wraps and salads and stuff. It's probably organic and definitely healthy and new-aged.

                        1. k
                          KTFoley RE: starburst Mar 19, 2007 03:36 PM

                          //Ecopolitan on Lyndale has vegan food. I haven't been (I like meat!).

                          Be aware that the food is indeed vegan, and that Ecopolitan follows the raw-foods philosophy. Their dishes are prepared without cooking the ingredients.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: KTFoley
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                            food junkie RE: KTFoley Mar 22, 2007 10:17 AM

                            Eco is amazing! one of my favorite places, truely. you cannot imagine the things they do with raw vegan food. so many flavors. take a seat at the juice bar and watch the goings-on in the kitchen. and don't forget the organic wine.

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