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Decent food near Rosedale (MSP)?

I'm planning on taking in a movie tonight at the big AMC theater at Rosedale and I thought I'd check to see whether anyone has recommendations for good eats up there. We're pretty open when it comes to styles of food, so any recommendations are welcome. Thanks in advance!

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  1. I may damage my credibility here a little, but I'd probably just go to Big Bowl (a chain pan-Asian place right in the mall). I've had some really good meals there, and then you'd only have to park once.

    Other posters have also had good things to say about China Jen (a Chinese place in the strip mall on the NW corner of Snelling and Co Rd B W), but I haven't been there myself.

    1 Reply
    1. If you like Indian food, I've often had good results at India Palace on Cleveland Ave. near County road C.

      That was often our after Rosedale stop when we lived in Northeast Minneapolis.

      1. Actually, you have a few fairly chowish choices.

        Already mentioned, but I love China Jen (the scallion pancakes are to die for)--it's on Snelling nearish to Cty B. Kathy Jenkins did a review on them in the Pioneer Press last week if you want to look for it. It was called "China Jen turns out to be a gem": http://www.twincities.com/jenkins/ci_...

        Also, there's Saigon Star (I'll see if I can get the name of the strip mall it's in--it's in the strip mall across the street from Rosedale--the same strip mall on Cty Rd. B2 as TGIFriday's and Lenscrafters). EDIT: the name of the strip mall is Rosedale Commons. I've always entered from Cty Rd. B2, but I guess the address of the mall is technically on Fairview. How weird is that.

        And Willowgate II for the Thai menu (I've only been once but was pleasantly surprised.) This place is very nearby to Rosedale, but might be hard to find if you don't know the area:

        None of the above are necessarily the best of their genres in the Twin Cities, but they are all solid and places I'd personally go before I opted for Big Bowl.

        Also in Roseville, but maybe not close enough for you (is Lexington at Larpenteur too far?) is Mavericks for wonderful roast beef sandwiches. Key's Cafe and St. Paul Bagelry are there--in that same strip mall-- too. St. Paul Bagelry used to have pretty darn good bagels. I haven't checked them out since they had a chance in ownership awhile ago. (Several months, I think, but I'm not sure).I hope the bagels (and bagel sandwiches) are still good.

        Also at Hamline and Larpenteur is Mac's Fish and Chips. Used to be a reasonably chowish choice, but they increased their prices and away from using halibut and there's been a bit of a debate on this board as to whether it's still a good option.

        I've never been (or even noticed) that India Palace place. I must make a point of getting there!


        6 Replies
        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I've been known to invent Roseville errands just to go to Maverick's. Did it yesterday, in fact.

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Oh, I so wish I would have known about the Willow Gate II Thai menu being good last week. I was there with coworkers and ordered a Chinese dish - it was really really really bad. Like frozen grocery store chow mein bad. As was the accompanying won ton soup - tasted like dish water.

            I had bagels from St. Paul bagelry about 3 months ago and they were great. But they're usually not open around dinner time in my experience. Call before you go.

            Maverick's roast beef sammys are good, but there's not much else to eat there, and it's another place to call ahead before yo go - they have some funny hours.

            1. re: diesel

              Yes--great point--all those places in that Lex/Larpenter strip mall: Key's, St. Paul Bagelry (glad to hear the bagels are still great!) and Mavericks tend to be breakfast (Key's and St. Paul Bagelry) or lunch (all three) focused kinds of places. I neglected to heed the important "tonight" part of the original question...

              Well, I guess I don't need to try the Chinese half of the Willowgate II menu... Sorry to hear that, diesel.


            2. re: The Dairy Queen

              Oh I forgot to post this until now. We had occasion to eat in the ROsedale vicinity last weekend and tried Saigon Star. Although I still prefer Saigon (no Star. on University and Dale) , my husband and I did really enjoy our meal at Saigon Star.

              We started with eggrolls, which were very good, but not excellent. Nice and crispy but the flavoring of the filling didn't fulfill all our hopes.

              He had the pho and I got to try a few sips of broth. The broth was very rich compared to most phos I've had (note: don't construe this as rich relative to all other foods!), with noticeable cinnamon and anise flavors.

              I had a broken rice dinner with an egg and grilled pork. The pork was good but nothing worth describing in great detail. The egg, on the other hand, was so wonderful. . . I never knew a fried egg could have such amazing texture - I think they deep fried it! It came to me piping hot, uniformly golden, and a bit larger than you'd expect one egg to be. Like a tiny, round, golden brown feather pillow. The texture was more. . . foamy (but cooked) and fluffy than any fried egg I've had before. The yolk remained soft, so when I cut into the egg, the yolk ran all over my rice (that's a good thing in my book). I think I found a new favorite comfort food. Deep fried egg with broken rice and fish sauce. Oh man. I'm gonna go update my profile now.

              Thanks TDQ for the rec!

              1. re: diesel

                I've never tried anything but the pho at Saigon Star--since it's not exactly "hot soup season" I haven't been in awhile. But, it sounds like I need to go back for the deep fried egg dish--it sounds craveworthy, even during the high heat of summer! Great tip, thank you.


                1. re: diesel

                  Oh, wow - I love dishes topped with a runny-yolked egg. I've gotta get to Saigon Star for this one. Thanks, Diesel, for the tip!


              2. Royal Orchid Thai used to serve up average Thai in the strip mall just west of Fairview...I think Cost Plus World Market is the anchor tennant. I am not sure if they are still there, I haven't been there in a long long time.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                  Royal Orchid can do very good Thai food, if you catch them on the right day and in the right mood. Avoid the lunch menu at all costs. But, befriend the owner, and she'll cook for you, and the quality shoots way up - as do the off the menu possibilities. Ask them if they have any Thai Eggplants, and then ask them to prepare you something really good involving those - and you can do pretty well for yourself.

                  Also, the St. Paul Bagelry has changed hands twice since Mike (of Pizza Nea) fame owned it. The latest owners took over a couple of months ago. They said that they're using the same recipe, but things just don't seem as good. They also own the local franchise for Maui Wowi smoothies - so if you want franchised smoothies, the bagelry is now the place to be. (They even took down the old bagelry sign and replaced it with two signs - one for the bagelry, and a big ole Maui Wowi logo)

                2. Hey, not far from there, maybe a mile south and another 1/2 mile to mile east on Larpenteur you can eat at Mac's for Fish and Chips or you can go a little farther to Larpenteur and Lexington and eat a really nice roast beast sandwich at Maverick's.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                    I live around the Como Park area and I get a bagel from the SPB every Saturday after my runs. I have no proof but I feel they're bagels are the same as the original recipe - (and I love bagels...I grew up in NY), BUT I will say that I think the whole Maui Wowwi thing is weird and I don't think the new owners are as good as the old ones. By the way, weekdays, if I remember, SPB is only open til 5.

                    That being said -I know this was about Roseville area eats - I second Mavericks for cheaps. Am sort of scared to go back to Mac's since I've heard about the prices and not using halibut - I still advocate Cheung's at the corner of Dale/Front. Cash only.

                    1. re: snoboardbabe77

                      I haven't heard about Cheung's--Sounds intriguing. Can you describe that a bit more, please? What's good there, what kind of place is it? And where is Front (relative to a major street if you can think of one.)

                      Thank you!


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Energy Park Drive turns into Front east of Lexington.

                  2. A bit south of Rosedale,(2095 Como Ave) is the Abu Nader Deli. It is a nice little hole in the wall that serves very good gyros and other middle eastern fare. The prices have unfortunately gone up since it was "discovered" by the City Pages and others a few years ago, but it is still worth a visit.

                    1. I'm a bit late to the thread, but I wanted to second the recommendation for Saigon Star in the Rosedale Commons strip. My fiance and I found it a couple years back when we lived close by, and still continue to go regularly despite moving to Lowertown. It's solid Vietnamese food - consistently good pho and noodle salads. It's definitely our favorite place to eat in the area.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: trixiemn

                        TDQ - Cheung's is on the corner of Front/Dale - Energy Park turns into Front Avenue, past Half Time Rec, and Cheung's is right across the street from John's Pizza Cafe. It's 100% no frills - he doesn't carry items like Sesame Chicken or anything like that, but he does serve up some decent egg rolls; we enjoy the hot and spicy chicken - it's quality chicken, some red pepper flakes, and I'm not sure what else is in it. He's open open M-F (til 8PM) - cash only, which is what we jokingly say means good chinese -they don't need to be open past 8, or on the weekends in order to survive. He's been around for over 15 years I believe he said? I've tried the Kung Pao and Szechuan chicken -I've had better at Little Szechuan -tofu and fish dishes are fairly good. only 3 tables with 2 seats each. Most people do take out for lunch. Prices are good.

                        1. re: snoboardbabe77

                          Cheung's looks risky. For one thing, its name is Chung's Chowmein. BUT the extensive menu includes Chinese and Vietnamese, and the vegetarian entrees I've tried are quite good: a variety of fresh vegetables, properly and not overcooked, and seasoned for excellent flavor. Favorites are Ginger Mock Duck and Shrimp and Hot Garlic Sauce. The latter is definitely superior to the slop I've gotten at a lot of local restaurants. My husband, who actually eats chow mein, isn't crazy about Chung's, but that's what he gets for ordering chow mein, I say.

                          Prices are VERY reasonable ($5.00ish for pints, $8.00ish for quarts).

                          I wouldn't eat in, but that's because my sensitive nose has always picked up something unpleasant in the cooled air. Maybe it's better in winter.

                      2. Obviously my answer is way late, but Barley Johns Brewpub off of County D is close to there and has good upscale food, pizzas, and hand crafted beer as well.

                        Barley John's Brew Pub
                        781 Old Highway 8 SW, Saint Paul, MN 55112

                        1. I just thought I'd update this thread a bit. Saigon Star is now closed. :( As reported by ddornfeld here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/440893

                          I finally got around to trying Royal Orchid Thai and, Danny wasn't kidding when he said in this thread that the lunch menu was to be avoided at all costs. I had remembered his comment incorrectly thinking he'd said the lunch buffet was to be avoided at all costs. [I didn't actually notice a lunch buffet when I was there, but I just assumed I was too late or something...] So I ordered pad thai and panang curry off the lunch menu. Tragic, disappointing mistake. I should have paid more attention to Danny's comment.

                          I went to India Palace [which incidentally DOES have a lunch buffet, though I did not try it]--I order the mutton samosas (which came with a sweet brown sauce and a tangy green sauce) and the bangan bhartha (eggplant) dish (Anne recommended the eggplant in this thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/36366...). The eggplant was quite good--nice, smokey flavor. The samosas, including the sauces that accompanied them, were forgettable. But, I am definitely encouraged.

                          Maverick's underwent a remodelling recently. It looks very Western-themed now. Frankly, I thought it was fine before. But, the important thing is, the food's still good. Uisage recommended the chocolate shakes to me and, yes, those are very nice. (Uisage also suggests avoiding the strawberry shakes...).

                          Here's India Palace's website--beware the music! http://www.indiapalacemn.com/site/ind...

                          Royal Orchid Thai:


                          4 Replies
                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            TDQ, you're right about Royal Orchid Thai. It is one of those places that makes you wonder how they stay in business. My Thai wife contends there is not an authentic Thai dish on the menu, and strongly suspects they "sugar" their cooking to suit American tastes. We tried hard to like them (since the owners really ARE Thai), but no luck. The pre-disposition by so many Thai cooks in this town to water down their cuisine is really frustrating.

                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                              Glad you liked the chocolate shake. I was very taken with mine and drank it all before I got back to work with the sandwiches. I had ordered the strawberry for a co-worker, but it tasted ...not like strawberry, more like bad strawberry flavoring. We couldn't give it away.

                              We split the roast beef and brisket sandwiches. I love the roast beef, but I think I love the brisket more. It's a stronger, beefier taste. I really want to try some of the other sandwiches, like the open face turkey. Just need to tear myself away from current favorites.

                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                eating korma at india palace listening to hammer-dulcimer music is definitely a surreal experience! :)

                                i hate buffets, but will do india palace's if it looks good. usually solid. the place serves generally decent indian (imo there is not any really good indian around) so i go when the craving hits. btw, that tangy green sauce can get under your skin-- i've been known to eat it with a spoon. . .

                                1. re: soupkitten

                                  I've since been back to try the lunch buffet and, honestly, it ain't bad. The good news is, the place is jam-packed at lunch, which means the food is turning over quickly, which is a definite plus.