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Aug 3, 2007 01:25 PM

Los Ocampos in St Paul...?

I heard tell in another post that Taqueria los Ocampos has a location in St Paul. Google searches seem to confirm this, but I haven't been able to get an address for the St Paul location. Anyone know where it is?


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  1. It's on Arcade (according to a series of posts by soupkitten and Uncle Ira in this thread):

    Also, according to yesterday's PiPress (Nancy Ngo's column, I think...), Los Ocampo is opening up a spot on Lake Street (Mpls, of course) in the old Carne Asada.


    5 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      Hmmm - does that mean no pasta place from the creators of Town Talk? I thought they were going to open something up in the Carne Asada space.

      1. re: egusto

        Unfortunately, that is correct, that the TTD folks won't be opening the pasta place on Lake Street (at least according to the PiPress.). But, they say they'll be opening some American food place in St. Paul, but won't say where, except to say that it won't be on Grand Avenue or in downtown. Here's a link to the Pioneer Press article.


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          According to this source, the new TTD restaurant is a steak house, The Strip Club, at 376 Maria Ave, St. Paul, with a target opening date of 10/1/07.

          1. re: jaycooke

            Is that the same building where the late, lamented Pop's used to be?

            1. re: mcgeary

              I would think that has to be the old pops. I was wondering what was going to happen with that space. I think it would be a wonderful addition to the neighborhood as there is not much in the way of good food around there. minus (samai, los ocampos and swede hollow cafe.)

    2. oops, yeah that was me earlier, eleaticstranger

      it's on arcade, north of 7th, in a kind of grungy strip mall across from the large, *shudder* rainbow foods there.

      this is the original los ocampos and it's replete with hand-lettered (espanol) menu partitioning off the kitchen, grab-your-own soda cooler, and expanded menu, including a $10 cuban torta which can easily feed 4. the food is excellent & very authentic. at least one employee of the restaurant speaks very good english, but it can be a gamble as to who is working & my dh has had trouble ordering a few times when no one in the restaurant, including other patrons, spoke english. i'd rec brushing up on spanish menu items if you are not fluent. there is no english menu, but there is a limited picture menu above the counter. there are many more menu items on the handwritten board, so if you know your papas from your nopales you can mix and match to your heart's content.

      5 Replies
      1. re: soupkitten

        Thanks! This'll be worth investigating...

        1. re: eleaticstranger

          I go to this Ocampo all the time. Really nice and casual. English is very rarely spoken, so as mentioned, a really good idea to try out or practice your Spanish.

        2. re: soupkitten

          An English menu IS available but not easy to find ... I went there many times and struggled with the language barrier... until one day one of the women working there handed me a take-out menu in English that seemed to match the Spanish one pretty well. She pulled it out from behind the counter, it was not on display.

          1. re: Jitterbug

            oh hey, thanks Jitterbug! i'll ask for the english menu the next time i have trouble. the last time i went the cashier was very fluent in english, and i can read spanish okay & can generally get by the language barrier.

            1. re: soupkitten

              I just tried Taqueria Los Ocampo today for the first time. We had one huarache with chicken tinga and one gordita with chicken "a la mexicana". I lived in Mexico years ago, but never had gorditas or huaraches while living there, but you could still see Popo from Mexico City at that time also (I'm aging myself). At the same time, the tortas I had while living there were very, very simple sandwhiches (never any cheese, especially melted) on hard crusted rolls (bolillos) with some of the soft, inner bread taken out - that's not the "torta" you'll find at Manny's or other places.

              Flavor-wise, both the gordita and huarache were very, very authentic, and I preferred the gordita to the huarache (and it's the first time I've truely been steered to an "authentic" place, so thank you all, since I was steered to Chiapas by a native Mexican and had a terrible experience ala authenticity there). I actually kept eating the gordita until it was gone, but took off half the tortilla - it was compelling, but bad for me since I'm on a diet. Personally, I really liked the crunchiness of the tortilla and it reminded me a lot of the tostadas I used to eat, yet not quite that crispy. I'll order gorditas again for sure, but next time, I'll order tacos al pastor. The place was busy for lunch, both eat in and take out.

              I was the only gringa in the place. They do ask you when you order if you want your order "with everything", and they did speak English - young high school girls. I said, "yes". I loved that they had authentic cheese and cream and that it tasted like I'd ordered it in Mexico - there was nothing of that "Minnesota-ize it" taste at all. I was there about 12:30 pm and there were people eating there when I got there, and many, many others that came in after me to order take out, minus one family of 6 that came and ordered in. I'm fortunate in that I speak Spanish, just unfortunate in that there are so many things on the menu and so many other places calling at the same time, and so little time in life to eat it all. Los Ocampos, however, is one place I'll be back to soon - the one on Arcade in St. Paul.