MSP - Northeast Minneapolis
After I started the Golden Valley thread, I've been wishing I had done a more inclusive thread with the surrounding communities. Despite working here before, I guess I never put much thought into the fact that a whole lot of different diverse neighborhoods lie withing about 5 miles (or 10 minutes) of GV. In the 10 months I worked here before, I never really reached out.
Anyway, I ventured out across the river into NE Mpls with a whopping $1.50 in my pocket. I'm somewhat familiar with that area, but tried to stick to streets I hadn't previously traveled. I decided there's really enough there to warrant a new thread specific to that area.
First, the Matchbox Coffee Shop is a great place. I don't recall having ever heard of the place and I can't find any posts. From the outside, it looks a lot like Al's Breakfast, only much smaller. The inside reminds me of a cross between Al's, The Wienery and...well...a tiny coffee shop. I didn't really hang out too long, just spent my $1.50 (perfect!) on a small to-go fair trade coffee which was tasty. I didn't see any baked goods which was a bit disappointing (maybe just missed them). I wish I had this place in my neighborhood (as well as Behind Bars bike shop around the corner).
Matchbox Coffee Shop
1306 2nd St NE
Just a little bit to the east up 13th Ave, to my delight I spied Europol Eva's. This place I've heard a lot about but have always been ashamed that I haven't tried as they advertise some of my favorite foods (eastern European).
I was dismayed to see signs with "Coffee Shop" and "Opening Soon" in the window. A closer look found a sign on the door with the "Sorry for the inconvenience, we are remodeling to serve you better".
The phone message says they hope to open in early November. I'm really eager to explore this place finally.
Eva's Europol Delicatessen
359 13th Ave NE
I welcome your suggestions. I know about the usual suspects (Mayslack's, Psycho Suzies, the Modern, Emily's Lebanese, etc.). Any relative secrets and/or strong recommendations?
There's ritzy/yuppy NE near Surdyk's...Punch, Pizza Nea, Kramarczyk's, Gardens of Salonica, Brasa and Mairin's Table.
Then there's working-class NE further up central. You'll find Indian, Mexican, Afghani and Lebanese all in the same few blocks. Further up towards 694 you'll find Dong Yang and South Asian foods and more Indian and Charly's Polloceria (not my favorite).
Dos Puertas took over the old La Tortuga/Puerto Azul space. They're ok.
Where are you finding Al Pastor on the Gyros machine? I haven't seen it lately and it's much better than taking the pork out of the marinade, putting it on the grill and treating it like a philly cheese steak.
A new spot for me -- Columbia Grounds Coffee Shop & Deli. I stopped in this morning and found a well-lit spot with a decent americano that serves breakfast all day. The chalkboard menu included eggs, oatmeal, biscuits w/gravy, corned beef hash. Might be worth checking out?
3301 Central Ave. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Edited to add: I did not try anything but the coffee, and a google search turns up lots of hits for events at the space but no mention of the food. Could be nothing, could be a little find.
I will second Bombay 2 Deli. Additionally:
Diamonds on Central has a grilled peanut butter and banana sandwhich that is fun and addictive.
Crescent Moon...Afghani Pizza with spicy beef, hot peppers and onions. Outstanding chewy crust that is a little sweet. Comes with this addictive green sauce. The Afghani plates we have had there are terrific as well. Good pita.
Chiapas...Consistant "mexican" (not sure which region, but the lenuga tacos mexicanos are excellent). Adelitas across the street is a sister restaurant and has good caldon/sopa de camarones.
Sabor Latino...Ecuadorian on Central. We love the specials, which are usually fish and quite good. Good refrito with everything.
How about Bombay 2 Deli?
I don't know if I'd call it a "secret", considering that it's been mentioned several times before on these forums, but it's really good...and cheap! They have a good-sized menu of Indian snacks between $1 and $4 (try the samosa chaat on the weekends), and a lunch special with two curries, rice, and chapatis for $5.49 on weekdays.
The location is a bit confusing. It's adjacent (or between?) an Indian grocery store. Actually, the block it's on is kind of like Minneapolis's "Little India" :)
Bombay 2 Deli [Closed - May Reopen in Different Place]
1840 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418