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Dec 27, 2007 10:38 PM

Remember the old Lincoln Del? (Bloomington, MN)

Anyone remember the old Lincoln Del restaurant in Bloomington along 494 off of France? What a gem it was.

I worked there in high school as a host during the summers and I have such fond memories of their rebeun sandwiches, yummy pot roast, spaghetti with HUGE meatballs, Napoleon dessert, etc.

Anyone have any recs for places with comparable dishes in the area?

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  1. Yes, I absolutely remember the Lincoln Del and think of it often. It was the closest facsimile to an east coast diner we had here in MSP -- something I miss since my last relatives have moved away.

    There really aren't any places exactly like that that I have found. Since I have started eating at the Good Day Cafe in Golden Valley, I mentioned to a couple people that for some reason it reminds me of the Lincoln Del. Part of it is the layout and part of it is the energy/vibe that exists there. Not much of it has to do with the menu although the food is outstanding. I can't really put my finger on the connection.

    What I can tell you is that if someone says Fishman's or Cecil's I think I'll vomit.

    6 Replies
    1. re: MSPD

      You are probably remembering this article:

      That's the Lincoln Del I remember. I have many memories of going to the Lincoln Del after a movie at the Cooper Theatre. Wah.

      1. re: MplsM ary

        Wow, yeah I remember the MyPi as the best pizza ever and the first time I ever played a video game. It was Pong on a table style machine where you sat in a chair across from your opponent and the screen faced up. Awesome pizza, I think there's still a branch of this failed chain in Chicago. Maybe the original branch.

        1. re: ski9600

          Wow. I had no idea my pie still existed. Back in the day it was such an odd restaurant. Pancake house by morning and deep dish pizza by night. It may just be a memory, but I thought the pizza was always worth the wait. I am afraid that mail order would not live up to the memory.

          1. re: ssioff

            I'm not sure if it was the same place or nearby but I also remember a Swedish Smörgåsbord in the same spot or next door. Kind of like a Las Vegas buffet with meatballs, or something else entirely. I didn't know that the My pi did breakfast. That is kind of out there. I'm on the Lou Malnatti's mailing list for shipped frozen pizza, but I hear it isn't like the real thing. They send coupons though, so I've got that going for me.

            1. re: ski9600

              ski9600, I do not recall a Swedish place nearby, but it was a long time ago and entirely possible. My Pie did not do breakfast. The restaurant was two restaurants that shared the same space. Pancakes by day and deep dish by night. Both restaurants had signage on the outside.

              1. re: ssioff

                Jolly Troll Smorgasbord was the "Swedish " place..

      1. Every other place I have eaten is but a pale imitation. You might try the Crossroads Deli if you really need a fix.

        1. Oh, man, I worked there in high school, as well, back in the early/mid-80s. Completely forgot about that. The Sunday buffet was crazy. And those puffy omelets.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Jeff

            Do you of anyway I could get the recipe for their baked spanish omelette? It was awesome and we drove quite a long ways to enjoy. It would be great if they could publish a cookbook or post recipes. Thanks.

            1. re: Sadie Grace

              The cheese omelets at the Del were the best!!!

              I took a class once at the Del on omelet making. They gave us the run of the kitchen and an endless supply of eggs so you could practice flipping the omelets.

              You could then buy an omelete pan and the little cast iron bakers that they used. And which I did.

              They used clarified butter, I think, and once the omelet was cooked in the omelet pan, they flipped it into the little cast iron bakers. A slice of cheese (and I think it was just processed cheese that melted really well) went inside the folded omelet and on top. The secret to their process was about 5 minutes in a really hot oven in the little bakers. The omelets kind of puffed up in that last little treatment.

              I just sold my omelet pan and the bakers at the garage sale I had last week. I was kind of sad to see them go.

              When my Dad was sick, he had a craving for those omelets. I learned that a deli on the west side of the metro area was using the Lincoln Del recipe. The name of it started with a "Z." Ziggy's? Something like that.

              So I went there and brought him omelets to go. I'm not sure if that restaurant is still in business. It was about 6 years ago now.

              1. re: karykat

                I think you meant Zaroff's. It was at 394 and Hopkins Crossroad. They closed a couple of years ago. Not enough business.

                1. re: cheeseguysgirl

                  Yes, that was it.

                  Someone else needs to revive those Lincoln Del omelets.

                  (I am available as a consultant and taster.)

                2. re: karykat

                  I agree, the cheese omelets were unbelievable, but how about their hash browns? Or the del-wich, man do I ever miss their food and the atmosphere, brings me back to sunday school at Temple Israel and going after and seeing everyone you know! Why didn/t they publish a cook book!

            2. The Lincoln Del resides along with the original whirling metal platform carousel at the old Cornelia Park and the long-gone wishing well and hot cocoa room in the Gabberts basement among my earliest happy childhood memories. For me it was the reubens and the potato pancakes and, when I had been very very good, the C. Everett Koopcake.

              Nothing compares. Hell, I've been living on the East Coast for 15 years now, and the East Coast diners don't compare. The closest I ever come is when I happen on independently owned coffee/sandwich shops in small towns while on road trips and the proprietors happen to be German.

              11 Replies
              1. re: planetjess

                mspd, I thought you said this board was to get people in the mood to please don't lose your lunch, I won't bring up the dreaded places you mentioned. Planet jess, could you tell me what is the C Everett Koopcake please?

                1. re: faith

                  The C. Everett Koopcake was a towering monstrosity of chocolate layer cake and whipped cream and cherries and chocolate shavings. It was displayed, tantalizingly, right alongside the roped-off line to get to the hostess's station, bedecked with a faux "Surgeon General's Warning" as to its bad health effects. Those were the days when Koop was everywhere letting everyone in on the secret evils of smoking, and it made the cake seem even more decadent and forbidden and hilarious.

                  1. re: planetjess

                    thanks, I think I remember seeing it! Scary--seems like it was a Jewish deli fixture to have the rotating display case with huge wedges of cheesecake and other gooey stuff.

                    1. re: faith

                      The rotating display case is actually an east coast diner fixture rather than Jewish deli. As biga290 below mentions, Lincoln Del had the atmosphere of an east coast diner with elements of New York/Jewish deli. This meant a lot to me when I moved from the east coast to Minnesota in 1990...I have a strong affinity for Jewish deli and diners (real ones, not the crap we have here).

                      1. re: MSPD

                        Well, the main place I remember seeing them was Jewish delis. And I suppose if Lincoln Del is any indicator, the terms 'diner' and 'deli' perhaps are not as separate as some may think.

                        1. re: faith

                          I think it depends, as with most things, on where you're standing. If you're standing in the greater NY-NJ metroplex, a deli and a diner are not the same thing at all. If you're standing in the Lincoln Del (sob), they can seem like natural kin. I guess in its way it was early fusion food--the breadth of a diner, the comfort of a really good deli.

                          1. re: planetjess

                            Well, where I lived during these memories was Philadelphia and Schenectady NY. And maybe they weren't the same thing, but those revolving dessert things were in upscale Jewish delis. So there- and I didn't go to diners that much. Maybe they both had them- seems like the Jewish delis liked to have huge slices of cheesecake that I think would not be typical in a standard diner. I am thinking suddenly of something my mother used to say when my siblings and I would bicker and split hairs-- 'You kids would argue over toilet paper!'

                            1. re: faith

                              Faith, I haven't posted a single word regarding whether revolving dessert things are found in delis or diners, merely that delis and diners aren't the same thing, and I attempted to do so in a good-humored way. Feel free to disagree in Minneapolis or Schenectady or Philadelphia.

                2. re: planetjess

                  Oh, the hot cocoa room at Gabberts! You're making me all nostalgic.

                  My mother loved to prowl Gabberts. Never bought anything but she got lots of ideas there, I think.

                  So us kids would accompany her there. And our reward was the hot cocoa. And the wishing well.

                  1. re: planetjess

                    I TOTALLY remember the hot cocoa room at Gabberts, but was an adult when I went there. I still miss it!

                    1. re: KristinK7

                      Yes, I loved that room! My mother was a Gabberts nut and I think that cocoa room is how she got me to go with her.

                      (That was brilliant marketing!)

                      Many fond memories. . . .