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Feb 20, 2008 02:49 PM

[MSP] St. Paulite ISO great MPLS chow (Philipps/Wedge/Lyndale)

I'm sure you've all hardly noticed that most of my dining seems to take place in St. Paul. Sure, I occasionally cross the river to hit 112 Eatery, Midtown Global Market, and to visit some of the taquerias on Lake Street. But, really, in order to get to these places, I employ the services of my reliable advisor mapquest to direct me from point a to point b, never really understanding with my lousy sense of direction where I am in the City of Minneapolis and what else may be nearby. I just get so twisted around.

So, now I've got an opportunity to stretch my wings a little and explore a part of Minneapolis--the Phillips, Wedge, Lyndale area. And, really, I didn't even know what to call the area until I found my way to Common Roots Cafe at Lyndale and 26th (delicious tea! wonderful salads! so much that's local! free wireless! parking! so sorry I can't try the bagels you've all raved about!) and asked the gal who poured my tea where in Minneapolis I was.

So, glorious Minneapolis 'hounds, I've been reading your tantalizing posts all this time, but I'm still not sure where to go from here Would you kindly please point me to what's near me? I see Bulldog across the street--is that the original or the new one I've heard so much about? I can't wait to explore. As always, thank you in advance for your chow tips.


Key to obnoxious abbreviations:
MSP=Minneapolis/St. Paul
ISO=In search of
MPLS=St. Paul's sometimes evil,mostly benevolent Twin across the river
~TDQ=me, The Dairy Queen

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  1. Welcome to the other neck of the woods.

    The Bulldog that you are seeing is the sister to the one that most people have been swooning over (which is in NE Minneapolis).

    If you look out the window to Lyndale from where you are sitting, just south of you is the French Meadow Bakery, along with the legendary CC Club. I've not eaten in CC Club but understand breakfasts there can be good. Going further south down Lyndale (in order) you can stop by either Bob's Java Hut for coffee or the Sunnyside Cafe or The Egg and I for breakfast. After crossing the bridge over the greenway (just south of 26th Street), you'll hit a 2 block stretch of Lyndale that includes the Vera's Cafe, Herkimer, jP's, Machu Picchu, It's Greek to Me, La Bodega, and Falafel King.

    1/2 block east on Lake is Fuji-Ya and 1/2 block west on Lake is Bill's Imported Foods. A block and a half west on Lake is the Bryant Lake Bowl.

    That should get you started. I have my particular favorites in this group, but don't know what you're looking for.

    Just a point of clarification, though. I don't think anyone would call where you are located the Phillips neighborhood. To my thinking, that would be east of I-35 and centered on Franklin Avenue. You're really between the Wedge and Whittier neighborhoods, just north of Lyn-Lake.


    5 Replies
    1. re: bob s

      Yes, I remember seeing CC club as I approached Common Roots from the East on 26th and I whisked past It's Greek to Me on my way back to St. Paul (during which drive I got hopelessly, hopelessly lost, alas...I know, both stupid and shocking.) Thank you for the further education on the neighborhoods. I called it Philipps (the lady at Common Roots did not), because some of the signs in the parks etc. on my way to Common Roots (as I was traveling up 26th--West, I think, on 26th from Hiawatha...) said Philipps... Is that Phillipps and is there anything good there (between Hiawatha and Lyndale?) Someone mentioned a good gyro place in a corner grocery or something along those lines?

      I'm especially intrigued by Machu Picchu-- I will have to do a search on that as I'm drawing a blank. Do they have good saltenas?

      Thanks again!


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        Yeah, you probably took 26th street over from Hiawatha. It's a straight shot and you would have headed straight through the heart of Phillips when you passed by Abbott Northwestern. (You were also just a few blocks north of the Midtown Global Market too.) And yes, you probably ended up on Eat Street too as it's about 8 blocks east of Lyndale.

        But moving on from geography to food, I don't know the answer to your question about Machu Picchu and saltenas. I've had decent meals there but nothing that sticks in my mind. To be honest, it's been a few years since I've eaten there. If I was hankering for something like Machu Picchu, I'd probably try out Los Andes (Ecuadorian and Colombian) which is just a few blocks east of there on Lake Street. (I didn't want to get you lost by taking you too far off of Lyndale so I didn't mention it earlier.) I've been meaning to eat there, but have not gotten there yet.

        I'd second the recommendation of Galactic Pizza - forgot about it. Also around the corner on Lake is Dulono's Pizza. These are probably my favorite pizzas for delivery these days. If you eat at Dulonos on the weekends, they have live bluegrass music.

        As far as the good gyro place is concerned, I'm a little stumped as to what that is. I can't picture a grocery at 24th and Lyndale that Anne mentions below. I think that there is a grocery just North of the northeast corner of 26th and Lyndale (basically right across the street from Common Roots) and the back of my mind holds a gyros sign in it. You'll have to explore and report back.

        Phillips recommendations: the best I can give for something in Phillips proper that isn't on Lake is Maria's Cafe on Franklin. Also the Franklin Street Bakery is just east of Maria's on Franklin.

        Here are links to the places mentioned so far (as best I can):

        C C Club
        2600 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Galactic Pizza
        2917 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Franklin Street Bakery
        1020 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

        Common Roots Cafe
        2558 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405

        Bill's Imported Foods
        721 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        It's Greek To Me
        626 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Falafel King
        701 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Fuji Ya
        600 W Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Maria's Cafe
        1113 E Franklin Ave Ste 102, Minneapolis, MN 55404

        Los Andes
        317 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

        jP American Bistro [CLOSED]
        2937 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Dulono's Pizza
        607 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Bob's Java Hut
        2651 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Sunnyside Up Cafe
        2702 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Egg & I
        2828 Lyndale Ave S Ste 100, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Vera's Cafe [Closed Feb. 2009]
        2901 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

        Herkimer Pub & Brewery
        2922 Lyndale Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Machu Picchu (closed)
        2940 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

        La Bodega Tapas Bar
        3005 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

        Bulldog Restaurant
        2549 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405

        Muddy Waters Bar & Eatery
        2933 Lyndale Ave So., Minneapolis, MN 55405

        Leaning Tower of Pizza
        2324 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405

        Bryant Lake Bowl
        810 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

        French Meadow Bakery & Cafe
        2610 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

        Marla's Indian and Caribbean Cuisine - MOVED
        1123 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

        1. re: bob s

          Bob, you're a champ, thank you. I can't wait for the day when Chowhound sets up the place "hub" for the midwest board. I've played around with the places hub and it's pretty cool as it gives you a little map and pinpoints all of restaurants nearby (well, all of the restaurants where we 'hounds have added places links)--that would have been perfect for my situation. I can't believe all of the restaurants that are nearby'ish!

          Anyway, I, too, have been meaning to get to Los Andes. Maybe now's the time!

          Sounds like the gyros places is 25th & Lyndale...see Anne's post below. I will explore and report back gradually.


        2. re: The Dairy Queen

          I really like Machu Piccu. They have something called saltados, which may be the same thing as saltenas, that I really like. They also have great fish and seafood. I think you would be fine on core there, just stay away from the dishes with french fries (they are sooooo good though)

          they also have a full bar and some interesting drinks.

          1. re: churchka

            Saltenas are a kind of meat-filled pastry.

            Saltado is a type of stir-fry. The best known is lomo saltado, which includes tomatoes, onions and beef in a brown sauce. Yep, they do add French fries to the mix and then serve it over rice.

            But they also have the famous Inca Cola!

      2. It's fun to go somewhere new, isn't it? Congrats on venturing past Midtown Global Market! I'm thinking of taking a mid-winter jaunt to Apple Valley, myself, but I have much more trepidation about it than you do about south Mpls.

        My sister lives three blocks from Common Roots - she loves the gyros sandwiches at the convenience store at Lyndale & 24th. Head down Lyndale ("down" meaning that the address go "up", according to my twisted mind) and you'll find French Meadow Bakery, then Galactic Pizza. Once you're at Lake Street, you can turn left for Fuji Ya, or right for Bryant Lake Bowl. There's lots more, but those are the closest places that come to mind.

        Have fun exploring!

        2 Replies
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Oh! This must be the "corner grocery" with the great gyros my friend mentioned to me!

          Apple Valley would be quite an adventure. Remember Satay 2 Go is there so you shant go chowless.

          Thank you!


          1. re: AnneInMpls

            Correction - the convience store with the gyros is at 25th & Lyndale. (Right on the corner at an intersection with no stoplight.) Sorry! I get kinda lost in Minneapolis, too.

            My sister says there's another place with good gyros nearby - it could be that grocery midblock between 25th & 26th. There's so much in the area that it's hard to keep track.


          2. that bulldog across from common roots is the original. has some nice brats on the menu, should be able to get them sans bun. . . TDQ are you now gluten-free?

            if you go north-- or take a left out of the front door of common roots, you'll pass, um. . . local coffee house muddy waters, leaning tower of pizza, and probably hit a traffic jam at franklin & lyndale at the wedge co-op, definitely a chow-worthy browse (especially if looking for gluten-free). continue north and you'll get onto the freeway loop unless you kind of bear right, then you'll pass the walker/20-21/sculpture garden on your left, see loring park, cafe lurcat on your right, and can drive east into downtown.

            if you go south--turn right out of the front door of common roots, you'll pass the cc club (er, old-school drink-ish. my parents went there on a date or 2), then french meadow bakery (check out for baked goods & vegan bars), then sunny side up and egg & i-- greasy breakfast spots, you'll pass the herkimer microbrew on your right as well, then you'll hit lake and lyndale, with it's greek to me, a sub shop big mikes i think, falafel king, and la bodega on its 4 kitty corners.

            at lake & lyndale a left will get you a long jaunt back to st paul past many taquerias, midtown global market, some new places i, uh, need to get to, the craftsman, then the bridge to st paul. a right will take you to uptown, past bryant lake bowl. lucia's, barbette, marla's, others my brain is skimming over.

            you are about 7-8 blocks away from eat street (nicollet south), which runs parallel to lyndale east of you (looking straight out the door of common roots).

            that's what my brain is plugging into your location. you could go in multi-directions so i'll wait to hear where you'd like to explore. . .

            4 Replies
            1. re: soupkitten

              Whoops, I thought I replied but it didn't seem to "stick". I'm not exactly gluten free, but I might as well be. Until I'm united with my favorite tankini, I'm following WW core plan (because I can't be bothered with weighing, measuring or counting points) which means no white rice, no white pasta, and no flour. Well, I shouldn't say I'm not allowed to have those things--I can, but I have to weigh and measure and track them if I do... Blah.

              I think I accidentally encountered Eat Street on my disastrous effort to return home to St. Paul during which time I got completely turned around. I should have left better bread crumbs.

              I didn't realize I was so close to Lucia's and Barbette, and...Marla's doesn't ring a bell at all, so I will have to do a search on that. And, of course, I will brave the traffic jam and hit the Wedge.

              Thank you!


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                eat at the wedge. eat a lot at the wedge. their deli is very intriguing, but leave room for dessert.

                if they have the parsnip cake you must eat it.. it is the most fabulous thing ever since they no longer make their vegan lemon olive oil cookie (i got the recipe out of 'em, though!)

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  marla's is the new name for (formerly) natraj, (formerly to that mughal's? i think?) on the corner of dupont & lake i believe. indian & caribbean (marla is harry singh's cousin, i believe, and worked with him in the earliest harry singh's restaurants).

                  for next time: from common roots the *quickest* way to get back to st paul is to get on the freeway/94 just north of franklin ave. you will see a small dunn bros coffee and a silly quiznos, you're taking a hard right onto the entrance ramp, before you go under the freeway bridge. the most chowish sights are probably along lake street/lake street bridge, south of common roots. alternately to that would be franklin ave back to st paul, past maria's & franklin bakery, seward co-op and seward cafe. . . when in mpls don't forget about franklin, lake street, & ford parkway-- they run parallel to each other, & all will take you back home to st. paul :)

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Maria's is great for breakfast, I love the corn pancakes (Cachapas Venezolanas) with the cotija chesse. Sooooooo good.

                2. this is far to late to be relevant for your trip today, but just in case you venture back again, here's a couple more places that haven't been mentioned:

                  just south of 28th street on lyndale is three crowns (nigerian food). if you are avoiding gluten, you could try some pounded yams or cassava to go with your meat/fish or veg stew. the woman that runs this place is really delightful.

                  continuing down lyndale at 34th street is crema cafe, home of sonny's ice cream. sonny recently passed, but the ice cream legacy lives on. they have fantastic sorbets as well.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jbanana

                    Thanks jbanana for the recommendation on Three Crowns. Forgot about that one too. Even though I've tried to remember to try it, I mentally skip over that building since Emma's closed. Is the fare mostly meat or are there choices for pescetarians and vegetarians?

                    Crema Cafe
                    3403 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                    Three Crowns
                    2817 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN

                    1. re: bob s

                      there is an aspect of "build your own meal" with several choices of meat or fish, several choices of veggie sauce/stews/soups, and several choices of starch. i would guess that that veg soups are made with palm or peanut oil and not animal fat, but they may have some dried fish or shrimp in them. there are also some bean dishes available, although these take extra time to cook, and again, there is the possibility of some meat cooked with them. we'll have to find out. this place is a chowgem, in my humble opinion.

                      1. re: jbanana

                        how new is this place 3 crowns? must've opened after i moved out of the 'hood. . . thanks so very much for mentioning it.

                    2. re: jbanana

                      Oh, I've never tried Nigerian food before! Thank you for the menu idea, too!


                    3. If you miss Muddy Paws Cheesecake from when they were in St. Paul you will find it by taking a jaunt down 26th street to Hennepin. They have some OK sandwiches and good soup. The place is charming and though a little expensive I always find room for some Key Lime cheesecake whenever I'm in the neighborhood.

                      Next time you feel like venturing our way I bet a helpful Minneapolis 'hound would be happy to go exploring with you in our neck of the woods. Oftentimes we ignore those places close to us just because they're always there.

                      Meanwhile you have your work cut out for you with all the places listed.

                      Muddy Paws Cheesecake [Closed]
                      2528 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: MplsM ary

                        Muddy Paws on Hennepin closed about a month or two ago. I think they are only doing wholesale and limited retail from their St. Louis Park facility. I'll mark the places link as "Closed."

                        1. re: bob s

                          Thanks, and sorry to hear that. It really was a charming spot.