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Mar 1, 2008 04:33 PM

{MSP} Chris and Rob's Coming to West 7th...

I just saw that Chris and Rob’s is opening a location on West 7th in Saint Paul. Just a block or two off of St. Clair... That old, squat little building that was a pizza place for years.

I’ve never been, but I know they had a good reputation when it was Joey D’s... Just wondering what people think of them now and what I should, (or shouldn’t...), be looking forward to. It’s really just a few blocks from me, and it’s always nice to have some new choices in the neighborhood.

Uncle Ira

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  1. Is it opening in the Villa Roma dining car? Sounds like a great addition to 7th st.

    5 Replies
    1. re: dinendash

      yes. Villa Roma stationary dining car.

      1. re: dinendash

        That’s right... Villa Roma. I was drawing a complete blank on that name. Thank you.

        I agree it should be a really nice place to have in the neighborhood. Have you been to the one in Mpls? Are the dogs and Italian beef sandwiches as good as I’m hoping they’ll be? And I see from their website they have pizza too... It’s be great to have a new place nearby to stop for a slice...

        Uncle Ira

        1. re: Uncle Ira

          Yay! I just noticed that Villa Roma had closed and now I hear it won't be vacant long. Sounds like this place could be a good fit. And another place to grab a slice will always be welcome.
          Any news on when they'll open?

          1. re: Uisge

            Sign on the building just says “Coming Soon”, and I don’t see any mention of it on their web site.

            Hope it’s not too long of a wait....

            Uncle Ira

          2. re: Uncle Ira

            They are solid, not earth shattering, but solid. The italian beef is really good.

        2. What kind of food do they have?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Haricotsv2

            Chicago style hot dogs and the like.... Italian beef, pizza, etc....

            Here's a link to their menu:


          2. I have been going for years since they were Joey D's down on 42nd in Minneapolis. Living in Coon Rapids it was a bit of a trek but when I got a craving I just had to go! Now that they are in Fridley, I go too often, which shows on my waistline. I lived just north of Chicago about 20 odd years ago and grew to love Chicago dogs (they have a Vienna Beef hot dog place in EVERY town, no matter how small), and when I moved back here it was hard for me to live without them. I love Chris and Rob's because the food is exactly like I had in Chicago. Their hot dogs, polish, italian sausage, and italian beef sandwiches are wonderful, and full of flavor. My kids love their pizza, I do too, but I always order the hot dogs or polish and only have what I can steal from them.

            If you are unfamiliar with a Chicago dog it has a really good old fashioned hot dog with mustard, a relish so bright green some people call it an "atomic" relish, onions, sliced tomatoes, kosher pickle, sport peppers and celery salt. Notice ketchup is absent, I don't know if it's like that at Chris & Rob's but in Chicago if you ask for ketchup on a Chicago dog they refuse and often make rude comments to you! As you can tell I heartily (not heart healthily though!) recommend them.

            17 Replies
            1. re: russban

              I wish they had a grill so I could get a good authentic Chicago char-dog or char-polish.

              1. re: sullysully

                Ditto. Chris & Rob's is fine for a basic Chicago dog, but why don't any of the Chicago dog places in town do a char-dog?

                1. re: Jordan

                  Yeah, one thing I do miss is the char dogs. It was always a site to walk into one of the Vienna Beef places and see the flames rising about 2 feet from the grill! What other places in town do Chicago dogs?

                  1. re: russban

                    Well, that other place would be Uncle Franky's. The original location is in Nordeast. Their newer addition is in Plymouth. I actually prefer Franky's Italian Beef, over Chris & Rob's.


                    There's another place in St. Paul on University. It's called A Slice of Chicago. I only went once...and it was nasty! Very dirty. And slow. And bad food. I will not be linking there.

                    Uncle Franky's
                    728 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

                    1. re: FireRev

                      Isn't there an Uncle Franky's in the skyway entrance to the Victory Ramp in Downtown St. Paul, too? Or am I think of something else?


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        TDQ.... Uncle Franky’s web site doesn’t mention anything about a downtown St. Paul location. But you have me very intrigued now. I’d love to know about the place you’re thinking of........

                        Uncle Ira

                        1. re: Uncle Ira

                          Sorry--I'm coming up empty here. If you're parking in the Victory Ramp and you walk down to the ground floor to exit, as if you were going to Matty B's, you'll encounter a little hot dog place on the ground floor. Just a window, but I'm pretty sure they claim to serve Chicago style dogs, 100% Vienna Beef, etc., but I've never tried one because they've always been closed when I've walked past. Last time was in January. I thought the name of the place was Uncle Something... or maybe just a man's name. I'm sorry, I can't really remember now. I made a mental note of it at the time knowing one of these threads would come up again but, I guess I can't read my mental handwriting because I'm drawing a complete blank.


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            I believe the place in the Victory ramp was called Duff's Chicago Eatery although it changed hands awhile back and the name may have changed. I also believe it closed a few months ago as the new owner had a tough go of it. I remember reading a review in which the new owner was seen behind the counter eating a Subway sandwich which didn't bode well for the quality of the food.

                      2. re: FireRev

                        FireRev--- I went to that place on University Ave in Midway. Once. I took a look around, waited in vain for someone to take an order, gave up after a minute or two and left. Just didn’t have a good vibe.

                        And is it just me, or would you expect a place calling itself “Slice of Chicago” to have, well, SLICES......? There was no pizza on the menu, at least not when I went there. (Which, it must be said, was quite a while back....)

                        Uncle Ira

                        1. re: Uncle Ira

                          I never thought to look for slices of pizza. In Chicago, pizza is not usually sold by the slice, so it didn't occur to me.

                          I wanted to like the place. When I went, all the employees and customers were African-American. I somehow got the impression that the owner(s) was, too. And I try to support minority owned small businesses. But when I can get a fantastic banh mi down the street, I'm not gonna subject myself to another nasty Italian beef!

                        2. re: FireRev

                          Ditto on a Slice of Chicago - was taken there by my BF on the advice of his co-workers a "a place to get a really good Italian beef sandwich" I'm not sure what his co-workers were smoking, but it was Nasty! (yes with a capital N.) We tried to order the italian beef, but couldn't as they were out of - get this...Bread! We went through 2 or 3 other choices, before we were able to order something they had (should've just walked out at that point, but my bf only had a half hour lunch break to start with). In the meantime, the presumed owner of the place sat there looking shady, then some woman came in and they started making out right there at the counter - eeewwww! Then the food came and was really bad. So yeah - DONT GO THERE, EVER. I am not even sure how they stay in business - unless the restaurant is a front for some other unsavory type of business, which really wouldn't surprise me.

                        3. re: russban

                          A few years ago when I worked in downtown and was much fatter, I used to hit up a tiny place called the Walkin' Dog that did an outstanding Chicago dog (as well as great malts). I would go a couple times a week for a while. They're still there, tucked away in a tiny corner of the Northstar Center.

                          Take note of the specialty hot dog names..."The 'I Hate My Coworkers Dog'", the "Soon To Be In Your Lap Dog" and a couple others...classic stuff.

                          The Wienery in Cedar/Riverside used to be another go-to place for Chicago dogs. The place has changed hands (maybe more than once) and after a way-downhill visit and another that didn't redeem it much, I haven't been in there for a few months. It looks like more of a hangout for out-of-work bike messengers that are too broke to eat at the Hard Times across the street (a vibe they could very well be going for).

                          Papa T's in Burnsville is an option if you're down here, but it's nothing to write home about.

                          Funny thing is, I was craving a hot dog on my way home tonight. Not so funny thing is, I didn't think of these places until now (after I've eaten a fibery thing and drank a soy-fillled something else). I think I was more mentally sharp when I was fatter.

                          1. re: MSPD

                            Off 94 and Ruth Street, there is a place called Philly Dawgz in the Sunray Shopping Mall in St. Paul - next to Bally's and Cub. I have not been there so I can't say good or bad...but another possible spot.

                            1. re: snoboardbabe77

                              Philly Dawgz is a small local chain. There's the one at Sunray, one in the Unique Thrift Store in New Hope, and a few others in other states. The times I've been there the food has been fresh and decent, but ambience is about zero. I'd much rather go to Joey D's.

                              1. re: snoboardbabe77

                                I tried my first Chicago Hot Dog there-probably should have had one in Chicago-huh? Not bad. Not great, but a good place for a bite when you're at the thift store...

                            2. re: russban

                              It's not actually "in town" but if you are ever out and about south of the metro area, Tiny's in Northfield (on the main drag - Division St) has a great Chicago dog. One of my best friends grew up in Chicago and everytime he is in MN he makes a trip to Tiny's and swears they are the best.

                          2. re: sullysully

                            yeah the lack of a grill has made chardogs impossible. they innovated by deep frying their maxwell street polish. they just dump the polish and some onions in the basket and fry! i like it, but i still miss the grilled maxwells.

                        4. The original comment has been removed
                          1. sorry if everyone knows this already but the chris & rob's on 7th street was open for business today when i drove by, with happy-looking customers inside. :)

                            someone should visit and report on if the menu is different in any way. . .