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Pagoda report - MSP

A bunch of chowhounds got together at Pagoda and ordered a bunch of things. Despite ordering several different dishes, we barely put a dent in the menu. I'll post the photos of what we ate and let the others chime in on their thoughts.

Here's what we ate:
Honey Ribs
Korean Style Sizzling Pork
Crispy Deep Fried Tofu
Thai Style Baked Tilapia
Walnut Chicken
Roast Duck Congee
Stone Grilled Beef with Fresh Egg
Fried Sweetened bread
Japanese Style Marinated Squid
Pan Fried Dumplings
Japanese Style Fried Seaweed Salad

And we drank:
Hot Tea
2 for 1 Tiger beer
Strawberry Smoothie

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  1. our check
    full order of Honey Ribs
    remnants of the Honey Ribs (so pretty)
    Korean Style Sizzling Pork

    1. Crispy Deep Fried Tofu
      Thai Style Baked Tilapia
      That's one decimated fish
      Walnut Chicken

      1. bowl of Roast Duck Congee
        single serving of Roast Duck Congee
        Stone Grilled Beef with Fresh Egg as served to us
        Stone Grilled Beef with Fresh Egg mixed up

        1. Fried Sweetened Bread
          Japanese Style Marinated Squid
          Pan Fried Dumplings
          Japanese Style Fried Seaweed Salad

          1. And a places link.

            Pagoda Dinkytown
            1417 4th Street S E, Minneapolis, MN

            1. I'll give mostly my overall impression. I thought most things were good, but I wouldn't call the meal great. It was nothing like my first time at Little Szechuan or even somewhere like Saigon or Quang, where I was like, "wow, I have never experienced something like this and it's awesome and I want to go back tomorrow."

              I thought the honey ribs were quite tasty, definitely very sweet. I liked that the sizzling pork was spicy and had kimchee, but I thought the sauce was a little heavy. The tofu was a fantastic texture, but on it's own wouldn't make an exciting meal. Like I mentioned at the time, the walnut chicken wasn't great, but there was something so indulgent about it I couldn't stop eating it (I generally don't get ultra fried dishes from Chinese places unless I'm sharing, so they're like this forbidden fruit to me).

              The congee made me change my mind slightly about congee, but not something I'd seek out. I did really like the stone grilled beef with egg - it would be a great fried rice-like side dish to another entree. The sweet bread was tasty with condensed milk :). I wasn't into the squid, and the seaweed salad tasted like any from a Japanese restaurant to me. The dumplings were also pretty standard takeout fare; I was hoping we'd get lucky and get a thinner skinned version.

              1. Sounds like a great time..thanks for the photos!

                I've been enjoying their soups a lot this winter -- the interesting ones are on a separate menu just for noodle soups (a laminated 5x8 card). If you don't ask for it the often don't give it to you.

                Since my first post, I haven't really changed my opinion -- there are so many things to choose from, many of which are probably more average than the mainstay places around town, and I suspect there are a few gems that become reason to go there regularly (the hot pots and soups are what brings me back so far).

                All of it is surely better than the McDonald's Asian chicken salad I'm eating as I type this!

                1. Thank you for the delicious looking photos--I especially like the photo of the bill. It's amazing how much you got for the price.


                  1. Last weekend was a brief respite from my no meat or fowl ways, so I did sample a few of the things that I would not normally have.

                    I thought the highlights of the meal were the ribs, the tofu and the grilled beef with fresh egg. I also really enjoyed the congee (particularly after adding a little chile oil) and the tilapia.

                    The squid had an attractive presentation, but it would be way too much for me to eat by myself. I'd had my fill after a few of them.

                    The crispy tofu was great, but I like Peninsula's version better - it has chopped chiles and more salt.

                    The walnut chicken had too much of a mayo flavor (not a favorite of mine) for me.

                    When I go back with a crowd, I'd like to order one of the crispy ducks that they had hanging.

                    The Tiger 2 for 1 was a surprise. I ordered the first and they foisted the second on me. I drank the second because I didn't want to seem rude....

                    Everything else was pretty good. Pagoda will certainly be on my radar screen but, at least for me, it's probably not a destination by itself.

                    Also, MSPD do you know if they serve soup at dinner or is that just the noodle bar menu that I've seen at lunch time?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: bob s

                      I have only been in there on weekday evenings. Last time I was there I went specifically for the pork dumpling soup with fun noodles. It wasn't on the main menu in the soup section so I asked if they still served it. The waiter went and retrieved the separate soup menu, at which point I remembered that's how it worked (but the previous times, they had been brought together). It's definitely different from the noodle bar menu -- this menu is just a list of about 30 kinds of soup, each with the three options for noodles.

                      1. re: MSPD

                        Great. Something else to try next time. Thanks!