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MSP - What to eat between St Paul and Hudson?

tasmonia May 19, 2008 08:17 PM

We live in the North 'Burbs and our friend lives in Menomonie, and we're looking for a few places to eat somewhere between here and there, especially in St Paul. I'm not too sure what the far East Side and surrounding area have to offer. The East Side of SP, Maplewood, Oakdale, Woodbury, Hudson...anything along that way is fair game.

Right now we're thinking Singapore Chinese Cuisine in Maplewood. If you have strong feelings about that place, please let me know!

We're not looking for anything fancy, just good, honest food. Burgers, pasta, Asian, whatever.

A few more suggestions would be great so we have ideas for the future.

  1. The Dairy Queen May 20, 2008 03:58 AM

    Here's a thread about Maplewood/White Bear/Vadnais Heights you might find helpful. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/490136 This area is definitely under-reported on here on chowhound so if you find a great place, please let us know!


    1. mtullius May 20, 2008 07:14 AM

      The Tea House is just off the highway and is marvelous.

      The Dari-ette (no places link, but it's on Minnehaha), if you haven't been there, is a must-- an old-fashioned drive-in with great burgers, Italian-American food (my fav is the Italiano, a sausage sandwich with red sauce and cheese), and ice cream.

      Tea House
      1676 Suburban Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

      3 Replies
      1. re: mtullius
        bob s May 20, 2008 07:25 AM

        Places link for Dari-ette...

        Dairy-Ette Drive In [SEE DARI-ETTE DRIVE IN]
        1440 Minnehaha Ave E, Saint Paul, MN 55106

        1. re: bob s
          JimGrinsfelder May 21, 2008 08:21 PM

          Isn't the Reverned somebody-or-other doing BBQ in a storefront next to his church on E. Minnehaha? It was respectable and so were the sides, if I recall correctly. I haven't been there in 2-3 years.

          1. re: JimGrinsfelder
            KTFoley May 22, 2008 09:21 AM

            Do you mean Pastor Hamilton?

            Pastor Hamilton's Barbecue
            1150 7th St E, St Paul, MN 55106

      2. t
        tasmonia May 20, 2008 10:33 AM

        Thanks! I didn't realize that there's a Tea House in that area. I love the one in Plymouth. Also thanks for the link to the other thread--I did some searches but couldn't find much and was having trouble narrowing it.

        7 Replies
        1. re: tasmonia
          The Dairy Queen May 20, 2008 11:04 AM

          There is a Tea House II--and it's fantastic. It's in the strip mall near'ish to Target. Actually, I think both of mtullius' suggestions are terrific as the Dari-ette is a lot of fun, too. I like their hot Italian sandwiches. Housemade sauce, housemade sausage patties. And, it comes with a side of spaghetti, if you choose. Very fun and challenging to eat in your car.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen
            whoopdido May 20, 2008 12:28 PM

            I live in Woodbury and there is nothing here. If you like sushi there's a Sushi Tango and a new sushi place called Giapponese, which is actually pretty good. There's a new Japanese/sushi place called Akita that just opened. I've tried it twice and it wasn't good either time. We have a bunch of chains--Applebees, Fridays, Chili's, Champps and places like that. Plus every fast food place you can think of. There's a Sunsets, which I like and my two favorite places in town--Bonfire and Axel's. There are a couple Chinese places in town that a lot of people seem to like but the only two I care for are Chin's Asia Fresh, which is an off-shoot of Leann Chins and Pei Wei, which is an off-shoot of P.F. Changs. I might be forgetting a few places, but as you can see Woodbury is really lacking in the food department, which bugs me because I hate having to drive into St. Paul or Minneapolis to find some good meals.

            1. re: whoopdido
              Uncle Ira May 20, 2008 02:56 PM


              ---This might belong in a thread of it’s own, but I’d never heard of Chin’s Asia Fresh till I’d read your post. I’m curious--- Is it like LeAnn Chin except, you know... better?

              And where in Woodbury ? The only Minnesota location I see on their website is Minnetonka.....


              Uncle Ira

              1. re: Uncle Ira
                whoopdido May 20, 2008 03:39 PM

                I don't know how familiar you are with Woodbury, but Chin's is located off the Woodbury Drive exit of 94 right by the Sam's Club. If you're less familiar with Woodbury I could give you some more detailed directions.

                I happen to like Chin's. I believe the difference between it and LeAnn Chin is that Chin's has Asian food rather than simply Chinese food. There are some Vietnamese dishes, some Thai and Mongolian things and some curry too. Aside from more variety I believe that it's better than LeAnn Chin. I'm not sure why it's not on their website because the Woodbury location has been there for years.

                1. re: whoopdido
                  mikemcg62 May 31, 2008 11:06 PM

                  Chins is now closed and replaced oddly enough with
                  Lee Ann Chins

                  1. re: mikemcg62
                    whoopdido Jun 1, 2008 06:46 AM

                    I just noticed that yesterday. When Uncle Ira said that the Woodbury location wasn't on the website I checked myself and was surprised to not see it there. I did think it was odd but I guess I just thought it was an oversight. I was there not too long ago, but I guess it wasn't super recently and saw no signs of things changing. The last time I went there must have been right before it closed. I stopped there yesterday hoping to get some food and saw Lee Ann Chin above the door. Needless to say I was shocked. Lee Ann Chin is ok, but I liked Chin's much better. Bummer.

                    1. re: whoopdido
                      mikemcg62 Jun 1, 2008 01:35 PM

                      I think Dinos across the street will be the next to go and
                      that to me would be a real bummer!
                      The sushi place over there seems to be going strong according
                      to coworkers, but I'm not a fresh bait person...LOL

        2. s
          ShinyCake May 20, 2008 12:26 PM

          I think Singapore is closed (if we're talking about the same place - in the same strip mall as Marshall's and Savers). It was when we tried to go there a few months ago, anyway. Bummer, too - I really liked their curry.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ShinyCake
            mikemcg62 May 21, 2008 10:31 AM

            Yes they are closed, but a new Asian Fusion place called Bambu has opened in the same location! They serve Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food.
            I have tried the ga xio xa ot (spicy chicken) very good and not as salty
            as I've had at other Vietnamese places. Also can say the Thai basil fried
            rice as well as the egg foo young and egg rolls are good!
            Heres their web site:

          2. a
            ajax May 20, 2008 01:43 PM

            I live in Hudson and there are several great places downtown off exit 1.
            If you want a great burger, fresh-cut fries, wonderful toasted cheese then you want Barker's Grill, which is right on the main drag.

            Across the street is San Pedro's which is a good restaurant with great pizzas cooked in a woodburning stove.

            A block up the road is the Winzer Stube, a great German restaurant. The woman who runs it is from Germany and she has her sausages made especially by RJ's meats, an award-winning butcher in Hudson.

            Go on down the road for a few miles and you'll come to North Hudson. Idaho Chucks has great bbq, steaks, ribs, etc.

            Or try Mama Mia's, which has great Italian.

            There are a few other restaurants in the area as well, but you can't really go wrong with any of the above.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ajax
              MSPD May 20, 2008 05:01 PM

              Bricks in Hudson has excellent neapolitan pizzas as well as nice salads.

              1. re: MSPD
                rp1760 May 20, 2008 05:13 PM

                LOVE Bricks! Pizza made to Italy's V.P.N. standards. Cool thing about this place is that they donate portion - sorry can't remember % - of profits to Compassion Now for disadvantaged youths around the world. I like to give gift certificates to this place for X-Mas presents. Not to discard the food - the pizzas are fantastic - salads great and large enough to be shared. My favorites are the Mista Salad and Siciliana Pizza D.O.C.


              2. re: ajax
                Stillwater Girl May 21, 2008 07:24 AM

                I agree with ajax, San Pedro is probably one of my favorite places, they have a great patio in the back. It's good to know though, that it's really crowded inside so it's not a good place to bring kids or wheelchairs. Barkers is awesome bar food, great selection of taps. There's also another post on here for Bricks pizza, they are really good, great array of choices. I will say not to waste your time with Idaho Chucks, it's like Old Country Buffet with servers. And it's actually Mama Maria's, not Mama Mia's, but agian, ajax is right, the Italian is great. There are two places in Hudson that got missed. Pier 500 is right by the river, nice view, big patio. The food's good, the drinks are strong. There is also a new Mexican place in the strip mall by the bowling alley on the north side of 94. I can't remember the name but it's really similar to Aculpoco but a little cheaper. And the service it FAST. We got our food less then 5 minutes after our drinks.

                1. re: Stillwater Girl
                  The Dairy Queen May 21, 2008 08:27 AM

                  Thank you, stillwater girl, ajax, and rp1760 re: the recommendations for Bricks and some of t hose other spots in Hudson. I don't make it over there often, (and maybe I will now that I know where the great chow is!), but it's great to know where the good spots are!


              3. s
                soupkitten May 20, 2008 03:13 PM

                east side st paul: manana for pupusas, los ocampos for mexican, pastor hamilton's for bbq. all good honest eats

                i really like the strip club as well. evenings it's a bit fancy schmancy, so might not be what you're looking for-- but brunch and lunch can be wonderful, and lots less expensive. strongly second the tea house recs as well.

                Pastor Hamilton's Barbecue
                1150 7th St E, St Paul, MN 55106

                The Strip Club
                378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                Manana Restaurant
                828 7th St E, Saint Paul, MN 55106

                1 Reply
                1. re: soupkitten
                  JimGrinsfelder May 21, 2008 08:22 PM

                  I second Pastor Hamilton's. It's the one I referred to in my semi-coherent post above.

                2. s
                  shoo bee doo May 21, 2008 08:59 PM

                  Lately, I've really been loving most things at Kaladi's in Hudson. I live in St. Paul and work in River Falls.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: shoo bee doo
                    shoo bee doo May 21, 2008 09:02 PM

                    Here's the link to Kaladi's.

                    Kaladi's Gourmet Escape
                    3250 Heiser St, Hudson, WI

                    1. re: shoo bee doo
                      ajax May 22, 2008 07:49 AM

                      You're right--Kaladji's is awesome--we moved here from Chicago so my husband loves to go get their Combo. Dick's Bar in downtown has great broasted chicken, and then the Nova's wonderful as well--great wines, good food a nice patio and a great interior.

                      1. re: ajax
                        eastsidegirl May 23, 2008 11:47 AM

                        A friend just told me last week that Dick's has great hashbrowns.

                    2. MSPD May 22, 2008 07:05 PM

                      Is Smalley's open yet in Stillwater? (The Caribbean BBQ place by Josh Thoma and Tim McKee)

                      I'm out of town right now, but I'll be beating a path to the place ASAP after I know it's open.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: MSPD
                        Stillwater Girl May 23, 2008 06:20 AM

                        Not yet, I think the opening is still a couple weeks away.

                        1. re: Stillwater Girl
                          avaclaire Jun 5, 2008 11:27 PM

                          Smalley's is open and people are indeed beating a path to it! Food is awesome whether you like your bbq with a lot or a little spice. Be sure to try the jerk ribs, the crab cakes, the mac-n-cheese, the fried green tomatoes, the sweet potato fries. . . oh I could go on and on. Thank goodness I live in Stillwater b/c I still have to make it through the specialty cocktail list! ;)

                      2. t
                        tasmonia May 28, 2008 01:02 PM

                        Thank you to everyone for your suggestions!

                        The four of us wound up going to Winzer Stube in Hudson, a German restaurant.

                        The food was decent but not amazing. The prices were on the high end of reasonable, but didn't bankrupt us. I got veal schnitzel over spaetzle, which came with a side of braised red cabbage. The portion size was large, which was perfect because I was super hungry. The dish was good but lacked some flavor punch and the spaetzle were strangely uniform. Two of my companions got the goulash, which came in surprisingly small portions and were also a bit bland. Our other friend got the salmon special, which looked tasty but didn't come with much on the side except a few chopped raw veggies.

                        I suspect that they have an uninspired chef and unadventurous clientèle, which results in an unremarkable meal. The service was very good, though, and they put up with us staying late and chatting on a week night. Not a bad experience, but not a great one either. This place might be good in a pinch, but don't go out of your way for it.

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