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MSP: Puerta Azul is closed (SOB!) Where can I get my black bean fix?

Oh, woe! We called Puerta Azul on Monday for some take-out chicken and plantains and black beans, but they said that they've just closed. (They decided not to renew their lease.)

I'm devastated! They had the best black beans - rich and creamy and very flavorful. I would rather eat those black beans than chocolate. So that's all I can think of since I learned the news.

Who has the next-best black beans in town?

Thanks,
Anne

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Puerta Azul (closed)
1811 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55104

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  1. Oh no! C'mon! I really liked that place.

    ~TDQ

    1. There's now an "under new ownership" sign at Puerta Azul, though the windows are still papered over.

      Let's keep our fingers cross that the new owners keep the black beans on the menu and use the same recipe!

      ~TDQ

      1. AnneInMpls - You're quoted (without citation) in the latest issue of The Hot Dish: City Pages' Dining Newsletter.

        6 Replies
          1. re: Uisge

            I don't mind being quoted without citation - contrary as it is to the chowhound.com rules - but did they answer my question? Who has the next-best black beans in town?!?!?!?!?!???????

            Anne

            1. re: AnneInMpls

              Sadly, no. They just noted that regulars were bemoaning the loss.

              1. re: Uisge

                Well, if 'in town' includes Minneapolis, I've loved the black beans at
                Macchu Picchu. $2 or so plus some rice makes a meal.

                1. re: faith

                  well, but machu picchu is also closed-- what, are we trying to make Anne despondent due to sudden loss of good black beans in this town? :)

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/515196

          2. *duh* i remembered where i've had good black beans lately-- as a side at brasa over yellow rice. i always order these and there's been 1 or 2 times they've been just good-- but usually they are *very* good-to-excellent. yes, many times better than chocolate. perhaps they compare to puerta azul, whose beans i never had :(

            2 Replies
            1. re: soupkitten

              I'm still holding out hope that the new owners are able to replicate the beans at Puerta Azul, but it's good to know that Brasa is a good alternative. Hopefully, that works for Anne, too!

              ~TDQ

              1. re: soupkitten

                Yes, and if Brasa opens a new location on Grand Ave. as rumored AnneInMpls could also be AnneInSt.Paul.

              2. No real update here--just keeping an eye out for Anne. The windows are still papered over and the sign "New Owners Closed for remodeling. Opening Soon." is still up. It's hard to peek in around the paper covering the windows, but, indeed, it does appear remodeling is actively underway with all kinds of tools strewn about inside. It's hard to say what I might have been looking at, really, but it seems like they might be building a granite top counter? Maybe I'm imagining the counter, but, I hope they aren't turning it into a cafe/coffee shop/counter service type place. I was hoping they were just going to spiff it up a bit and keep the same menu.

                ~TDQ

                 
                6 Replies
                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Thanks for the update, TDQ! I haven't been able to drive by that corner yet, because it makes me too sad. If the new owners are remodeling, I don't hold out much hope for them keeping the same menu...

                  In the meantime, I just gotta get to Brasa to try their black beans.

                  Anne

                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                    According to the St. Paul City Council minutes this past week, a Beer and Wine License has been granted to a "Rich Pour Enterprises LLC, d/b/a The Blue Door," at PA's address. I'm a little behind in my Chow-ish reading, but that might be (helpful) information to some.

                    1. re: steve_in_stpaul

                      Wow, you're right. I just noticed that they've changed the signage on their awning to "The Blue Door" from Puerta Azul. I now worry they are planning to drop the Puerto Rican menu...

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        googling ' "blue door" mn ' brings up bluedoorvineyard.com - seems to jive with rich/pour enterprises (a very clever, if impossible to google, name).

                        i know this is just pure conjecture but can anyone say winebar?

                        1. re: tex.s.toast

                          I did notice some kind of bar-looking structure being built when I peeked in...

                          ~TDQ

                        2. re: The Dairy Queen

                          Yeah, but "puerto azul" in Spanish *is* "blue door". So maybe nothing is changing but the name. OTOH, if they were doing OK as Puerto Azul, why change the name?

                          A Web search of "Rich Pour" didn't turn up anything in MN that I could pick up as a hint.

                  2. The Blue Door Pub is a "specialty burger restaurant/pub" opening in September.
                    Looks like no more black beans.
                    http://thebluedoorpubmn.com/

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: cgk

                      Thanks for the update. Boo hoo. I don't really think St. Paul needs more burger/pub type places, but, maybe this one will be different in some really amazing way. I guess we'll just have to give it a chance.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: cgk

                        >> Looks like no more black beans.

                        Double sob! But thanks for the info.

                        I tried the black beans at Brasa last week - very nice, but not the same style (or as good) as Puerta Azul's. The best black beans I've had lately were in Milwaukee (at Cempazuchi). But that's a bit too far for daily dining. And besides, they still weren't as good at P.A.'s.

                        Anne

                        1. re: cgk

                          According to Nancy Ngo, Blue Door will be featuring many varieties of juicy lucy... I just said I couldn't see another burger place moving into the neighborhood, but I have a serious fondness for a well-executed lucy, so, we'll see.

                          Also, in the same piece Nancy says the former owners of Puerta Azul are looking to reestablish their restaurant elsewhere, perhaps in the West Metro. So, maybe that's good news on the Twin Cities beans front, though, unfortunately, not good news for St. Paul bean lovers in particular. I guess we need to be on the look-out for their new location. Ngo didn't mention any kind of time horizon, so, let's keep our fingers crossed, for Anne's sake, that it's soon!

                          http://www.twincities.com/ci_10254145...

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Oh, that's great news about Puerto Azul - I'll keep my fingers crossed. The west metro isn't ideal, but it'll do. I would drive for MILES for those black beans. I was even briefly considering a weekly drive to Milwaukee, except those beans aren't as good.

                            Thanks!
                            Anne

                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                              Sorry to the Black Bean lovers, but I saw in the Strib Taste section today that they are not going to do the beans. They don't know how to cook them.

                              Seems they recognized the angst of the bean lovers, but....

                              Sorry to burst the hope.

                        2. Sorry for the resurrection.

                          Anne, I was at Barrio over the weekend and the black beans they served with the Oaxaca style ribs were very good. A great surprise was a handful of chicharrons mixed in -- I love chicharrons.

                          I'm not sure if you can just order a side of the black beans, but maybe it's worth trying, especially since the rest of the food was excellent.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: MSPD

                            Thanks, MSPD! It's great to know you're out there researching for me in my endless black-bean quest.

                            I'm in Portland right now, eating to beat the band (there's great street food here!), but as soon as I get back, I'll zip over and give those beans a try. I've been meaning to get to Barrio anyway...

                            Thanks,
                            Anne

                            1. re: AnneInMpls

                              Sounds good. Since I don't remember the black beans at Puerta Azul, I can't say they're as good with any confidence. Even if they're totally different, I hope they're enjoyable for you. Have a good trip.

                              Maybe not the right place, but I would also recommend the churros at Barrio for churros fans. I know we've had a thread on that. These were really light -- kind of the consistency of a very fresh French cruller donut if that makes any sense.

                              1. re: AnneInMpls

                                Anne,
                                I am the daughter of the owner of Restaurante Puerta Azul. I was googling any previous reviews and I came across this discussion. They have been (for the past year and a half or so) and are currently searching for a good location to start up again! Hopefully it will happen soon! I miss the black beans just as much! We only have them for special occasions now. :[

                                1. re: nsadr09

                                  nsadr09,

                                  Please convey to your mother (who was the chef, I believe) that I can't wait to taste her tamarind chicken again! Thank you very much for this post!

                                  1. re: nsadr09

                                    Oh, this is FABULOUS news! I've been searching for almost two years, and have never found any black beans as good as the ones at Puerta Azul. Not to mention my other favorite dishes... I miss EVERYTHING on the menu.

                                    Buena suerte a vos padres!

                                    Anne

                                    1. re: AnneInMpls

                                      This is fabulous news. I very much miss being able to walk to Restaurante Puerta Azul and sit down for a wonderful home cooked meal. The roast pork was the best I have ever had.

                                    2. re: nsadr09

                                      Ooh, can I lobby for the far north side of Minneapolis? Cheap rent, and a dearth of quality ethnic food. You'd be surprised how many tucked away commercial spots are available for lease.