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

AnneInMpls Jun 18, 2008 09:18 AM

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?


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

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  1. The Dairy Queen RE: AnneInMpls Jun 18, 2008 09:29 AM

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


    1. The Dairy Queen RE: AnneInMpls Jun 23, 2008 07:28 AM

      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!


      1. Uisge RE: AnneInMpls Jun 23, 2008 04:41 PM

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

        6 Replies
        1. re: Uisge
          soupkitten RE: Uisge Jun 23, 2008 05:28 PM

          link, please, Uisge!

          1. re: soupkitten
            The Dairy Queen RE: soupkitten Jun 24, 2008 03:49 AM

            It's the email newsletter, sk.


          2. re: Uisge
            AnneInMpls RE: Uisge Jun 23, 2008 10:00 PM

            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?!?!?!?!?!???????


            1. re: AnneInMpls
              Uisge RE: AnneInMpls Jun 24, 2008 04:15 PM

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

              1. re: Uisge
                faith RE: Uisge Jun 24, 2008 08:38 PM

                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
                  soupkitten RE: faith Jun 24, 2008 08:50 PM

                  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? :)


          3. s
            soupkitten RE: AnneInMpls Jun 25, 2008 09:28 AM

            *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
              The Dairy Queen RE: soupkitten Jun 25, 2008 09:31 AM

              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!


              1. re: soupkitten
                karykat RE: soupkitten Feb 23, 2009 10:44 AM

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

              2. The Dairy Queen RE: AnneInMpls Aug 1, 2008 02:03 AM

                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.


                6 Replies
                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                  AnneInMpls RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 1, 2008 04:50 PM

                  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.


                  1. re: AnneInMpls
                    steve_in_stpaul RE: AnneInMpls Aug 16, 2008 11:28 AM

                    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
                      The Dairy Queen RE: steve_in_stpaul Aug 16, 2008 05:49 PM

                      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...


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        tex.s.toast RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 16, 2008 06:45 PM

                        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
                          The Dairy Queen RE: tex.s.toast Aug 17, 2008 05:21 AM

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


                        2. re: The Dairy Queen
                          steve_in_stpaul RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 16, 2008 07:27 PM

                          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. c
                    cgk RE: AnneInMpls Aug 19, 2008 04:50 PM

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

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: cgk
                      The Dairy Queen RE: cgk Aug 19, 2008 06:01 PM

                      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.


                      1. re: cgk
                        AnneInMpls RE: cgk Aug 19, 2008 06:01 PM

                        >> 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.


                        1. re: cgk
                          The Dairy Queen RE: cgk Aug 21, 2008 12:58 AM

                          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!



                          1. re: The Dairy Queen
                            AnneInMpls RE: The Dairy Queen Aug 21, 2008 09:56 AM

                            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.


                            1. re: AnneInMpls
                              type2runner RE: AnneInMpls Aug 28, 2008 08:18 PM

                              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. MSPD RE: AnneInMpls Feb 23, 2009 08:00 AM

                          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
                            AnneInMpls RE: MSPD Feb 23, 2009 09:21 AM

                            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...


                            1. re: AnneInMpls
                              MSPD RE: AnneInMpls Feb 23, 2009 10:44 AM

                              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
                                nsadr09 RE: AnneInMpls Jul 6, 2010 05:19 PM

                                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
                                  Ms. Fennelbulb RE: nsadr09 Jul 6, 2010 07:23 PM


                                  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
                                    AnneInMpls RE: nsadr09 Jul 6, 2010 07:46 PM

                                    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!


                                    1. re: AnneInMpls
                                      SkaTmon RE: AnneInMpls Jul 7, 2010 12:31 PM

                                      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
                                      kevin47 RE: nsadr09 Jul 7, 2010 01:25 PM

                                      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.

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