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The MSP labor challenge

I thought my Chowhound friends would enjoy helping me with my latest task. I'm pregnant, due in 12 days, and trying to fill my time by trying all these crazy (but not harmful) old wives tales regarding bringing on labor. There are several foods that are thought to help labor (or alternatively help speed up your digestive system...)

The lists I've found so far include:

spicy foods
maybe the herbs in eggplant parm including basil and oregano

What restaurants would you head to if you had to eat these things? I'm thinking Little Szechuan for spiciness, maybe the new Thai place on University for papaya salad, and I have plans at an Italian place in Fridley next week for eggplant parm. Evergreen also has a great basil eggplant entree. Who might have the best spicy Indian eggplant dish? Any other suggestions for red sauce Italian?

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  1. I once ordered True Thai's papaya salad at level "hot", and it was way too spicy for me to eat. But tasty! If I had been pregnant, this salad would have done the trick.

    But my first thought was Punch for a design-your-own pizza with eggplant, spicy salami, and basil. (Their menu has a spiced salami pizza and an eggplant pizza with goat cheese, both very good.) You could ask if they have any spicy red pepper, too.

    And then a pineapple smoothie for dessert. Byerly's and the fancier co-ops sell cut-and-cored pineapple - a splurgy convenience that you definitely deserve.

    Best wishes for an early, quick, easy, and safe delivery!


    1. We went to Al Vento the night before my wife gave birth.

      1. I'd guess Nala Pak or The Vegetarian would have the best spicy Indian eggplant.

        I'm partial to the fried eggplant dish at First Wok in Calhoun Commons. Totally pedestrian, and not spicy. But good comfort food.

        Other possibilities might include the falafel and eggplant or baba ganoush at Java or any other Middle Eastern restaurant.

        With a sample size of one, I can tell you that eating at the Convention Grill may induce labor. My wife went into labor 2 hours after we ate there....

        Good luck, and rest up!

        1. For my wife it was Rudolph's BBQ for the first and the other 2 were induced. My favorite spicy Indian Dish is the Mixed Veg at Tandoor India. Make sure to order it hot.
          Good luck and don't let having a kid slow down your chowhounding. My kids say they hate spicy and wierd foods but they go nuts for the Squid Curry at the Villiage Wok.

          1. Kate,

            For spicy food, don't forget to include Korean! Dong Yang will be my choice. Just looking at bags of beautiful red chilies (whole, crushed, powdered) and jars of kim chi in the grocery section may warm your body into labor!? I vaguely recall reading a long time ago that you are an Oberlin alum. So am I! Do we have an Oberlin class of 2029/2030!? Wishing you a safe delivery.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

              Namaste Cafe in uptown has a very good eggplant curry dish- spicy but not
              overbearingly so.

              1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

                omg. no. way.
                i am a proud oberlin conservatory dropout. *sheesh*! :) and subsequent oberlin college grad. seems the obies clot, even online in another state! LOL!

                to the matter at hand! recently had lunch at pagoda and it seems the *huge* menu can accommodate any combination of veg ingredients and spice. some of the preparations with seaweed will help build up strength and "good blood." i like the eel fried rice with seaweed garnish. of course they offer congee also, which is traditional for new moms. i was also very impressed with the service this time around-- way better than i'd expect so near campus.

                for indian spicy eggplant, second Bob's rec for the vegetarian, and of course my new favorite indian (regional, hyderabad area) is hyderabad house across the street from bombay 2. their dals are also spicy and delicious, and very nutritious.

                quick & healthy recovery to you & baby, Kate.

              2. Congrats to you and mr. katebauer.

                How about Peninsula for the PINEAPPLE Seafood Fried Rice, served in a half PINEAPPLE shell http://www.peninsulamalaysiancuisine.... plus the Famous Thai green curry chicken (SPICY) with EGGPLANT, green beans, bell peppers, & fresh BASIL leaves? OR their SPICY BASIL chicken? http://www.peninsulamalaysiancuisine.... or the SPICY BASIL beef or even the PINEAPPLE beef? http://www.peninsulamalaysiancuisine.... and maybe the Malaysian style EGGPLANT http://www.peninsulamalaysiancuisine....

                (plenty of mango on their menu, but no papaya, alas).

                Good luck!


                1. Thank you all for the suggestions, especially the "my wife ate at X and went into labor" ones. I didn't even think of Punch and all the potential combinations. I think we're going to try and hit the Highland location this weekend.

                  Last night we were invited to Pad Thai for a friend's birthday and I got papaya salad and pad thai made pretty spicy. Some increased false labor contractions this morning but nothing that could be called progress. It was tasty none the less. The service there was pretty poor though. Several people didn't get the beers they ordered and we were overall pretty ignored.

                  Pregnancy, not labor related, but we went to The Strip Club last week and got lots of great parenting advice from Tim Niver (I believe he's the tall, curly haired one) :)

                  Yup, Oberlin grad, 1998. I'm not sure if we'll be able to afford the tuition for this little one, I can't imagine what it will be in 2026! I do so miss Mandarin Kitchen's sesame chicken though.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: katebauer

                    Yes, Tim always seems eager to talk about his kids. My wife always chats him up (I stink at remembering stuff like that).

                    Along the lines of terrible memory, the only thing I remember from any of the kids is that a) they were ALL born on the due date we calculated from the start (how crazy is that?!?) and b) my friend in Beijing said the Chinese wisdom was massaging/stimulating the bottom of your feet helps induce labor. I bought my wife one of those foot soaker/massager gadgets the night before Kid #1. She used it and goshdarnit, 6 hours later we were on our way to the hospital.

                    So head on over to Little Szechuan (that would have been my recommendation along with Tea House) then stop in at Target on your way home.

                    Good luck and congratulations!

                  2. I am in the same boat.... filling my time trying to figure out which old wives tales to believe. The change in barometric pressure today seems to be working well, but I am all up for the spicy foods. It made me laugh that I came here to take a break from baby inducing and found this post! Thanks for starting it.

                    My advice is poor. I did the Al Vento thing followed by apps and bowling at memory lanes last time and it produced no baby. I had to go the pitocin route. This time, I am banking on some of these suggestions to get this baby on the move!

                    I don't know where you are delivering, but doing it at Abbott provides easy access for support people to bring in MGM food. A sopa from Los Ocampos totally hit the spot after all that work!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sareenDK

                      I'm actually with the HCMC midwives and have directed my husband that I want a bagel and lox and matzoh ball soup from Brother's Deli sometime during my hospital stay.