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Sep 11, 2008 09:11 AM

[MSP] Short "break" from dieting--where in the Twin Cities would you eat?

As many of you might know (not that you care, but you might KNOW anyway) I've been on a weight loss diet for awhile. Lately, I've fallen "off plan". I intend to go back on plan REALLY SOON. But, there's this dinner coming up and that dinner coming up--you know how it is--and I realize that it's probably going to be a few weeks before I really do get back on plan.

Therefore, I realize I might as well just to visit some of my favorite places that have been off-limits for awhile because they are places where it's just hard to be on a diet, such as Little Szechuan and Al's Breakfast and Big Daddy's. I'm not saying I'm going to completely pig out for the next month, but, can you help me come up with a list of those places I ought to try to hit before recommitting to my diet to quiet all of those crazy cravings?

As a general rule, I prefer casual, mom and pop type places--I'm not talking La Belle Vie and Cosmos etc. (as wonderful as those places are of course)...


Thank you muchly!


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  1. A few places I would visit are not so much restaurants as snacks or dessert:
    Syrdyks for a selection of really good cheeses
    Izzys ice cream
    Cafe Latte for Key Lime Cheesecake

    1. As someone who was recently (June) diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I completely understand your 'cravings' and the need to keep them under wraps. That said, please, if you haven't been yet, give the Bangkok Deli a shot. Order Hor Mok (a fish and vegetable 'custard' served in a banana leaf cup) and a bowl of DooDee Noodle soup (I know, I know...). It's a sour/spicy noodle dish that is pork broth based with lots of chopped spring onions and little herbs, chopped peanuts, and fish cake, pork meat balls, ground pork, and red roast pork. You can dress it up like you would pho or pad thai for that matter and create your own little version of heaven. It's really outstanding. No one else in the TC offers this dish. And those that offer the Hor Mok buy it from Bangkok Deli and re-sell it as their own.

      The Moon Cakes at Keefer Court are worth a splurge too.

      Enjoy your forays...


      1. I'm a big fan of breakfast fare so I would also go with Al's(and maybe Colossal and Maria's).

        as above, snacks would also be on the list. croissants from Trung Nam, eclair from Butter, doughnuts from A Baker's Wife(and mini from Chef Shack), ice cream from Izzy's.

        1. Maybe a luscious grass-fed steak from The Strip Club?

          1. Oh, this very topic has been much in my mind lately! My goal is to eat healthily and moderately, while keeping in mind the adage of "moderation in all things, including moderation". But late summer is when I usually suspend all hopes at moderation because of birthdays, the State Fair, vacations, and other excuses for overindulgence.

            Here's where I would go for that "fabulous but I can't eat like that very often" feeling:

            - Birchwood Cafe - The food didn't used to be so all-pervasively rich, but now it seems they put bacon, cheese, and aioli in *everything* (except, of course, the fabulous desserts). Just sayin' - not complaining!

            - Keefer Court - Perhaps you could order moderately, but I can't resist the stir-fried green beans, the fried fish, and several treats from the bakery case. And oh, how I'm pining for those pork-flavored "tasty cookies".

            - Brasa - I love their spiced braised beef! I can't resist ordering at least three sides. And lots of beer.

            - Ribs from somewhere good - like Big Daddy's or Lee's & Dee's or the well-reviewed Brickhouse BBQ (haven't been here yet - I don't dare!).

            - Southern food - I'd love to try the Bourbon Street Steakhouse (Eric Austin's new place), but I have to wait until I've been especially moderate for a while.

            - Indian food from Gandhi Mahal, Bombay 2 Deli (get the shrikand dessert!), or ... there are so many places to chose from these days! And most of the food is so very, very rich.

            - Any Mexican restaurant with good tortas. (I haven't had a torta for eons!)

            - Salty Tart Patisserie - a treat a day for a week would be my idea of heaven.

            And, of course, Al's, Maria's, and Izzy's, as mentioned above.

            TDQ, have fun mixing moderation with the lack thereof! My advice: Plan for it and enjoy it completely - don't regret a mouthful, as long as it was delicious. Then wake up the next day (or week) feeling indulged, refreshed, and ready to return to your regular diet.