Serlin's Cafe MSP
I tried this place on Payne Ave in Saint Paul for the first time recently. It was the breakfast place I have been looking for ever since I moved to the Twin Cities, serving a well-prepared old fashioned diner breakfast at a decent price. MSP doesn't have a lot of good diners, for whatever reason. Unfortunately, it looks like they are trying to sell their building. So go now, while you still can.
Just a little history. I used to go there for lunch back in the 60's when Irv Serlin owned the place. It was not unusual to see people waiting in line outside to have lunch in those days. If you were there at breakfast you might run into the Governor or even US Senators in the cafe having coffee. Thursday's for lunch it was always either a hot turkey sandwich or a regular turkey sandwich and if memory serves me right it was around a buck. And the turkey was always turkey just like you would get for Thanksgiving, not this commercial pressed stuff they use today. The restaurant would close for a month so Irv would head to Palm Springs during the winter. Irv passed away a number of years ago and his wife ran it. Currently I am not sure who owns the place. I kind of have lost track recently, but I do remember those straight back wood booths you sat in. Today on the East Side The Little Oven on White Bear & Minnehaha is a great place to go to for a meal. The owner has lived in St. Paul all of his life and his staff have worked there for many years. To quote the food editor for the Pioneer Press she said, "the food tastes like Betty Crocker, the crowd feels like Lake Wobegon and the portions look like Paul Bunyon." And the prices are very reasonable.