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ISO Swedish restaurant in St. Paul

m
meem Jun 7, 2009 04:38 PM

Actually either Minneapolis or St. Paul. Is there a Swedish restaurant in the area where we could have lunch, or coffee & Scandinavian pastries? We'll be visiting over the 4th and being Swedish-American (and living in the not very Scandinavian metro DC area) I think it would be fun find a taste of Sweden (excluding Ikea - we have them here :). Thanks!

  1. Davydd Jun 12, 2009 06:45 AM

    Are there any restaurants in MSP that serve lutefisk as part of their regular menu?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Davydd
      The Dairy Queen Jun 12, 2009 07:05 AM

      I know this isn't a direct answer to your question, but as Plan B perhaps--they do have it in their freezer at Cafe Finspang for you to take home and prepare. I think several other places do, too.

      ~TDQ

      1. re: The Dairy Queen
        Davydd Jun 12, 2009 11:58 AM

        Oh, I have absolutely no plans to eat lutefisk in a restaurant or to take home. I just know some eastern sea boarders who think lutefisk is what Minnesotans always eat with regularity. Guys like Andrew Zimmern, Alton Brown, etc. on TV food shows keep focusing on it on Minnesota shows and perpetuating the belief. So I am curious.

        1. re: Davydd
          z
          zataar Jun 12, 2009 03:04 PM

          :-) That is so true. One must eat lutefisk and hot dish when in the North Country.

      2. re: Davydd
        bob s Jun 12, 2009 09:43 AM

        Pearson's Edina Restaurant (recommended above for white and grey food) has lutefisk on the menu.

      3. c
        churchka Jun 10, 2009 05:21 PM

        Ikea.

        1. m
          meem Jun 9, 2009 06:28 PM

          Wow! Thanks, everyone :) I really appreciate your suggestions and warnings. I like the idea of the Swedish Institute and Ingebretsen's. And the menu at Taste of Scandinavia looked good (hmmm...will have some advance scouting done on that one) plus they sell limpa which I can't get around here. Hope they're back to being good because I'd love to try that French Toast Scandinavian style (whipped cream, powdered sugar, lingonberries on cardamom bread). Again - tak!

          1. k
            karykat Jun 8, 2009 10:14 AM

            Doesn't the Strip Club have swedish meatballs? Not a scandinavian place per se but perhaps an entree with a scandinavian tilt? I think I've seen commentary about them on the list but don't remember the verdict.

            There must be other places around town that do these as well?

            5 Replies
            1. re: karykat
              AnneInMpls Jun 8, 2009 10:23 AM

              Pop! also has Swedish meatballs on the menu - between the Achiote-marinated Pork Tenderloin and the Matambre Steak with Chimichurri. Talk about fusion cuisine! (The S. meatballs are quite tasty.)

              http://www.poprestaurant.com/

              Anne

              1. re: AnneInMpls
                Jordan Jun 8, 2009 05:21 PM

                What about Pearson's on 50th?

                1. re: Jordan
                  bob s Jun 8, 2009 06:30 PM

                  I think that Pearson's is less Scandanavian and more meh. Now I'm not an expert on Swedish food, but I assume it comes in colors other than shades of grey.

                  1. re: bob s
                    Jordan Jun 8, 2009 10:04 PM

                    There are shades of white, too.

              2. re: karykat
                t
                tex.s.toast Jun 8, 2009 06:14 PM

                The meatballs at the strip club were one of the few items there i've ever been unimpressed with. they werent bad, and are not my cup of tea (i didnt order them, i stole a few tastes from a dinner companion) so i cant say definitively if they were or were not a good example, or if my issue is with the dish generally and not TSC's execution.

              3. bob s Jun 8, 2009 07:31 AM

                Another possibility might be a nice drive up to Lindstrom, MN. It's about 30 minutes from downtown Minneapolis and is in a beautiful area. I don't know what's happening there over the 4th of July (or where the Swedish food is), but you may be able to taste small-town 4th of July with a parade etc.

                Any local hounds know more about Lindstrom?

                3 Replies
                1. re: bob s
                  The Dairy Queen Jun 8, 2009 07:39 AM

                  What a fun suggestion. According to the "places to eat", I think you can scratch off Arby's and Pizza Man. http://www.cityoflindstrom.us/pdf-files/VisitorInfo.pdf

                  Are Dinnerbel Bay, Swedish Inn, or the Gallery any good?

                  The Karl Oskar Days sounds potentially promising, but not in sync with the OP's dates, I don't think. http://www.cityoflindstrom.us/pdf-fil...

                  ~TDQ

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                    mplsean Jun 8, 2009 09:11 AM

                    Other than a little sightseeing and some decent antiquing Lindstrom doesn't really have much to offer food wise, especially Scandanavian food-wise...

                    Contrary to it's name Swedish Inn is not so Swedish. It's typical MN greasy-spoon fare. Nothing to write home about. Same can be said for the Gallery and the Dinnerbell. Both of which change management every few months or so.

                    I'd say stick to Ingebretsen's or venture over to the Finnish Bistro in St Anthony Park, which isn't strictly Swedish/Scandinavian... http://finnishbistro.com/

                    Good luck

                    1. re: mplsean
                      The Dairy Queen Jun 8, 2009 09:15 AM

                      Bummer about Lindstrom. Thanks for the info.

                      The thing about Finnish Bistro is that they keep somewhat irregular hours, so, just make sure you know what's up before you go.

                      ~TDQ

                2. NugarifiK Jun 8, 2009 12:59 AM

                  http://www.tasteofscandinavia.com/

                  -----
                  Taste of Scandanavia Bakery & Cafe
                  2900 Rice St, Saint Paul, MN 55113

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: NugarifiK
                    AnneInMpls Jun 8, 2009 09:54 AM

                    Alas, the current "mini-chain" of Taste of Scandinavia bakeries don't really serve much Scandinavian food (though there is a "Finnish BBQ beef sandwich" on the menu :-) .

                    The original owner, Soile Anderson, is Finnish and is a great cook - I fondly remember the open-face sandwiches and great Finnish breads that she made. But she sold out, and the new owner hasn't maintained the excellence - the food was really mediocre the last time I went.

                    Luckily, Ms. Anderson is still cooking for us - she reopened (in the original location?) as The Finnish Bistro, as mentioned below. There isn't much Scandinavian food on the menu (as before), but what is there is probably excellent. I gotta get there and check it out.

                    Anne

                  2. j
                    justalex Jun 7, 2009 06:19 PM

                    The Swedish Institute has food related events once in awhile. I'm not seeing any listed for the 4th, but it wouldn't hurt to shoot them an e-mail. The tour of the place is fabulous! http://www.americanswedishinst.org/AS...

                    Engebretson's on East Lake Street carries many Scandinavian food items. They make their own ham loaf, lutefisk, blood sausage and the like but it is not a dine-in establishment. The attached gift shop is charming and filled with everything Scandinavian.

                    Have a fun visit!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: justalex
                      The Dairy Queen Jun 8, 2009 06:10 AM

                      Just a gentle correction, it's spelled Ingebretsen's with an "i" http://www.ingebretsens.com/
                      Ingebretsen's is great to browse, but if you really want pastries, the better stop is their stand in Midtown Global Market, Cafe Finspang http://midtownglobalmarket.com/?q=sho...

                      There is genuinely a Scandinavian presence in Minnesota, but it's not very commercial.

                      ~TDQ

                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                        j
                        justalex Jun 8, 2009 06:24 AM

                        Thanks TDQ, for the correction. It's been a few years since I've been there. For some crazy reason, I always loved their ham loaf. But, then again, I like Spam too. :>)

                        1. re: justalex
                          The Dairy Queen Jun 8, 2009 06:38 AM

                          Great tip on the ham loaf, thanks. I've never tried theirs, so, I shall put that on my list!

                          ~TDQ

                      2. re: justalex
                        The Dairy Queen Jun 10, 2009 04:17 PM

                        More on The ASI, which, unfortunately, may not help the OP, but during the summer, on Wednesdays only, from 4-7pm the Kaffestuga (cafe) at the ASI serves a (very limited) special menu, featuring cold soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts made with seasonal and local produce when possible. The "Swedish Garden Party" ice cream as well as the lemon-lingonberry sorbet are provided by Izzy's. Call ahead if you plan to bring a group of 8 or more. I haven't tried any of this personally, but I've peeked in and it looks wonderful.

                        Now, I asked if you have to pay admission to go to the cafe and they seemed "pretty sure" (but not 100% convinced) that you don't have to pay to visit the gift shop or the cafe.

                        Oh, the ASI is closed on July 4 (at least it is this year!)

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                          AnneInMpls Jun 10, 2009 08:37 PM

                          What a great tip! Especially about Izzy's Lemon-Lingonberry ice cream - I love that flavor, but only saw it at Izzy's main store once. I am SO at the American Swedish Institute next Wednesday for an afternoon snack.

                          Thanks, TDQ, for this amazing info!

                          Anne

                          1. re: AnneInMpls
                            k
                            karykat Jun 12, 2009 09:46 AM

                            Along similar (but not Swedish) lines, the Germanic American Institute has a Kaffestube) (a german-type breakfast cafe) at their house on Summit in St. Paul on Saturday mornings in the summer from 9 - 12. (Not this weekend though because they have a german festival over the weekend.)

                            They say they have Brotchen, other breads, cold cuts, cheeses, musli, "strong coffee" and other things. They ask for a donation for food costs (suggested $5). I am definitely going to try it on a weekend soon.

                            The institute is in an old mansion at 301 Summit Ave. Here's a link with more info: http://www.gai-mn.org/events/

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