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St. Paul budget-friendly suggestions needed

l
llman Sep 13, 2009 03:01 PM

I will be in St. Paul in 2 weeks for business over a weekend. I am looking to take out an author for dinner at least once. And my colleague and I are on a paultry per diem. We'll be staying by the Excel Center and although we have a car, would prefer not to drive too far. Would love unique places--no chains, prefer no bar food--and need restaurants with vegetarian options. I have read some on here about Kyber Pass, Barbary Fig, and Babani's but not all reviews are recent nor consistent. Any recent experience with these places? Thanks in advance!

  1. q
    Quince Sep 13, 2009 06:50 PM

    I would check out Ngon Vietnamese Bistro. They have their menu on their website. It's really not too far from the Xcel Center.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Quince
      l
      llman Sep 13, 2009 09:03 PM

      Thanks for all the suggestions ... and web sites to ease my research! Will just have to see what we're in the mood for at the time. Now I'm wishing I were going to be there longer to try out more than just two of these places!
      Thanks again!

    2. MSPD Sep 13, 2009 04:18 PM

      If Japanese food is in play, I would recommend Tanpopo.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MSPD
        The Dairy Queen Sep 13, 2009 06:24 PM

        For downtown St. Paul, all walkable:

        I second Tanpopo. http://tanpoporestaurant.com/

        Also, Babani's is great, but only the "original" location on St. Peter. Not the location on West 7th (dreadful).

        You can eat pretty cheaply at Meritage for lunch if you get a sandwich. http://www.meritage-stpaul.com/pdf/lunch_july_09.pdf

        Bulldog is a bar.

        I guess Barrio is a bar, it's a tequila bar, but it's pretty high-end. You can eat pretty inexpensively for lunch. http://www.barriotequila.com/

        If you don't mind driving a little:

        Brasa on Grand is fantastic. http://www.brasa.us/ And Punch Pizza next door is good, too. http://www.punchpizza.com/where/grand-avenue.aspx if the weather's nice enough to eat outside.

        Khyber Pass is fine, not amazing. I'd rather steer you to Everest on Grand, which is a wee bit closer for you anyway. http://www.everestongrand.com/

        I agree Cheeky Monkey is a good choice for sandwiches. http://www.cheekymonkeydeli.com/

        But, if it were me, honestly, and I were willing to drive, I'd head to University Avenue to Ngon Bistro http://www.ngonbistro.com/menu.html or Saigon (super affordable) or even Cafe BonXai.

        Have fun!

        ~TDQ

      2. r
        run2eat Sep 13, 2009 03:37 PM

        Senor Wongs for great Asian/Mexican food, in a funky setting (great HH's too). Downtown to boot.
        Bulldog for burgers and beer.
        Cheeky Monkey on Selby for fun deli food.

        -----
        Senor Wong
        111 East Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55101

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