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Feb 23, 2010 04:57 PM

Are there any good Mom & Pop restaurants in the western suburbs?

I can't seem to find very many good hole in the wall, mom and pop owned places to eat out on the west side. Any suggestions?

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  1. hi Skizzle and welcome! please let us know which burbs specifically? i think of st louis park as a western burb, but others think of that area as an extension of uptown. do you mean hopkins? minnetonka? victoria? hutchinson? how far out is too far? thanks.

    9 Replies
    1. re: soupkitten

      Thank you for the warm welcome! We live in Plymouth, close to Minnetonka and Wayzata. We have taken a liking to Tea House, Volnay Bistro, and a few others, but have yet to find that one place that makes us want to go back every week! We're looking mainly in the Plymouth/Minnetonka/Wayzata/Hopkins area, but will travel further out if it's worth it! We do travel around the metro to go out for dinner, but just want to find something a little more local. Thanks!

      1. re: Skizzle

        Peg's Countryside Cafe is likely not too far for you and it might be the kind of place you are looking for.

        1. re: fdizzle

          Funny, I grew up right next door to that place and almost never ate there. I did, unfortunately, work at the McDonald's right next door to it.

          Anyways, from what I do remember, the food was good, but they aren't open for dinner, from their website:

          Monday - Saturday, 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
          Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

          Despite having spent a lot of time in Plymouth, I honestly can't really contribute, that area LOVES their chain restaurants.

          1. re: diearzte2

            Peg's has been a Sunday morning staple for us for a while. Great breakfast, but have never tried the lunch. Very much a local spot. Just can't seem to find a great dinner spot! It is definately a chain world out here in the burbs! Sad, really. Seems like there's a lot of opportunity for some great locally owned restaurants that would take advantage of the high median income out here (no- I'm not one of them. We just love great food!). Guess we'll just have to keep venturing to Mpls for our dining journeys!
            Thanks, all!

        2. re: Skizzle

          there was another new poster recently who was saying that spasso's, in minnetonka, was a nice place for dinner. shoot, i just searched and can't find the discussion about it now.

          1. re: soupkitten

            oh wait i tried again and here is the discussion on spasso's. now that i look at it it's mostly people (including myself) being confused, which is why i think i remembered it!!!


            and here is a brief thread where Kevin recs a thai place in plymouth, and also tea house, which you've already found.


            1. re: soupkitten

              Thanks for digging up the links, soupkitten! Looks like we have somewhere to go on our next kid-free night!

              1. re: Skizzle

                no problem! but hey, once you visit these spots, would you please post a review to let us know how your experience was? i'm personally curious about these places and hopefully a little discussion will also draw some other new hounds in the area out of the woodwork and get some support for your favorite local restaurants. thanks in advance :)

                1. re: soupkitten

                  Absolutely! I've only been a "chowhound" for a few days, but have found this site as addictive as crack! I love it!

      2. How far west? There is the Victoria House in Victoria on Steiger Lake Rd. You might want to try McGarry's Irish Pub in Maple Plain near Hwy 12 and Cty 19. You also might want to try the Ox Yoke Inn on Cty 92 near the Luce Line in Independence. If you like a lighter meal and entertainment, the 318 Cafe in Excelsior will do. The Tonka BBQ and Grill on Shoreline Drive in Spring Park serves real on premise smoked BBQ. Those places meet the criteria.

        Not mom and pop hole in the walls, but I like Hazellwood in Tonka Bay, Jake O'Connor's Public House in Excelsior.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Davydd


          I like your suggestions for the OP with the exception of the Ox Yoke Inn. I was there last week and had a cup of the roasted tomato and garlic soup, a side of hashbrowns and a glass of iced tea. The soup was a fairly flavorless, cream-based concoction and the hashbrowns were two deep-fried McDonald's type rectangles. It did say deep-fried on the menu so bad on me for making a foolish choice. With tax and tip it was $11.00.

          McGarry's is my favorite breakfast spot. Their corned beef hash is a particular favorite of mine for the mix of fresh veggies and generous juicy chunks of corned beef. Playing off that theme, they make a great reuben served with still crunchy, yet creamy coleslaw.

          On my list are Lola's Lakehouse in Waconia - great spot in the summer for dinner and cocktails on the deck overlooking the lake and Who's on First in Waconia. I love the broasted chicken dinner with real mashed potatoes and gravy at Who's. Their house soup - sweet potato, corn and jalapeno, is something I crave. The waitress said people either love it or hate it, no in between. I don't know if that makes me weird or not? :)

          When the weather warms up, Flloyd's Bar in Victoria is a fun place to stop and the food is very decent. They have a really funky patio that reminds me of spring break places and live music on weekends. It has sort of a biker bar vibe and laid back attitude. The artichoke chicken on ciabatta is my sandwich of choice. The garlicky artichoke spread, grilled chicken, red onion and crunchy bread goes well with a cold brew and reggae on a hot night.

          To clarify: Lola's Lakehouse is not a mom and pop type place.

          1. re: justalex

            It has been a couple of years since I had been to Ox Yoke Inn but they had a double stack breaded pork tenderloin sandwich that was pretty good. It is neighborhood bar food and shouldn't be mistaken for quality cuisine. Just trying to stick with the hole in the wall mom and pop theme.

            Lola's Lakehouse in Waconia took over the old Nancy's Landing. The new restaurant owner also owns Jake O'Connor's in Excelsior. You are right that it is not a mom and pop place.

            Floyd's I can enjoy especially in the summer outdoors in the back. Speaking of biker bars and live music there is the Narrows Saloon in Navarre on Shoreline Dr. at County Rd 19.

            Getting back to mom and pop, I think in the summer the Minnetonka Drive-in on Shoreline Drive in Spring Park is a must especially on Thursday evenings when all the classic cars show up. It borders on the Dakota bike trail.

            For closer in to the cities, Maggie's Family Restaurant in Wayzata would be reachable. They have quite a filling and extensive menu, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is comfort food and a seat yourself kind of place.


        2. Christos on Hwy 7!! I drown my troubles in a big bowl of avgolemono soup almost weekly. It's a must try if you haven't been there. Typical Greek fare, but always pleasant and attentive service. The Cyprus Grape Leaves (Kopepea) is also a great bet.

          1. I really like Birch's in Long Lake. I've been there a few times and thought everything was great. The fried chicken is really good and comes with homemade fries. They have a nice menu full of variety and lots of comfort food.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bobannon

              Long Lake also has the Peppercorn Grill and the Red Rooster as choices. The Red Rooster is a longtime bar that has changed clientele since I first went there in the 70s. It seems since the complete smoking ban some once strictly adult bars have also become family destinations. There were a lot of families having dinner there on my last visit.

            2. Have you tried Black's Ford? It's a small restaurant in downtown Wayzata that is owned by people I've chatted with at the register. Nice story, too. Here's a FB page that reviews it.

              I haven't been there since last year -- we moved to Edina and are enjoying the "new" dining options -- but one review site I just saw had a tiny note, "Reported to be closed." I would suggest calling before you go.

              We lived in Plymouth a couple miles from Ridgedale. I can't remember any other places that were mom-and-pop, but here were a few places we went to:

              - I always got the fabulous farro salad or the pizza with avocado
              Lakeshore Grill at Macy's
              - Not fabulous, but a good option for comforting food
              Good Day Cafe
              - I *l*o*v*e* breakfast, so this is a great place for me. They now serve dinner.
              - Convenient for you now since they're in the West End
              - This gets boring, but I usually have the fondue app as my meal.
              - You MUST go on a Tuesday for the Chicken Tortilla Soup... one of the best ever!
              Famous Daves on 7, just west of 494
              - Good barbecue, and this from a Southern girl
              - Meh. We only went when we were sick of everywhere else.
              Punch Pizza in Wayzata
              - Same Punchy goodness as all the others. Delicious!
              - For me, the only great item is Sherry's (sp?) Chicken Salad
              Original Pancake House in Wayzata
              - Nothing special, but I love pancakes
              Crossroads Deli
              - Mostly bad, but the spinach/strawberry salad and matzo ball soup are decent
              Istanbul Cafe
              - Great independent place, but I haven't been there for a couple years

              Places I DO NOT recommend:
              - Lone Spur Cafe
              - The Thai place across from Lone Spur Cafe
              - Yangtzee (or whatever) Chinese at 394 & Park Place
              - The Indian place next to Yangtzee


              2 Replies
              1. re: Dyanne

                sadly Black's Ford appears to be out of business...

                1. re: djohnson22

                  Good thread.

                  Not all holes in the wall but....

                  Christos- great calamari Minnetonka
                  Tian Jin- authentic Chinese in Chanhassen
                  Chaska My love- authentic Mexican in Chaska
                  Delicious Cafe-Brazilian food in Minnetonka