I'll be attending a U in the Midway area next year. Any recommendations? I generally prefer ethnic over Americana, but if it's good, it's good!
Also, are there any sort of co-op/local/organic/awesome markets I should know about?
Thanks in advance!
I'm a little confused because Midway is a St. Paul neighborhood that's a few miles away from what most of us call "the U" (the University of MN), but there are a few colleges that are in the MIdway neighborhood (Concordia and Hamline). When we say "the U" we usually mean UMN's Minneapolis campus, which is in Stadium Village and Dinkytown neighborhoods of Mpls, or UMN's campus, which is in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul.
Tell us which college/campus you'll be at and we'll hook you up with some recs, dearie.
Ahaa. In that case, here's what I've got for you:
For "ethnic" - we have a lot of great Vietnamese places right along University Ave. My faves are Saigon for banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) and Trieu Chau for pho (Vietnamese noodle soup). Even closer to the Hamline campus is Mirror of Korea, which I haven't been to for years (Korean isn't my most favorite cuisine) but others seem to praise quite often (and it was among the better Korean I've had in the metro area). There's also a good Ethiopian place on Snelling near Universtity called Fasika. A lot of people like Black Sea (a Turkish place) but I haven't been too overwhelmed on my three visits there.
As far as co-op, local, and organic markets, you might have to branch out a bit - Midway doesn't really have much of that.
You could try to bike or drive to the satellite St. Paul Farmer's Market location at St. Thomas More church (Summit and Lexington Ave.) on Friday afternoons, or just hit the main St. Paul Farmer's market on Sat or Sun. The St. Paul farmer's market is pretty unique in that all products must be produced within a certain radius of the city (I dont' remember off hand what that radius is, somewhere around 50 miles I think). There are fruit, veggie, meat, cheese, honey, flower, and other vendors there. http://www.stpaulfarmersmarket.com/
Other co-op/local/organic/awesome markets will require a bit of travel too (nothing a bus pass, a bike, or five to ten minutes in a car won't take care of).
Saigon Restaurant & Bakery
704 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant
510 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Mirror of Korea
761 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Trieu Chau Restaurant
500 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103
Black Sea Restaurant
737 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104
I'd also put in votes for Cheng Heng (Cambodian food), Mai Village (Vietnamese, but it's a very pretty room and they also serve dim sum which some seem to consider pretty good), Hickory Hut (barbeque and chicken wings), and, for at least a little while, Big Daddy's (also bbq).
There is a band of Asian food markets along University Avenue, each seemingly with their own specialty (prepared foods, produce, Filipino foods, etc.) and lots of fun to explore. Both the Cub and Rainbow supermarkets in Midway have "natural foods" sections, but he choices pale in comparison to a real co-op. The closest co-op to you probably will be Hampden Park, on Raymond. Small independent coop, but it fills the bill.
Cheng Heng Restaurant
448 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103
394 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103
The Hickory Hut
647 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104
Bangkok Thai Deli is another Asian gem on University, down near Dale St.
Mississippi Market isn't far from "MIdway", it's on Selby / Dale, and Selby is about 8 blocks south of University. There is also a Whole Foods on Grand and Fairview (a mile south of University).