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Jun 26, 2010 10:25 AM

Minneapolis Airport to Wisconsin on I35E...Looking for a lunch reccomendation

I will be landing mid morning at MSP airport and am traveling to Wis via I35E. I would love a great spot for lunch, that is not too far off my path. Doesn't matter about cuisine or price range....just the best Mpls/St.Paul has to offer.

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  1. Interstate 35-E is the eastern half of the split that I-35 makes ask it passes through the Twin Cities. You don't say whether you are continuing up I-35 to Duluth to reach northern Wisconsin, or turning off I-35 at I-94 to enter the Wisconsin at its closest point. (The I-94 route means that Minneapolis lunch spots won't be on your route.)

    Try Meritage in downtown St. Paul. Exit 107A, I believe.

    On a weekend, go for The Strip Club.

    410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    The Strip Club
    378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106

    1. Yes, more info on your route and timetable would help us.

      1. I will be traveling on 35W until I get to hwy 8. I will will be going east on 8 from there to sponner wisconsin. I will be arriving this Thursday, July 1st. Thanks!

        4 Replies
        1. re: pbo2444

          Sorry - now I'm confused. 35W or 35E? It makes a bit of a difference. 35W would give you Mpls recs. 35E would give you St. Paul recs.

          1. re: Seige

            I am sorry East....into Wis...

            1. re: pbo2444

              Ok, if you're doing 35E here are my recs.

              Meritage - Definitely one of my top 5 favorite restaurants in the Cities for a meal any time of day. LOVE this place! Main plates are relatively reasonable, but they have these adorable little amusements that I find myself ordering and great drinks and before you know it you've racked up a bit of a bill. Here's their website: Another thing I love about them is that their menu is seasonal, so they always have new things. This is downtown St. Paul.

              Little Szechuan - This place is a hole-in-the-wall on University in St. Paul. It's not much to look at from the outside, but if you like spicy food this is your place. I'd also say that I'm typically not a huge spicy food eater, but this food is amazing. It's another one of our go-to places. Here's their website:

              Ngon - I know this was already recommended and I'd recommend it too. Again, it’s on University, so it might look questionable from the outside, but I promise – it’s good! Here's their website:

              Punch Pizza - If light is what you're after, you should go to Punch. They have the best neapolitan pizza in the Cities, IMHO. There's a location on Grand in St. Paul and another location in Highland Park. Here's their website:

              Casper and Runyon’s Nook - If you like a good burger, onion rings, and/or 1919 root beer, you should go to the Nook on Hamline and Randolph in St. Paul. It is a microscopic place and sometimes there's a wait, but the burgers are yumilicious! Favorite here is the Jucy Nookie - and it's not too far from 35E.

              Brasa - pretty good creole/soul food on Grand in St. Paul. Right next to Punch Pizza, actually.

              Little Szechuan - West End
              5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

              Punch Pizza
              3226 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55416

              410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

              Highland Park
              St. Paul, MN, St Paul, MN

          2. re: pbo2444

            If your ultimate destination is Spooner, and you're going east on 8 then you'll go through Turtle Lake. I don't know when you'll be in that area, but the St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake has a seafood buffet with all-you-can-eat king crab legs on Thursdays (they also have prime rib).

          3. Yup, 35E is the way to go - especially because the construction on 35W is pretty nasty these days. Assuming that route, I can recommend what *I* would stop for - though I'm not sure if you'd consider it "the best" (I'm not into expensive, fancy, or trendy food).

            Me, I might jog a bit west and go to Kabobs on 494 & Portland for good Indian food in a VERY bare-bones environment.


            Or I'd hit one of the Vietnamese places on University Ave in St. Paul, just off of 35E. Ngon is fancyish, and I like it a lot, but Saigon is my favorite super-casual place. I adore the grilled pork spring rolls (aka summer rolls).



            If I felt like venturing into downtown St. Paul (warning - major construction zone, so navigation is a challenge), I'd go to Tanpopo Noodle Shop in Lowertown for chilled buckwheat noodles or their daily teishoku special (like a bento meal, but in separate dishes).


            Or I'd detour across the river, below downtown, for roasted corn and tacos at El Burrito Mercado. El B doesn't have the best Mexican food in town, but the corn is lovely, the food is very good, and you can pick up groceries for your stay in Spooner. If you go there, DEFINITELY swing past Paleteria La Chiquita for dessert. (That is, if it's still there?) You can't miss it - it's a hot pink & orange building on Cesar Chavez & Congress. They have lovely frozen concotions from fresh fruit - I like the pineapple with chili.



            Enjoy your stay in Spooner, and please say hi to Shell Lake for me!


            Tanpopo Noodle Shop
            308 Prince St, Saint Paul, MN 55101

            El Burrito Mercado
            175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107

            2 Replies
            1. re: AnneInMpls

              thanks Anne...I like the looks of Saigon so far....:)

              1. re: AnneInMpls

                We used to go to swim camp at Shell Lake when I was a kid.....good memories!

              2. You're getting a heavy dose of in-town recommendations, so I'll lay off of that. Every trip to the lake requires provisions. On Highway 8, you'll pass a number of places worthy of note.

                In Lindstrom, on the left-hand side, you'll see the Lindstrom Bakery. Load up on fresh breads, donuts, and whatever else looks good.

                On the right-hand side is Deutschland Meats. You'll see an ENORMOUS hot dog up on the roof. It's a good place to grab a bite if they're grilling outside, and equally good to load up on brats or a number of other meaty goodnesses.

                Just a bit farther down the road in Center City is Eichten's. It looks cheesy, the web site looks cheesy, but if you have any interest at all in bison and/or beer, it's a must stop.

                In Taylor's Falls, there's an old school ice cream place (although just standard name brand ice cream, they make a great malt) and a burger stand just on the left as you turn into town. There are some other things there maybe people will mention.

                It's just a bit out of your way, but if you have time, take a short side-trip to the Chateaux St. Croix Winery for a tasting and a couple bottles to take to Spooner. The wine is made there, but the grapes may come from all over the place. It's not a tourist trap -- they have some legit wines.

                Deutschland Meats
                12825 Lake Blvd, Lindstrom, MN 55045

                1 Reply
                1. re: MSPD

                  I've sampled some of Eichten's cheeses at the coop and they were excellent.

                  Didn't know they had this restaurant and bison business too.

                  What about the beers? Do they have a good beer list too?

                  This would make a good weekend destination.