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The decline of Porky's !

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What on earth has happened to Porky's in St.Paul? The food there went from decently mediocre to downright inedible. The once delicious onion rings are now limp microwaved shells.Pork Tenderloin Sandwich is insipid and soggy.They can't even do a proper California Burger anymore. I know this place was never magnificent to begin with but it was once a decent place to bring the wife and kiddies on a Saturday night for a quick bite.Now it's just lifeless.

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  1. People go to Porky's for food??? I always thought it was just for the cars. Next time you're in the mood, you may want to opt for Groveland Tap or Snuffy's.

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    Groveland Tap
    1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

    11 Replies
    1. re: Brad Ballinger

      Talk about decline, Groveland Tap has definitely taken a dive since they re-vamped their menu a couple of years ago to compete with Blue Door Pub. And was Snuffy's ever good? Goodness, surely you can do better than either of those places. Maybe not with kids, I guess.

      ~TDQ

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      Groveland Tap
      1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

      The Blue Door Pub
      1811 Selby Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I like the Tap's veggie burger, although I don't go often.

        I had a Porky's onion ring a couple weeks ago. Tasted like it always has to me. Certainly not microwaved. They might get limp from steam in the bag.

        TDQ, you know the Blue Door boys left the Tap, correct?

        1. re: semanticantics

          Yes I do. And the hospitality at the Groveland Tap has never been the same, unfortunately. And then they gave their menu that mess of a make-over. I hope the new place they open in the old Heartland space (*sob* I'm going to miss Heartland as a "neighborhood" place) is better.

          P.S. How about Trotters or Shish instead?

          ~TDQ

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          Groveland Tap
          1834 Saint Clair Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I guess I must not have been to the Tap since.

            For a good (veggie) Cali burger I like Chatterbox.

            1. re: semanticantics

              Oh dear. I've never been able to stomach the Chatterbox (referring only to the St. Paul location; I've never been to the other location), everything is so oversalted and oversauced. Do they avoid the oversalting and oversaucing problem with the veggie burger?

              EDIT: and I recommended Trotter's and Shish instead of Porky's because I thought they were about as close as Snuffy's or Groveland Tap. But if they are willing to go as far as Chatterbox Pub, then there are a zillion more--or at least four or five more-- kid-friendly options for a Saturday night!

              ~TDQ

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                I am very susceptible to salt. In fact the mention or sight of it makes me cough once in response. I just coughed. I have never found CBox food to be salty. Maybe fries, but they are supposed to have some.

                Just coughed again.

                1. re: semanticantics

                  I'm not particularly sensitive to salt, but I really found everything there just over the top. It's been a couple of years since I've been, though, since I put them on the never, ever, ever again list after their first year or so. Perhaps things have changed? Have you been recently and noticed an improvement since their early days in St. Paul?

                  There are only a couple of other places I've called out for excessive salt (that I can recall): 112 Eatery recently and Black Sea on Snelling. With 112 Eatery, I hope it was just temporary due to turnover and turmoil and that it will correct itself.

                  ~TDQ

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                  112 Eatery
                  112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                  Black Sea Restaurant
                  737 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

                  Snelling Cafe
                  638 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

        2. re: The Dairy Queen

          Yes, yes, yes. But I was working the kids angle, and including an option where no alcohol isn't served in the event that was one of the factors for Porky's. My teenage daughter LOVES Groveland Tap, so I was factoring that sort of palate, too.

          Plus, how many times will a family have to go to Blue Door only to not find seating before they stop going altogether? Would have also suggested Andy's Garage, but I'm not 100% sure if they are still in operation at Fariview and University.

          1. re: Brad Ballinger

            Andy's on Uni is closed. I believe it's a wacky clothing / crap store now.

            1. re: semanticantics

              It's an upscale branch of the Goodwill store that is one block north of there. They sell their designer label clothing items there.

            2. re: Brad Ballinger

              Kids do love the Tap! In fact, that's one reason I liked the Tap (in the past). Such a welcoming atmosphere. I just don't like the food anymore.

              The only time there isn't a line at BDP is 11am on weekends. Even though it is technically kid-friendly, I agree with you it would be a hard wait for kids.

              EDIT: I suspect that kids also would like the Chatterbox Pub--super fun atmosphere--but the food there is truly awful. Or, at least it was for the first year after they'd opened. I haven't been back since. Based on comments from semanticantics, perhaps they've improved. But, if you're willing to go as far from Porky's as Chatterbox Pub, it seems like there ought to be more options, including the Tap's sister restaurants Highland Grill and Longfellow Grill. Also, Everest on Grand. Kids love those momos!

              ~TDQ

        3. wouldn't be at all surprised to see st. paul porky's fold after this season of driving for old collector cars-- their central ave outpost is now closed and i would guess dire financial straits. i wouldn't touch their food, personally.

          1. Do the Truelson's (Tryg's and Porky's) still own the University Ave spot? Never saw anyone at the Central Ave location. And they put up quite a fight to put it in there.

            1. I was there four years ago and it was bad. I've sampled breaded pork tenderloin sandwiches in over 34 Minnesota restaurants so far and I can say Porky's comes in dead last. It is a no go back place for me. If you want a true drive-in experience with car hops the way they were done back in the 50s there are a lot better choices with better food. My two favorites are the Minnetonka Drive-in in Spring Park and the Peppermint Twist in Delano. Both have excellent pork tenderloin sandwiches, BTW. The Minnetonka Drive-In is celebrating its 50th year and the classic cars usually show up in full force every Thursday evening.

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              Minnetonka Drive-In
              4658 Shoreline Dr, Spring Park, MN 55384

              1. I haven't been to the University location in a few years.

                I tried the NE version a few months back and it was about as plain as plain can be. When the burger is the worst part of your meal, something isn't right.

                To me, the NE location just wasn't a good one. It was sort of between all the great ethnic food around Central/Lowry and all the other spots closer to downtown. Bad planning.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BigE

                  The people in the neighborhood never wanted the Porky's where it was and I thought they were gunning to close it. What's too bad is that the Burger King down the road close months after Porky's opened which would have been a perfect location. I think the neighborhood wold have approved of that. Now there are two empty burger joints on Central.

                  I think it was a combination of neighbors, $1 hamburgers at MacDonalds and declining food.