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Mar 28, 2011 09:57 AM

Visitors from China

We are hosting visitors from China next week and wonder if anyone can recommend somewhere to take them in the White Bear Lake/Stillwater area. We may be bringing our 3 & 8 year old so kid-friendly is helpful. Thanks!

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  1. Where in China are they from? Are you looking for a place that serves food that is reminiscent of their home province, or something else?

    4 Replies
    1. re: KTFoley

      Thanks for replying! They are from Shanghai and Shenzhen. I was thinking local/American.

      1. re: WBLMom

        Ahhh, that's really good to know!

        Are they here for business, school or another purpose? That would probably affect the level/style of restaurant at which they'd feel well taken care of. The only food thing that seemed to be consistently true in my visit to China was that raw vegetables, including garnishes and salads, are looked at askance. It's just not done.

        Was going to suggest Roman Anthony's in WBL, but I am not sure that it's kid-friendly.

        If you find yourself leaning toward "Chinese" cuisine, then it would be good to confirm whether your visitors' home language is Cantonese, as is more typical of the southern provinces, or Mandarin. If it's Cantonese, then you can discard most recommendations that pepper (!) this board for restaurants that refer to Szechuan cuisine -- their culture and food styles are quite different. Students & family might enjoy Village Wok (many cuisines, not much in the way of fancy decor, I believe that Cantonese is spoken) while business guests might appreciate the Tea House in Dinky Town (Shanghai dim sum options in addition to all the Szechuan stuff, full bar, beautiful inside).

        Village Wok
        610 Washington Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

        1. re: KTFoley

          The only food thing that seemed to be consistently true in my visit to China was that raw vegetables, including garnishes and salads, are looked at askance. It's just not done.

          Really that depends where you are in China. China is as diverse as Europe. In Qingdao last fall, I was served raw vegetables, (including scallions and white onions) that were then to be dipped in Tian Mian Jiang paste. Very Refreshing. Here’s a photo of the bean paste:

          Everyone in China speaks Mandarin, the national language. Cantonese is only used in Guangzhou Province, Shanghainese in Shanghai, Sichunaese in Sichuan etc. Shenzhen is in Guangzhou. My guess is that the OP is hosting 1-2 people from Shenzhen and 1-2 from Shanghai.

          1. re: KTFoley

            Have you been to Roman Anthony's? We have yet to try it even though it is in our backyard. All of the previous restaurants have been duds in that same location, so I guess we are waiting to hear some positive feedback first.

      2. How old are they? Do you think that they are looking for "American" foods like hamburgers and pizza? Or possibly BBQ? For how long will they be here?

        1. The last Chinese visitors my family hosted liked the idea of pizza but hated the real thing. (Cheese wasn't their thing.) Me, I'd take them to a "classic" American place. Too bad that Micky's Diner isn't closer to WBL/Stillwater!

          Maybe Keys for some classic American comfort food - but I don't know if the WBL Keys is one of the "good" ones (the Raymond Ave Keys is not) - and warn them about the huge portion sizes.

          I've never been to Ursula's Wine Bar or Ingredients Cafe, but something like that might be a nice taste of upscale Americana...

          Ursula's Wine Bar & Cafe
          2125 4th St, White Bear Lake, MN 55110

          1. 3 (now 4) Seasons in Mahtomedi is about as local/American as you can get and it's definitely kid friendly.

            There's always Donatelli Bros but ever since it was on TV it's a little more popular and probably a bit more crowded than it was before.

            1. My former co-workers from HK all LOVED chicken wings. Not necessarily buffalo, but wings in general. I can't say what the best ones are in your neck of the woods, but there is a Buffalo Wild Wings near the Maplewood Mall. As far as kid friendly, think some nights are free for kids...:)