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Mar 29, 2011 05:58 PM

West Saint Paul

Hi all,

just got a house in West Saint Paul and I've love to hear any recommendations for restaurants in the area. I'm just off Robert and am moving from Lowertown so am familiar with a lot of places in the area (Lucky China, Beirut, El Burrito Mercado) but am curious about some of the Mexican, Asian and other restaurants around here.

Some I've seen but haven't yet tried include Pho Saigon, Pineda, Fireside Lounge, Chula Vista, Cici's Pizza. I'll report back if I visit any of them.

Fireside Lounge
1288 Robert St S, Saint Paul, MN 55118

El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St Ste 2, Saint Paul, MN 55107

Cici's Pizza
1292 Town Centre Dr, Saint Paul, MN 55123

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  1. Congratulations on the new digs!

    I haven't been to all of the places you've mentioned. But I've been to Pineda a few times and enjoyed the food. I can't compare it to some of the current Chow darlings on East Lake, but I thought it was pretty good food and several cuts above what is typically considered "Mexican" food around these parts. I also like the Mexican restaurant across from Menard's/Goodwill -- El Taquito. It seems to be family run; very friendly; and makes me wish my Spanish were better. :-)

    Cici's might be worth a visit if both you and your wallet are near empty. But the ambience and menu remind me too much of a Shakey's AYCE buffet. I'd much rather go to the nearby Carbone's.

    IIRC Lucky China is the restaurant that has a "hidden" Korean menu -- ah, yes, here we are, courtesy of Heavy Table: . They also have a buffet which IMHO is not near the quality of the menu items.

    And, speaking of buffets, there are two Chinese buffets that I know of on Robert. I know buffets like that typically are not destinations. But when I'm hungry but don't know what I'm hungry for, it's one way of having just a little bit of everything and a little more of what you really liked. One buffet is in the shopping center with Cub. The food I've had there has been middling, but it's one of the biggest buffets I've seen in St. Paul. The other is further north on Robert, by the Radio Shack. Smaller, less selection, but I liked the food better (turns over faster?). If you're in the mood for that....

    Lucky China
    1375 Robert St S, Saint Paul, MN 55118

    1 Reply
    1. re: steve_in_stpaul

      Great stuff. I've only ever hapd the Korean stuff at Lucky and it is a nice change of pace. I don't really do buffets, but I'll check out El Taquito. I speak bad Spanish so I'm they'll enjoy that.

      I mostly enjoy smaller places with unique menus. For example I love somemof the pupusarerias on the east side.

      Another great place not far off Robert is Jerabeks. Cafe con Amore also opened up their new place on Smith.

    2. It has been ages since I've been to Beirut (or is it The Port? anyway, it's the restaurant formerly known as Port of Beirut) . But I still dream of their chicken kabobs with Garlic Sauce. And the smoky, garlicky Baba Ganouj. Yum.

      2 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Amen to that! I didn't mention Beirut because the OP already was familar with the place, but that restaurant is one place at which Mrs. Sisp and I find ourselves often, and for just that -- the baba ganouj and the garlic sauce. The deal, though, is that BOTH of us eat it. That way neither partner suffers from "garlic breath". :-)

        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Those charred chicken kabobs with the garlic sauce are wonderful. I haven't been there in years. I must get there.

        2. Chula Vista is definitely not worth a visit - it's mediocre, Midwestern Mexican.

          1. El Amanacer, across the street from El Burrito Mercado, is pretty good. Not as good as Los Ocampo, which is in my 'hood, so we don't go there often, but I like it better than EBM actually.

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

            1. The Fireside has amazing Dago's!! Their marinara sauce is super. I also like to go there for breakfast.....I enjoy their breakfast sandwich.

              Fireside Lounge
              1288 Robert St S, Saint Paul, MN 55118

              1 Reply
              1. re: nicols

                I second the thumbs up on the Dago's. Close to a pound of italian spiced patty served on top of spaghetti. Topped with a liberal serving of cheese, if that's how you like it. Two meals worth for me. I rate it right up there with the Dago's at Yarusso's on the East Side and DeGideo's on West 7th. Someday will have to try Dari-ette, in St. Paul, which also gets some good recs on their dago's.