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Downtown St. Paul Skyway for Lunch?

a
alpa chino Apr 26, 2012 02:49 PM

So, I got this new job in this foreign country called St. Paul. Interesting place, it's different than Minneapolis.

I see a lot of food trucks and skyway stores. Are there any places that are highly recommended?

  1. j
    jaycooke Sep 21, 2012 08:56 PM

    So I saw today that Wilbur's is now officially Kat's Kitchen. Can anyone report in on their noodle bowls or other non-sandwich items?

    Also saw an Erbert & Gerberts opened in the former Tea Garden space. I know it's a chain, but I've never been. Where does it rank on the sub shop continuum?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaycooke
      a
      alpa chino Sep 23, 2012 09:28 AM

      Never been to kat's kitchen in the food court. But E & G's is alright. Very similar to Jimmy johns which is 10 paces next to it. But I'd much rather go to Real meal deli for a great sandwich--which is 20 paces left of it.

    2. b
      basquesheep Sep 21, 2012 11:17 AM

      I also recommend Ruam Mit, Friday Korean, La Loma, Maison Darras, Miguel's, and Christos.

      Other regulars:

      Jerabek's - in the skyway by Turkey to Go. Love the rhubarb bars. Grab one for dessert if you're close.

      Anita's in the Landmark center - really fresh salads. Rotating entrees. I like the salmon phyllo and once had some great ribs there. Also, they have my favorite dinner rolls and really friendly staff.

      Babani's - by the hospital. Kurdish food. Haven't had anything disapointing , but I especially liked the cabbage rolls, the salty yogurt drink, lemonade, and the bread.

      1. a
        alpa chino Sep 7, 2012 01:56 PM

        I've been making the rounds here in the skyway, based on recommendations.

        Maison Darras is pretty good for panini. For a light lunch, it's not bad. It's not very filling and a little pricey for what you get.

        The orient express, next door, has that excellent bi bim boo korean bowl. I have no idea if it's authentic korean, but it's a healthy bowl full of veggies, rice, and beef all for $8. Only on Fridays, but a great deal.

        Potbelly and La Loma are alright in a pinch.

        But the place I'm most impressed with is that Real meal deli. They have some high quality food. Their ingredients are outstanding and it's also healthy for the price. You can get a great sandwich for under $6.

        Four Inns isn't bad for breakfast, never had the lunch.

        1. AnneInMpls May 12, 2012 09:40 AM

          Oops - just saw this thread. I assume you're still in downtown St P.

          If you can see food trucks, you're probably at the Kellogg/St. Peter/Rice Park end of downtown. Me, I'm at the other end (Mears Park), so what's close to me might be a long walk for you, but...

          My faves are:
          - Maison Darras for panini or quiche & salad. They make awesome cookies.
          - Oriental Restaurant (next to Maison D) on Fridays for Korean food.
          - Wilbers for banh mi
          - Asian Express (or A.E.2 in Galtier) for veg soup & Vietnamese spring rolls

          At Miguel's (near Potbelly) looks promising. I've been there once and liked what I had: chickpea-chorizo salad & Turkish grape leaves - from a can, but the good brand (I buy these myself, for parties)p

          Christos in the train depot has very good food and a lunch buffet. You can stuff yourself for $12 or $13? (includes a mini piece of baklava).

          Out of the skyway - I love Golden's Deli, but haven't been for a year. It's near the Farmers Market. Also near the FM, Heartland has a deli counter with very nice sandwiches, but it's slow, so I've only been once.

          Alas, Tanpopo isn't open for lunch, but if you can get at least 8 people together, you can order (48 hrs in advance) an awesome take-out bento lunch for $15. We did that once, and it was worth every penny.

          3 Replies
          1. re: AnneInMpls
            a
            alpa chino Jun 9, 2012 08:46 AM

            I'm in the 180 building, with D'Brian's downstairs--so I'm near Mears. If you're talking about the Asian express next to the Subway and Andreas........that place was horrible.

            Thanks for the suggestions folks.

            Does anyone know if all these food trucks take plastic? I'm reluctant to check them out because I never have cash with me.

            Also, has anyone checked out the grill that the Dunn Bros on 5th street fires up around lunch time? It looks like they're giving out dogs and burgers.

            1. re: alpa chino
              j
              jaycooke Jun 9, 2012 01:32 PM

              Yes, most of the food trucks take plastic! This site: http://mspstreetfood.com/food-trucks/ lists which trucks take credit cards.

              It looks like the Thursday #Lunchbytheriver would be the closest to you and is worth checking out. Sassy Spoon and Neato's burgers are my favorites on Thursday.

              The stand by Dunn Bros. _sells_ burgers, grilled chicken, and a couple other things. It's mediocre and while I used to grab a burger there on occasion, I'd rather find a food truck now.

              1. re: jaycooke
                a
                alpa chino Jun 10, 2012 11:10 AM

                Great. Thanks.

          2. s
            ssioff Apr 27, 2012 09:35 AM

            http://www.senorwong.com/

            In the skyway and they have a pretty good happy hour too.

            Not in the skyway:

            http://www.greatwatersbc.com/

            http://blacksheeppizza.com/

            http://www.thebulldoglowertown.com/

            1. g
              gryffindor249 Apr 26, 2012 05:25 PM

              http://ruam-mit-thai.net/

              http://www.sakurastpaul.com/

              And for a retro but rock-solid breakfast...or a simple lunch:

              http://www.thefourinns.com/moms%20web...

              2 Replies
              1. re: gryffindor249
                j
                jaycooke Apr 26, 2012 06:41 PM

                It's a sad, sad skyway system compared to Minneapolis. Even 5 years later, I still miss working in the other downtown. Food trucks are one of the better options in the summer.

                If you're willing to just leave the skyway, my favorites are:

                http://www.mstcafe.com/ - hot & cold buffets in the basement of the St. Paul Hotel

                http://www.barriotequila.com/ has a $10 taco lunch and a $12 all-you-can eat taco buffet

                http://blacksheeppizza.com/

                http://www.meritage-stpaul.com/ - sit at the oyster bar, get a burger or a bowl of matzo ball soup

                I second the recommendation for Ruam Mit, above. But just for takeout -- their lunch service can be dreadfully slow. I prefer Fuji-ya to Sakura, but it isn't skyway connected. Other decent sandwich/salad options:

                http://www.maisondarras.com/

                http://www.realmealdeli.com/

                And see this recent thread re: the change in ownership/menu at Wilbur's and the Chinese place that has Korean Fridays (which I may try tomorrow). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/843595

                Finally, La Loma is opening in Town Square this summer. Will be a nice addition.

                1. re: gryffindor249
                  mtullius Jun 10, 2012 03:52 PM

                  The Four Inns is worth a look, if only to see a snapshot of what St. Paul was like 50 years ago. Hasn't changed a bit, in decor or food or service.

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