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Jul 2, 2012 09:41 AM

MSP Trip Recap


I just returned from my first visit to the TC and I absolutely loved it. I imagine it's horrible in the winter but I want a summer home over there. Anyways, here's my food recap (in the order it was eaten):

Tuesday Night - Arrived late and went straight to Matt's for a Jucy Lucy. I didn't have the highest of expectations but figured I had to get one while in MSP. It's horrible! The meat sucked, the cheese added little, the burger was just not at all good. That said, I liked the bar and even photographed the menu (first menu I've ever seen with "pop" on it).

Wednesday Lunch - Ate at Hmong Village in SP. This was awesome. I've traveled through SE Asia and the mall is laid out like one you would find over there. For the food, we had raw beef larb, hmong sausage with purple rice, stuffed chicken wings and papaya salad. The raw beef larb was not my favorite, it has a very bitter herb in it that I was not expecting. The sausage was interesting. The chicken wings were just okay. The papaya salad was unbelievably good. We got it from a stall that pretty much only makes the salad and the tri-color drinks (also delicious). Probably my favorite item of the trip let alone my favorite papaya salad of my life (including Thailand).

Wednesday Dinner - home cooked meal

Thursday Lunch - Went to Brasa, it was awesome. I had the pulled pork, creamed spinach, and cornbread. All three were fantastic.

Thursday Dinner - We went to Ngon. I was not very impressed. Everything was good but nothing was great nor interesting. We had the rabbit dumpling (just okay), the shrimp and sweet potato croquettes (my favorite item of the night, very good but not enough shrimp) to start. I had a wild rice crusted salmon dish which was just okay. I also tried the ravioli which were good but not special and the pork shoulder which was also just decent.

Friday Lunch - home cooked meal

Friday Snack - I went to Village Pub in St. Anthony to get Poutine. I've been wanting to try Poutine for years and finally got some. I thought it was good but nothing incredible. Can anyone (preferably a Canadian) confirm for me if their version is good, bad, authentic or not? I'm curious to hear if I had a bad version or if I'm just not a fan of that dish.

Friday Dinner - 112 Eatery was fantastic. We had 5 or 6 small plates, all of which were delicious.

All in all MSP rocks.

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  1. Next time you are here and fixin' to get yourself a burger, head over to Saint Paul and hit The Nook. You will want to order the Nookie Supreme. I assure you that you will not be let down.

    Also, give Ngon another try and stick to their traditional menu, especially the Pho. I far prefer their more traditional dishes to their contemporary versions.

    Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself and the cities. Hopefully you'll be back soon.

    1. There's a reason I never recommend Matt's. I consider it to be more of a neighborhood hangout than a true destination. I would echo the recommend of the Nook, if you're strictly looking for burgers. Everything from the vibe to the food is better.

      1. If there were a few decent burgers available in this town, there would be a lower compulsion to jam cheese in the middle and declare it something worthy of cult praise.

        3 Replies
        1. re: keg

          There are a few decent burgers available in this town including the Nooks which rivals anything I've had anywhere. You just have to know where to go and where to look. I'd start at the Nook and then head to Meritage. And I know for a fact there are many others as well, they just don't involve stuffing the thing with cheese and then cooking the life out of it to melt it.

          1. re: Db Cooper

            I'll give Meritage a try and report back. I've tried Russo's product and Craftsman and find them both credible, but I want to go down market, not in terms of price necessarily, more atmosphere, and maintain quality. Quality defined as fresh, well ground, decent portion, proper patty, properly seasoned, properly cooked, proper bun, proper accompaniments, decent fries. Beef needs to be from established source without growth hormones or antibiotics. Add in some flawless beer service and here's a business plan if you have between 200 - 500 K. I haven't tried Burger Jones because I don't like references to heroine addiction in restaurant names and I'm not happy with other Parasole experiences. Close minded maybe.

            1. re: keg

              The burger at the Anchor Bar might fit your requirements. It's very good.....

              And many like the Vincent burger for something fancier.

        2. Thank you for the terrific recap. Sorry you ended up at Matt's. I try to steer visitors away from that place if their primary interest is good food. I'm also sorry your experience at Ngon Bistro wasn't that great. I do love Ngon Bistro, but I have to say, they can be somewhat inconsistent, which is exceedingly frustrating. I'd estimate one out of every 4 of my visits has been a dud? I don't understand what the factors driving the "dud" visits are. I haven't been able to detect a pattern so I can avoid them or help others to avoid them. But, sometimes the food just doesn't hit or some of the vegetables look a little limp... Sorry you hit a dud night. I wish I knew how to tell people when it will be a sure thing.