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Oct 5, 2012 03:10 PM

Coming soon...Parka

To far-eastern Lake Street (east of light rail). A joint venture between the Victory 44 crew, Rustica bakery and some coffee guys (I'm not a coffee fan, so I quickly forgot that part of the venture).

The sign says they're opening this fall. I live in St. Paul and I like both Victory 44 and Rustica and this means I don't have to drive nearly as far so I'm all in favor of it.

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  1. Dogwood Coffee, which is not insignificant for us caffeinated types. A few details here:

    5 Replies
    1. re: KTFoley

      I'm practically across the street and often drive to Victory 44, so I'm keeping daily tabs on this and keeping my fingers crossed that my hopes will be met of three things I enjoy a great deal.

      1. re: eastlakovore

        I used to live in the neighborhood. Can you tell me what used to be in the space Parka will occupy? I'm just coming up with the Leviticus Tat place. TIA

        1. re: justalex

          Leviticus is 4109, I think this used to be the Carpenter's Union Hall.

          1. re: SmartCookie

            Thanks Smart Cookie. IIRC, the Carpenter's Union Hall is a cool old building with columns around the steps. I'll have to make a visit.

            1. re: justalex

              The Carpenter's Union Hall is a brick building that looks like it's from the 50s or 60s. I remember because I thought it was ironic that a building "dedicated" to carpenters was made of brick. lol

    2. Hey, they're open!

      The lunch/dinner menu looks a little meat-tacular with pork chops and rabbit meatballs and the like, but they've got some lovely salads that can be made vegetarian upon request and indicated that they will be offering some daily specials and might have some vegetarian options via that channel as well.


        1. re: keg

          How do they NOT have a menu posted?

              1. re: tart1

                I'm not searching through 200 instagram pics to find a menu. It should be front and center on everything they are posting.

                1. re: american_idle

         of thats funny

                  1. re: brlattim

                    Too early to review review:
                    Living so close I couldn't help but go on opening night.
                    Service jitters aside they will get there. Between the mrs and I we shared two apps, two entrees, and a dessert. It's definitely MN comfort food through V44's stylings.
                    Chicken Wild Rice Soup - Broth poured table side, not cream based, but a very rice broth, toasted wild rice, chicken, and a brown butter. Very good, I could see some argue heavy on the salt, but I lean on the salty side, so no complaints from me, the ras al hanout was a nice touch. Comfort food without being the cream based heavy soup I was expecting
                    Brussel Sprouts - bacon, quail eggs, walnut, they go well, nothing earth shattering, eggs were maybe slightly over done, but the bowl was finished clean.
                    Pot Roast - it was just like how my mom should have cooked it moist and fall apart with a fork without being overdone. With a very delicious puree of something and carrots that she could never do at home.
                    Glazed Ribs - Came with a version of mac and cheese done with vermicelli, a little cold so it lost what I assumed would be an oozy cheesy goodness that you'd like to see. The spare ribs were glazed in rootbeer and mustard seed. Once again a little cold, but the ribs were delicious, the glaze very good. The menu listed kale as part of the dish, though I didn't see it anywhere. I'd order again.
                    Milk and Cookies - five types of housemade cookies/bars/brownies, so filling, likely perfectly sized for 3 or 4 people. All very good desserts, the apricot bar was the standout for the two of us. As for a flight of milk, it was one type of milk (served in a glass version of the little paperboard version from elementary school), but maybe their intention is to go towards several types in the future.

                    By the layout, it definitely looks like the right place to sit is at the high top (I think there were 5 seats) that abuts the open kitchen as that seems to allow for a show while waiting for your food.

                    I think as they work out the bugs and get comfortable (I wasn't expecting flawless on an opening night) I think they will be very well positioned in the area like a Victory 44. They take a nice view on the MN comfort food and from the sampling it looks like they'll be running smoothly quickly.

                  2. re: american_idle

                    There's a tiny little [VIEW MENU] right in the center of their website. It pops up the menu.

                    1. re: Rowdy

                      Cool! Wasn't there this morning. They must have added it when they put up the "Now Open!!"

            1. How will Craftsman respond to the competition?

              1 Reply
              1. re: ChancesR

                They won't because they aren't competing. Bringing more foodie types into the area will only benefit both.

              2. Had lunch with 3 coworkers today. Spare ribs, rabbit meatballs, fish fry, vegetarian du jour.

                Spare ribs came with a vermicelli "pudding". Looked like hash browns in a small cast iron pot, cheese on top.

                Rabbit meatballs were two balls to a mini-hoagie roll, served with beet chips.

                Fish fry was what you'd expect.

                Veg option was grilled mushrooms and popcorn grits. Mushrooms were good and meaty, grits were awesome. Would've gladly ate a KFC bucket full of them.

                Everyone enjoyed their food very much. All plates were clean. A touch expensive vs. portion, but not outrageous. Really nice option / alternative for the area, especially the immediate area.