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Anyone been to Ward 6?

On Payne Ave. in East St. Paul?

I didn't see any thread on this yet, tho Db Cooper did mention having gone when it opened.

Looks like local beers are a big thing. The list of beers didn't look super-long to me but did look balanced with things you don't find everywhere.

How's the food? Anyone know?

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  1. I've only been for breakfast. The Benedict was quite nice. I can't speak to whether the beignets will transport anyone to their idealized New Orleans reverie, but they and the savory bread pudding were both a hit at our table.

    1. I've been a couple of times, but I've only had the appetizers. I really don't think it's fair to judge a place off of poutine and fried cheese which is all I've had. That being said, we enjoyed them both. The menu is fairly simple. They definitely aren't taking any culinary risks here a la Travail. It's designed to be a neighborhood gathering spot.

      On our visits, we've gone in more of a HH mode and just looking to have a couple of beers. They've got about 20 on tap and almost all of them are MN brewers. I know that's important to some people, I'm not one of them. The choices range from light to dark so there should be something for everyone. They also have a malt machine and are whipping up Adult Malts w/booze. Kind of reminded me of the old Town Talk days. Full bar is also available so the wine and booze hounds have options too.

      I will say the staff is incredibly friendly and hard-working. It's a nice neighborhood restaurant. I don't think it's a restaurant that you'd drive across town for, but definitely by far the best choice for dining now if you find yourself hungry/thirsty in the East Side/Maplewood area.

      1. I tried it for lunch yesterday with some friends.

        I didn't care for my chopped salad. The favors didn't come together very well, they were skimpy on the cheese, the sausage had unappetizingly large chunks of cartilage, and the portion was too small. . . $11.20 including tax and tip (just for the salad, no bev besides water) and I left hungry.

        Two companions enjoyed their sandwiches (fatty and pot roast) and another companion said her fish and chips was OK but pretty greasy.

        I would go back to try something else, but I think they need to rework the chopped salad or take it off the menu.

        1. Went this weekend. I was in the area and my brain reminded me there was somewhere new / different, so I popped in.

          Ordered Health Food (battered veggies with a beer cheese dipping sauce, Fries (you get a choice of 2 from 8 - 10 dipping sauces, I opted for lemon gastrique and spicy tomato jam), and Arugula, Camembert, and Pear Sandwich.

          Health Food was really, really tasty, but sadly quite small at $6. I would not order again, unless it was doubled or more in size.

          Fries were ordered as a side for $3. Again, far too small. Like a McDonalds small amount. But tasted good and the dipping sauces are really interesting. Lemon and Fries? Who knew? But it worked.

          Sandwich was really good and priced right with the side of fries (more than were in the small order above).

          I realize they are using better ingredients than most (there is a blurb about supporting local / etc. on the menu), but the Health Food and side of Fries were puny.

          But - I mentioned to my companion that we were already planning on returning, so that's a good sign. That sandwich is a great option, and the menu boasted a Beet Salad I'd like to tackle. Service was super friendly if a bit unpolished (which is totally find for a place like this). Loved the decor / feel of the room. Definitely a great new option for the area.

          1. I went to Ward 6 this weekend for brunch. I had the bloody Mary, the Welsh Rabbit and the table split the beignets. I liked the bloody Mary. They infuse the vodka with garlic, horseradish and black pepper, so it had a nice kick, which I like. The garnishes were nothing special, however, especially when compared to a place like the Bulldog NE with Kramarcuk's beef sticks.

            I have never been to New Orleans but I really enjoyed the beignets. They came still warm and three were enough for our table of four to share.

            The Welsh Rabbit was two pieces of wheat toast, broiled tomato, fried egg and cheese sauce. I have never had this dish before so I have no basis for comparison. The fried egg seemed more like it was scrambled and it got really soggy in the cheese sauce. I liked the cheese sauce alot and wished I had some hashbrowns or fries to sop it up.

            The portions were smaller, both from what I had and what I observed. I liked not having a big greasy brunch plate. I also thought the prices seemed in line with portions. This was just for brunch, mind you, and they did not have any other menus available at the time.

            I don't think I would necessarily make a special trip to Ward 6 but would consider it for a drink and a bite if I needed a place to meet on the East side.

            1 Reply
            1. re: eajohnso2000

              Referred a couple friends to this place and both ate their this weekend in parties of 5 and 2. Everyone liked it a lot. It's not destination dining, but it's probably the best neighborhood place on that side of 35E. Many things like portion and service can be uneven / random, but I am of the impression it's the owners first restaurant and I think several servers are new to serving. They are doing quite well for a tiny hole in the wall with an address most people associate with a bad area (Payne / Arcade were historically the bad part of town).

              I went last Thursday for dinner and had Cicero Stew (spicy tomato sauce of chick peas and basmati rice) which was vegan (didn't care, impressed it was label / offered as such) and the Pear, Camembert and Arugula sandwich. Both very tasty.

              The portioning issues I've noticed is the amount of fries you get appears to be totally random. Same went for a bunch visit the week prior. I had some hashbrowns, my companion had noticeably much more. We had different dishes, but one would expect this part to be roughly uniform.

            2. Had lunch there Sat. not impressed...the burger was was very good, but fries, healthy food app and dessert....no thank you!

              2 Replies
              1. re: harleyjt

                Thanks for the sentence. Any details?

                I thought "Health Food" was really tasty, but the portion was less than 1/2 the size I expected.

                1. re: harleyjt

                  sorry, I should have said the fries were great!! it was the Poutine app fries that were not good at all

                2. I was there for lunch yesterday. I had the reuben. It was very good. The corned beef was flavorful, cheese melted and, it was obvious that the dressing did not come out of a bottle. My lunch companion had the fish and chips and said they ranked up there with some of the best fish and chips had in this country. The fries were fresh cut and perfect in my opinion.

                  1. I went on a recent weekend and liked but didn't love it.

                    We went on a recent weekend and it was really busy, even groups of 2 standing for 30-45 min, bar packed too.
                    Cocktails- selection and execution- were great and bar service was attentive despite being busy. Noise level was high. This all might be off-putting for some, but for us it added to the atmosphere.

                    Food was just okay. We were excited that they offered house-made charcuterie and the selection sounded promising, but the results were disappointing. Chicken liver mousse was so sweet it tasted like frosting and everything else was just bland. Entrees: I had a potroast sandwich which was tasty. My dining companion had the chicken salad on tiny biscuits which was super blah; chicken salad was bland and the biscuits were dry and cold.

                    Overall I thought the vibe was great, drinks were good, and food was hit or miss. If I lived nearby I would go regularly and consider myself lucky to have it as "my neighborhood place." But, it's not a destination spot for me simply because there are similar places closer to me that have better food.

                    1. Went to Ward 6 for dinner tonight (lunch had been at Barbette).

                      My dining companion preferred Ward 6, I think I actually preferred Barbette, but both of us agreed that we'd both go back to Ward 6 over Barbette (we just got there different ways).

                      *nice location (for me, relatively close to home as I'm an east metro person)
                      *decent and easy parking
                      *decent selection of drinks and if I still drank beer I'd be fine with the selection (I'll take thoughtful and balanced over a huge selection any day though)
                      *alcoholic milkshakes
                      *attentive service
                      *excellent burger (good meat, good bun buttered and toasted - did not need cheese or bacon though it was offered)
                      *fries above par if you like yours well done (which I do) and a nice selection of dipping sauces
                      *they did have a few gluten-free dishes that were clearly labeled

                      *I felt it was a little too noisy (depends on how you like your noise - Barbette had a lot of dish clanging kitchen noise and the music overhead was maybe a little louder than it needed to be (just barely, to my ears, and I did not feel it inhibited conversation) and that greatly bothered my dining partner but not me - Ward 6 didn't have any kitchen noise despite being seated near the kitchen but the conversational level in there was very loud and it bugged the hell out of me and I felt inhibited conversation, but it didn't bother my dining partner)
                      *Relish platter...not that great. Came with a corn relish (sort of out of place and not that special), red pepper spread (smoky and pretty one-note), pickled onion (very good), pickles (dining partner liked them, I thought they were ok but I also make my own pickles and prefer mine), fig paste (out of place and was basically the inside of a fig newton), olive tapenade (pretty much the defining characteristic was excessive saltiness but was pretty decent slathered on the burger), artichoke spread (decent, hint of a heat - pretty good slathered on the burger).
                      *I went with my standard Old Fashioned and I've had better. My dining partner's drink was ok but they said not worth the price tag. I may give their mixed drinks one more try but it doesn't seem to be their strongest feature.

                      Overall: I would definitely go back being an east metro person and I think it's a worthy and tasty addition to the landscape here. If I were a Mpls person I don't know that I would make the trek specifically to go here but I'd definitely give it a go if in the neighborhood.

                      (This is also where I landed with Barbette - if in the neighborhood I would happily dine there, but being an east metro kind of person I don't know that I would routinely make the trek just to dine there).