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City Pages "Best Of" 2013

american_idle Apr 17, 2013 08:13 AM


Some good LOL's

Best Steak House - Burch

Best Vegetarian Friendly - Birdhouse (a few dishes versus entirely vegetarian restaurants


Best Take Out - Foxy Falafel (most restaurants have take out, this is the best?)

  1. k
    kuan Apr 17, 2013 07:32 PM

    Ted Cook's is take out, and best BBQ, but not as good as FF for take out.


    1. l
      liney714 Apr 17, 2013 12:54 PM

      its so slanted to minneapolis its not funny. There were very little mention of anything else.

      1. f
        forgottendreamr Apr 17, 2013 09:06 AM

        The "Best Vegetarian" category is one that needs to be revisited on every list I've seen. I was a vegetarian for 15 years, and it really annoyed me that a place would be named "best vegetarian" and only have one vegetarian option on the menu!

        24 Replies
        1. re: forgottendreamr
          american_idle Apr 17, 2013 09:21 AM

          Birdhouse has a few, but as a vegetarian myself, it's so far down the list of consideration for a place to go eat (I haven't been there yet), it's laughable. Taco Bell has more options if we're just talking "friendly".

          1. re: american_idle
            MplsM ary Apr 18, 2013 02:44 AM

            They can't just give it to Heartland year after year. The Twin Cities restaurant scene (or maybe I should widen that to the US) simply isn't very vegetarian friendly at the moment. The trend is an organ or dripping of some sort in every dish. The tide will turn again. Hopefully, soon.

            1. re: MplsM ary
              brlattim Apr 18, 2013 06:55 AM

              Is it difficult for restaurants to maintain integrity of product with both vegetarian and meat friendly on the same menu….while being able to attract lovers of both and remain profitable? Or do restaurants find themselves leaning one way or the other to not confuse people with their brand?

              1. re: MplsM ary
                american_idle Apr 18, 2013 07:08 AM

                I wasn't aware it had won this the past. Heartland doesn't deserve "Vegetarian Friendly" any year. Again, 10% of a menu (even if a bit of it is segregated / highlighted) does not make a place "vegetarian friendly" when there are restaurants that are only vegetarian. Is it supposed to be "Best Restaurant with a Vegetarian Dish"? If so, Heartland would be undeserving of that as well.

                1. re: american_idle
                  american_idle Apr 18, 2013 07:10 AM

                  Heartland was not "Best Vegetarian" between 2010 and 2013. City Pages archive does not appear to go back farther.

                  1. re: american_idle
                    MplsM ary Apr 18, 2013 10:58 AM


                  2. re: american_idle
                    Db Cooper Apr 18, 2013 07:58 AM

                    I'll bite. Who is deserving outside of The French Meadow or the Good Earth. Thrill me with your acumen.

                    1. re: Db Cooper
                      forgottendreamr Apr 18, 2013 08:15 AM

                      Depends on your criteria. We talking middle to upscale dining with a locavore spin? Because there are places that are decent food but certainly don't fit into the "fine" category. Evergreen Chinese can make just about everything vegetarian if you are in the mood for take-out style Chinese. Likewise, Bulldog is willing to put their "no-dog" on any of their regular offerings.

                      1. re: forgottendreamr
                        forgottendreamr Apr 18, 2013 08:22 AM

                        Still thinking :)

                        Also, there are entire cuisines that are very veggie friendly. Indian and Ethiopian will have a wide variety of veggie options for the vegetarian who doesn't want the one celeriac dish on the menu.

                        Seasonal menus are also a consideration. Broder's is generally quite veggie friendly in the spring/summer, but less so in the fall/winter.

                        Also, Bravo, much like Evergreen, does everything on their menu vegetarian.

                      2. re: Db Cooper
                        american_idle Apr 18, 2013 08:21 AM

                        I don't think Good Earth belongs in the conversation. They are "natural", not necessarily vegetarian.

                        Restaurants I frequent that are more "vegetarian friendly":

                        Grand Pad Thai
                        On's Thai Kitchen
                        Bangkok Thai Deli
                        Thai Cafe
                        Cheng Heng
                        Dosa King
                        Indian Cafe
                        India Palace
                        Triple Rock
                        Muddy Waters (BBQ Tofu tacos the best thing I've eaten so far this year)
                        Common Roots
                        Gorkha Palace
                        Los Ocampos
                        Blackbird Cafe
                        Pizza Luce
                        Bar La Grassa (probably the best restaurant with the most choices)
                        Victory 44

                        Lots of SE Asia, some pug grub, and some fancy options. Bridhouses sustainable / healthy / whatever self-marketing has been successful. They have 1 (possibly 2) veg-friendly entrees and a few snacks. That just doesn't equate to the best option for vegetarians to me.

                        1. re: american_idle
                          american_idle Apr 18, 2013 08:34 AM

                          Bulldog will do just about any burger with their veg patty as well.

                          Forgot about Evergreen, but I've never been there yet.

                          Forgot about Alma, they do a similar offering to Heartland (veg-specific prix fix, also haven't been yet).

                          The category was "Vegetarian Friendly", it should have no caveats of fine dining / localvore / whatever. It should be a place vegetarians can select from many menu items, not pigeonholed into a green salad or a half-assed afterthought ("Can you hold the bacon? Oh, it's pre-mixed? Drat.").

                          1. re: american_idle
                            kuan Apr 18, 2013 08:36 AM


                            1. re: american_idle
                              MplsM ary Apr 18, 2013 10:57 AM

                              Thanks. That's a good list.

                              1. re: american_idle
                                Rowdy Apr 18, 2013 12:28 PM

                                As a 35+ year vegetarian, I've always chosen Brenda Langton's restaurants as my go-to places. She's added some meat items at Spoonriver, but the menu is still at least 50/50 vegetarian.

                              2. re: Db Cooper
                                MplsM ary Apr 18, 2013 10:55 AM

                                Nobody. Edited to add that Ecopolitan does fit the bill, but it's a very specific niche.

                                1. re: MplsM ary
                                  Db Cooper Apr 18, 2013 11:04 AM

                                  I agree that it is a good list, but I'd also say that most people wouldn't even think of those restaurants when it came to being vegetarian-friendly.

                                  1. re: Db Cooper
                                    forgottendreamr Apr 18, 2013 11:31 AM

                                    Db, can you clarify why they wouldn't be thought of?

                                    1. re: forgottendreamr
                                      american_idle Apr 18, 2013 11:37 AM

                                      Probably because most people aren't vegetarian / don't care. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade and am used to eating in the margins.

                                      I've had Alma's menu (as well as other higher end places) bookmarked for a couple years following my options, I just haven't been able to go yet.

                                      OH! Haute Dish does a veg prix fix on Sundays for $30.

                                      1. re: forgottendreamr
                                        Db Cooper Apr 18, 2013 01:12 PM

                                        Do the restaurants themselves market themselves in any way veg friendly? Do they include it on their menus? In their advertising?

                                        I've been to Los Ocampos 100's of times. At no point would I ever have though it veg friendly. They advertise at authentic Mexican fare. I don't even recall seeing a Veg section of the menu.

                                        Is it my job to figure it out or the job of the business to let potential consumers know?

                                        1. re: Db Cooper
                                          american_idle Apr 18, 2013 01:25 PM

                                          Nope (well, Modern Times does, maybe 1 or 2 others). Sometimes vegetarian options are noted / starred, like gluten free options are starting to be. Nope.

                                          Not all authentic Mexican dishes contain meat, or lard-cooked beans. The dishes aren't listed under a vegetarian section. El Tejaban actually does list vegetarian options (and the tamales ruled).

                                          This is getting away from the CP list (most of which are fine, I just found these 3 goofy).

                                          1. re: american_idle
                                            Db Cooper Apr 18, 2013 02:44 PM

                                            The three you found goofy are good examples. I mean, if The Strip Club is the best restaurant, how is Burch the best steakhouse?

                                            But at the end of the day, I'm not sure how many people are actually paying attention anymore.

                                            1. re: Db Cooper
                                              american_idle Apr 18, 2013 02:45 PM

                                              Well, to be fair, Strip Club was "Best Restaurant (St. Paul)". So, like 50th Best Overall by CP standards.

                                              1. re: Db Cooper
                                                kuan Apr 18, 2013 04:21 PM

                                                haha yes. Good catch.

                                            2. re: Db Cooper
                                              forgottendreamr Apr 18, 2013 02:12 PM

                                              I've never looked at it in that respect, so thanks for clarifying. I would argue that shouldn't be relevant here, because several of the other categories are awarded based off of something the restaurant wouldn't advertise itself for. Does Sea Change advertise as a seafood restaurant? Yes. Does Kings Wine Bar advertise itself as a "first date destination"? Not to my knowledge. I would think that Vegetarian Friendly would translate to "significant portion of the menu does not contain meat," not necessarily calling vegetarian out as a unique cuisine/niche.

                            2. Db Cooper Apr 17, 2013 08:52 AM

                              One of these years, I'm sure City Pages is going to recognize the genius that is The Chief and his master efforts at The Best Steakhouse off of Rice & Larpenteur.

                              I used to try and rip City Pages Best of Lists apart. But now they are just like Zagat, inconsequential and meaningless.

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