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Jun 15, 2013 06:04 PM

Sioux Falls, SD Food & Restaurants 2013

The last posts about food in Sioux Falls are pretty old. An update (not a comprehensive one).

Caveat: I don't spend oodles of time at the high end (usually also expensive) restaurants in town so those kind of establishments I will leave up to someone else. We have also had lots of local restaurant turnover so those no longer open were not mentioned.

Tokyo: (Sushi & Japanese) Still exceptionally good and unusual to find in SF. The same people run Fuji, this is set up as half Habachi grill where they do the table side show and the other half normal seating and food. The habachi side is mostly entertainment value and the food pretty generic but good since that works for parties etc. Over all both places are worth the trip.

Habichi Buffet: Totally unrelated to the ones above. This place is a very large Asian buffet. They have a pretty wide selection, sushi, mongolian grill, and a huge line up of buffet tables. The food on the buffet is everything from french fries and chicken to some more unusual Asian fare. They also have lots of desserts & fruits. Good quality over all. The sushi was ok.

McNally's Irish Pub: Quality has gone down in recent years and they have scaled back their menu. It is still pretty good and better than most bar offerings in town. Finding something even remotely gluten free is about impossible. Sad that they removed some of the great menu items like rosemary lamb kebabs (local lamb).

Tea Steak House: This still has solid midwestern steak offerings. It is absolutely no frills though. You are very likely to be rubbing elbows with some of the old farmers still in their overalls. The steaks are aged and a bargain compared to getting an aged steak in a major city. Salads are basic iceberg lettuce and dressings like ranch or thousand island. Their t-bones were the one thing I missed during my years in California.

Food Shopping:
Sioux Falls is over populated with HyVee stores. Since they mostly took over the grocery store market in town prices have gone quite high. I have lots of issues with Hyvee's offerings. Produce is usually about a day away from starting to go bad. Meat is mostly pre-packaged Hormel branded beef and pork soaked in a variety of chemicals and contained in c02 filled plastic trays. The meat counter is only slightly better and is vague on exactly what is in it or where it comes from. Seafood is vaguely labeled and mostly from China.

East Dakota Food Coop: Natural and local foods. Pretty much anything you can think of in bulk. They have organic and non-organic. Even the non organic items in the bulk bins are usually so much better than the typical grocery store offerings that you won't want to go back to the grocery store stuff. They have a decent variety of things for people with dietary issues. Local and organic produce and local dairy and some cheese. There is also some local beef and pork in the freezer cases. Prices and value vary widely. Some things are a bargain others quite expensive. You can also buy entire bags of flour etc. if you ask. They can order things that they don't have in stock. Non members can buy, members get a discount and dividend.

Pomegranate: Natural and organic offerings. This is good sized, about the size of a Trader Joes or a Whole Foods. Local and organic produce, bulk bins, supplement and beauty section with staff available to help. Local and organic dairy section. Lots of boxed things and a deli counter. They have some very unique cheese offerings.

Looks Meats: Mostly meat with some local produce and gourmet food items. Deli meats and cheese also. Local lamb, buffalo, beef. Fresh burger is a few more cents a pound than mystery meat is at Hyvee. Worth the trip. Steaks are very good but pricey.

Cleavers: Similar to Looks in offerings, slightly less expensive. Picked up a chuck roast here that was great quality and about the same price as roast soaked in chemicals from Hyvee. If it is something odd and hard to find they might have it on hand.

SF Farmers Market: Saturday mornings til 1pm near Falls Park spring-fall. Lots of produce vendors and a few local meat vendors. German bakery that has really good breads and pretzels. Wood fired pizza, coffee and usually some ready made foods.

Philippine Oriental Food Store: On N. Minnesota Ave in a small store that is easy to miss. Some produce, lots of frozen seafood, tons of dried noodles of all sort, snacks and a decent selection of canned foods and condiments.

Thanh Mai: Asian Grocery store located near the John Morrell meat plant. Weird location to be in but great selection of just about anything Asian you could want stuffed into this small store. They have an extensive bunch of freezers and fridges packed with meats, seafood, produce etc. Non food items, cooking pots, woks etc. Large bags of imported and domestic rices. They also have lots of snacks, drinks etc.

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  1. Ate at Shahai Palace a few weeks ago. Very good Indian food. They do a buffet on weekdays for lunch. Located hidden away in a strip mall in the mall district.

    1. Hi, I'll be visiting Sioux Falls this weekend and am looking for a recommendation. I live in the NYC metro area so there's no lack of variety here, so what I'm looking for is something uniquely local and/or locally interesting. There doesn't seem to be a Sioux cuisine restaurant but perhaps a place that does fry bread? I'll have a rental car so I wouldn't mind driving a little out of the way; I'll be coming from the West (Mitchell). Any suggestions would be appreciated.

      1 Reply
      1. re: yellowmix

        I don't think I have ever seen Fry bread at a restaurant in SF. It is usually something you find at local faires as street food.

        This place is supposed to be "localvore" but they don't give much detail about what is locally sourced.

        It also has mixed reviews on Yelp.

        Culturally South Dakota doesn't really have a specific cuisine. Buffalo, lamb and beef are considered some of SD's feature foods.

        You will find one odd little phenomenon in SD, the local steakhouse. This is NOT oh so not what one would think of as a big city steakhouse. Most have very simplistic utilitarian decor. Sides are the typical ice berg lettuce salad and baked potatoes. But if you hit up a good one you can get a pretty decent steak for a song. I think an aged t-bone steak dinner is about $17. with salad and potato the last time we ate at the Tea Steak House.

        If you do go looking for a steak house go into it knowing this isn't big city gourmet but it is a unique dining experience I have not seen in other areas of the midwest. I wish I could give a decent list of steak houses in SD but many change hands as owners retire so a reputation from 10 years ago may not be valid today.

      2. Another place I ate at again recently, nothing elaborate but they have really good food. This is an order at the counter type place.

        Their pocket sandwiches are huge.

        1. Update on Hibachi Buffet. Someone I trust went back there for lunch and said quality was back up so whatever issue they were having has been repaired.

          Also hit a new place in town Rowdy Hog Barbecue

          Food was rather good, better than any chain bbq in the region. Sides seemed to all be home made, the ribs were very good. Service is counter ordering and they bring it out. 1/2 rack with two sides and soda was $11.99 and a bargain IMHO.

          1. There is a reason you would seldom see me posting about white tablecloth type restaurants in Sioux Falls. Some are a bit iffy, just read the Yelp and Urban Spoon reviews.

            If I am spending the price points some of these restaurants charge I expect something better than chain restaurant prefab food and some decent level of service. Sioux Falls does have some destination restaurants but they are a moving target, ownership changes, location, focus etc. so fast that I may eat there and a month later someone else is running it or a totally new concept is in the location.

            There is one notable local Italian restaurant with a big following among the benz & beemer crowd. Their bakery goods are frozen and bought from some company (an employee admitted this when I inquired about purchasing a whole cheesecake). I have also spied one of their "chefs" at the local wholesale club store buying boxes of brownie mix among their order.

            1 Reply
            1. re: blackpointyboots

              For a friend's birthday last nite, a complimentary brownie was served at above mentioned Italian was not good. There were 5 of us sharing and we left half ofmthe small serving on the plate. The waitress made a point of saying the tiramisu was homemade; I even commented to my friends that it was surprising as I thought they all came boxed and frozen. Our main courses were very good though and still love their decor...Spezia.