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best restaurant for fresh high quality raw oysters

I love Meritage.

Designing a complete foodie experience.

Locavores! My IPad seems to hate this word!

Designing a complete foodie experience.

Ngon on University Ave. in St Paul is great Vietnamese/French fusion, with arguably the best pho in the cities. A block away is Trung Nam, a French/Vietnamese bakery with outrageously good croissants and banh mi sandwiches. They're out of things by 11 am often, so have someone do a run for you. I love Meritage (Russell Klein), and Lenny Russo's Heartland deserves a visit for locators pioneering.

Designing a complete foodie experience.

If you go to Surly, try 4:30 on a weekday if you're not up for an hour to two hour wait. Not worth it in my opinion.

Where to get a great club sandwich?

Try Magnolia's in St. Paul (east side).

Sunday brunch

Smack Shack!

Dim Sum in Inver Grove Heights!

Yes! For sure on Sunday, not sure about the weekday.

Dim Sum in Inver Grove Heights!

A friend of mine came in town from Arkansas and googled dim sum. She came up with the standards in Mpls., but also found A and L Chinese in Inver Grove Heights. We went on a weekday and asked for the dim sum menu. They were super friendly and made things to order. We had shrimp balls, tofu skins, shrimp dumplings, beef noodle, pork dumplings, and shark skin dumplings from the dim sum menu and Chinese broccoli from the regular menu. Our waiter laughed with us about how much we ordered. Everything was fresh and delicious, and incredibly reasonable! Today we went back for their weekend dim sum with carts, etc. It was busy, though not packed and no line to get in. A number of Chinese families there for Easter. There were a number of things (pork buns, custard pies, pineapple rolls) that aren't available during the week. Loved the food again. They don't have a huge staff, so it took a while longer to have things arrive. Staff are friendly and welcoming, which I haven't always found with dim sum. I was again amazed at the quality for the price.

Dining Report: Caffe Biaggio

I enjoy both versions and both restaurants. Different, yes, in any number of ways.

Dining Report: Caffe Biaggio

I love Cafe Biaggio too. I always feel like I'm on a mini-vacation when I'm there. I love their goat cheese torta appetizer and can't wait for zuchini blooms to come in season!

Better than best croissants

Bars' croissants are 4.00 instead of 1.75 for fabulous from Trung Nam. Also, Trung Nam has fabulous banh mi for hardly any money. Just come early and bring cash!

Better than best croissants

Croissants at Trung Nam are 1.75 instead of 4.00 at bars. And perfect IMO. Not only that, but they have great banh mi for lunch--amazing place!!

Appenzellar Cheese

I found it at the St. Paul Cheese Shop. Smelly cheese, but delicious and my friend was ecstatic! Thanks all!

Appenzellar Cheese

Any ideas where to find some? Visiting a friend in Arkansas who loves it.

Waconia! Who knew?

After 21+ years of marriage to a Waconia native, we went to Terra Waconia for dinner. Great food, charming interior, friendly knowledgable service. Living in Mac Groveland, I wasn't expecting a destination restaurant in Waconia! Make a reservation, do the 3 mile drive at the Arboretum, buy honey crisps at the source (U of Mn Apple House) and then go have a remarkable farm to table, chef driven dinner!

St. Paul Farmer's Market no longer local?

I'm curious, but I know many of the vendors start their plants in cold frames significantly earlier than most of us home gardeners. I have ripe Sungolds and Best Boys--I have to say, not the most delicious ever--not the greatest tomato summer.

2014 State Fair Food -- report the hits and misses!

Sorry, I missed your post and posted above about our first visit.

State Fair 2014

Just a beginning today. Java Jive cappuccino coffee (a tradition). Big fat bacon (delish as usual.) Strawberry scone at French Meadow (they've changed it to kind of pre-packaged with strawberry jam and no cream--disappointing), great jerk wings from Caribbean stand in International Bazaar, wild rice cheeseburger in Food Building (probably the best thing at the fair), pina colada from Manny's Tortas, Henry Singh came through with chicken curry rotti, silly good root beer float from 1919. BEST new thing, (only new thing we tried) apple roll-over from the fresh apple stand in the Horticulture Building. Some folks eating the deep fried lobster assured us that it's good. Next visit! Also, my friend Ellen won the Vegan entree recipe competition with her Hoppin' John stuffed peppers!

Update to Italian restaurants in Twin Cities

Absolutely Cafe Biaggio!! I feel like I'm in Italy when I'm there. Roots go back to Mama D's at the U. Decor and menu grew up!

ten top MSP breakfasts

Bon Vie, Buttered Tin, Magnolias.

St. Paul's Grand Ave.

Khyber Pass for really good Afghani food and occasionally, jazz. Indochine for Vietnamese.

Buttered Tin cupcake vs. Cupcake vs. ?

I just had a Churros cupcake to die for from Buttered Tin.! Last week was the second time that I've had dry, somewhat flavorless cupcakes from Cupcake. (I know they're famous, but can't figure out why). Where do you find the best cupcakes?

Go to place for fine dinning????

Meritage. I love Joan's in the Park, which is less formal, but fabulous food of high caliber and super service. I have been to the St. Paul Grill twice at others' invitations in the last year, and found it really good (for a while I thought not, so didn't go).

Anyone remember Rocco's in St Paul in the 70s?

I loved Rocco's. They had a pate starter, and it's the only place I ever had frog's legs! Of course the Italian food was the main reason to go. Thanks for the memory!

Puerto Rico Recs

Dh and I went on a food tour with Flavors of San Juan, which was great. Best ceviche ever at Cafe el Punto, a hidden gem with good alcapurrias too. Loved the tapas restaurant at El Convento. Carli's had interesting food and jazz after 8:30. Cafecultura for breakfast (get there early). Have fun.

The route of the lechon in Puerto Rico

Just got back. Had outrageously good food at El Mojitos in Guavate. Crispy pork skin with moist, flavor filled pork. Rice and bean and plantains (shredded and deep fried). Chicken and many other sides also looked fabulous.

Puerto Rico Report

Thanks, we're going early March.

Grain Stack Restaurant MIA

Ok, so after a disastrous experience at Parka, I was determined to give an open minded try at the new restaurant at the MN Institute of Arts. I had a very good salad (endive) + $2 for bread (great) and my dh had a very good burger (14 dollars, but who's counting. Pleasant staff, about a 20 minute wait for food. Friends eating at the same time had success with squash soup, not so much with salmon pastrami sandwich and carrot tartare. The little girl behind me didn't eat much of her mac and cheese (my nemesis at the earlier experience.) Wishing them well. The coffee shop downstairs looks like a winner with a ham and cheese sandwich, veggie bahn mi, Rustica bakery items, and coffee. Wishing them well, feel like I know how to order.

Topaz Apples at Lund's

Thanks for the heads up.

"Old fashioned" Steak House: Where?!

Lake Elmo Inn!