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Restaurant near Capitol for large (30-40ish?) group

Hi Folks -

I'm not from the area (from St. Paul, MN actually) and taking a group of community college students out to D.C. for an advocacy trip in mid-March, 2011. We're looking to do sort of a special "welcome dinner" on the first night for a group of about 30-40 students. I'm hoping you all have some good suggestions for where.

We're staying at a hotel right near the Capitol (C St. SW & 6th St. SW) and hoping to do it pretty close to the hotel as we don't want folks getting lost on the first night.


Where to get the best cream/eggs/dairy?

Thanks, folks! This recession has made me a Roundy's girl, but I wanted to step it up a notch. :)

Where to get the best cream/eggs/dairy?

I am making creme brulee for a dinner party on Saturday. I want to use the best/most fresh cream and eggs possible. It would be great if they were local, but that's not mandatory.

Where to go and what to get? I'm in St. Paul, and while I don't mind driving into the near side of MPLS (e.g. Seward Co-op, etc.), I'd prefer not to be venturing into the suburbs if I don't have to.

MSP - Thai Cooking Supplies (incl. Mortar & Pestle)

I'd give Ax-Man on University and Snelling a try too. They have a wide selection of mortars and pestles pretty regularly (in the "science supplies" section), and it will probably cheaper there than anywhere else.

Searching for Vegemite or Marmite in MSP

They have Marmite at the midway Rainbow Foods, over in the ethnic foods section.

Hastings, MN for breakfast?

I used to work down there, and you really can't beat Emily's for quality of baked goods. Emily's is right off 61, south of Hwy 55 but before you get to 316.

There's also a great place right on the main drag there (2nd street) but for the life of me I can't remember the name (I know, not helpful)

My point is that a number of the places in town are great, just walk down main street and pop in somewhere. Nobody will care at all that you are dirty, it's just that kind of town.

Recommendations for St Paul and Minneapolis

I am going to second Mickey's Diner. If you're in downtown St. Paul, its the place to go. The cheeseburger and baked beans cannot be beat. If I want breakfast, I usually get the 2s, which is 2 eggs, 2 pancakes, and 2 bacon/sausage (although, frankly, they almost always give me like 5 bacon.)

Its not anything fancy or groundbreaking, but they do the classics right. Its a good way to experience the "real" St. Paul, whatever that means.

Don't get the chili though.

MSP Prix Fixe Menus?

small correction: the Bayport Cookery WAS fantastic. Now it is closed. :(

St. Paul Farmer's Market 2009

I was last there on 4/25 - they had spring onions, as well a pretty wide variety of herbs that are presumably meant for planting. But, most of them only cost a dollar and were big enough that you could cook a recipe or two if you really wanted to.

Other than that, no veggies. But, a ton of good meat, eggs, cheeses, plants for the garden, etc.

Bake Sale Help!

I play in a community jazz band, and next weekend (the 9th) is our annual pancake breakfast and bake sale. I need to bring a couple things to the bake sale, and I'd like to do something beyond the typical chocolate chip cookie/boxed muffins/etc.

I'm a pretty good cook generally, and I can bake pretty well with a recipe, but I don't have a lot of fancy equipment or the budget for a lot of fancy ingredients. I would be making whatever I make on a weeknight evening, so I probably won't have more than 3 hours from start to finish to do a recipe. I'll probably make two things, do one on Thursday night and the other on Friday.

It would be nice, by the way, if said baked goods were also nifty enough to impress the very cute flute player who sits two chairs down...

St Paul-lunch for group

Cossetta's (also right by the Xcel - west 7th and Walnut, I think) is always a great lunch option and very affordable. Sandwiches, salad, pizza, many pasta entrees, etc. Served cafeteria-style, so you can get in and out pretty quick if need be.

If you're going to be in Highland Park, I also love love love Cecil's Deli, but getting a table for 8 might be a touch of a wait if you are going right at noon. If you do go, get the Sheila's Special. Love it!

Favorite Roundy's Products?

So, I used to really hate Rainbow Foods.

But, last night I was eating some Roundy's Organics Blueberry Jam and I couldn't stop thinking about how impressed I was with a generic product. I've had really good experiences with the Roundy's Organics frozen pizzas too. Nevermind the amazing bulk section section at the Midway Rainbow, but that's another topic entirely.

(To the board admins, and those who don't know: Roundy's is Rainbow Foods' store-brand. I'm pretty sure its only available in the Midwest, and maybe only in MN.)

It seems silly to pay full brand-name price when the generics are of such high quality. Are there any you really like?

Graduation Dinner--MSP

I think you could get by at any of these places with a "dressy casual" sort of style. I've gone to Meritage and Heartland in both jeans and and a sweater and full business attire (though not at the same time!) and never felt out of place at either.

Normally, I'd say you could get away with reservations a week or so in advance, but if its the same night as your graduation, I'd say plan ahead, as things tend to fill up quick on nights like that.

Graduation Dinner--MSP

Congrats, Counselor!

As a fellow member of the bar, hopefully I can point you in the right direction. Your special day definitely requires some pomp and circumstance.

The Strip Club is a great restaurant, if you want something fancier than that in the St. Paul area, I'd do the St. Paul Hotel. That's where my dad took me - he bought me a scotch and a steak and I felt very official. Frankly, I was just glad to graduate from Billy's on Grand.

Heartland is also a great choice in the St. Paul area.

If you're thinking more Minneapolis. I have also had great experiences at La Belle Vie, and I know (because I have lots of random allergies) that they are very accommodating to that as long as you call ahead. Same with the Chambers Kitchen - I've always been blown away by the quality of food there and they handle my allergies well.

The real question, of course, is where are you going to get wasted in 4 months after the bar exam?!

Leftover Lamb Chunks

We had shish kebabs for easter dinner, and my mom sent me home with a sack full of leftover lamb. I have about 1/3 to 1/2 lb of meat. It has already been cooked (on the grill) and is in the form of 3/4" cubes.

So what to do with all this meat?

I do keep a fairly well stocked pantry when it comes to grains/condiments/spices. Good produce easily available on the way home from work. I should note, however, that I work long and late hours, so by the time I get home, I'm often really super hungry and don't want to spend tons of time cooking.


best vegetarian restaurant in minneapolis-stpaul??

I have never been disappointed with anything I've gotten at the Hard Times Cafe. Everything is strictly vegetarian, and almost everything can be made vegan upon request. Plus, imo, they have the best 75-cent coffee around. Of course, you have to like dirty punk kids and loud music with your food.

Where to find GUAVA in Minnesota?

I saw them at the Rainbow in midway when I was there last week. Also, I find that the Aldi on Franklin often has a surprising selection of tropical fruits.

112 Eatery (MSP)

I was last there quite some time ago, but the gnocchi knocked my socks off.

[MSP] Lunch Options in Ridgedale Area

oooh... I love Eddingtons, but I haven't had it in years! I could eat about a thousand of those breadsticks...

Cheeky Monkey [MSP] now open!

I too was disappointed by the chicken sandwich I had Saturday. The bacon was soggy and fatty; I took it off. Even so, I felt like the sandwich was overwhelmed by the chicken seasoning and crying out for some acid. If I had stayed to eat, I would have probably asked for a lime, but I was eating in the car, so no such luck...

It's too bad, everything else I have had there has been wonderful. I'll definitely go back, just steer clear of the chicken sandwich.

[MSP] Lunch Options in Ridgedale Area

I'm starting a new job in a couple weeks in Minnetonka, very near to the Ridgedale Mall (394/Hwy 100 area). Being a life-long eastsider, I don't know that area at all.

I'm hoping you all might have suggestions as to good places for lunch. Somewhere with decent takeout, ideally I wouldn't have to call ahead, they would have some reasonably healthy options, and I could get by under $8 or so. I'm not completely averse to chain restaurants. (Panera ok, Subway/Applebees/McDonalds salads/etc. not so much.)

My current job is in Hastings, so I'm hoping this will be a step up lunch-wise. (Although, if you ever find yourself in Hastings, Emily's Bakery & Deli has some decent sandwiches and possibly the best blueberry muffin I've ever had.)

msp - blondies

I second the Cheeky Monkey blondie. I definitely had to fight with my dad for my fair share of it. Not too dense like a lot of bars you get.

[msp] Business Breakfast at Good Day Cafe

On Thursday I have a job interview at Good Day Cafe. (Not to work at the restaurant, rather, the interview is being held there.) I've never been there before, and there's no menu posted online.

Anybody have recommendations as to what is good there, bearing in mind that I need to be lady-like and not drop ketchup-covered hash browns all over my suit?

Bonus manners question: I'm sure the person I am interviewing with will foot the bill. Do I at least make the gratuitous gesture to pay for myself, or do I leave it be?


St. Paul Trader Joe's

Anybody got a line on when the new St. Paul location will be open?

MSP - Where to buy venison?

Who stocks the best venison around town? I've never had to buy it before, but for some reason I don't have any hunters in my life anymore. I know they give out the fresh shot stuff at the food shelf, but it seems pretty inappropriate to feign a need just to get my deer meat fix.