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Dinner in December

Sorry to omit that info! Although one girl is from the Western Suburbs (we'll initially be driving from that direction), we will be staying at Hotel Monaco in The Loop. We are willing, however, to drive if need be :)

You're not kidding about the reservations! I tried last month to get reservations at RPM Italian and couldn't! I couldn't believe restaurants are already full for the second half of december!

Thanks for your recs. I'll definitely check them out!

Nov 15, 2012
frogger8 in Chicago Area

Dinner in December

A small group of us girls (3-5 people) would like to meet up in Chicago for a nice Saturday night dinner in December. I've heard Girl and the Goat is delicious, but not quite worth the hype (and no available reservations) and RPM Italian is booked solid for the weekend we're going to be there. I've heard good things of The Purple Pig, The Publican, and Carnivale, but would love to hear any other recs you guys have!

We're a group who loves creatively delicious food (any type!), drinks, and desserts. We'd like to be able to carry on a conversation throughout dinner, but would like to avoid a stuffy, proper atmosphere. We'll also have cars so won't be restricted to any one part of Chicago. Thanks!

Nov 15, 2012
frogger8 in Chicago Area

Restaurants everyone loves--except you

Ditto. I don't get it either. When I first moved here, I asked around where a good place to get steak was. Mancini's was high up on the list. Maybe it's more a place of nostalgia for some than food. Or maybe I just had a bad experience. Not a fan.

Mar 15, 2010
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Restaurants You Love - And Nobody Talks About

Mine's Que Nha on University in St. Paul. There's not much atmosphere, but there's delicious Vietnamese food at reasonable prices. The menu is quite large; there's something for everyone. I haven't tried their pho yet, but their rice dishes are delicious. I think I remember their spring rolls having tripe in them. That's something I've never encountered before, but perhaps I'm not well versed in the spring roll area :)

Mar 15, 2010
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP--- Big Daddy's this Weekend...?

Holy cow! My friends and I tried to get Big Daddy's for an early dinner (6pm) this past Saturday and their place was packed with people waiting in line! Turns out they had temporarily run out of almost everything except some chicken and were handing out numbers for those waiting for ribs and tips. We debated staying, but hunger got the best of us and we sadly gave up our number. I'm excited they're back in business and can't wait to get some ribs! Congratulations on a VERY successful opening weekend, Big Daddy's! :)

Mar 10, 2010
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP Weekend Dim Sum?

I was able to make it to Pagoda before the Vikings/Cowboys game on Sunday for dim sum. Even though there were empty seats, it was much busier than I thought it would be considering there was football starting soon. Service was excellent. Carts kept continuously coming by our table, and waiters seemed to be able to judge whether or not to stop and ask if we wanted more. The atmosphere was relaxed. At Yangtze I felt slightly rushed to get in and out of the restaurant and had to flag down some ladies with carts once in a while.

I would agree with ScoopG that I saw more variety at Yangtze than Pagoda on the carts, but it could be that they only keep the most commonly asked things rotating on them. Everything I asked for that I didn't see being pushed around was brought out to the table fresh from the kitchen. I saw a few siu mai, har gao, and other dumplings that had dry wrappings, but the waiter was very good about digging down lower into the stack for the fresh ones. I really appreciated that. The steamed char siu baos could of had more filling in them and I thought the steamed ribs with black bean sauce weren't that good. Too oily, not enough black beans, and the ribs came kind of all congealed together. The chicken feet, turnip cake, tripe, shrimp, and most everything else I had was pretty good. Plus, everything was piping hot. All in all a good experience. I think the service played a large role in that. Usually service at Chinese restaurants is terrible :)

Jan 19, 2010
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2nd of 2 dinners in MSP

For Sunday brunch, I'll vote for Meritage and Muffuletta. I don't think I've had a bad brunch at either.

At Meritage, I usually get the omelet du jour, however, I've heard good things from their eggs benedict and french toast. Their amusements are fun to get, too. I'd recommend the mini waffle and the beignets. Not quite like New Orleans, but the beignets are delicious nonetheless. Parking can be difficult since it's downtown, and the place fills up quite fast. I'm not sure if they take reservations for brunch. Maybe someone else from the board can help you out on that question.

At Muffuletta, they give you a tiny piece of coffee cake to start off the meal. I haven't been there in a while, but I will say their bacon is delicious, as are their omelets and potatoes. The area is nice and I've never had a problem with finding street parking. I think this place sometimes gets overlooked for brunch. That's a shame since it's so delicious!

Jan 11, 2010
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP Thai Restaurants?

Looks like Bangkok Thai Deli is the place to be! I can easily forego restaurant ambience as long as the food delivers. Thank you everyone for all your help! I can't wait to get started on this list.

A lot of your responses go against the popular Thai restaurants listed by other sites and/or magazines. Like many of you have mentioned, I too am wondering how these places (Chiang Mai Tai, True Thai, King and I Thai...) get such high rankings.

Jan 08, 2010
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP Thai Restaurants?

Thanks for the heads up on MSG and Thai food, faith! I knew a lot of Chinese places (perhaps more the American-Chinese restaurants than the authenic ones) had MSG in their food, but I didn't know that so many Thai restaurants did. In regards to your question, I would totally make the trek to Midtown for excellent Thai food. I hope she ends up finding a spot there!

Jan 08, 2010
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP Thai Restaurants?

Do any of you fellow chowhounds have a favorite Thai restaurant you frequent? Is it a hole-in-the-wall type place or super chic? I've been to Mango Thai in St. Paul lots of times and find their food pretty delicious (although they could be a bit more generous with the meat included in the dishes). Now, I'm ready to branch out. Let your Thai restaurant choice be known! Throw in some dish recommendations if you like, too :)

Jan 06, 2010
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Rochester, MN update

I ate there during the summer with a group and friends and thought it was quite good. The oysters were fresh and were reasonably priced. My BLT salad wasn't drowning in dressing (huge plus) and had a good ratio of bacon and tomato to salad greens (another plus in my book). I had the Mahi mahi, grilled, with a lemon garlic sauce as an entree. If you order off the steak/fish menu, you get your choice of cut/fish, how it's cooked, and the type of sauce it's dressed with. The mahi mahi was cooked beautifully and the sauce was light and complemented the fish perfectly. Meal sizes were a bit inconsistent in that my fish portion was considerably larger than 2 other dining companions’ who ordered the same type of fish. There may have been a few veggies that came with my dish, but for the most part, everything is a la carte off the steak/fish menu. Everyone in our party ordered off that menu, so I can't speak for the signature dishes. From what I remember, everyone enjoyed their meals and left the table happy and full. Our waiter was attentive without being intrusive, and was very helpful in figuring out good wine pairings for our dishes. It's been a while since I've been there, but I hope this helps a little! I'd definitely go back there, especially since they're open for lunch :)

Nov 16, 2009
frogger8 in Great Lakes

MSP Weekend Dim Sum?

Thanks for the reviews scoopG! I recently was able to make it out to Yangtze and although they seem to have a decent selection, I was disappointed in the inconsistent temperature of the food. Some dishes would be hot and some lukewarm. I even had the same piece of food be of perfect temperature one bite but cold the next. I really can't compare Yangtze to anything other than Jun Bo (never again!), but I'll keep updating as I eat my way through the dim sum of MSP.

You also make an excellent point about the tipping system. I was unaware that tip was already included and our group would have double tipped had it not been for a nice lady next to us in the check out line. I had never seen this before at dim sum restaurant for a small group of 4. I wonder if this is something standard here?

Sep 17, 2009
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP Weekend Dim Sum?

I recently discovered Teahouse and have been trying to eat my way through the menu. Most of what I've tried has been delicious! Now, I'll have to add the dim sum menu to the list!

Aug 24, 2009
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP Weekend Dim Sum?

Thanks for the tip on Yangtze! Do you know how prices compare between the 2 restaurants?

Aug 24, 2009
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP Weekend Dim Sum?

Thanks! I'll have to check that place out soon. Would you recommend any dishes over others?

Aug 24, 2009
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP Weekend Dim Sum?

You all gave great suggestions on my first post, I just had to come back for more advice!

I am in search of good dim sum in or near the MSP area. Carts are preferrable, but not a deal breaker. And please. Do not say Jun Bo...

Aug 21, 2009
frogger8 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP, nice dinner for vegetarians and meat eaters alike?

I'm having a few friends visit me later this month and we need a couple of nice places to go for dinner. The challenge is that one friend is vegetarian (but eats seafood) while two others are die hard meat eaters. I'd like the restaurants to have multiple options for everyone. I'd also like the entrees to be in the $15-$25 price range (or lower), but am not opposed to suggestions that go a little above if the food is just that good :)

I was thinking something along the lines of Zelo, Saffron, or Cafe Lurcat. Help?