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misterpatrick's Profile

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00 Flour

Cosetta's does carry it - it's kind of hidden on the bottom shelf but they have several brands.

Karen Markets, St. Paul?

Thanks, I'll definitely poke around the area and see what I can find.

Heartland or Bachelor Farmer?

Good recs. Some papaya salad from either of the Hmong markets is one of the best lunches around.

I'd also throw Red Stag into the mix as they have several Minnesotan things on the menu like smelt fries and a fish fry special.

Karen Markets, St. Paul?

Where is the Burmese restaurant? I was recently at the Burmese grocery on Payne to pick up some fermented tea leaves but wasn't aware there was a restaurant.

The Bark on Burch

I was almost all execution. If you're going to pan-fry something it needs to have some fat in it and speck is really lean. If they wanted the flavor profile they should have wrapped it after it was cooked, or just used a fattier prosciutto or something. The crab was just superfluous. I went to BLG last night and once again had a wonderful meal. I know people will complain that BLG is nothing special, but they are consistent, much more reasonably priced and pretty innovative with a lot of their dishes.

The Bark on Burch

I had a lovely pizza in the basement bar last month. Mushrooms with gorgonzola I believe. Went last Saturday and had a disappointing experience. The room is far too loud - and I like lively rooms. The have some acoustical panels on the ceiling but could really work on that space a bit more.

We had the semolina dumplings which were very nice, though for the price could have been a bit more generous. I make dumplings quite a bit and when you have .15 worth of semolina and some butter... $4 would have been better. We had the cauliflower and I couldn't help but compare it to the similar bagna cauda preparation at Bar La Grasa that is so far superior. This was far too salty to really enjoy. It seemed like they added salt in addition to the anchovy which they really didn't need to do. My wife loves salt as do I. We have a collection of various finishing salts and add them on everything including salads but this was over the top.

I don't eat beef (yes, I know we're at a steakhouse) and my wife doesn't like steak so she got the pork shoulder. I got the fish special. The pork shoulder was fine but my wife could only talk longingly about the port at Butcher and the Boar. She was pretty underwhelmed.

The fish on the other hand was beyond underwhelming. I should have thought more about it when I heard the description. I should have tried the monk fish. It was a rainbow trout filet stuffed with crab and wrapped in speck.

It was a dry over-salted mess. They really over-thought this whole dish. Why-oh-why would you pan fry a filet of fish wrapped in a cured pork product that is already extremely dry? What do you think you're going to get? Why a dried out piece of leather is what you are going to get. If you're going to use speck, use it to finish something not as a cooking medium. The filet was completely dried out and the crab stuffing was indistinguishable from the trout. Also, the crab was mixed with what I believe were chives which was a complete departure flavor-wise from everything else going on and was very off-putting. I couldn't finish it. It was served on a yoghurt sauce of some sort. I don't know what it was because there was so little of it under the fish it was impossible to tell.

Yes, I know, fish in a steak house but I was really expecting more. We won't be going back except maybe to be bar for a pizza after the Walker or similar.

Penninsula on Eat Street

The menu is really hit and miss, but the hits are generally really good. What others have said here pretty much. Tofu is always really, really nice. The tofu hot pot is excellent as is the golden spicy tofu. The kway teow is also good but many of the noodle dishes miss the mark. Their roti is also fantastic.

I'd also mention the laksa which is a spicy citrusy noodle soup with bits of mackerel. Really delicious and unique. That alone is a fantastic lunch.

St. Paul trip...Sole Cafe or Ngon Bistro?

Two very different places. Both very good, really depends what you're in the mood for. Sole is authentic Korean, Ngon is reinterpretations of Vietnamese and more upscale. I'd say toss a coin and pick one and do the other next time.

Restaurants South of Florence

Hello all,

headed to Italy next week and would love some recommendations. We'll be in Lerici and on Lake Como but I'll start separate topics for those. We're getting a house for a week just south of Florence. I have plenty of places to go in Florence proper, but was looking for some gems south of the city. We're near Chiesanuova, Galluzzo, Montebuoni etc. We'll actually have a car this time which will be a change as last time we were in the area we took buses.

Also love to hear about any specialty food markets in the area you might be familiar with. For example, I am crazy about porcini so any restaurants or shops specializing in those would be great. I'm not sure what I exactly mean by that, but maybe a butcher that specializes in pigs that only eat chestnuts and porcini or something. It should be the season now so am really looking forward to that.


Sep 09, 2011
misterpatrick in Italy

Your Help is Needed - Homi Restaurante - St. Paul

I'll head over this week. Thanks for the heads-up.

Mexican - vegetarian-friendly, or at least pescatarian?

Great one! I'd forgotten about Our Lady. I'm going this Friday gosh durnit.

Another place I haven't been to in awoke but may still be good is El Amanacer on Concord across the street from El Burrito. They had an excellent dish of sautéed vegetables in annato and deep fried whole tilapia. If they are no longer the same you can head over to El Burrito. Whic by the way, has a great roasted corn stand out back.

West Saint Paul

Great stuff. I've only ever hapd the Korean stuff at Lucky and it is a nice change of pace. I don't really do buffets, but I'll check out El Taquito. I speak bad Spanish so I'm they'll enjoy that.

I mostly enjoy smaller places with unique menus. For example I love somemof the pupusarerias on the east side.

Another great place not far off Robert is Jerabeks. Cafe con Amore also opened up their new place on Smith.

West Saint Paul

Hi all,

just got a house in West Saint Paul and I've love to hear any recommendations for restaurants in the area. I'm just off Robert and am moving from Lowertown so am familiar with a lot of places in the area (Lucky China, Beirut, El Burrito Mercado) but am curious about some of the Mexican, Asian and other restaurants around here.

Some I've seen but haven't yet tried include Pho Saigon, Pineda, Fireside Lounge, Chula Vista, Cici's Pizza. I'll report back if I visit any of them.

Fireside Lounge
1288 Robert St S, Saint Paul, MN 55118

El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St Ste 2, Saint Paul, MN 55107

Cici's Pizza
1292 Town Centre Dr, Saint Paul, MN 55123

Big Changes at Cosetta's

I used to shop at the market all the time but it's been pretty much worthless for the last several years - everything is really horribly overpriced. You used to be able to get great candies, and cheap oil, bread and cheese and now it's all insane. Same thing happened with Buon Giorno. Are there any affordable Italian groceries left in the Twin Cities?

Mexican - vegetarian-friendly, or at least pescatarian?

Hit the restaurants on Fridays over Lent. You'll always find vegetarian or fish options. I just at El Burrito Mercado in St. Paul and they have a whole page of lenten specials including chile rellenos etc. They also do some lovely vegetarian dishes. Many places serve nopales (cactus) and other vegetarian options, you just have to know what to look for. You can get veggies or mushrooms on everything at Los Ocampo which is delicious.

El Burrito Mercado
175 Cesar Chavez St, St Paul, MN 55107

Favorite Asian Grocery Store in St. Paul?

Dragon Star, United Noodle and Kim's on Snelling in St. Pau and Dong Yang in Columbia Heights (or is it Hilltop?). Each has things the other doesn't. Kim's has a great selection or frozen dumplings, Dong Yang has a bigger selection of fish cake. Dragon Star is great for Japanese and Indonesian while Dragon Star has a better deal of produce and fish.

Snelling Cafe
638 Snelling Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

Boetje's Mustard

I was at the Heartland Deli yesterday and they do have it.

New Years Resolution: Explore Vietnamese Restaurants in MSP

Thanks queue4ever, I'll definitely check Phuong Trang out!

Phuong Trang
8072 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

New Years Resolution: Explore Vietnamese Restaurants in MSP

Let us know if you find Ca Kho To - or Clay Pot Fish. One of the standards of Vietnamese cooking.

I've actually always been pretty disappointing with Vietnamese restaurants in the Twin Cities. We get great pho and banh mi, but none of the real exciting dishes of the cuisine. It seems like we get a couple examples of good street food here, but not even that much variety.

I'd love to be proven wrong, but have yet to see great Vietnamese here.

Faces Mears Park

I've eaten a Faces about a dozen times as I work about a block away. I've really enjoyed it and think they are doing a great job. That being said, Fhima's restaurants all seem to start out strong and then go downhill. He has a history of not paying his employees and that was one of the big issues at LoTo. The first few months were great, then things started getting really, really inconsistent. Let's hope his new focus at Faces works out because when things are clicking, they make some lovely food.

I really like the Asian tuna melt and the fries are wonderful.

Quick visit to Minneapolis/St. Paul: Maria's Cafe, Sever's Corn Maze, Peninsula, May Day Cafe, Kingfield Farmer's Market, Bangkok Thai Deli

I eat a Peninsula about once a month and usually have great experiences. I agree, their tofu is spectacular – really great and you can't go wrong with a hot pot or the golden spicy tofu. I also had the shrimp with belecan which was lovely and the asam laksa soup is always wonderful.

Where to buy duck fat and truffle salt in MSP?

Heartand Deli does carry duck fat and other little specialties like high-fat butter from Hope, gláce, court bouillon etc.

Finding Belacan in the TC's

Hello all,

I need to resupply on belacan (dried Malaysian shrimp paste that comes in a brick). United Noodle usually has it but don't at the moment. Anyone know who else carries Malaysian or Indonesian items?

The packages usually look like this:

United Noodles
920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

Looking for Breakfast/Lunch along hwy 63.

Perfect! I'll check it out. I'm also doing the Birkie this year and that sounds like a lovely ritual for afterward.

Sep 28, 2010
misterpatrick in Great Lakes

Looking for Breakfast/Lunch along hwy 63.

Hello all,

headed up to Bayfield with the family in a couple weeks. I usually take 35 up, but this time we'll be taking hwy 63 in Wisconsin. Can anyone recommend something good and unique along the way? Looking for a late breakfast or lunch. Cities along the route include Cumberland, Spooner, Hayward, Shell Lake, Cable and many other little places.


Sep 27, 2010
misterpatrick in Great Lakes

Indian grocery?

I prefer Pooja and the new chaat restaurant inside makes the trip worth it. They do carry amchoor whole and in powder form. Adds that special tang to you chole for those who are curious. It's basically dried green mango powder. Good stuff.

I actually made a drive over to the Indian place in Woodbury as I was curious if there was a store near St. Paul as I live downtown. It was pretty small and had limited hours. Your best bet is to head to down to Central Avenue.

Woodbury Cafe
803 Bielenberg Dr, Saint Paul, MN 55125

Making kimchi

I actually cut them in strips and boil them in noodle soup for about a minute. I've never made them in the like they do in a lot of this dishes at Dong Yang. My guess is you just thaw and toss in whatever you're making as they are already cooked. Let me know if you find some other method that is tasty.

Apr 26, 2010
misterpatrick in Home Cooking

Making kimchi

A lot of Korean recipes are quite simple to make. For example, kimchi jigae is one of my favorites to make and can be done in about 20 minutes. Here's a quick recipe. I'll often add a can of tuna. Also popular is adding pork belly.

Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)

1 to 1.5 cups kimchi

kimchi juice

1 pack tofu

2 stalks green onions/scallions

1/2 of large onion
2 shallots

2 -3 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. 

2 cups water

approximately 1/4 cup gochujang (red pepper paste)

2 - 3 tbsp gochugaru (red pepper flakes)

1 tsp. dashida (Korean dashi made with anchovies)- optional, you can get it powdered


Prior to cooking, prepare the following. 
Roughly chop kimchi into smaller chunks
Cube tofu into bite sized pieces
Slice scallions on a bias (on an angle) into 1-inch long slices
Chop onion into smaller slices
Mince garlic (use pre-minced if possible)
Slice chili pepper on a bias

In pot, add a little bit of oil. Add minced garlic and onion to flavor the oil. 

Add in kimchi chunks and cook for about 2 - 3 minutes (this will help the soup cook faster).  Add in water (approximately 2 cups serves 4 individual servings).  Bring heat up to high and boil for a few minutes.  Add one scoop (a little less than 1/4 cup) of gochujang (red pepper paste) and stir until dissolved.  Add a couple tablespoons of gochugaru (red pepper flakes).  Let it cook on medium heat for approximately 5  to 7 minutes (this will allow for the kimchi to cook through).  Stir occasionally.  Taste and if needed, re-season with kimchi juice and dashida.  Then add in tofu and let it cook for another 4 minutes or so before adding in the scallions. 

Apr 23, 2010
misterpatrick in Home Cooking

Heartland Moving

I saw the title of the post and was thinking how sad it'll when they move to Minneapolis as I grew up in their current neighborhood. Then I saw that they're moving to Lowertown and was extremely pleased as I live in Lowertown. It'll be great to have them here and especially for brunch as we really don't have any great options down here. Great stuff!

Kaffir lime leaves

Good points, though I was thinking of doing the Kafir in a pot indoors (maybe outdoors in the summer) rather than planting outside. If you're really after the leaves a container plant is all you really need. My curry leaf tree is about four years old and has always been indoors.