Helpful ReplyHot!Minneapolis / St. Paul Crawl: April 25th to 28th, 2019

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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 04:27:41 (permalink)
Today's elimination round starts with Hmong & Other Asian Cuisine.  The opening list included Ngon Vietnamese Bistro, Hmongtown Marketplace, Hmong Village,  Trung Nam French Bakery, and Tea House.
 
I'll start with the easiest to eliminate, Tea House.  Even though we enjoyed many meals there, Chinese restaurants have become so ubiquitous there really isn't anything new offered here other than high quality.  I know that sounds like a good reason to go, but there are so many high quality places on the list offering more unique cuisine.  So sadly, bye-bye Tea House.
 
Next we need to choose between Hmongtown Marketplace and Hmong Village.  Both offer great food opportunities, but unless I'm missing something, Hmongtown Marketplace is the only one offering Stuffed Chicken Wings, and that seems like a must do.
 
Finally, in choosing between Ngon Vietnamese Bistro and Trung Nam French Bakery, my vote goes to the latter.  Trung Nam French Bakery seems more down to Earth whereas Ngon Vietnamese Bistro has more of an upscale atmosphere.
 
So, the Hmong and Asian Cuisine finalists are Hmongtown Marketplace and Trung Nam French Bakery.
 
EDIT: Adding Trieu Chau to the list of finalists.  We'll see how it all shakes out.
 
Our other non-western food category is Somali & Other African Cuisine.  The choises were Karmel Square Mall, Midtown Global Market, and Afro Deli.  Only Afro Deli leaps out as an easy elimination.  Looking at their menu, it seems like they're trying to please too many masters.  Yeah, they've got some African specialties, but they've also got Cheeseburgers, Gyros, and Chicken Quesadillas.  It's a tough choice between the other two.  Karmel Square Mall offers a more focused Somali and African experience, but Midtown Global Market has a more global selection.  For now I'm keeping both Karmel Square Mall and Midtown Global Market on the list.
 
The last category of the night, European Ethnic (Not Mpls/StP “Heritage Food”), is an easy one to decide.  While Finnish Bistro has some interesting menu items, it all seems a bit bland.  On the other hand, Kramarczuk's and Baku both serve bright, flavorful dishes.
 
Next up for elimination, Italian and Ice Cream.
 
Buddy
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2019/03/22 18:05:05
JRPfeff
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 10:22:18 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2019/03/22 14:23:24
wanderingjew
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While absence is said to make the heart grow fonder....I go to bed each night hoping to wake up to the return of wanderingjew from the Guest House...




Although I felt like an unwanted guest I'm hoping I'll be your guest of honor


Hi Jashim.
 
Why is Rogo allowed to have all these fake accounts?
ChiTownDiner
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 10:36:56 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby wanderingjew 2019/03/22 13:46:27
Cause sometimes he forgets to leave the gun while taking the canolis!  
Davydd
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 11:05:13 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2019/03/22 11:11:27
I won't make it as I will be out of town once again on an RV trip. However, if you want a tater tot hot dish, Tavern 4&5 in Eden Prairie, MN blows them all away.
 

 
 
joerogo
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 14:22:51 (permalink)
Davydd
I won't make it as I will be out of town once again on an RV trip. However, if you want a tater tot hot dish, Tavern 4&5 in Eden Prairie, MN blows them all away.
 

 
 


There's tater tots in Minnesota?
ChiTownDiner
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 15:36:49 (permalink)
joerogo
Davydd
I won't make it as I will be out of town once again on an RV trip. However, if you want a tater tot hot dish, Tavern 4&5 in Eden Prairie, MN blows them all away.
 

 
 


There's tater tots in Minnesota?




They are available outside of Oregon and Idaho I've heard.  
JRPfeff
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 15:48:33 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2019/03/22 15:53:12
wanderingjew
ChiTownDiner
While absence is said to make the heart grow fonder....I go to bed each night hoping to wake up to the return of wanderingjew from the Guest House...




Although I felt like an unwanted guest I'm hoping I'll be your guest of honor


You spelled wanderingjoe wrong.
saps
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 17:31:45 (permalink)
You guys should definitely skip the Day-by-Day and the Hi-Lo.  Neither is anything special and some of the stuff at Day-by-Day is just bad.  You've all been to far better places and they have no real significance in the breakfast scene in the Twin Cities.  Al's is a great place both food-wise and experience wise if they can accommodate you.
 
 As far as the Jucy Lucy, Matt's is the original and has the best atmosphere as a dive, but I think the Nook makes the best one.  Both can be hard to get into, but at least at the Nook you can go down to the bowling alley downstairs.  Go at an off-time, if possible.  If it's just the burger that's the thing, the Nook owns a bar called Shamrock's, which serves the same menu.  I'm not a huge Jucy Lucy guy, however.
 
If you're going to Trung Nam for croissants, skip it and go to Patisserie 46 in Minneapolis or at least Rose Street Patisserie.  John Kraus, the owner, is a James Beard finalist and a bronze medalist in the Coupe De Monde, the most important pastry competition in the world.  The croissants there are amazing and unlike anything I've had and they are beautiful in their construction.  His pastry creation is special.
 
St. Paul has a vibrant Vietnamese food scene, supposedly one of the best in the country.  I'm hooked on Pho and typically hit at least a couple places there a couple of times a week during the Winter.  While everyone has their favorites, I'm partial to Trieu Chau, particularly their great pho, and the kind family members that run the place.  If you don't get a bowl of pho down on University Avenue, you've missed out on both a great broth and a regional offering in St. Paul.
 
Tavern on Grand is a no-brainer for Walleye.  There's no place that makes walleye as good.  Chicken and Wild Rice soup is good as well.
BuddyRoadhouse
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 17:58:25 (permalink)
saps,
Thanks for the input.  I'll take all of it into consideration as I finalize the itinerary.
 
I wasn't thinking about Day-by-Day or Hi-Lo Diners so much for breakfast, but more as a midday meal.  Thoughts?
 
Patisserie 46 looks interesting.  Their confections menu will be of particular interest for some members of the group.  Unfortunately, they don't start serving Ice Cream until May.  Maybe a phone call and a crisp George Washington would persuade them to start up a few days early.
 
If we hit the Hmong spots, I'm not sure we'll have the time or need to visit an additional Vietnamese restaurant on this trip.  If we do make it to Trieu Chau, their Pho looks amazing.
 
When was you last visit to Tavern on Grand?  Much like our current political scene, ToG has its hard line fans and detractors among the Crawl group with not much middle ground.  While we've all enjoyed the Walleye specifically, at least four of our members (including myself) felt the rest of our meal was subpar.  I know the focal point is the fish, but for the prices they charge, everything on the plate should be top notch.  What was your experience?
 
Thanks again for chiming in.
 
Buddy
rumaki
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/03/22 18:11:19 (permalink)
In my opinion, Hi Lo diner is memorable primarily for the vintage diner itself. The food is not classic diner food: fried chicken on a donut, lavender creme brulee, etc. It is too much of a hipster joint for my taste, but it has its adherents, certainly.
FWIW, I think that if the goal is a classic diner experience, you would do much better at a place like the Ideal Diner (which I do understand has been rejected due to its admittedly small seating capacity).
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