Tag Archives: restaurant

Caffe Biaggio, St. Paul, Minnesota

Friday night we had dinner for the second time at Caffe Biaggio located 15-20 minutes away from our house.  We decided to splurge for a change.   Another new favorite of ours, to be sure.  I can’t say enough good things about this place.  We asked for the same waiter that we had the first time we had dinner there.  Adel is a fine waiter indeed. After asking for a wine suggestion, he asked what I liked then offered a wine from northern Italy called Valpolicella. It was exquisite, I had two glasses!  I don’t always do that but this wine was soooooo good! And the food is delicious.  Hubby had their special, a Sardinian paella but substitute the rice for cous cous.  He looked to be in heaven eating it.  I got their lamb shank, the meat easily fell off the bone and it was served with an orzo pasta and a tomato sauce.  Oh. My. Goodness. It was luscious!!! So delicious, out of this world delicious.  I did not eat it all and had the leftovers for lunch the next day. It was just as good as the night before.  Wow. We also had the calamari appetizer and we split a Mediterranean salad, complete with arthichokes, two different kinds of olives and an Italian dressing.  Delish, all of it!!

I love the welcoming atmosphere of this outstanding Italian restaurant.  The food is fantabulous. It’s conveniently located on University Avenue in St. Paul close to Highway 280.  You must go.  Check out my gallery of photos and enjoy!!

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Muffuletta, St. Paul, Minnesota

I have wanted to try this restaurant for many years.  The biggest thing it had against it is the parking.  I thought that the only place to park was on the street but I recently discovered there is a parking lot behind it, thanks to my employee.  When going west on Como Avenue, turn left onto Carter Avenue, the parking lot is on the left. We did that our first trip and it worked great. We got there at 11:30 just before the lunch rush begins.

We’ve been there for lunch twice now and the trips were about three weeks apart.  Hubby enjoyed it so much the first time he wanted to take me to lunch on another day that he had off.  We sat in a cute and small corner booth the first time we went there and that added to the charm for our initial visit. Both times they served us a free appetizer consisting of a garlic puree along with a bread basket.  YUM!!! The food is great here!

On our first visit I had the beet salad which looks small but it turned out to be just the right portion.  Hubby had a ham and cheese sandwich but the cheese was on the outside of the sandwich? He had to eat it with a fork but he said it was delicious.  The second visit I had their three course meal.  You can see most of the menu from my photo below.  It was great too but I didn’t have room for dessert so took it home with me. And hubby had the Muffuletta described thusly on their website:  Smoked pit ham, Italian meats, pepper-jack and provolone cheese, olive relish, sesame bun.  Except it looks like ciabatta bread and not a sesame bun. Either way, he loved it!!

The staff is very friendly and quick.  I recommend this restaurant highly. Come have a look see at the photos I took of the restaurant and our food.   We both loved this place so much, we will definitely go back.

Here’s a little ditty from their website:

Winter at Muffuletta
Let our heartiest cooking sustain you on these cold, dark days. Now is the time to crack a bottle of red, rediscover our classic beer-cheese soup, and cast your eye to our daily specials, beckoning with winter stews, roasted root vegetables and Minnesota game.
Located in Milton Square
2260 Como Avenue
St. Paul, MN
Reservations 651-644-9116

 

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Boca Chica restaurant, St. Paul, MN

Recently we dined at this great restaurant just over the river from downtown St. Paul.  One of our favorites as we always have a great meal and leave satisfied.  We started off with some margaritas.

Next was the soup and then our entrees. We both had their delicious tomato soup with what looks like small pieces of spaghetti and fresh cilantro on top, oh yum.  Hubby had the tamales, their grandmother’s family recipe described like this “Two fresh tamales filled with your choice of pork seasoned with chile ancho sauce or chicken seasoned with salsa verde, then wrapped in a plantain leaf and steamed to perfection. Served with chile gravy and sopa.”   I had Los Dos Amigos: “Two handmade thick corn tortillas topped with refried beans, green chile sauce, onions, queso fresco and cilantro. Served with sopa and any one enchilada.” Hubby ate both his tamales and I took home most of his beans and rice and had them with the other half of the two amigos the next day for lunch.  Yum!!

The walls of the restaurant are decorated with interesting murals and we sat by the fireplace this time which was nice on a cold, winter evening.

If you’re in the twin cities you really should have a meal here. I’m pretty sure you will leave happy.

Boca Chica
11 Cesar Chavez Street
St. Paul, MN 55107
651- 222-8499

Boca Chica Restaurante on Urbanspoon

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Homi – Restaurante Mexicano, St. Paul, MN

If you’re in St. Paul you must try Homi.  Real. Mexican. Food.  And, let me tell you, it’s fabulous!!  We’ve been going by this place for a while and finally decided to try it tonight.  We’re so glad we did, we are definitely going back.

It’s a tiny place and parking is problematic so Homi put a nice, big sign in his window: “parking in back”. And there was!  I forgot to take a photo of the front.  If you’re taking the green line you’ll go in the front door (not pictured).

Homi's back entrance

We sat down and started with their homemade guacamole.  Oh my goodness. Delish!!  He leaves the pit in the dish and I thought that was a nice touch.  It is made fresh, as is everything at Homi.  They have a sign explaining that there is a bit of a wait because everything is made from scratch.  It’s definitely worth the wait.

fresh guacamole

I had the chiles rellenos.  These might be the best chiles rellenos that I’ve ever had.  The sauce was to die for.  It came with rice and beans. We also got fresh and warm corn tortillas (rice, beans and tortillas not pictured).

Hubby had the tamales, equally delicious. I tasted it, yum!

tamales

They’re right on the green line and easy for downtown worker bees to have lunch.  They are also on this list of some other great places to eat in St. Paul, Lunch along the Green Line.

Their portions are large, so bring your appetite. Or bring home the rest and have it for lunch the next day.  Do try this great Mexican restaurant when you’re in St. Paul.  I’m sure you will leave happy.

Homi Restaurant
864 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN
651-222-0655
Homi Mexican on Urbanspoon

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The Brauhaus Restaurant – Akeley, MN

My husband and I have been eating at the Brauhaus for over 20 years now.  Discovered by my in-laws, they clued us into this great place shortly after we arrived in Minnesota in the early 90s.  It’s located along the Lake Country Scenic Byway on Highway 34 and just a few miles from the family cabin. We typically have dinner here at least once a season.  Many a family meal has been eaten at this fine establishment.  We even celebrated my in-laws’ 50th anniversary several years ago.  There is a long standing joke about whether my father-in-law’s check for his meal would clear the bank.  Every time we went there with my in-laws he and Gary, one of the proprietors, would chuckle about this.  Good times :)  Since we were just there I thought I would share it with you all along with some photos that I took.

We typically try to arrive before the dinner crowd and let me tell you, it is a crowd!!  I’ve always been in awe that a restaurant along the highway in seemingly the middle of nowhere attracts so many diners.  I am quite sure that word of mouth in the area has been one of the keys to their success.  Other reasons of course are the excellent food and service.  On this particular visit we arrived after the dinner crowd was gone.  We were greeted by the friendly bar tender and seated immediately.  Our waitress recognized us and said “Welcome to the Brauhaus or welcome back.”  And I commented to her that I recognized her as well.

Restaurant scene and menu:

I’ve always had a great meal here and typically choose either the roast pork (described thusly on their menu: Schweinebraten – Roast Pork – used also in our sampler platter. Our roast pork is very tender and full of flavor) or the duck (Plum Glazed Duck – 1/2 of a Peking duck filled with wild rice, seasoned and oven roasted, topped with our very own Brandy/ Plum glaze. A MUST TRY!!!) I decided on the duck this time and it was just as delicious as the last time I had it.  And I almost forgot to take a picture!

Hubby opted for the  Wiener Schnitzel (Pork loin steaks, tenderized, seasoned and lightly breaded, then cooked on the grill getting that nice golden brown):

Every entree is accompanied by two sides.  You have your choice of Mashed Potatoes, German Potato Salad, Wild Rice, Spätzle (german egg noodles) or Bread Dumplings – Veggie choices: Red Cabbage, Sauerkraut or carrots.  I am not sure but I thought the duck did not come with sides, alas, this time I had two sides.  While they were good (I love the red cabbage!!), it was just a bit too much food for me.  My sides:

If you’re in northern Minnesota do make a point to have a meal at this authentic German restaurant.  I am quite sure you won’t be disappointed!

The Brauhaus-German Restaurant
28234 Minnesota 34
Akeley, MN 56433-8024
(218) 652-2478

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Babani’s Kurdish Restaurant – St. Paul, MN

“There was, there wasn’t . . . In a land far away – a great and mighty Kurdish tribe called the Babanis. The Babani men were known throughout the land for their patriotic sentiments, their fierce fighting habits and their sexual prowess.  In contrast, the women were said to be kind, forgiving, hardworking and excellent cooks. In this respect the men and women were well suited for one another. And so as one may imagine the tribe flourished spreading children throughtout Kurdistan. In more recent years, the great leaders of this mighty empire could not contain the curiosity of young men whose desires to explore the treasures of exotic lands were insatiable. In keeping with their Babani male tradition, this especially applied to the wonders of women. So many as we say here in Minnesota, “took to the trials”. One exceptionally brave and handsome young man;

Jamal, son of Abdul Karim, Mohammed, Qadir, Gafur Fuad, was the first to leave his tribe. He made his way to the Americas where one day he heard some interesting news on the radio. The reporter was saying, “In Minnesota the women are strong, blond and beautiful . . . their children are far above average.” He needed no more cajoling (for he felt the news was directed at him) before he found himself among this mysteriously mild yet unsparing culture. And as he had hoped he soon met Gail, a most beautiful young blond maiden. Much to his delight he realized that she had many of the qualities of the women of his great Babani tribe. Still, he was unsuccessful in convincing his parents of this face. And Gail’s parents, Barb and Ed, were unimpressed by Jamal’s tribal ancestry. In spite of the many protests Gail and Jamal were soon to marry . . . And this is how the first Kurdish restaurant came to be in Minnesota . . . The End”

The story above is what you find on the front of Babani’s menu as well as their About page on their website.  I thought it was such a nice story that I had to share it with my review of this outstanding restaurant in St. Paul.  My friend at work (now my former job) asked me if I’d be interested in eating there and I’m always up for new food adventures so I said “Sure!” And we headed out into the cold with our boots and parkas on and made our way north and west to this small, charming place that is not attached to a skyway. A pleasant young man waits on the tables and he too is very charming.  That time we both had Chicken TawaChicken sauteed in lemon and other spices then baked in layers of potato, green pepper, onion, and dried limes.  Served with basmati rice.  The chicken was so moist and tender, it melted in your mouth and was heavenly.  We also split an order of baklava.  Oh my, yum!!

We went back to celebrate my new job. We chose other items from the menu and this time I took pictures.  We started with an appetizer called Bajan ReshkDeep fried eggplant covered with Jajic, cucumber, olives, tomatoes, lemon.  Served with bread.  Again, very delicious.

For lunch, my friend chose Kubay Brinj: this rice “dumpling” is filled with lean ground beef, special spices, olive oil and parsley, then quick fried to a crisp brown shell.  She enjoyed it immensely. I’m getting the impression that anything you choose on the menu is very good as she’s had 4 or 5 of the dishes from the lunch menu so far and sne’s enjoyed them all.  I had Bakla: Kurdish saute of mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini and onion in olive oil with pepper and other seasoning. Served with basmati rice.  It was really good albeit a little spicy, but not enough to make me stop eating it :) You have a choice of side dish and we both had the tabouli.  I used my friend’s photos, I liked them better:

I thought I could not eat another bite…..until my friend suggested the baklava again.  Such a sweet and nutty treat and something one should really have here.  It’s served warm and I had never eaten it this way.  But I gotta tell you: it’s the bomb!!   We were so anxious to eat it that I forgot to take a photo!  Until the last bite:

the last of the baklava

the last of the baklava

Other photos:

I highly recommend this charming downtown restaurant.  It’s cozy with friendly and quick service.  Do make a point of eating here, I’m pretty sure you’ll go away happy.

Babani’s Kurdish Restaurant
544 St. Peter St.
St. Paul, MN. 55402
651-602-9964
contact@babanis.com

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W.A. Frost & Company, St. Paul, MN – an anniversary restaurant review

It’s been a few years since we celebrated our anniversary at W.A. Frost.  It’s always a great experience so we decided to go back again this year.  It was a fabulous experience!  Come with me while I walk through our evening last night.

We always like to start the evening in the bar adjacent to the restaurant.  It’s full of character and the bartenders are great. We started with gin gimlets.  We ordered the Steamed Blue Mussels which are described thusly: coconut-green curry broth, cilantro, celery, Fresno chilies, grilled sourdough. They were excellent!  And hubby had their trio of Pacific Coast Oysters and enjoyed them.

We then took our seats by the fireplace.  I always love to sit by the fireplace.  While it was a relatively warm winter day here in the twin cities, it’s always nice to sit by a warm fire.  Here are two views from our table, one with the fire, one without:

Hubby decided that he really wanted the Chef’s Featured Charcuterie as he liked the way the bartender described it.  It was head cheese accompanied by veggies and some secret sauce that he really enjoyed.  He loved it!! Me, not so much.

As most fine restaurants do, W.A. Frost has their menu on the web and I had already decided that I was going to have their duck.  But just days before the menu had changed and the duck was no longer an option.  But I know their quality is always great so I kept an open mind and decided on the Truffle and Goat Cheese Risotto which is described: “beet marmalade, sunflower sprouts, pistachios, saba” and it was wonderful!  I also had their Roasted Mushrooms on the side which were also delicious.  Hubby had the Braised Pork Cheeks:  “celery root purée, sauteed rapini, curry-apple relish”.  He looked like he was in heaven it was so delicious.

Truffle and Goat Cheese Risotto

Truffle and Goat Cheese Risotto

Braised Pork Cheeks

Braised Pork Cheeks

It was another fabulous anniversary spent at one of the finest restaurants in St. Paul.  I highly recommend W.A. Frost to anyone that enjoys a fine dining experience.  The food is always excellent and the wait staff is superb.  You won’t be disappointed!

W.A. Frost & Company
374 Selby Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-224-5715

W.A. Frost & Company on Urbanspoon

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