After having walked around a bit in the downtown area we decided it was time for lunch. And as we seemed to end up at the Landmark Center all the time, it is not surprising we ended up at "Great Waters Brewing Co", which is located almost across the street.
The place looked nice on the outside, so we decided to give it a try. The welcome wasn't what you call 'enthusiastic', the waiter was rather rude, but as we were tired and already sitting down, we decided to stay anyway. We both opted for the Great Water's Club; fresh ciabatta bread filled with Turkey, bacon, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and garlic aioli. And surprise, surprise, it tasted great! The sandwiches are served with fries, onion rings, potato salad or coleslaw for a total of 7,50 USD. Not that you really need any of these side dishes, as the sandwiches are quite generous, and more then I could eat.
As we were in a brew pub, we of course had to try one of their specialty beers. We tried the "Brown Trout Brown Ale", a full bodied rich brown ale, and again, it tasted great! So the conclusion would be, if you don't get the same grumpy waiter as we did, you probably will enjoy your lunch at Great Waters Brewing Co a lot.
I wish we could rate the satisfaction in several different categories on VT. If so the food would deserve a 4 (out of 5), the beer a 5 and the service a 1 (zero really, hahaha, or even minus if it was up to me).
Monday to Saturday: 11:00 a.m. 2:00 a.m.
Sunday: 12:00 noon to 12 a.m.
You can drop by on their website to get a pre-taste of their menu
If you like Southern Style Cuisine, this is the place to be: "Dixie's on Grand". This restaurant seems very popular, so making reservations in advance like we did might be a good idea.
I chose to go for one of their House-Smoked Specialties, in this case the BBQ Chicken. It is served with a delicious BBQ sauce, cole slaw, skin-on-fries and fresh corn on the cob, all for $13.99. Served with a glass of white wine it was perfect for the evening. The chicken was grilled to perfection and the corn on the cob was probably one of the best I ever had. Together with the friendly service, this restaurant deserved the thumbs-up. I would without hesitation make reservations here again for dinner, as there was a lot I would like to have tried from their menu list, including the delicious sounding Key Lime Pie, which I unfortunately didn't have room for after the main course. Maybe next time I should start off with dessert instead ;-)
The restaurant is open on
Sunday 10am - 9pm
Monday - Wednesday 11am - 10pm
Thursday - Saturday 11am - 11pm
When it comes to sweets, Cafe Latté is the place to go. They have a great selection of desserts! Cafe Latté is actually a cafeteria-style restaurant. So if you have the appetite for some light dinner, they offer tasty soup, salads and sandwiches.
Favorite Dish: Cafe Latté's famous German chocolate cake is to die for!
I discovered this place many years ago, before it was a popular place to have breakfast after church. It was started by recovering users (hence the name, Day By Day) and many of the people they hire are those who are recovering from chemical dependancy.
The service is excellent and the quality of food is also excellent. I love this place and it's ambiance.
Favorite Dish: 2 eggs- over easy.
...with english muffin.
This is conciderably more elegant than those mentioned above. A romantic cozy environment and great food.
Many, many years ago this building was a drug store where F. Scott Fitzgerald used to buy cigars for his father. The building is on the Federal Registry of Landmarks.
A great place to bring a date.
The restaurant in St. Paul is the original Green Mill location with a history that goes back to the mid 1930s.
If you are looking for a laid diner or somewhere to celebrate a little after a hard-working day, then don't miss Green Mill's Happy Hour! You can get most of the appetizers for half price!
Favorite Dish: Pasta Pavarotti - (Penne noodles, seasoned chicken, prosciutto, mushrooms, zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes in a garlic cream sauce) - Just yummy!
Mickey's is an original 1930's Art Deco dining car listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in New Jersey, it's been a St. Paul institution since WWII and hasn't changed much since. It has also had cameo roles in several movies shot in the Twin Cities area (Mighty Ducks, Prairie Home Companion and Jingle All the Way). Always open - 365 days a year, 24/7. Standard diner menu. If nothing else, stop in for a cuppa joe just to say that you did.
This casual, fun little floating roadhouse has possibly the best location in town. Anchored on the Mississippi with a great view of downtown, you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner and watch the river traffic go by. The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, salads and appetizers with just a few entrees (steak, walleye, catfish. ribs & chicken) thrown in for good measure. Breakfast is supposed to be really good and they have brunch on Sundays with beignets and New Orleans coffee. Definitely not fancy, the bar stock is limited to about a half-dozen each domestic and premium/imported bottled brews plus a few bottled cocktails. No matter - the beer's cold, the service is friendly and it's just the perfect place for lazing away a hot summer afternoon or evening. Sun lovers, grab a seat on the upper deck!
River Boat Grill is across the Wabasha Bridge from downtown. Follow the signs to the East Entrance of Harriet Island Park and use the last parking lot by the "Showboat Landing" buildings. There will be multiple boats at this location but look for the one with the neon beer signs - you can't miss it. This is also a great walk, on a nice day, from downtown St. Paul hotels and attractions. Kid friendly, too.
Favorite Dish: Frankly, it's about the location, location, location and kick-back atmosphere.
Great Waters is a large, sunny brewpub with good craft beers and equally decent food. Some of the microbrews rotate seasonally, and sample flights are available for the undecided. They're open for lunch and dinner with a menu that's a bit more upscale than the average brewery and a relaxed, well-behaved clientele. We usually do this one on an afternoon when seats at the bar are easier to snag, and run with a light snack/meal of appetizers versus full menu items.
Happy Hour deductions on food and drink, special events and kid's menus. Patio seating in the summer. See the website for details.
Favorite Dish: Their soft beer pretzels with mustard and bac-in-beer nuts go great with a pint.
I'm not quoting a price as the tab will depend on whether you eat or just come to sample the brews.
St. Paul Italian cuisine at its most romantic, Pazzaluna is loved for its ambiance and good food if not for its prices. No doubt about it, dinner here doesn't come cheap but you will be well attended to, have a very nice meal and a pleasant, grown-up evening. You can also manage the damage by restricting the amount of courses and number of wines you order. An appetizer pizza and a glass of wine in the bar will run you around $20 - about the cost of the average pasta entree. They also have a M-F happy hour with drink and pizza specials. That said, it tends to be on special-occasion listings and priced accordingly.
You may eat in the bar (more casual and light) or dining room (more dressy and dark) and order as many or as few plates as you desire. Our last visit (a birthday), we had an appetizer, a pasta entree apiece, 2 glasses of wine and split a dessert. We'd also come from an outdoor event and were underdressed but didn't feel out of place in the bar. Everything was great - waitstaff was attentive and fun, the food was yummy and even though they were very busy, we never felt hurried. Recommended for a special meal, Happy Hour or a stop-in for an appetizer and a drink. Not a good choice for the little ones. Open for dinner only - 4:00 PM (bar), 5:00 PM (restaurant).
Favorite Dish: They make their own gnocchi and it's so light that if it didn't have sauce to hold it down, it would float away! Yummy.
A grolla is a many-spouted cup, in a certain region of Italy, that friends can share a drink from.
La Grolla (lah GROHL-lah) is a cozy, casual trattoria that's perfect for romantic couples or a group of friends. The menu offers pastas, salads and meat or seafood entrees with yummy sauces worth blowing your diet for. It's aways busy on the weekends but in the summer, the patio is a hot spot that you won't get within feet of without a reservation. Prices put it into our "Special Occasion" category but if you're in town and on vacation with your sweetie, that's occasion enough. It would also be a good spot for a business lunch, although it can be noisy. Save room for dessert - they're heavenly! See the website for menu, hours, reviews, directions and such.
I wouldn't recommended it for the wee folk - it's more comfortable for big boys and girls.
Extra tip: La Grolla is 1/2 block away from The Happy Gnome with its enormous beer selection and comfortable patio (see my Nightlife tip.) This would be a good spot to sample some great Belgium brews or a single-malt scotch (huge stock) before strolling down the street for dinner. Or the other way around.
Pizza Luce (pronounced lu-CHAY) has 4 locations in the Metro area and they're consistently on local award lists (Best pizza, Best Late Night Dining, etc). The St. Paul location is in a former print shop and is warm, comfortable and trendy without attitude. The walls are decorated with local artworks that changes regularly so there's always "new" decor!
The menu has appetizers, salads, hoagies, and a few pasta entrees but most folks come here for those award-winning pies. Pick a house specialty or have one custom-built from a list of 50 ingredients - all come on a medium whole wheat crust except for recent gluten-free offerings only available mid-week. I believe the pie in my picture is a yummy Ruby Ray with sausage, spinach, tomatoes and mozzarella but the BBQ chicken Wrangler is great too, and many swear by the Baked Potato Pizza. Um, maybe sometime... Large pies will run you about $20 but they're sooooo worth it.
Should you choose one of the Minneapolis locations instead, menus are pretty much the same from place to place but Happy Hours are not so take a look at the website for what's offered at your chosen venue and at what times/days. Full bar, some locations have patio seating in the summer.
Favorite Dish: Pizza!
2 story building with food and groceries on the lower level and seating on the upper. Classic feel, great exterior, all made fresh before your eyes and then taken back to your seat. Bring a date, any girl who doesn't like this kind of place is no good.
Favorite Dish: Eat anything the pasta, the salad, the sandwiches, or the pizza; it's all fresh, easy, fast and classic!
Caribou is great. They all have the feel of a wintery log cabin. This is the 2nd largest specialty coffee chain in the USA - with over 160 stores nationwide (mostly in Midwest).
Favorite Dish: The Cool Lite White Berry - is the BEST drink in the world... but some Caribous don't know what you are talking about when you ask for one, and they'll try to make it up and give you something bad. On a cold day, the Carmel Hi Rise is something to die for!
There are a couple of locations, but the one that's best known is the Savoy Inn on 7th St. This place has one of the best pizza's in town. This place is usually packed, especially on weekends and at lunch. So definately call ahead if you want carry out.
This place is the furthest thing from the retread resteraunts like TGI's and Applebees. Everyone in there is relaxed and seems to have been going to Savoy's for decades. The waitresses are real and have a good time.
Favorite Dish: The pizza! It's thin style of pizza, but it's so loaded with toppings it's not a thin crust. The Savoy Special is the best, every topping, great sauce, and tons of cheese.