Highs and Lows of Saint Paul


The Happy Gnome … skip the Juicy Lucy, opt for the Duck Burger, and don’t skip dessert because the vanilla ice cream is very much worth the calories.

Tongue in Cheek … for a very surprising, and intellectually executed, tasting menu, with food that often feels too avant-garde for Saint Paul, cuz how can you not enjoy things like bacon fried egg yolk.

Sweet Science Ice Cream … great vanilla (clean, simple taste with a nice purity of flavor) but the black sesame tasted raw and bitter.

I like Minneapolis better.


That is surprising. I would not have expected that from the website alone. Did you happen to take any pictures? From the site, looks like they’re foam-fiends.


No pictures. I am rarely, if ever, in a position to take pictures.

There is foam in a few dishes, but nothing over-the-top.


Fair enough. I’ve only recently started to feel more comfortable with the practice.

Thanks for the report back!


I can’t take pictures most of the time when dining out. The company, the setting, the situation simply do not provide for such excursions with iPhones and what-not.

By the way, why does Saint Paul feel like the bastard child of the Twin Cities when it comes to food?


We stayed the night at our family friend’s in St. Paul, and when we asked for food options, everything they listed was in edit: Minneapolis. I’m not very familiar with the cities, but I did notice that distinction.




Oy vey. What a dummy. Thanks.


Minneapolis generally has better restaurants. But there are, as you noted, some good ones in Saint Paul.

Here’s what I like in St. Paul:

  1. Thai Cafe, On’s Thai Kitchen, Bangkok Thai Deli.
  2. Ngon (fancy Vietnamese unavailable elsewhere in Twin Cities), Pho Cadao, iPho by Saigon, Trie Chau, Que Viet
  3. Big Daddy’s BBQ.
  4. On Payne ave, Tongue-in-Cheek, Ward 6, Cook (deconstructed bi bim bap was a hit)
  5. Italian Pie Shoppe has, IMO, the best deep dish pizza on offer in the Twin Cities.
  6. Punch originated in Highland Park. I prefer the Grand Ave. location for faster service.
  7. Maverick’s for Roast Beef sandwiches. Cecil’s for Corned Beef on Rye.
  8. Strip Club, Saint Dinette, Heartland for higher-end food, like Tongue-in-cheek.
  9. El Chilo taco truck on East 7th across street from Downtowner car wash. Good tacos. On a hot day, when their mangos are ripe, the mango on a stick with chile-pepper-salt seasoning is the best food you can get for $4 in the whole metro.

Thanks for that rundown.

Payne does seem to be the hub of restaurants in Saint Paul.

Re: Saint Dinette. Is it worth the wait and hassle? We considered it but even on a Thursday night, the wait was about 30 minutes, minimum.


Re: waiting and hassle… it depends. I’ve only been once, but it was a good experience with interesting food.


I’m not sure what “too avant-garde for Saint Paul” means but i was not a big fan of our dinner at Tongue in Cheek, which was also in August, if I remember correctly.

With Heartland about to close I’d say the best “fine dining” option by far in St. Paul is Meritage.


My review predictably has a lot of pictures: https://myannoyingopinions.com/2016/10/04/tongue-in-cheek/

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Because it is.