Restaurant Reviews Tagged "Star Tribune North"

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Mongkok (Shoreview, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune North
  • November 8, 2005

Thai can be a deceptively simple cuisine. A single dish can be a perfect meal. It’s so good you just tuck it away without much thought for how complex the flavors are or for how well they go together. The subtle perfect balance between spicy, salty, sweet, sour, and bitter flavors is what makes Thai food a standout.

We found good Thai at Mongkok, in Shoreview. Mongkok serves dishes from across Asia: Chinese, Thai, Japanese. It’s the Thai dishes that are the winners.

Thai food is traditionally spicy, and Mongkok’s menu ominously says “not responsible for side effects” when talking about spice levels. Don’t let that scare you. In America, Thai food comes in a variety of spice levels. Tell the server what level of spice you want, and he’ll make it happen…

Giuseppe's (New Brighton, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune North
  • October 12, 2005

The world is overrun with bad Italian food. Be it bland, inauthentic, salty, greasy, or just plain horrid, no cuisine can go bad so quickly as Italian. We’re convinced the problem is one of interpretation, and we know the perfect solution. Head to Joe Cecere’s kitchen, a wonderful restaurant called Giuseppe’s.

He and his wife Maria are from southern Italy, the source of the tomato-based dishes commonly thought of as Italian food. And he’s an excellent cook. We’ve loved almost everything we’ve tried here.

The fried mushroom appetizer was juicy, very lightly breaded, and exceptional dipped in the accompanying marinara sauce. Hand-dipped onion rings might not be Italian, but they are the best we’ve had in far too long, sweet with cooked onion and crunchy with a batter coating. They don’t come with marinara sauce, but should…

Lindey's Prime Steak House (Arden Hills, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune North
  • September 7, 2005

Time capsules are fascinating. They’re messages from the past that show us what was important to those who came before us. Places can be time capsules, too: unchanging peeks into a world that now exists only in memory and other out-of-the-way places. If you want to visit a time capsule, eat at Lindey’s.

The menu couldn’t be simpler, and that is part of its timeless appeal. It’s painted on a board brought to your table: Lindey’s Special Prime Sirloin, Prime Sirloin, or Chopped Sirloin. Each entree comes with salad, hash browns, watermelon pickle, and garlic bread. Sautéed mushrooms are available for a surcharge…

Wing Joint (Blaine, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune North
  • August 3, 2005

Chicken wings entered the American consciousness, we think, with the wild popularity of buffalo wings. Since the hot-sauce-covered wings were invented in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, chicken wings have become a ubiquitous appetizer, snack, or light meal.

Which is why we were in Blaine, bellied up to the counter at the Wing Joint. It’s a clever name, especially since the wings here are not disjointed drummies, but the full three-part appendage.

The Wing Joint serves two kinds of chicken wings: regular and buffalo. Both are deep-fried in the classic way — no breading, just dropped into the hot oil.. The regular wings are then dusted with a tasty spice mix, while the buffalo wings are covered with a more spicy spice mix…

King Buffet (Coon Rapids, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune North
  • June 1, 2005

We come from the “Who doesn’t like Chinese food?” school of dining out. When we go out with our vegan friends, or with fussy eaters, or picky kids, we know we can usually all find something we’ll like at a Chinese restaurant. Even better, a Chinese buffet.

The buffet at King is so large pretty much everyone can have a good meal. They even serve some American standards, for those who don’t like Chinese. And for those who like their food really fresh and hot, they have a Mongolian barbecue.

Expect the standard Chinese dishes, and some interesting surprises. The black pepper chicken, served with onions, is excellent, perhaps our favorite dish there. We liked the barbequed boneless pork ribs and the Mongolian beef stir-fry. The crab-meat-and-cream-cheese is not at all Chinese, but it’s really good…

Singapore Chinese Cuisine (Maplewood, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune North
  • March 23, 2005

Singapore Chinese Cuisine doesn’t look like much from the outside. It’s in a strip mall, and looks like a perfectly standard below-average American-style Chinese restaurant. The decor isn’t inviting. But don’t let that dissuade you; the restaurant makes some of the best Southeast Asian food in the Twin Cities.

There are two halves to the menu: a page of Chinese-food staples, and two pages of Malaysian and Singaporan dishes. Ignore the former, and order off the latter. Most of these dishes are delicious.

Order the Captain’s Curry, a chicken curry so interestingly spiced it just comes alive in your mouth. It’s not spicy hot like some Indian curries — Malaysian curries tend to be subtler and more complex. The menu claims that it’s made with 27 different spices, which is why the taste is so hard to pin down. We think this is the best dish on the menu…

Udupi Cafe (Columbia Heights, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune North
  • January 5, 2005

On Central Avenue in Columbia Heights, inside a nondescript commercial building, is the best Indian restaurant in the Twin Cities. It’s a vegetarian restaurant, but don’t let that worry you. The food’s so good that even dedicated carnivores will enjoy Udupi Cafe.

India is a huge country, and “Indian cuisine” is actually many different cuisines from many different cultures and traditions. Many familiar Indian dishes are actually Northern Indian. Udupi serves spicy vegetarian food from the south of India. Expect new, and surprisingly delicious, dishes…

Barley John's (New Brighton, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune North
  • December 1, 2004

When a guy wants to make and sell lots of beer, he might be able to find a better place for it than an old fast food joint, but John Moore didn’t think so. At the busy intersection of County D and Old Highway 8 in New Brighton, you’ll find Barley John’s, a small brewpub with lively acoustics, good food, and serious beer. The beer is brewed on-site, and every beer drinker will find something he or she likes.

Look for these brews on tap all the time. The Little Barley Bitter is a low-alcohol English-style brew with lots of hops. The Stockyard Pale Ale is less bitter than pale ales often are, but has plenty of hops. The Old 8 Porter is rich, complex, and not for the faint of heart. Sometimes, Old 8 is refermented and aged in bourbon casks. If Dark Knight is available, try that. It’s best for sipping, and savoring…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.