What restaurants are the Twin Cities missing?

Subo.jpg
Kris Drake
Now that Subo's closed, we need a place for Filipino-style grilled snapper!
While Twin Cities restaurants offer an abundance of some global cuisines, they're missing some critical dishes--and entire regions. Here are five types of restaurants the Hot Dish finds sorely lacking, several with Asian influence, and one unabashedly American.

What others would you suggest? Join the discussion and leave a comment below.

Ramen Shop
Most local Japanese restaurants are heavy on the sushi--and light on all of Japan's other delicious culinary offerings. There's one spot that offers robata, and a few others with decent soba and udon, but we'd like to see someone take an exacting approach to the penny-pincher's favorite, ramen. Fortunately, chef Tim McKee anticipated our request and is already helping Masu prepare to launch this spring on East Hennepin.

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Korean bbq galbi.
Korean BBQ Joint
We have a few Korean joints in the Cities, and while their bibimbap and karaoke combos are certainly appreciated, we'd love to see some L.A.-style barbecue. Maybe Minnesota's insurance companies are freaked out by the tabletop grills, the open flames, and the hard-working ventilation systems? One bite of paper-thin brisket or kobe rib eye, just a chopstick's reach from fire to face, and we're sure they'd change their minds.

Burmese Restaurant
Was the last time you heard about Burma (a.k.a. the Republic of the Union of Myanmar) was your hippie roommate's Pepsi Corp. protest back in college? Sure, the country's obscure, but if San Francisco's hipster fave Burma Superstar and the alley-width Yamo are any indication, the off-the-radar region has much to contribute to South Asia's culinary traditions.

Filipino Restaurant
A couple of years ago, the Cities welcomed the arrival of two Filipino eateries, one lousy and the other great. The former lasted a few months, the later, less than a year. Bring back the lechon kawali, the coconut water, and the kalamansi!

In-n-out logo.jpg
A Killer Fast-Food Burger Joint
Sure we got our Sonic, Five Guys, and Smashburger a few years back, and while the latter is the best of the three, it still can't beat the patty standard: The West Coast's iconic In-n-Out Burger. The Mormon-owned mini-chain uses potatoes and beef that are fresh, not frozen--and pays its workers a living wage. And we're patiently waiting for its eastward expansion to arrive, Double-Double, Animal-Style.


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Jez
Jez

I'd like to see a real British fish and chip shop, where the food is all hot and wrapped in newspaper, w/REAL vinegar (not white vinegar, yuck), really good meat pies, savaloy, spam fritters, chips'n'gravy/curry sauce, proper Cornish pasties (not the deep fried variety), pickled eggs and pinapple fritters, Fanta, Lilt, Irn Bru, cheap and fast, no nonsense.Je

Jtlaurie
Jtlaurie

An awesome tapas restaurant like Cafe Ba Ba Reeba in Chicago

Vinotintojoe
Vinotintojoe

need a place that does good venezuelan food. Arepas and Empanadas done using the correct corn flour masa(Harina Pan) are a great quick food option for breakfast and lunch.

Honestly
Honestly

I would like to see more good Indian restaurants --and that's the problem: most of what we have is mediocre or terrible (and this is coming from someone who's been all over the world and live in CA most his life).

Here's another angle: Can we get better inexpensive sushi options (outside of downtown)? The stuff sold at places like Byerly's, Lunds and the like are downright unpalatable to anyone who's experienced quality cheap sushi in any number of other major cities. I can't believe the suburbanites who seem to think the extremely low grade, tasteless fish they use is worth even the prices they slap on them.

harrisonian
harrisonian

you have to go to northfield, but chapati is yum yum yum!

WitandwitoutJohn
WitandwitoutJohn

A good south jersey/philly hoagie/cheesesteak joint. That also sells soft pretzels and scrapple. Come to think of it, I should just move back to Philly!

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Have you tried the philly cheesesteak at Red's Savoy on Hennepin? (It's a holdover from Golooney's.) It's authenticity is debatable. Its deliciousness is not.

LK
LK

Burmese and Karen restaurants are popping up in St. Paul. You ned to venture over to the East Side and North End where the new immigrants live.

Lbrnbald
Lbrnbald

No decent Armenian food twixt Maumee OH and Glendale CA

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Now Armenian food is a serious stumper... Now that Shiraz closed, Persian food is also hard to come by, except for, say Caspian Bistro. What I wouldn't give for the chicken at Chelokababi in Sunnyvale, CA.

Jen the Catalyst
Jen the Catalyst

Ever since my first trip to D.C. and Addams Morgan many many years ago, I've been hooked on Eritrean food... the delicious intersection of east African and Italian cuisine (think a fusion of Ethiopian Injera with meat sauce, and pasta, with a fantastic cappucino!)

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Eritrean would be nice...I think that Lucy's Ethiopian on E. Franklin might be a spot to try to approximate, as their menu offers both spaghetti and doro wat.

justacoolcat
justacoolcat

There's a Korean BBQ Joint in the Hillcrest Mall in Saint Paul

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Egads! Thanks justacoolcat! Any chance you remember the name? How was your experience there?

Lindsey Coleman
Lindsey Coleman

Been to Denver or New Mexico? I need some green chile. Hot, smoky, spicy, roasted chiles...in a thick delicious stew. Smothered on my burrito, burger, or in a bowl with tortillas on the side. It's the thing I miss the most about living in Denver. Which is amazing when you consider the good skiing. MMmmmm

PS. I'm in full agreement on In-N-Out. Haters can leave their burgers for us.

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Yes, but it's been far too long on both counts.....trying to think of a good local source for green chile and coming up empty. Anyone?

None
None

I've been dying for some real Filipino food. Sobu was great but still wanted a little more authenticity. Good thing I've made some Filipino friends recently to satisfy my hunger for now. haha :) In the summer they promise halo halo! YUUUUMMM

Ashley Shelby
Ashley Shelby

We desperately need a good Peruvian place. Machu Pichu was pretty good, though a bit uneven. It is, in my opinion, the best, most complex cuisine in the world, and the most delicious. Brasa's chicken comes close, but we need saltados, true cerviches, aji de gallina, etc.

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

If I recall correctly, Machu PIchu's chef/owner even used to prepare a couple of off-menu traditional foods, beef heart and guinea pig, to favored customers, on request.

Former MN, now LA
Former MN, now LA

Ramen has almost a cult following in many cities in the U.S. There are some ramen houses with a one hour wait to get in. For noodles. Damn good noodles with outstanding broth. The closest thing to acceptable ramen I've experienced in Minnesota is the ramen on the lunch menu at Nami.

L_thao
L_thao

Rachel, you read my mind! Ramen and Korean fast food/bbq is much needed. I think MN has done a pretty darn good job displaying all types of food being equidistant from both coasts. This sounds so IRONIC, but is there a great Scandinavian smorgashboard place?

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Agreed, and, yes, it is a little ridiculous that we don't have a smorgasbord place, with Scandinavian fare mostly limited to bakery and deli offerings at Taste of Scandinavia and Ingebretsen's. Awhile back there was talk about a Norwegian/Japanese fusion restaurant called Lute-Ja going into the former Picosa space at Riverplace, but I haven't heard anything lately.

midwest coffee
midwest coffee

i'd like to see a Sprinkles cupcake shop, Pollo Loco which west coast people rave about, a Pinkberry yogurt and Churches Chicken(along with their low prices like other states)

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Great suggestions. I've never been to Sprinkles or either of the chicken shops, but I'd be curious to hear how you think our local alternatives stack up.

Cocoa and Fig is my fave local cupcake shop--love that frothy Italian buttercream!--and there's a new Pollo Campero in W. St. Paul that I haven't yet visited but heard it is supposed to be like Pollo Loco.

I've been to Pinkberry a couple of times and thought it was fine, but not any better than the local fro-yo offerings at Leann Chin and Cafe Kem.

Junga2001
Junga2001

In and Out sucks! Let's see.. I'd prefer to see more West Indian places... Maybe some really good English places that isn't just pub food.. and probably high on the list is a decent fidh and chip shop! :)

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Well, Junga2001, I'll be happy to eat any In-n-Out burgers you're refusing--with a real ice cream shake, Neapolitan-style :)

To your point about Caribbean fare, I'd love to see double the amount of doubles in the Twin Cities. At present, Marla's and Harry Singh's are always good bets as is the new-ish Caribe in St. Paul.

As for a fish and chip shop, have you tried Anchor in NE? I like their fish and chips quite a bit, though I sill prefer the chef-tinkered preparations I've had at Sea Change and Victory 44. (Travail's is also similar to 44s. When I had it the chips were undercooked so I was turned off, but it'd be worth giving a second chance.)t

chud
chud

just had the fish and chips (actual chips, NOT fries) at the red stag in NE. very good cod. i paid a little more and got the fries which were good too. this was way better than the greasy stuff i got at anchor. i feel like anchor must've had an off night when i was there a couple months ago. it was awful food, and awful service too.

harrisonian
harrisonian

guessing you hit an off night @ the anchor. eaten there many times with great experiences and yum on the food. not greasy, no tartar neccessary. just great hot fish and chips. i have always found the staff to be fun, fast, attentive.

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Sorry to hear about your Anchor experience, but glad to hear you enjoyed the fish and chips--actual potato chips, wha?!--at Red Stag. Have you tried Red Stag's smelt fries? Freaking amazing if you skip the ketchup and dip in tartar sauce. http://blogs.citypages.com/foo...

Abiclarita
Abiclarita

we need good chinese take out/delivery!! While we have Shuang Cheng (too far, dinkytown) and Rainbow (too expensive!), we don't have a enough good chinese take-out/delivery places. The ones that are near downtown MSP and lake street are not good and there is virtually no suitable chinese take out in South Minneapolis

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

I don't seek Chinese takeout too often but I've had good luck with Evergreen on 25th/Nicollet. (It's actually Taiwanese, but the hot and sour soup, mock lemongrass beef, ma po tofu, etc. are tasty and the prices are low.) You could also try the new Szechuan Spice at Lyn/Lake, which offers delivery.

Lindsay Abraham
Lindsay Abraham

Is there a good shabbu shabbu place around here? That'd top my list. And for sure a Filipino joint. Sisig and San Mig!

Rachel Hutton
Rachel Hutton

Good suggestion...Wasabi on Washington Ave. recently added shabbu shabbu to its offerings, but that's the only spot that immediately comes to mind. I haven't checked it out yet, though. Can anyone comment on the spread at Wasabi or know of other shabbu shabbu joints to recommend?

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