5 best breakfast spots in St. Paul

Categories: Top 5
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Want to start your day the St. Paul way?
If you roll out of bed in the Saintly City, you'll find several spots to tickle your tastebuds first thing in the morning. Sampling our way from biscuits covered in milk gravy to crispy cured bacon, we've scoured St. Paul and rounded up the very best places to go for breakfast.

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Top 5 spicy bar bites in St. Paul

Categories: Top 5
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Photo courtesy St. Paul Winter Carnival
Red hot and ready to party
As much as we're supposed to cheer for Boreas, King of the Winds, at the climax of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, it's hard not to want to hang with the Vulcan Krewe. Their mischief, roaring fires, shenanigans, and predilection for drinking seem more our speed. Also, they're trying to kill winter, and who wouldn't like to see that happen at this point?

As you're getting out to enjoy the snow sculptures, ice carvings, and other events, we've rounded up our Top 5 spicy bar bites to warm you from the inside out.

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Hangover banishment: Our picks for the best New Year's Day brunch

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Dinner Series
After all those New Year's Eve toasts, you're gonna need a good breakfast.
The epic nature of your hangover can only be expressed in an obscure Ukrainian dialect. Mistakes were made. The only way to battle this unjust punishment dealt by our favorite frienemy is to get some breakfast in that belly, stat. We've rounded up the five best places to ease the pain of that brown bottle flu.

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Top 5 chicken and waffles in the Twin Cities

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Alma Guzman
Gluten-free chicken and waffles from Bluestem Bar & Table
Just a few weeks back, we published a list that named "haute" chicken and waffles as one of the 13 most overcooked food trends of 2013. To clarify (and to pre-emptively combat any cries of hypocrisy that this Top 5 might provoke), that food trends list was compiled by writers from our team as well as our sister papers like L.A. Weekly, Riverfront Times (though that particular writer is a CP alum), and the Dallas Observer, which might help explain why ramen burgers and cronuts, two items that barely made an impact on our local scene, were included in the article.

So while some feel there's an oversaturation of this particular dish in the rest of the country, and maybe even here in the Twin Cities too, we just can't help but be attracted to the sweet and savory flavor combination and textural contrast between crispy chicken and soft, springy waffles. Here are our Top 5 favorite takes on this soul food classic, from the straightforward to the sinful to the truly sublime. 

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Top 5 local winter seasonal beers

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Sasha Landskov
The one upside of the sub-zero temps we are currently experiencing is that a windchill advisory is a very good excuse for holing up at home, preferably with a mix-and-match sixer of craft beers. Our local winter seasonals come in a range of styles, but all have depth, fragrant spice, and, true to their "winter warmer" moniker, often have pretty hefty ABVs.

There are a lot of new offerings to try this year, so get to a liquor store or bar and conduct your own research. In the meantime, here's a handful of our favorite local winter seasonal beers to get you started. 

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Top 5 ways to use UV's new Sriracha-flavored vodka

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Yesterday the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported that Phillips Distilling Co. is set to release the 20th flavor variety in its line of UV Vodka, and this one's a spicy little number. 

Adding a Sriracha-flavored vodka is an especially smart move by the Minneapolis-based company, given the recent hullabaloo surrounding a California community's demands that the Sriracha plant be shut down because of air quality concerns. An L.A. judge ultimately ruled against the closure, but the possibility of a Sriracha shortage was enough to send pepper fans into a fizz and to cause one Minneapolis donut shop to start hoarding the stuff.

The possibility of Sriracha downsizing or partially closing is still possible, so we thought we'd prepare for that apocalyptic threat by thinking of some new ways to get a little Sriracha into our liquid diets. Here are our Top 5 ways to use the new UV Sriracha vodka. 

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5 ways to celebrate National Gingerbread Day

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Carrie Stephens

There seems to be some confusion over when National Gingerbread Day actually takes place -- today, November 21 or in the summer, on June 5. Some gingerbread-loving fools say the holiday is observed twice a year, on both days. Since we think of gingerbread as a late fall and winter treat, we've elected to celebrate National Gingerbread Day today.

Today's national holiday may be inspired by a childhood Christmastime favorite, but this treat goes well beyond the houses haphazardly stuck together by gobs of frosting and decked with rows of gumdrops.

Here are five ways to celebrate National Gingerbread Day -- only a couple of which involve tiny domiciles.

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5 ice cream sundaes for National Sundae Day

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Top 5 local stout beers

Categories: Top 5
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A tall pint of roast, toasty stout
Stout. This popular style of typically dark beer is easy to identify because its personality is just how it sounds: rounded, bold, and friendly. 

An important factor in the making of a stout, is getting a nice deep roast on the barley or malt used to brew it. Stout is also usually higher in alcohol than most of the other major styles, and often has an ABV of 7% or greater. There are many familiar sub-varieties of this style, such as Irish or dry stout, Russian or imperial stout (sometimes both names are used, as with Surly's Darkness), and flavored stouts like chocolate or coffee ones.

Locally, we're lucky to have many strong examples of this strong beer. Here are our Top 5 favorites.

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5 ice cream sundaes for National Sundae Day

Categories: Top 5

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The Culinary Geek
Happy National Sundae Day! Celebrate by stopping by and grabbing one of our favorite sundaes in the Twin Cities. No need to feel guilty -- it's a national holiday after all.

See also:
Top 10 donuts in the Twin Cities


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Top 5 places to eat in Little Mekong

Categories: Top 5

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Ed Neaton
Mai Village in Little Mekong

Billed as Saint Paul's answer to Eat Street, the Little Mekong area at the east end of University Avenue has become something of a destination lately. There are still plenty of shuttered businesses to go around, but with the Central Corridor light rail set to open in 2014 and its easy accessibility from I-94, the neighborhood's main artery is betting on a renaissance.

If hopes are up, that's in no small part thanks to the abundant Asian dining options. Many of them are good, a few of them are downright excellent. On the whole, Little Mekong is quickly becoming a Twin Cities hot spot. When the light rail finally starts rolling, it's sure to give Eat Street a run for its money.


See also:
Little Mekong: St. Paul's answer to Eat Street?
Top 10 places to eat in the North Loop


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