Four More Good Meals I Haven’t Told You About Yet

In no particular order, here are four good meals around Minnesota that I haven’t written about yet:

Breakfast/Brunch At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe, Duluth, Minnesota

For the life of me, I can not get the name of this restaurant right. “At Sarah’s Chester Creek Table.” No, that’s not it. “Sara’s Chester Creek Cafe and Table.” Dammit that’s still wrong. {sighs and Googles it every time}

Guy Fieri was here. Video clip on YouTube

Here, we had one of the most lovely breakfasts ever. Eating here feels like a warm hug.

Big booths are perfect for enjoying a spread of food, board games, and books from the many bookshelves. Dishes are homemade from locally sourced ingredients.

The omelet Jake ordered was filled with silky house-smoked salmon and topped with the brightest green, bright pesto. The crepes I ordered were toasted and filled with a sweet and savory mix of ham and cooked apples.

Each dish came with a little side of something to make it a complete, nurturing meal; the fresh fruit garnish and side salad on my plate and the crisp potatoes and sautéed vegetables that came on Jake’s.

No one is going to toss you plastic packets of cheap grape jelly. Even the jam is extraordinary. Ladle the glistening jam onto your toast from the glass jar jar with a little spoon.

The Camilla Pizza at Mucci’s Italian, Saint Paul, Minnesota

I’ve written about Mucci’s  before. Back then they were newly opened. Many of those menu items have since changed. Still, the classics are there. Their Doughscuits (doughnut-biscuit hybrids) are still our favorite doughnuts in the Twin Cities.

The Montanara pizzas are made with a fried dough crust. Gluten-free crusts are available. I especially liked the Camilla pizza topped with garlic butter, crunchy fried chicken bits, mozzarella, pickled peppers, and a sweet and sour agrodolce.

The chopped salad is worth ordering, too. The large size is plentiful and overflowing with all types of good stuff  like fresh veggies, hard-boiled egg, and salami.

Mucci’s does not accept reservations. If you aren’t in the mood to dine-in, call head for take-out. The staff packs everything up carefully so that you can enjoy the meal at home.

Gorkha Palace, Northeast Minneapolis

Gorkha Palace has been serving Nepali, Indian and Tibetan food in 2010. Somehow, I had never visited until recently when my friend suggested it for dinner.

I can see why she was looked forward to returning. The entrees here are a tad pricier than restaurants we’ve visited serving similar dishes; however, the  owners make these dishes with local and organic ingredients. The sauces tasted so flavorful and the vegetables, memorably fresh.

The dishes I ordered “Gorkha hot” contained our ideal level of heat. If you’re sharing dishes with someone who prefers milder food, ask for a side of the homemade hot sauce.

Some other things that I liked:

  • You get a lot of fluffy basmati rice with your entrees.
  • Happy hour offerings are generous. Choose from a small selection of appetizers like $6 momos or $5 naan and daal. Glasses of beer and wine are discounted. Those preferring a NA drink can order discounted lassis and chai. I enjoyed the salted lassi.
  • Our server was incredibly warm and hospitable.
  • There is a parking lot.

The Jalapeño Popper Burger at Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking (CLOSED as of summer of 2018)

On nice days, Bonfire opens its big front windows onto Grand Avenue giving the restaurant an open air feeling.

I’d visited Bonfire a  couple of times before. I remember liking my meals enough but not feeling particularly crazy about them. This may be why the burgers surprised me.

Smokey, perfectly medium-rare, and juicy. Jalapeño poppers are the perfect burger topping. These were grilled. Jake ordered a different type of burger that arrived as nicely cooked. The burgers are where it’s at. One more thing I appreciate is that they serve good ranch.

Hai Hai, Northeast Minneapolis

You would never know Hai Hai was a strip club unless someone told you. “Hey, there’s where the pole used to be!” exclaimed one of our dining party members.

We shared a variety of drinks, appetizers, and entrees. The cocktail I liked the most is the Lychee Keen slushie (I can rarely resist a blended cocktail). It tasted sweet but not too sweet. If I remember correctly, I believe the other most loved drink was the Bazaar Nights, Bizarre Mornings made with rye whiskey. This drink had a antique books/old library vibe. I didn’t love the other drinks as much as these two, but give them credit for being strong.

The spring rolls and Balinese Chicken Thigh are the two dishes I want to order again. The fresh spring rolls are filled with herbs, crunchy egg roll skin, pork sausage, and pickled vegetables. Often times spring roll skins are kind of chewy and dry like they were prepared much earlier. Hai Hai’s spring roll skins are silky. They remind me of our favorites from Mai Lee. The chicken thigh is served beneath crispy skin in a delightfully spicy coconut cream sauce.


  • Listening to: My favorite 90’s women. Robyn, Joan Osborne, Aimee Mann, Patty Loveless. Oh yeah, and Carly Rae Jepsen. We just saw Chris Trapper perform at the 318 Cafe in Excelsior. The cafe is small so we were packed in tightly, but the energy was good and I loved how intimate the concert felt. People seemed to be going nuts over bowls and bowls of the truffle popcorn.
  • Making: My coworker’s very hot chile de arbol salsa. I’ve been going through one batch a week.
  • Drinking: Club soda with fresh fruit.
  • Using: S’well bottle. I never thought I could care about a water bottle like this. It keeps my fruit water cold all day and doesn’t sweat. The same ice I put in the bottle at 6 a.m. IS STILL THERE when I get home.
  • Reading: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, my women’s book club pick for May.

Feel free to share any thoughts and favorites below! 



  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    You know I always love to read and see what you are eating. Those crepes look fabulous. I am a sucker for crepes after going to Paris now and eat them any chance I get. I am so with you on the cheap grape jelly or even worse the mixed fruit. The dregs of the jellies. You have my heart if you upgrade just a bit to those pretty glass jars with preserves that tickle my tongue. 🙂

  2. katie

    I love a good water bottle/drinking vessel. I need more Camilla pizza in my life. I’ve had it once and loved it. The doughscuits I do about every 6 weeks or so. (I also always order a slice of the roman pizza)

  3. Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs & Kids

    All of these places look delicious! I’m craving a burger from the Bonefire with some good ranch now!

  4. Katy F.

    They all look delicious!!! Yummo!!!

  5. Josh

    Yum! Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to check at least one of these places out this summer… Thanks for the heads up!

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