Thoughts on Keg & Case Food Hall in St. Paul

When I first visited Keg & Case thought it was fine, but a year and a half into it, I’ve come around.

Keg & Case isn’t super huge. It’s filled in more since opening and offers a variety of foods and price points. Located off a quiet corner of West Seventh, there’s plenty of parking in the lot (website says free all winter) or side streets.

You could spend a little money or a lot, from an upscale meal at In Bloom to a $7 banh mi at Bread & Boba. 

In Bloom’s bar is a very comfortable spot for a single diner to enjoy a meal or snack. Smells coming from the crackling wood fire hearth draw me in.

I even made some new friends with the people sitting next to me. We bonded over our love of Stewart’s. The service is top notch.

The menu leans more towards meaty options though you can find some vegetarian appetizers and sides or seafood. I didn’t notice the brussels sprouts dish with apple butter, blue cheese and pecans contained smoked guanciale but it was so good and I ate it all anyway.

I also ate most of a bread service. The whipped butter is topped with crackly black salt. I’m sorry if you have to share.

Pimento Jamaican Kitchen  also offers a location. 

I hadn’t visited Pimento since they opened their first location in the Burnsville Mall Food Court many years ago after winning the Food Network’s Food Court Wars. Their main restaurant is located on Eat Street in Minneapolis where they also host live music and dance parties.

The vegetarian option (actually vegan) is curried veggies in a mild coconut curry sauce with rice and beans. Entrees come with a slaw and two pieces of sweet fried plantain. To kick up the dishes you can add a hot sauce. I chose the hottest one called “Kill dem wit it!” made with habanero, lime, charred scallions, soy sauce and herbs. It looked more like a dark paste than a sauce. I kept adding more and more until I realized how hot it had actually become. A little bit of salt made the curry pop. For $14, a generous portion served as 2-3 meals. Would order this again.

Revival has a quick service stall and small bar serving cocktails. We’ve only eaten at the Cathedral Hill revival location once but I was impressed with our cocktails. If I wasn’t driving, I’d sit down and order one. The only food I’ve ordered here is the Chili Cheese Burrito ($12) for Jake. The cooks fill a tortilla with pork shoulder, rice, chili and american cheese. I did sneak a bite and liked sweet and spicy notes. Actually, the burrito is surprisingly good.

My personal favorite is Bread & Boba run by the owners of iPho, one of my favorite restaurants.  The menu offers banh mi and boba drinks. The sandwiches cost about $6-7. The employees prepare the sandwiches fresh-to-order and absolutely stuff the sandwiches full of protein. On the scale of banh mi’s, they are quite large. I order the tofu sandwich.

Of course there’s Bogart’s Doughnuts. I feel like I’m not supposed to pick favorites, but I like Bogart’s the best. The brioche dough gives them an extra special yeasty flavor and pillowy texture. If you like Nutella, order the Nutella-filled doughnut. It’s stuffed with a golf ball sized glob of nutella. The lavender cake doughnuts, my other favorite, are subtly lavender scented and light. If you visit in the late afternoons or evenings they may be sold out.

Hobby Farmer sells pickles and switchel, a sweet and tangy fermented vinegar drink.

I got Jake a jar of spicy Volcano pickles and a variety switchel pack for Christmas. This flavor of pickle is slightly sweet and spicy, but not inedibly spicy (at least for us). I’ve returned for more pickles because they have such a good texture and flavor. Each jar is $15.

Clutch,  brewery upstairs, offers a lot of seating including fancy couches. You do have to purchase a drink to utilize their seats but there’s plenty downstairs. I’m the wrong person to talk to about beer, preferring wine and cocktails. However, I like the space, service, and that you can bring your meal upstairs.

One more thing we tried is the wild rice and mushroom soup ($10) from Forest to Fork mushroom shop’s UrbanWok stand. They might sell it at the Forest to Fork stand, too. I think it was advertised as the best mushroom soup ever – it was quite good. I think the only one I’ve liked better is from SIMPLS. They also sell vegetarian and vegan mushroom stir fries which I would totally try later.

There’s more vendors I haven’t tried yet selling halva, fancy cotton candy, coffee, and ice cream and more (full list here).

1 Comment

  1. Katy F

    Those Brussels sprouts sound and look amazing! I’d be all over that! And Boba tea is something i’ve wanted to try, but not a lot of options here (or any) in North Iowa for it!

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