There’s an old house along University Avenue in St. Paul with a sign that reads “Russian Piroshki and Tea House.”
Since moving back o the Twin Cities, we’ve driven by the tea house often, curiously commenting that we’d like to visit sometime.
Linda and Nikolai Alenov have actually operated the Russian Tea House for over 40 years. Nikola’s brother Pete used to operate a famous guitar shop in the house, too, called Pete’s Guitars, until his passing in 1998. Bono, Alton Brown, George Harrison and Bob Dylan are noted as guests. According to this Citypages article, Alton Brown described the tea house as his favorite stop in Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run.
One thing to know is that the tea house is only open on Fridays between 11-3pm.
I love going to haunted places, but I never ever ever want to find a ghost.
Haunted places are old and interesting. They’re cloaked in storytelling and steeped in history. I especially love visiting haunted dining/drinking establishments because you don’t just wander through; you get to pull up a seat and eat.
Forepaugh’s is 147 years old. The mansion is tucked into a quiet stretch of West 7th near the river. Jake and I have driven along West 7th a million times and somehow never saw Forepaugh’s. I’m not sure how, because the mansion in all of its glory looms on the peaceful, grassy lot.
Since 1870 the sign says.
Saturday morning Trung Nam runs are becoming my new thing.
Trung Nam is a Vietnamese and French bakery located along University Avenue in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul. The owners have been serving french bread and croissants since 1989.
Although I remembered Heavy Table visiting Trung Nam in one of their Green Line Checklist chapters, what really pushed me to visit for the first time was learning they also serve banh mi sandwiches in the morning. Not only can you buy almost any flavor of croissant, but also a pork banh mi, too, all starting at 8 o’clock in the morning.
I swore I’d always remain loyal to Minneapolis. Back when I was a new college grad, I lived in Uptown and rarely crossed the river. Now, I work in Minneapolis and live in St. Paul. I love my Twin Cities. Here are a few places where I recently enjoyed and excellent cocktail (or two) that also serve really good food:
Once I got into an Anchorman-style fight on Twitter about Jucy Lucy’s. Someone definitely drew a Twitter trident.
Fighting about Jucy Lucys is relatively easy to do in Minnesota. Many of us harbor lots of strong feelings about the subject.
If you’ve never heard of a Jucy Lucy, it’s essentially a burger stuffed with cheese. Two restaurants in Minnesota claim to have invented it. If you’ve ever seen Jucy Lucys featured on national television shows or travel blogs, you’ll probably find they only feature Matt’s Bar and 5-8 Club. This usually has me rolling my eyes because they leave out the Nook (or Casper & Runyan’s Nook, to be exact).
I really haven’t had that many versions of the Jucy Lucy and I haven’t even visited the 5-8 Club which is going to compel some to cry “heresy.” Once upon a time we tried Matt’s Bar and then we visited the Nook. Then, we thought we should branch out and try a different place and the burgers were overcooked and disappointing so we kept returning to the Nook.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t visit other places. And I’m not saying that we shouldn’t either. I’m just saying that the Nook is my favorite.