Who would have guessed that so many restaurants would open in the Twin Cities during a global pandemic? Honestly it’s been hard to keep up.
This week, we’re focusing on five remarkable new hobbies in the suburbs. From killer roast beef to an authentic British pub, there are plenty of reasons to drive on this list or check out a new spot in your neighborhood.
We weren’t able to try out all the new locations that have opened up over the past few months, but we’ll keep you informed about spots as we get them. Are there any cool new restaurants in your area? Let’s know about it firstname.lastname@example.org.
Army 328 Grill
Paul’s Park American Legion, this new operation from Chef Mick German is one of our favorite new suburban additions.
German, formerly of O’Gara and Alari’s, is at home in a dive-bar environment, and is cooking the food he wants to cook. And that food is, in short, dirty-good, creative bar food.
We started with some of the best cheese curds (loving herbs in the light, shatter-crisp batter and loving touch of house-made ranch) and a hilarious Minnesota poutine (tots, raw yogurt and wild rice soup) that Reminds me of our state hotdish.
The teens in our group were fans of the straight-up 328 burger, a big, but not too big, juicy patty, adorned with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, house-made pickles, and herby mayo.
Adults eat the Jalapeo Business, a spicy (but not too spicy, because Minnesota) number in which Cheddar Jack, bacon, and jalapenos are shredded into an Angus patty, which is topped with smoked American cheese and spicy mayo. This is honestly a burger’s masterpiece.
We’ve also got a fried chicken sandwich, which can be customized with Nashville hot spices, hot honey or buffalo. We chose hot honey, which was a great complement to the super-crunchy, juicy chicken, but left our hands sticky. (Note to self: Bring wet wipes next time, because it’s so delicious we’ll be ordering it again.)
Army 328 Grill: 328 Broadway Avenue, St. Paul’s Park; 651-459-8016; 328grill.com
The former Rudy’s Redeye Grill building has been converted into an elegant bar and grill serving American cuisine, especially smoked roast beef.
The restaurant was part of a group of local eateries bought by Stephen Hesse and Tize Nelson (Pajarito) during the pandemic. It was the group’s first to receive new branding and a new menu – they also bought 13 of Lucky’s restaurants, Yankee Tavern and others.
We’re here to tell you that roast beef is actually pretty good. Sandwiches range from the RB, with house-made Cheese Whiz and caramelized onions, to the more upscale The Angelino, topped with Brie, roasted garlic aioli and arugula.
We were also fans of smoked ribs, and were super excited to find another restaurant serving sunfish, but the batter was a bit heavy and greasy. That said, the Brussels Sprout Slaw that came with it was super delicious and the chip-like fries were totally addicting.
The smoked wings are also noteworthy. We prefer a dry rub, but love that they’ll serve you any of their sauces (cilantro harissa is a tangy, tangy delight) on the side for dipping.
Clover: 14845 S. Robert Trail; Rosemount; 651-348-2220; theclovermn.com
Egan Arms Public House
We were very excited to learn that our favorite British pub, the Merlin’s Rest, now has a sister restaurant in southern ‘Burbs’.
The Egan Arms Public House may be in a simple strip mall, but the interior looks like a well-worn watering hole.
The menu is full of traditional British food, from full English breakfasts to bangers and mash to fish and chips. There is also a full sandwich (or in Brit-speak) menu, including burgers, for those looking for more typical American pub fare.
A Cornish pasty filled with beef, potatoes and vegetables had a flaky crust and was super filling. We loved that we could order Brussels sprouts as a side option as well. The fish and chips were crunchy and proper, and a cottage pie tasted like cooking at home the best.
The menu is huge – to wit, there are 11 (!) Salads. We will definitely return to try some other items based on one of our visits.
Egan Arms Public House: 4250 Lexington Ave., #111, Egan; 651-348-7361; eaganarms.com
Maverick’s Real Roast Beef
We were already excited when Maverick’s Real Roast Beef decided to add a longtime Stillwater location in Roseville. And then to find out what to order in addition to its famous Roast Beef Sandwich with shaved meat and other sandwiches and open-face sandwich staples (open-face sandwiches were added to the menu in 2017 including brisket, pulled pork There were options such as turkey and, of course, roast beef), the menu continues to expand. The menu has seen new categories of Chicken Wings and Meat by the Pound. We can never visit Maverick without ordering a roast beef sandwich, and this new Stillwater location does it justice. According to owner Tim Hughes, we can’t wait to go back to try the new offerings, which can now be found at both locations.
Maverick’s Real Roast Beef: 1491 Stillwater Blvd. N., Stillwater; mavericksbeef.com
scheduled tribe. Croix Baking Company
This quaint bakery in downtown Hudson has a daily lineup of breads, pastries, and desserts. The selected items are well curated; Don’t expect many items in each category. Yet know-how that cuts from chef/owner Charles Frock, who earned his stripes traveling the world and cooking for notable figures, thought to be thought-provoking and delicious.
Few items get the small treat, like mini scones, caramel rolls, cheesecakes and red velvet cakes. It just leaves more room behind the pastry and dessert counter to try many things, doesn’t it?
St. Croix Baking Company: 424 Second St., Hudson; 714-808-8589; stcroixbaking.com
Tipsy Steer at High Pines Brewing
We heard Tipsy Steer’s was pouring some delicious food, but didn’t make our way to Blaine, where they’re serving it inside Invictus Brewing.
Luckily, they partnered with High Pines, the new brewery in Roseville, which luckily has some really, really good beer.
The food menu here is huge, so even after a few visits, we feel like we need to go back to get a full run of things, but we can definitely recommend some dishes.
First and foremost – incense and chips. The fish is breaded, not battered, fried until super crispy and served simply with fries and tartar sauce. This is a dish that is not often found in these parts, and we take it for granted.
The brick-oven pizzas are also worth ordering. The Brewer’s Take, with mozzarella, gorgonzola, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, prosciutto, basil, and bacon, looked great, but the toppings all worked well together, and the light, airy, yeasty crust remained. That day, we were craving some vegetables so ordered the Pomegranate Power Salad to go with it, and were delighted with the delicious, harmonious nutrition packed into one plate – baby kale, shaved Brussels, quinoa, dried pomegranate cherries, Candied walnuts, goat cheese and avocado.
Tipsy Steer at High Pines Brewing: 2704 N. Snelling Ave., Roseville; 651-200-3581; tipsysteer.com/roseville/
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