Reviews written by JMS
Registered on Sep 28 05
Overpriced with mediocre food. Simple as that. My server was decent, unlike some of the other reviews here. He knew what vegan was and was clear about which menu items were.
I had some sort of mock duck/tofu/yam soup the first time I went with my wife. It was just OK. The next time I went with a couple of friends and we had sushi. Very little on the sushi menu was vegan (no inari!) but they were good about special ordering. I've had better sushi at many other places. If you want sushi in the Twin Cities, just stick with Origami downtown.
Junk. We went there for the buffet a year or so ago and it had little selection and was over-priced. Can't believe that so many people seem to like it.
Drive past it and go "The Vegetarian" if you want real Indian. The Vegetarian is on the same road about 10 blocks closer to the city.
First off, let me say that Spoon River is much, much better than its sister restaurant Cafe Brenda. My wife and I haven't been to Brenda in years, but we've been to Spoon River three times in the last two months. Let me run down what was good and what still needs work.
1) Food -- appetizers: We both highly recommend the Tomato, Watermelon Salad Dressed in a Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette (Vegan) as an appetizer. It is like nothing you've ever had before. Highly tasty blend of different tomatoes and watermelons along with a fantastic dressing. And wait until you see the presentation -- fantastic! We've ordered it all three times we've went. There is a very good selection of vegan and vegetarian appetizers.
2) Food -- Dinner: The dinner menu contains a bit too much meat (just like Brenda's). But, we both were impressed with our vegan dinner entrees. I've had the Asian Barbeque Mock Duck over Brown Rice, Thai Basil Salad with Pineapple and Peanuts. My wife had the Sloppy Jane - Joe's Healthy Saucier Sister made with Savory Mock Duck Jicama Salad. Both are vegan and tasty. Presentation was nice but the servings were a bit on the small side.
3) Drinks (alcoholic): The alcoholic drinks on the drink menus all sound good but the ones we've had (4 different ones total) are light on the liquor and high on the price. Disappointing overall.
4) Desserts: Nothing vegan all three times we've went -- not even sorbet! This was disappointing b/c our waitress said that they have vegan desserts at Brenda's.
5) Service: Still working out some kinks. Don't sit at the bar -- the guy we had at the bar our first time there was not good. The other two times we sat in the restaurant and were happier.
6) Space: The space is a bit cramped and you're VERY close to the other customers. This doesn't really bother us, but it might not be for you if you don't like sitting right next to the other patrons.
7) Cost: A bit pricey although not overly so (with the exception of the drinks).
Anyone who doesn't give this place a 10 doesn't know what they're talking about. If there was ever a place in the Twin Cities to support, this is it! The short of it: the best Indian food I've ever had (I've probably been to about 20 different places). The service was fantastic with the owner and his daughter (I believe) going out of their way to make it a fantastic dining experience. As others have said, the whole place is vegetarian with vegan items (at least half the menu) marked. If you're eating Indian elsewhere, you're wasting your time and money.
I had the Masala Dosa (#33 on the menu - vegan) on the recommendation of our server. She was so right! The thing was gigantic and about the tastiest thing I've ever eaten. It came with a lentil soup and a coconut curry dip. All of this was only $7! A welcome change from overpriced Twin Cities dining. For dessert I had Jalebi (vegan) -- golden sweet pretzel -- which was delicious and like nothing I've ever had. Plus, I got it on the house (told you the service was good)! To drink I had the Indian Tea which was the best tea I've ever had.
My wife ate vegetarian and had the Punjabi Thali (#30) -- which is basically a sampling of different dishes including appetizer and dessert. She loved her dinner just as much as I did. The Samosa with my wife's dinner was the most unique, delicious Samosa I've ever tasted.
I know I'm gushing, but this place is that good! We went for dinner and can't wait to try the lunch buffet. Apparently if you come for the Sunday lunch buffet, the owners told us you get some food item free (can't remember what).
Seriously folks, let's support this place (and ask them to start carrying beer and wine)!