Reviews written by Robin Garwood
Registered on Jun 8 04
I've been feeding my two cats Evolution since 1999. They don't prefer it to meat-based catfoods (not surprising), but they eat it. As far as I'm concerned, Evolution is the only reason that I, as a vegan, can own cats.
No one has mentioned the Kurdish lemonade, which is absolutely fan-flippin'-tastic. Sour, almost bitter, earthy... not your grandmother's lemonade (unless you're Kurdish, I suppose). The dolmades are great: not just stuffed grape leaves, but stuffed cabbage, onion, and tomato as well. There's a rice dish with mushrooms and dill that's also pretty darn to-die-for.
Blue Nile is my least favorite Ethiopian place in the Twin Cities. Their food tastes pre-packaged somehow, their injera is not as good as other places, their atmosphere is overly posh - and noisy, if you go at the wrong time. The yogurt thing is really a problem, too. I've had to have them cut out the yogurt-laden center of a veggie platter at least three times. I would highly recommend spending your Ethiopian-food dollars somewhere else: Addis Ababa, Red Sea, or Fasika. (I should note that my interactions with Blue Nile all happened some time ago; I haven't been back since 2001 or so.)
Fasika serves great food for really reasonable prices, usually in quite a short time. One of St. Paul's best restaurants.
I've been eating at Joe's regularly for about 3 years now. There is a pretty wide selection of really good Lebanese food, including some dishes I've never had anywhere else, such as Mjadra (a wonderful lightly seasoned lentil-rice paste) and Burgl (cracked bulgar wheat with tomato and oil). One can get these in a pita with veggies for $3.50 - filling, cheap, and tasty as tasty gets. Joe's also serves old Mediterranean staples such as hummus, grape leaves (with chickpeas in them!) and the best baba ganouj I may have had anywhere. Avoid the falafel, though, if you're vegan, it's made with eggs. Their vegetarian platter (six bucks, I think) easily feeds two. Every other Thursday and Friday they serve a really good pastry called a veggie roll. It's easy to find vegan accompanyments to the deli in the market, as well - crackers, organic chips, produce, vegan ice cream, soymilk. The place locally owned, by a real Joe, and it's a family affair: his dad Assad (an interesting guy, crotchety in a fun way) runs the deli. Be sure to say hi.
K-Wok serves a wide range of asian food, with quite a few vegan options. The vietnamese dishes are especially good, though everything I've had is pretty darn yummy. Better and cheaper (fill yourself right up for five bucks!) than the Village Wok, and closer if you're on the West Bank. Locally owned - the owner is always there, and is quite a friendly guy. One caution: order with some care. I've had eggs in dishes that didn't list them among the ingredients. It's safest to ask for all dishes without egg.
Good ethiopian, right next door to the Red Sea. Vegan options served family style (order the vegetarian combination). Quite good. They have loudish live music most nights, always in my experience made by the same guy. Friendly staff, good atmosphere. Definitely among the best ethiopian places in the Twin Cities, on par with Red Sea, Fasika, and Addis Ababa.
The Second Moon is one of my favorite Mpls coffee shops. Consistently good coffee, very personable service, great great atmosphere, incredibly group-friendly, also quite queer-friendly. There's a fantastic group of old-timey musicians who get together at the Second Moon Saturday mornings. I only have two concerns: relative lack of organic and fair-trade coffees and sometimes-sketchy labor practices.
I visited Arches National Monument, just outside Moab, and found Eklecticafe on my last day. I wish I'd found it earlier. I had a wonderful tofu scrambler with potatoes, and there were many other dishes I wished I could try.
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