Pandemic Takeout 21: Homi (St. Paul)


Our takeout range has expanded a fair bit in the last few months of the pandemic. At the end of June we finally made it to the Twin Cities’ true “Eat Street” to pick up Thai food from Bangkok Thai Deli. We then went back for more Thai food from Thai Cafe. And last weekend we finally got back to our favourite Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities: Homi. I’ve reviewed meals at Homi thrice before (first in 2016 and then in 2018 and 2019). After our trip to India in January we had been looking forward to going back and then the pandemic hit. We’d have liked to have supported them through the early months of the stay at home orders but living 50-60 minutes away, as we do, it just wasn’t on the cards. I am glad to be able to report therefore that they have made it through the pandemic so far and that the food we picked up from them on Saturday to eat with friends in their backyard in St. Paul was perhaps the best meal we’ve had from them in some time.

First things first: Homi is not open for dining in. Like Thai Cafe’s, their dining room is too small for social distancing to be effective. You do have an option for eating on their premises though: they’ve fenced off a part of their parking lot and set two large picnic tables with benches there. There’s no table service but you could pick up your food from inside and take it there to eat. It’s not a bad option, though it wasn’t being taken advantage of when we got there on Saturday to pick up our food. Entry to the restaurant to pick up takeout orders is through the rear only and it should go without saying that you should have a mask on before going inside. They have a large plastic shield up in front of the cashier and you pay contact-free via a card reader (I’d called our order in over the phone). The food is placed on a pickup table. It’s a pretty smooth operation.

What did we get? Mostly a bunch of old favourites. Among these were the pollo en pipian rojo (which I remembered to ask to be made spicy this time) and the nopales (cactus paddles) with pork in green sauce. Both were excellent. One of the boys got the tacos with carnitas and loved them; the other got the chuletas (pork chops) in red sauce and he loved his even more; the sauce was a bit too spicy for him to finish with the rice that came with but he enjoyed the flavour of it on the meat (and I brought the rest of it home and enjoyed it with rice the next day). Our friends got the tinga de pollo and the chicken enchiladas in salsa verde, respectively—and pronounced them excellent. Their teenager got the chicken quesadilla as always and I think enjoyed it as always. He also got an order of their empanadas with chicken—I tasted a bit of it and thought it was nice enough. Plus guacamole and chips and salsa to start. To finish I got an order of their flan. I can’t remember if I’ve had it there before but it hit the spot on this occasion.

For pictures of the space and the food, launch the slideshow below. Scroll down to see what may be coming next in September on the takeout front.

Again, the food was just excellent. If we lived closer we’d order their food as often as we do here in town from El Triunfo. Not sure where next week’s pandemic takeout report will come from. I think it might be a bit closer to home—I do want to go back to House of Curry and also to some places we haven’t got food from in the pandemic so far (Nawal, Andale). And after our Beirut meal I’m also intrigued by Byblos, the Lebanese place in Burnsville–which we’ve never been to—and Beirut’s Korean-Chinese neighbour, Lucky China. Let’s see.

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