Pandemic Takeout 52: Back to Homi (St. Paul, MN)


Those who read my pandemic takeout posts regularly know that we’ve been wanting and planning to get back to Homi for a while now. Something or the other has been getting in the way. We could have hit them up a week ago but the weather that weekend was not going to be conducive to outdoor dining and so we decided to do a Vietnamese meal (from Trieu Chau) by ourselves. This past weekend, however, was a different story. It was warm and sunny which meant we could return to pandemic deck lunching with friends—which in turn meant we could get a very large order from Homi, with most of our favourite dishes on it. And so we did. And it was good.

I gathered people’s preferences and called the order in right after they opened at 10 on Saturday morning and our friend Mike—in whose backyard we ate our last pandemic takeout from Homi—picked it up and brought the food down, along with his son, who first featured in these virtual pages when not quite in his teens and is now sporting manicured facial hair and getting ready to make college decisions. Everyone gets old; I somehow stay young. So it goes.

What did we get? A lot. There were 10 of us, counting several small children but they each got a dish of their own. On the table were the following:

  • An order of tacos with carne asada. At Homi it’s three tacos to an order and you can’t mix and match your toppings (this is my one complaint against this excellent restaurant).
  • An order of tacos with carnitas. Most of the two taco orders were wolfed down by the two youngest members of the party, though they left enough for their greedy parents to get a good taste as well.
  • The next oldest little person got an order of the tamales with pork and salsa roja. These also come three to an order. I tasted a bit of the one she did not eat and can confirm that it was excellent.
  • Our older boy got the pollo en estofado. This is two drumsticks stewed in a mild sauce with potatoes. Predictably he didn’t eat any of the other stuff in the sauce but the chicken; but he ate both the drumsticks and pronounced the taste of the dish excellent.
  • The furry-faced teenager got his usual chicken quesadilla and as usual the greedy bastard didn’t offer me a taste. He said it was good and I suppose we’ll have to take his word for it.

The adults split the rest among  us. We got:

  • Chicharron en salsa verde. Probably not the best choice of dish to travel 1 hour before being reheated but it was very tasty nonetheless and the sauce had a nice kick.
  • Mole con pollo. Very tasty indeed.
  • Tinga de pollo. Their tinga is less tomato-forward than El Triunfo‘s and as much as I love our local’s version I have to say I prefer Homi’s.
  • Chuletas en adobo. Well, this is technically supposed to be pork ribs in adobo but they didn’t have pork ribs and offered to do it with pork chops instead. I did not demur and am glad I didn’t. This was one of the best dishes on the table.
  • Birria de res. The birria with pulled beef was the other big hit and was my clear favourite dish.

Rice and beans rounded out the main meal. Several Jarritos were consumed and the adults split a couple of orders of flan between us (they were good).

For a look at the food, launch the slideshow below. Scroll down to see how much it all cost and to see what might be coming next.

As you can see from the second picture above Homi is not yet open for dining in. That might change at some point soon, I suppose. But for now takeout—or in very good weather, eating out on the picnic tables at the rear—is your best bet. How much did this meal cost? Mike left a very generous tip and it still came to $18/head all in. And really—based on leftovers—two more adults could have eaten their fill; so the real per head cost is lower still. Extremely good value for extremely good food. You should get some. And if you have and you think there’s a better Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities please let me know as I want to eat at it.

Up next? I’m not 100% sure as things will depend on my reaction to my second vaccine shot this Friday but odds are good that my next report will be a three-in-one on the various gyro pizza-slinging establishments of Northfield, MN. Stay tuned.

2 thoughts on “Pandemic Takeout 52: Back to Homi (St. Paul, MN)

  1. Post Covid, should have known better and called ahead. Assumed we would sit down for a nice meal at Homi. Instead we got there and the very small dining area is unused and pretty trashy, with boxes of supplies and cases of soda -pop all over the place. So Homi is no longer a restaurant, anymore than a food truck would be, but is a ordering and pick up window at the back of the room. They package everything to go so no sense sitting in one of the four tables in the room, we just went home.

    Food was good, but order was messed up (meat was one option in the relleno’s and we weren’t asked about that.) How I hate take-out after all of this! So in our world, we won’t be back since I don’t see them changing anything ever.

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    • Not “changing anything ever” seems a bit of an extreme diagnosis. I assume they are being as cautious as they can, given their small size, but will be back to dine-in once the pandemic is fully behind us. Happy the food was good though—relleno confusion notwithstanding.

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