Friends Cafe (St. Paul, MN)

Friends Cafe opened six years or so ago on Rice Street in that part of the Twin Cities metro where St. Paul, Roseville and Maplewood combine to create geographical confusion. It’s located in a large strip mall on the northwest side of the Rice and Larpenteur intersection but frankly, I’m not sure which city it is technically in. The restaurant’s menu says Roseville; Google and the restaurant’s check says St. Paul; meanwhile, a restaurant across the street is apparently in Maplewood. I will leave this to other people to sort out. What I can tell you for sure is that I deeply regret having let it fall off my radar before and during the pandemic, and that I am deeply grateful to longtime blog reader, Jim Grinsfelder for jogging my memory about it a couple of weeks ago. Yes, we finally made it out there for a meal and it was really very good. Herewith the details. Continue reading


Ruby Burma (Montreal)

Ruby Burma
What better place than French Canada to try Burmese cuisine for the first time? It’s actually a bit odd that this should be my first time trying Burmese cuisine, given the proximity of India and Burma and the longstanding ties in particular between Burma and Bengal, but there you are. After the excesses of Schwartz’s and Joe Beef on my first day in Montreal I was looking for something very different for my second dinner in town and when I learned that there was a Burmese restaurant within reach and that it seemed to have received decent reviews I proposed it to my friends and they were happy to eat there. Continue reading