I haven’t had an office since the pandemic.
Like many Twin Citians, I’m still working from home and will be working at Pioneer Press the rest of the time.
This arrangement is perfect for me, but quiet time is when I do my best writing.I still need to meet with my colleagues a few times a month.
Coffee shops are perfect for this purpose. Don’t get me wrong. But I often prefer something a little more sophisticated. It’s a business lunch.
However, my taste ran into a hiccup. Since the COVID shutdown, many restaurants have chosen not to reopen for lunch. This means less choice for all diners, and a busy restaurant isn’t always the best meeting place, especially if other people are waiting for your table.
Here I found the most comfortable and delicious place to meet colleagues at lunchtime.
Where do you have your lunch meeting? As always, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Noyes & Cutler
This new Lower Town restaurant (in the former Public Kitchen + Bar space) recently added lunch. A bright and airy space is perfect for that. Also, the tables are wide so there is plenty of space to bring out your laptop or notebook if you need to share information. was.
The lunch menu includes more salads, sandwiches, and lighter appetizers than dinner, and prices don’t necessarily break the bank. I went for a delicious chopped salad topped with 8 ounces of New York strip, costing an extra $16.We were also big fans of the Mortadella his sandwich. This is a take on the Bologna fries and cheese sandwich, served on the streets of San Dinetto, but the meat is a little more savory. A trendy mortadella rides on a griddle to serve delicious crunchy bits, with lots of gooey American cheese and a sharp swipe of Dijonaise to cut the richness.
Noyes & Cutler: 229 E. 6th St., St. Paul; 651-968-1050; noyescutler.com
The sleek, clubby dining room is always packed, but it gets a little busier at lunchtime. There were plenty of tables left around us and we didn’t feel rushed at all. Another bonus: the coffee is strong and delicious.
Their signature (and pricey) miso sea bass is available in sandwich form and I was very happy to have a side salad instead of fries. However, the bread was soaked in a delicious sauce, so I used a fork and knife to eat it all the way through. There’s also a hearty prime rib his sandwich for those of us with hearty appetites, or hearty entrees if you’re feeling indulgent. For those who don’t like finding parking downtown, Valdamar at the Rosedale Center outlet has its own parking lot.
Valdamer: 1642 County Road B2 West, Roseville. 651-796-0040; baldamar.com
Hmmm!kitchen and bakery
For casual lunch gatherings, Yum is one of my favorite spots in town. The food and baked goods are homely and delicious in a bright, open and airy modern store. Oh, and the coffee is delicious and strong (feeling the theme here?). My absolute favorite lunch item here is the tuna melt served open-faced on a homemade English muffin. Tuna his salad topped with Kalamata olives is delicious on its own, but when paired with the perfect muffins and melty munsters, it’s a real treat.
Salads, burgers and soups are handcrafted and delicious, and desserts are authentic and homemade if you’re looking for indulgence. Coconut cake is my favorite, but patty cake is also a birthday treat that is often requested in our household. Your meeting won’t be interrupted if you don’t.
Hmmm! Kitchen and bakery: 164 N. Snelling Avenue, St. Paul. 651-615-1230;
Moscow on the hill
Dumplings and martinis are the answer to life’s many problems, but did you know that this charming Russian restaurant on Cathedral Hill also serves lunch? If you want a place that serves great food that isn’t too busy, Moscow on the Hill is the place to be. There’s also a sandwich section with sandwiches. Seriously, just writing about them makes me plan my time here.
Moscow on the Hill: 371 Selby Avenue, St. Paul. moscowonthehill.com; 651-291-1236
If you haven’t been to Babani’s in a while, remember that it moved across the river to the west side of St. Paul a few years ago. Their new bargain is a bit wider, but the Kurdish food is exactly the same – ie delicious. The entire menu is great, but my favorite lunch dish is the Kurdish salad. This is like his 7-layer salad in the Midwest, but with a Middle Eastern flair. Luscious lentils, fresh cucumbers, juicy tomatoes, crunchy icebergs, soft rice and salty feta cheese are all served with slices of Kurdish bread that flank the restaurant’s spongy focaccia. It’s a winner and easily nods to conversation.
Bhavani’s: 32 E. Fillmore Avenue, St. Paul. 651-602-9964; babanis.com
Bright, airy and affordable, The Loon is the perfect place to meet up with colleagues. They have delicious sandwiches, salads, or my personal favorite, chili, especially during the colder months. There is also a sampler that allows you to sample all three types of chili, which is highly recommended. The service is also friendly and fast, so if you need to get in and out in a hurry, it’s a good option.
Rune Cafe: 426 St Peter St, St Paul. 651-330-4777; Loon Cafe.com
Harvey’s on the Park
Due to its prime location, Herbie’s is a popular spot for pre-event gatherings, but lunch is a little more modest. You can get the usual fish, chops, steaks and sandwiches for lunch, but they also have a soup and sandwich menu available only at noon. . I also really like that you can get a side salad instead of fries at no extra charge.
Harvey’s on the Park: 317 Washington St., St. Paul. 651-726-1700; herbiesonthepark.com