Grand Ave Eateries

August 5th, 2016
By Jason Parr

All too often, my coworker Sophia and I find ourselves talking about food and different restaurants we love to eat at. Our conversations usually leave me hungry and craving something way more exciting than what I packed for lunch, but being a foodie, I appreciate our discussions. One thing Sophia and I differ on is I tend to be a creature of habit when I got to restaurants while she is more likely to try something she has never had before. I am majoring in economics so I am always thinking about things in terms of opportunity costs and marginal utility. As much as I like to try new things, I am always wary about ordering something that I end up not loving as much as my usual pick. (To anyone who has ever taken an econ class, opportunity cost really does apply to all things…) Nerdy economics sentiments aside, here are some of the places I frequently visit on Grand Avenue and the dishes I repeatedly order.

Shish Mediterranean Grill

Shish always seems to be packed when I go there and with good reason. Their food is affordable and delicious. I have tried a few things on their menu, and while they are all enjoyable, I always find myself gravitating back to ordering the chicken shawarma. Their hummus is also the best hummus I’ve ever had (and I eat hummus a lot so I don’t say that lightly). If you like hummus at all, you need to try the hummus at Shish. You can order it with pita and/or vegetables in the restaurant or pick up a tub of it to take home. I am normally not a huge fan of carrot cake but I cannot resist the carrot cake a Shish. Their slices are huge and one can easily be shared without feeling like you’ve been deprived of sugary deliciousness. The cake is moist, and paired with the rich cream cheese frosting, it makes for a heavenly combination.

Pad Thai on Grand

In my opinion, you can’t really go wrong with Thai food. Southeast Asian food in general is some of my favorite cuisine to eat, and Thai food never disappoints. The Twin Cities are home to so many Thai restaurants but I always find myself going back to Pad Thai on Grand. This is partly due to the location. Like Shish,  it’s only a short walk from the University of St. Thomas. But mostly this has to do with how flavorful the food is. My go to order is the green curry pasta with crispy tofu. I’ve tried other things on their menu and loved those dishes as well. If you like Thai food, or have been wanting to try it, I highly recommend stopping by Pad Thai on Grand.  

Cafe Latte

Cafe Latte describes itself as a gourmet cafeteria serving  modern comfort food. However, unlike college dining halls, this is a cafeteria you actually want to eat at. I almost always end getting soup just because each variety I have tried is absolutely amazing. (Plus Minnesota weather make soup the perfect meal to warm you up the majority of the year). Another great thing about Cafe Latte is that their menu is constantly changing. Their soups change by season and they also have different soups featured on different days of the week. Every time I go there seems to be something I haven’t tried before. Unlike my other regular spots, I usually change up which soup I order. The one thing that remains constant is the focaccia bread I get on the side.

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Desert / Cityscape