If’n #2

File under under: Lazy Blog Writing.  But I’m merely a facilitator posing the important questions everyone else is too afraid to ask, such as:

“If you had to eat in only one restaurant for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?”

Hey, now.  That’s a tough one.

I’m going to rule fast food out right off the bat, because it’s bad for you, there’s not enough variety, and you generally can’t get alcohol there.  I need a place where I can get a steak, a Coke, a rum and Coke, and some variety.  That’s a tough order, not because there aren’t a ton of places like that around; the tough part is just choosing one.  I could choose a place like Morton’s or Murray’s, places famous for quality here in town, but that seems disingenuous since I’ve never actually eaten at those places.  It’s easy to just pick the best place you’ve ever heard of and say that.

I’m going with W.A. Frost in St. Paul.  Steaks, some variety, a beautiful building, and a fantastic patio when the weather is right.  It’s either that or Chipotle.


Frost Patio

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27 Responses to If’n #2

  1. Jim says:

    I do love Chipotle. I also have a serious Potbelly problem, if you know that sandwich shop. But I’d probably have to pick a truly exquisite Chinese or Thai place.

  2. Dbeimers says:

    I’m thinking it would have to be someplace along the lines of the St. Paul Grille. It has the right combination of breakfast, liquor, steak, and elegance in a dining experience. The loss of ethnic cuisine would be difficult… What are the chances I’m going to learn how to make soup dumplings at home?

  3. kelly says:

    Gary Danko in San Francisco, to date, the best food I’ve ever had. They don’t do breakfast or lunch, but I could eat their food all day long. The odd thing, and maybe this comes from being on top, is that they have the nicest people. Which in my very limited experience, places that have the balls to charge $25 for an appetizer, is rare.

  4. Collins says:

    Cooper’s Barbeque in Llano, Texas. Man, that’s good stuff.

  5. steim says:

    Dave, my wife can teach you how to make killer dumplings.

    Bravo Burritos in St. Cloud kicks Chipotle’s ass. I’d take there for non-breakfast meals. Maybe the Uptown diner for breakfast.

  6. brent says:

    First off, screw Potbellies. I’ve heard the hype, but both times I’ve been there have been disappointing. I could eat Chipotle 5 days a week for the rest of the year without complaint.

    The one meal out that I don’t want to have to give up is knock-off mexican after walking 18 holes of golf. Going out to eat is about having someone else make your meal for you and serve it to you. I crave the pampering after golf more than any other time. Chips and salsa, tuna tacos, maybe a spinach and cheese enchilada and a couple of ice cold margaritas is my idea of a perfect meal.

  7. Katy says:

    Taste of Thailand has a shot, but I think the trick is to choose an excellent restaurant with a menu that changes seasonally. I’d go with Cafe Brenda (but I also admit a strong vegetarian bias).

  8. Charley says:

    Chipotle is owned by McDonalds. I’m just sayin’…

  9. Dbeimers says:

    I’m astonished by the number of responses that propose eating burritos every meal out (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) for the rest of your life. Katy has a good point… variety might actually outweigh a full bar. I might go with Lucia’s, since they have a kick-ass wine list and are open for brunch on weekends. I just can’t eat a burrito for breakfast…

  10. mrfares says:

    Not anymore, they had an IPO January of last year (NYSE symbol: CMG) with McD remaining as a majority stockholder with 87%. However, by October they had fully divested and are no longer owners.

  11. mrfares says:

    I could never eat at the same place everyday but I did do a hat trick at Potbelly when it opened in the skyway after Christmas.
    I have a friend in NY though who could and does eat a burger for lunch at Johnny Rockets everyday since he found it.

  12. pipelineblog says:

    Yeah, Charley. Your Chipotle hate isn’t welcome here anymore. And Dave, Chipotle isn’t just a burrito place. They have tacos and fajitas, too.

  13. Jeff H says:

    The “rest of your life” part of the question takes on a whole new meaning when the choice is Taste of Thailand. I’m still waiting for some pad thai I ordered back when I was living on Selby Ave.

    Potbelly is good as sandwich shops go, but I can’t imagine picking it as my menu for the rest of time.

    The Harbor View Cafe in Pepin, WI, would be a good choice, assuming that the distortion of space-time that imposed this requirement on you also caused them to be open year-round. The main problem there is that they don’t serve breakfast.

    I’m having a hard time topping W.A. Frost. The one thing I’ll say about the St. Paul Grille, however, is that it’s attached to a hotel, and if you’re going to eat in one place for the rest of your life, you might as well make it your home.

  14. pipelineblog says:

    No doubt on the Taste of Thailand’s service. We only order takeout, and even then we grab the first bag that comes out, regardless of if it’s ours.

    The St. Paul Grille is no more, right? I can’t recall what it is now. But essentially it would be the same.

    What about GameWorks? Food, beer, and skeeball, although your wrist would chafe really badly from the huge lifetime membership wristband.

  15. johnsu01 says:

    Wait, aren’t people concerned about having to eat 3 meals a day at the same place? Like what kind of breakfast do you get at Chipotle? I guess they probably have a lovely breakfast burrito. Or is the question just that whenever you choose to eat at a restaurant, there is only one? And does the restaurant still have to be in business?

    Enough with the questions, the answer is Everybody’s in Lexington, KY, which is no longer in business. But it was a vegetarian paradise, for breakfast lunch and dinner.

    If it has to still be in business, I guess I’d go with the Candle Cafe in NYC. Certainly no place in Boston, because Boston is where vegetarian food goes to die.

  16. martha says:

    My first thought was also Taste of Thailand. It is one of the things I miss most about St. Paul. The slow/bad service just made the food all the better once it finally got to your table. MMMMMmmmMMMmmmmm…

  17. Jim says:

    I could never, ever pick Taste of Thailand, despite the superb food. It’s not also the galactically bad service. The place is a dump. Last January when we went I was flabbergasted at how shitty it looked. Don’t get me wrong–I’d take out there all the time if we still lived in St. Paul. But it’s a crappy place.

  18. Jim says:

    I meant to say “it’s not JUST the galactically bad service.”

  19. Charley says:

    I stand corrected. Perhaps I will go to Chipotle for lunch today.

    What is the perfect food? The frontrunners so far seem to be the burrito and Thai Dish (pad thai? red/yellow/green/panang/mussaman curry?). I could probably eat burritos every meal for the rest of my life, as long as they could sometimes be curry burritos.

  20. pipelineblog says:

    Burritos are CLEARLY the food of choice, although “burrito” is really more of a style of food prep than an actual specific food. It’s like saying “sandwiches are the best”. Anything can go in a burrito, but they are wrapped up and self-contained for travel when done correctly (as they always are at Chipotle).

    Plus you can freeze them and have them later after popping them in the microwave. Now that’s a real meal.

  21. Becky O says:

    I had Chipotle for dinner and it’s solid – but it’s no Gary Danko. I could eat there every meal every day forever and ever. It does cost about 2 bills with the wine I would need, but it’s worth every penny. Kelly – we should go eat there together soon!!!!

  22. schmelly says:

    any ethnic food everyday would get old really fast even if it’s Mexican.. though i do luv mexibrexi.. ummmmm chorizo… ummmm lymphnodes and salivary glands… i vote the Heartland cafe in chicago.. yummy break, lunch and din din…I think about visiting chicago just to go there and eat for a days, and they sell ben and jerry’s taboot. I should check out Gary Danko though since all the way over here.

  23. quinton says:

    Taco Bell, cuz they always seem to keep me interested by their endless combinations of rice, beans, cheese, and meat. I’d never get tired of eating there for the rest of my life.

  24. Sean says:

    Ooh, Heartland Cafe. Good one.

    Freebird’s here in Austin is basically King of All the Burritos. As good as they are, however, I’d probably go with Curra’s (also in Austin) if I was picking a Mexican restaurant, simply for variety’s sake (and for the sake of unbelievably awesome breakfast tacos).

    If cost were no option, I’d probably pick someplace like the French Laundry or some stuck-up place like that, where the menu changes, ingredients are fresh and creatively prepared, and all that jazz. If the question is cost-sensitive, though, I think I’d pick a Mongolian barbecue joint to maximize my options in terms of ingredients and control over how they’re cooked.

  25. Katy says:

    Taste of Thailand had a shot with me despite my experience with its abysmal service (we also only order takeout) and the fact that once, during a typical long wait for my food, I watched a mouse run across the lobby.

    But it was only a very small mouse.

  26. brent says:

    lazy blogging sure has generated a lot of feedback.

    mongolian barbeque seems like it is either the best answer to the question or avoidance of the forced choice that doug implied with the question.

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