Mar 232010

Cuisine: American, Bar & Grill, Chicago-Style
Restaurant Features: Bar, Happy Hour, Patio, Nightclub, On-Site Parking
Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 788 Grand Avenue  St Paul MN 55105 651-291-2525
Hours: Daily 11am-2am
Links: Wild Onion Website * Wild Onion on FacebookGoogle Map

Atmosphere: Located on Grand Avenue in St Paul, Wild Onion is a full-service restaurant that also moonlights as a nightclub.  During the day, Wild Onion is a casual, relaxed restaurant that has become a popular place for lunch by local residents, shoppers, and also people who work around St Paul.  The restaurant is fairly large and has many tables and booths around the edges of the space.  The brick walls have a variety of beautiful original canvas paintings hanging about.

At night the Wild Onion turns into a really fun place to hang out with a large, centrally located Bar and dance floor.  Most nights there is a DJ playing after 8pm so it can be quite loud, as expected.  Very popular with the 21+ crowd, especially local co-eds, birthday celebrations, and bachelor/bachelorette parties.

Menu: Appetizers at Wild Onion include Singapore Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Nachos, Walleye Fingers, Grilled Chicken Quesadilla, Cheese Curds, Onion Rings, Sesame Seared Ahi Tuna, Pot Stickers, Italian Fries, and Chicken Wings (Double Diamond, Buffalo, Wild Fire, Baked Cajun Wings, and Asian Battered Wings).

Soup and Salad options include Mixed Green, Caesar, Black and Blue Shrimp, Wild Onion Signature Chopped Salad, and Buffalo Chicken Salad.  Soups include French Onion, Chili and a Soup du Jour.

Chicago-Style Specialties include Chicago Hot Beef Sandwich, Chicago Dogs, Hot Italian Sausage Sandwich, Michigan Ave B.L.T., Windy City Fettuccine, and Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Sandwich options are BBQ Pork, French Dip, Walleye Fillet, Reuben, Widow-Maker Club (chicken, bacon, avocado and spicy Scorned Woman sauce), Prime Rib, Bad-to-the-Bone (shaved ham with sauteed peppers, jalapenos and onions), Turkey Melt, Superheater Sandwich (grilled chicken with pepper jack, habanero peppers and diamond sauce), and Turkey Burger.  Tortilla Wraps include Thai Chicken, Fresh Veggie, Walleye, Tijuana Chicken and Blackened Ahi Tuna with Avocado.

Wild Onion also has a variety of burgers (served with kettle chips) and sliders including Original Beef Sliders, Walleye Sliders, Blackened Chicken Sliders, Grand Avenue Burger, Chipotle Pepper Jack Melt, Juicy Lucy (stuffed with Swiss cheese), Onion Mac, and the Steakhouse Burger.

Handmade Pizza options include Four Cheese, Wild Onion Combo and Buffalo Chicken.

Entrees at Wild Onion are the Bricked Chicken, Dijon Marinated Sirloin, Steak Frites )fries topped with Bistro steak and Bordelaise sauce), Canadian Walleye, Steak and Eggs, and Szechuan Chicken Rice Bowl.

Price guide: Appetizers $7-9  Salads $5-12 Sandwiches/Burgers $7-9 Pizza $8-12  Entrees $10-16

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3:30-6:30pm

  • $1 Off Domestic Bottled Beer, Cocktails, House Wines
  • $1 Off all 20 oz. Mugs
  • $2 Small Plate Menu available in Bar Area
  • $2 Off all Martinis, Manhattans and Gimlets

Weekly Specials:

Monday- Hot Chicago Beef Sandwich $6.99, $2 Off All Steaks and Wings, $1 Off All 20 oz. Mugs, Shake Dice for Drinks @ the bar, Super 34 oz. Mugs – $5.50 Domestics, $6.50 Imports

Tuesday- Birthday Specials

Wednesday- $9.97 Steak or Chop Plate.  Choice: A 10 oz NY Strip or 12 oz Bone-in Pork Chop  served with house salad and signature cheesy scalloped potatoes.

Thursday- (Italian Night) Porketta $9.49, Fettuccine Alfredo $7.49, Chicken Parmesan $7.49, Macaroni and Cheese $7.49, Spaghetti & Meatballs $7.49,  $2 off glasses of wine

Sunday- $3.50 Build-you-own Bloody Mary Bar (11am-3pm), $6.99 Signature Burgers (5-11pm),

What I ordered: I did not want to order a full meal for lunch so I opted to get the chicken quesadilla appetizer.  Very flavorful choice! The two large flour tortillas were stuffed with bites of grilled white meat chicken, roasted sweet corn, sauteed peppers and onion, cheddar and jack cheeses, and then grilled until everything was hot and melted.  The tortillas were a crispy golden brown and slightly buttery, then topped with chipotle ranch, sour cream and crumbled Mexican cheese.  It was served with sliced fresh peppers, salsa, and chopped greens on the side.

One of my companions ordered the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Wrap.  This wrap had Sushi-grade yellow fin tuna seared rare and wrapped inside a tortilla with shredded carrots, avocado, tomato, wasabi and a white-balsamic vinaigrette. Served with a side of avocado ranch and fresh fruit.  (Comes standard with kettle chips or you can upgrade to fresh fruit or french fries for $1.50 extra)

Another companion ordered the Veggie Wrap with fries (upgrade from standard kettle chips).  This wrap included Lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado, green and red onions with Swiss cheese. Tossed in a white balsamic vinaigrette and served with a side of avocado ranch.

Another companion ordered the Juicy Lucy, which was stuffed with Swiss cheese and served on a toasted bun.  I didn’t try it but it looked great and my companion enjoyed it very much.

Service: Our visit was on a Friday for a late lunch but we were luckily able to find a parking spot in the attached lot.  As soon as we arrived we were greeted by a friendly hostess and then seated.  Our server was patient as we took our time looking over the menu, and offered a few suggestions to make ordering easier.  It took at least 20 minutes for our meals to be served, but drinks were filled in a timely manner.
Overall Impression: The Wild Onion is a happenin’ place to eat or drink on Grand Avenue, with good food and great birthday specials.  Check out Wild Onion at night with a group of friends if you’re looking for a fun place to dance and have cocktails.
Wild Onion on Urbanspoon

Apr 112009

Cuisine: American, Chicago-Style, Hot Dogs, Pizza
Restaurant Features: Catering, Counter-Service
Locations: Fridley, St Paul, and Minneapolis, MN
Addresses & Maps:

Fridley– 7429 East River Rd Fridley, MN 55432 (763) 571-0288
Minneapolis– 3101 E 42nd St  (612) 729-5507
St Paul– 603 W. 7th St. (651)228-9347
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9pm     Sun 12pm-7pm

Links: Chris & Rob’s Website * Chris & Rob’s Page on Facebook


Atmosphere: The St Paul location of Chris & Rob’s can be found in this cute old dining car on West 7th Street.  The entrance to the restaurant is tucked around the side of the building, leading you to the ordering counter, with the kitchen just behind that.  The dining area is one long, narrow space with wooden floors and wood paneling on the walls.  There are several four-person wooden tables running the length of the space along the left side, and two-person tables along the right, with a walkway between them.  The many windows facing W. 7th offer plenty of light but there are also several pretty stained-glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.


Menu: Appetizers include French Fries, Tater Tots, Cheese Curds, Chili Cheese Fries, Bowl of Chili, Onion Rings, Jalapeno Poppers, Mozzarella Sticks, Breaded Mushrooms, Ravioli Dippers, Garlic Toast, Supreme Tamale, Pizza Puff, Cheese Bread, Gravy Bread, Chicken Tenders, Spicy Wings, Shrimp, Rib Tips, and Fish.

All Hot Dogs and Sausage Sandwiches at Chris & Rob’s are made with meat that comes directly from Chicago.  Hot dogs are all Vienna Brand and  include the Chicago Dog (with everything!), Cheese Dog, Chili Dog, Chili Cheese Dog, Polish Sausage, and Maxwell Street Polish.  Sausage sandwiches include the Italian Sausage, Meatball and Brat.

Specialty sandwiches include the Hot Italian Beef, Cheesy Beef, BBQ Beef, Beef and Sausage Combo, Gyro Classic and Prime Rib sandwich.

Chris & Rob’s also has 12″ 14″ and 16″ Pizzas, made on either Traditional Thin Crust or the Famous Sicilian which has a thicker rolled crust.  Pick your own ingredients or try one of the Specialty Pizzas such as the Monster of the Midway or Jordan’s Garden.

Chris & Rob’s also makes Party Platters! Italian Beef, Hot Dogs, and Pasta can all be ordered as a Platters.  Call to arrange specifics.

Chris & Rob’s also has an extensive catering menu.

Price guide: Appetizers $1-6 Hot Dogs $3-4   Sandwiches $6-9  Pizza $10-20

What I ordered: I was in the mood for a chili cheese dog, so a search around St Paul brought  brought me to Chris & Rob’s.  I had never been there before but heard they had Vienna hot dogs and wanted to see what the big deal was about.  I assume the hot dog was cooked by either boiling or steaming it.  The casing on it was thin and the hot dog itself was good but not as flavorful as I had expected.  It was the same size as any other ordinary hot dog and I could probably have eaten two if I hadn’t gotten fries instead.  Served on a fresh poppy seed bun, the hot dog was topped with chili, cheese sauce and onions.  The chili had ground meat and a lot of beans, but was kind of bland and did not seem to be homemade (I could be wrong!) The thick-cut fries were also pretty basic, cut slightly thick so they are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and just slightly salted.


Service: Incredibly fast! I ordered at the counter and my order was ready literally two minutes later.
Overall Impression: Great selection of Chicago-Style Foods.  The hot dog was decent but I would like to go back for a Beef sandwich next time.  Prices seem to be relatively inexpensive, no guilt at spending money at Chris & Rob’s. Very fast service.
Chris and Rob's Chicago Taste Authority on Urbanspoon