Spotlight on Takeout: Checking out a few new places

5January 2021

It’s still crazy to me that restaurants are opening during this time, but plenty have, and there are plenty more set to open soon.

The ones that opened this summer have yet to gain a loyal fan base, and it’s tough to get customers to try something new via takeout. But if you have newish places in your neighborhood that you’d like to stick around, it might be worth it to give them a try right now, before it’s too late.

Please consider ordering as much as you can from local restaurants during this time. If not the ones I mention, then your favorite place. Have you had some great takeout lately? Tell us about it (we love photos, too!) at eat@pioneerpress.com.

Stockyards Tavern and Chophouse

French dip sandwich from Stockyards Tavern and Chophouse in South St. Paul. (Jess Fleming / Pioneer Press)

This remake of the Kaposia Club in South St. Paul opened this summer, but I didn’t have the chance to check it out before in-person dining was banned again. So we ordered some takeout. Though I’m excited to check out the restaurant’s more composed entrees (the folks behind The St. Paul Grill are running the show now), we decided to order takeout-friendly sandwiches. My favorite comfort-food sandwich from childhood is a French dip, so I was delighted to see that there was one on the menu. The beef was flavorful and tender and the jus just the right amount of salty. My husband went for the rotisserie chicken melt, which had plenty of bacon, melty gouda and chicken. We’d order both again.

456 S. Concord Exchange, South St. Paul; 651-350-7743; stockyardstc.com

Union Hmong Kitchen

Though I was not-so-secretly rooting for chef Yia Vang’s upcoming Vinai (opening next year in Northeast Minneapolis) to be located in St. Paul, it’s at least a little consolation that his Union Hmong Kitchen is offering takeout out of a Saintly City location during the pandemic. We ordered curbside pickup recently, and since the menu is fairly small, we tried most of the offerings. The Hilltribe fried chicken, which comes as a family meal with sides and a generous portion of Mama Vang’s hot sauce, was a favorite. The chicken is uber-crisp and flavorful, but it’s that paste-like hot sauce that takes it over the top. You can order meals for two, four or six people, and all come with two sides. We fell in love with the burnt cabbage, and of course, the traditional Hmong purple sticky rice, but we also got a sizable, fresh salad, making this meal a steal for just $32. We also loved the not-Minnesota-spicy Khao Poon soup and the savory crab fried rice.

693 Raymond Ave., St. Paul; 612-431-5285; unionkitchenmn.com

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