Crowd-pleasing might just be the operative phrase at Sidney's. It's hard to imagine someone not finding something appealing on the menu--and I didn't even mention their delicious breakfast crepes ($7.75), their wonderful, spicy huevos rancheros ($7.75), and their super skin-on mashed potatoes. It's always on my short list for business lunches with people I don't know, and, judging from the tables around me, it's a perennial favorite with big families celebrating birthdays. While I can honestly say I've never felt weak-kneed or blissed-out by any of Sidney's creations, I've never been disappointed either. Birthdays, business lunches, calorie-counting, and accommodating for other people's tastes are some of the facts of life made more pleasurable when places like Sidney's exist, and sometimes you'd rather be pleased with the crowd than run with the snobs.

TABLEHOPPING

HOLD ON TO YOUR HATS KIDS: Because you're never going to believe it, more after-bar dining in Minneapolis! Adding to the ranks of Pizza Luce, Figlio, and Caffe Solo, welcome the Mpls. Cafe, open now on the southwest corner of 11th and Hennepin, convenient walking distance from both First Avenue and the Loring Bar. They're serving gourmet noshes like Mediterranean Tapas ($8.95), "paper-crust" pizzas (from $8.25), and breakfasty options like eggs benedict ($7.50) and waffles ($5.25), and they're serving them until 2 a.m. This is a positive development of unheard of proportions. What next? A building on Block E? Just call us Paris of the Plains.

Location Info

Map

Sidney's Checkerboard Pizza

371 University Ave. W.
St. Paul, MN 55103

Category: Restaurant > Pizza

Region: Como

IN SEASON: And for all you vegetarians, here's a quick recipe for the local sweet corn and tomatoes coming ripe just about now:

Corn-and-Tomato Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette

6 cups sweet corn

1 small zucchini, finely diced

3 large tomatoes, finely diced

4 scallions, slices

1/2 cup of water

1 chipotle pepper

2 tbsp. olive oil

Juice from 1 lime

2 tbsp. minced cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large, covered pot over high heat, bring four quarts of lightly salted water to a boil. Add corn, cover, and cook about two minutes. Add zucchini and cook one minute more. Drain well and turn into a large bowl. Add tomatoes and scallions and toss to mix.

In a covered three-quart saucepan, bring half a cup of water to a boil over medium heat. Add chipotle pepper and cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool for five minutes. Remove stem and discard, then finely chop the pepper. Return pepper to saucepan with cooking liquid and stir in olive oil, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper.

Pour dressing over corn and zucchini and toss thoroughly. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serves eight.

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