Are these beans the reason people are moving en masse to Hudson, making the town one of Wisconsin's fastest-growing communities? (At least, that's what one of the brochures I picked up said.) Well, I guess it's no wonder, being such an afternoon-vacation powerhouse. (Got a liver that doesn't know the meaning of the word fear? Then get this: Dibbo's bar, down the street, offers three-for-one drink specials!) I'm calling the San Pedro my little Bermuda in Packer-land, and I say it's only a matter of time until some enterprising Caribbean hotelier takes notice. I bet we'll all soon be seeing white-sand beaches dotted with some down-home answers to "Shrimp St. Croix." Who's ready for cheese curds St. Kits?



Dan Monick

Location Info


San Pedro Cafe

426 2nd St.
Hudson, MN 54016

Category: Restaurant > Cafe

Region: Wisconsin


Q: You've identified Quang as the best Vietnamese restaurant in Minneapolis. But when I ate there, I found only two vegetarian entrées on the menu, both of which were pretty much the same thing. Do you have a favorite veggie-friendly Vietnamese restaurant in town? Thanks!

--Paul C. (Feel free to make up cutesy Meatless in Minneapolis-type name if that's more appropriate.)

A: Paul, you're a genius! Why didn't I think of that? Meatless in Minneapolis? Liver-lacking in Lake Country? Eel-Eschewing in Eagan? I never even thought of making up funny names, but I've got a thesaurus and a lot of time on my hands. Whoopee!

Actually, there is a Vietnamese restaurant I like to take vegetarians (and kids) to. It's the Phuong Café, in the basement of the old VFW hall at 2424 Nicollet Ave. S. in Minneapolis; (612) 874-7560. Vegetarians like it because of the dozen vegetable-laden soups. Kids like it because it's a carpeted, paneled basement with TVs blaring in the corner. If they put a mom at the top of the stairs screaming that the garbage isn't going to take itself out, they could double the prices and call it a theme restaurant. Of course, as with most Southeast Asian food, I'd always assume that if your food is made by immigrants who aren't versed in the intricacies of vegetarian/vegan cuisine, there's a good chance of there being some fish sauce (made from fermented little fishes, and as critical to Southeast Asian cuisine as black pepper is to European food) somewhere in the mix.

Incidentally, here are a couple of vegetarian meals I really like. At Fuji Ya: The oshinko plate ($4.95, a variety of pickled vegetables), and the udon soup with a side of vegetable tempura ($11.50 at dinner, less at lunch). The noodles are delicate as petals, and the tempura on the side is generous. Non-fish eaters, please specify you want fishless dashi (broth) instead of the traditional one seasoned with a little bonito (dried tuna). (Fuji Ya: 600 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-871-4055.)

At Rainbow Chinese: The green beans with preserved cabbage ($8), and the wham-bam garlic eggplant ($10) made with tender slices of little purple eggplants cloaked with a sauce that roars. And if you substitute tofu for the squid in the "squid with preserved mustard greens and black bean sauce," you'll get a salty, sour, piquant combination with crunch. (Rainbow Chinese: 2739 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-7084.)

At Punch Neapolitan Pizza: Basically everything. I have something of a recurrent fantasy about winning the lottery, building an entrée-size teleporter, and being able to teleport pizzas--such as the unlikely-sounding but delectable Dino Z--to wherever I am. The Dino Z ($8.75) features mixed greens, Parmesan, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar tossed on a wood-fired crust already unified with onion, garlic, oregano, and such. It's earthy, salty, herbal, and just huge in the mouth. And I have much respect for the inexpensive wine list here, too. (Punch Neapolitan Pizza: dinner only, 704 Cleveland Ave. S., St Paul; 651-696-1066)


Q: I have become a compulsive City Pages picker-upper for only one reason: your restaurant reviews. Your articles also tend to be inordinately entertaining (i.e., hilarious). Your latest review about Le Bambou was typical. I laughed. I would have cried, except there wasn't anything to cry about. I'm supposed to ask a question. Have you seen Temptation Island?


A: Thanks, and yes, yes, I have seen Temptation Island. And I couldn't be more bent out of shape about it. Clearly this show impinges on my own copyrighted idea for a network television show, Crabs in a Barrel. Based on the hilarious scene oft-found on fishing piers from Vancouver to Vera Cruz, Crabs in a Barrel is exactly what it sounds like, except the crabs are replaced with equal parts cosmetically enhanced strippers, lumberjacks, and genetically altered Rhesus monkeys, and the barrel is replaced with a 150-foot glass-sided pit. Fox network, I'll see you in court!

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