Skip the chain sandwich joints where your lunch is slapped together by an apathetic teen. The unassuming Ho Fan food counter is definitely the best deal, and among the best meals, in the whole downtown St. Paul area. The ready-made lunch options are just fine, but if you've got all of five minutes, it's worth your time to get something made to order. For, behind the counter, a tough-looking chef is grinding away, churning out stir fries and fresh soups as a team of one. Fish curry, black pepper shrimp, and pho come steaming into the pass-through window and are handed out in enormous portions. The chef will eye his next customer, ask how spicy they want it, and return to his scorching wok. If you're in such a hurry that you must forgo his services, grab a couple of the to-go spring rolls, which come thickly stuffed with noodles and shrimp or chicken. Your immature co-workers will snicker at the name when they ask you where you got your food. You will take one look at what you got, and snicker at the crap they're eating for lunch.