Chef's Day Off: Where the W.A. Frost team likes to eat

Salmon supper at W.A. Frost
Salmon supper at W.A. Frost

Ed Neaton

It's relatively rare -- maybe even a blue moon-level occasion -- for a chef, particularly one at a new restaurant, to be able to go out on the town and have someone else cook for them. So when local chefs do get a chance to get away from their own kitchens, where do they choose to eat? This Chef's Day Off series reveals some of the lusted-after dishes and top restaurant picks of the talented people who shape our local food scene.

This week, for the very first time, we're veering away from our usual format and featuring a trio of food industry professionals all from the same restaurant. The energetic team powering the kitchen at W.A. Frost in St. Paul's Cathedral Hill neighborhood is led by executive chef Wyatt Evans, who started there as a line cook and gradually worked his way up to the top of the ladder, and sous chefs Grant Nelson and John Rossiter. The three chefs have different ideas about their ideal day-off dinner spot, but they all agree on at least one thing. "The butterscotch and oatmeal cookies from Great Harvest Bread, just up the street from us, are fantastic." 

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Chef Evans filled us in on his and his staff's choices:

Meritage is John's pick for roasted bone marrow and pork ribs, which I second. Even though I haven't been in quite a while, you always know everything is going to be good there. Russell [Klein] is a solid chef who I worked for when I started at Frost. 

Trieu Chau is a great place with friendly people and that "noodle joint" atmosphere. Any variety of their pho is great, but I especially love the bun bo hue, which is spicy and fragrant. My kids get the shrimp and pork wontons and eggrolls. It's nice to have a go-to place where my kids can be happy and I can order tripe or beef tendon if I want. Good Vietnamese coffee, too.
Hong Kong Noodle stays open late, which is great when you work late. When I go here it's the #66 BBQ pork noodle all the way. My daughter really likes the mango smoothies, and they have less conventional smoothie options too.

Cecil's Deli is Grant's pick for classic Reuben sandwiches and their chicken soup with noodles, matzo ball, or just plain.

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W.A. Frost and Company

374 Selby Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55102


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