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Best dishes countdown #80: Kofta from Mim's

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Our countdown of the top 100 dishes in the Twin Cities:

Unless you're a University of Minnesota student on the St. Paul campus or a savvy State Fair parking savant, you could easily miss Mim's Cafe, a barebones and dusty mom-and-pop counter service putting out some of the best Middle Eastern homestyle cooking in the Twin Cities.

The beef and lamb kofta are so tender they crumble at the touch, resting on a bed of turmeric scented rice grains as individual as snowflakes. The hummus is lush and as gossamer as whipping cream, accommodating a lake of high quality olive oil and a smoky dash of paprika. Astringent, shredded romaine and good tomatoes, plus a little ramekin of tzatziki come together for a simple yet sublime meal.

The best part: everything on the menu is under $10, except the Sheik's Platter, a feast that feeds two or more people, made up of shawarma, sautéed chicken and peppers, falafel, kofta, shish kebob, and veggie kebab for a mere $19.95. 

Mim's Cafe

1435 Cleveland Ave N, St Paul

651-646-0456

100: Caramel-Bacon Puffcorn at Red Cow

99: Pappadams from the Curry Diva

98: The Kingfield at Five Watt

97: Raspberry Cream Scone at Sun Street Breads

96: Bacon and Bourbon from 6Smith

95: Biscuits and Gravy at Ward 6

94: Burgers from Peppers and Fries

93: The Everything Bagel from Rise Bagel Co.

92: Bent River Camembert from Alemar Cheese

91: Two large pizzas and a pitcher of beer, Original Red's Savoy

<!———————————————————————————EndFragment———————————————————————————>90: Boiled Peanut Hummus at 4 Bells

89: Chaksuka from Shish

88: Fried Green Tomato BLT from Butcher and the Boar

87: Charcuterie Board at Surly Beer Hall & Restaurant

86: Quiche from Le Town Talk

85: Aloo Tama from The Himalayan

84: Caramelized Cauliflower at Libertine

83: Banh Mi Joy Dog at Prairie Dogs

82: Salmon Poke at District Fresh Kitchen & Bar

81: Savory Waffle at Birchwood Cafe