Twin Cities' best suburban restaurants

This week's Dish features Travail Kitchen and Amusements, whose unique, gourmet gastropub fare makes it worth the drive to Robbinsdale from elsewhere in the metro.

If you live in Minneapolis or St. Paul, here are four more foodstuffs I consider worth a trip to the suburbs--and where to find them.

1. The roast beef at Maverick's I just passed through Roseville the other day and my mouth started watering from across the parking lot (I was there too early, before the place was open, unfortunately). That's because the no-frills sandwich shop still makes the best roast beef in the metro. Lyndale Tap's pit beef has been good to me in the past, but it's also been inconsistent. After you've had Maverick's, Arby's will never suffice.

2. Dim sum at Jun Bo and Mandarin Kitchen Ever since that place across the street from the Nicollet Spyhouse turned into a pho joint, there's been nary a bite of dim sum to be found within the city limits...until Thom Pham started offering the mobile Chinese brunch at his new Wondrous Kitchen. Pham's version is great but it doesn't quite have the pull-out-the-stops quality as the dim sum at Richfield's Jun Bo and Bloomington's Mandarin Kitchen, where you'll need to go if you want to get the most authentic of dim sum snacks: the grizzly little chicken feet!

3. Bi bim bap at King's Fine Korean and Dong Yang St. Paul is home to a few good Korean restaurants, but they don't quite have the charm as the suburban ones: King's in Fridley for it's amazing post-dinner karoke routines and Dong Yang in Hilltop for its opportunity to combine dining with Asian market grocery shopping.

4. Szechuan at Tea House, Tian Jin, Szechuan, and Grand Szechuan There are a few Tea House joints in the city (downtown Mpls. skyway, U of M, St. Paul) and the former home of Zen at Lyn-Lake just went Szechuan, but the stalwart home of Twin Cities Szechuan would be the Tea House dynasty's Plymouth outpost. Newcomer Szechuan joints in Chanhassen (Tian Jin), Roseville (Szechuan), and Bloomington (Grand Szechuan) are all good for a bowl of spicy dan dan noodles and Chung King chicken.

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Travail Kitchen and Amusements

4124 W. Broadway
Robbinsdale, MN 55422


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