Bennett’s Chop and Railhouse


by Jeremy Iggers | June 18, 2009 • A few months ago, at a hoity-toity $75 a person wine dinner, I was seated next to a couple who live near downtown St. Paul. I asked them about their favorite St. Paul restaurants, and I expected them to name places like the St. Paul Grill, or I Nonni, or Meritage. Instead, the place at the top of their list was a place I had never heard of: Bennett’s Chop & Railhouse on W. 7th. Nothing fancy, they said, just an unpretentious neighborhood place with good food.

Iggers Digest is the blog of Jeremy Iggers, the TC Media Alliance’s executive director. Jeremy is also the creator of TCFoodies, a local food networking site.

I happened to be in the neighborhood last night, so I stopped by for a bite, and their description just about sums it up. There was a cheerful crowd of locals on the sidewalk outside the restaurant, drinking beer and shooting the breeze. The restaurant had just reopened a few hours earlier after closing for installation of new tile and carpeting, so the place had a spiffy new-restaurant gloss. Inside, all five of the flat-screen TVs were tuned to the Twins game, but there wasn’t much of a crowd. There’s a bit of a sports bar flavor to the place. Signs advertise free rides to concerts at the Xcel Center, and half-price Michelob Golden Lights during Twins games.

I ordered the spaghetti and meatballs ($12.95), and got a big pile of noodles in a lively marinara sauce, not quite al dente but close enough, and topped by two big well-seasoned meatballs. Bennett’s offers a decent wine list, but somehow Hamm’s on tap ($3.50) seemed more appropriate.

I’d like to go back sometime, if I am in the neighborhood, and try one of the house specialties – like the walleye dinner ($17.95), or the braised short ribs – a full pound for $18.95.

Bennett’s Chop & Railhouse, 1305 W. 7th St, St. Paul, 651-228-1408.

Support people-powered non-profit journalism! Volunteer, contribute news, or become a member to keep the Daily Planet in orbit.