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.|