My search for Middle Eastern food in St. Paul moves on to Mim’s Cafe, 1435 Cleveland Ave N, which is just across from the University of MN St Paul campus.
The three places I’ve visited so far pose parking problems. Shish is on Grand by Macalester, Foxy Falafel is on Raymond, where onstreet parking is metered (though I parked on Territorial for free). Mim’s has nearby onstreet parking, but it is one hour, so a visit needs to be time-constrained.
The interior of the cafe is what I’d call functional and casual. There are tables for four, one long table for eight, and a counter with several stools. I think it is designed for parties who come in, get their food fast, eat, and go.
But to the degree anyone is like me, with the food outranking all other concerns, there is no objection. The menu (as seen at the link above) is brief, hits all the most popular Middle Eastern favorites, with some American and Mexican items thrown in for that person in the party who isn’t into Middle Eastern.
One of the big talking points here is affordability. You can tell their academic orientation in the simplicity and low price of the available items. I think the food in the student union on Buford is probably only a little cheaper. But I got a falafel platter, and it is emphatically one of the best vegan food options I can imagine.
I find it a totally worthwhile destination and recommend it to anyone who wants their vegan hit but cheap.