By Max Palm
Talon staff writer
Minnehaha students have their choice of restaurants and shops, because our school’s inner-city location leaves us in close proximity with many businesses. However, many students don’t realize the huge variety of meals and goods that lie just across the river along Grand Avenue in Saint Paul. The Crocus Hill area’s businesses and residents pride themselves on the fact that so much of the market is locally and family owned. Driving down Grand, you will find authentic cuisine from an array of cultures, including Mediterranean, Nepali and Italian, along with more calm, trendy coffee shops than you can shake a stick at. Coming from Minnehaha, here are a few businesses you will pass as you drive east down Grand.
1082 Grand Avenue
An artsy boutique offering an interesting selection of upscale gifts, including cards, handmade jewelry, home decorations and women’s accessories and clothing. Popular items include table ping-pong sets, hot cider spice tea, and cedar mint soap and shampoo. Much of the merchandise is seasonal, Minnesota themed and earth friendly.
Billy’s on Grand
857 Grand Avenue
An expert in all-American foods, Billy’s offers everything from buffalo wings and onion rings to burgers and barbeque ribs. A large fireplace helps heat the front room on chilly winter afternoons, and the restaurant will not miss a game on its 50-plus TVs. It also features and outdoor patio.
850 Grand Avenue
This cafeteria-style coffee shop is a relaxing place to get some reading done during the week, or an interesting place to spend a Friday night, as the café often features local music on the weekends. They sell desserts, bakery goods, sandwiches and soups, as well as an array of hot teas and coffee blends.
Grand Ole Creamery
750 Grand Avenue
Homemade ice cream is what has given this place a name since its establishment. They offer 31 flavors daily, including “Black Hills Gold” and “Coconut Chip”. Grand Ole Creamery is especially known for its famous waffle cones, and was recently named one of the top ten ice cream shops in 2011 by CBS.local.com.
The Barbary Fig
720 Grand Avenue
This chef-operated restaurant offers genuine Mediterranean-style food, including lamb and chicken gyros as well as hummus, feta and pita bread spreads. Offers outdoor patio and indoor dining.