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“very very good -” 4 of 5 stars
Review of 128 Cafe

128 Cafe
128 Cleveland Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104-5726
651-645-4128
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Ranked #150 of 793 Restaurants in Saint Paul
Price range: $0 - $40
Cuisines: American, Vegetarian, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romance
Dining options: Reservations
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“very very good -”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

i enjoyed my visit to the 128 cafe in st paul minnesota. i had passed by it for a long time and never really had the occasion to dine there.

a business meeting had ended and it was suggested we dine at the 128

it is a cozy place, like walking into someone's house, albeit a very well kept house. it has a very homey feel to it, not like being at a high end restaurant, but more like being at a rich friend's dining room.

the service is good and everyone quickly was attracted to the ribs - the food was very well prepared, and especially tasty. the portions are perfect, not to much, but good. the wine selection was appropriate for the occasion and the atmosphere was excellent in spite of feeling a bit closed in. the restaurant has no apparent view to the outside so it is almost as if you are in a basement.

i think it would be best enjoyed in a special romantic occasion.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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47 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    24
    13
    2
    7
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
St Paul,MN
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Good, not quite excellent”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

4 of had an enjoyable dinner. While 2 of us really enjoyed the ribs, the wives where slightly disappointed in their choices. The "sauce Raifort" with the scallops was a little over powering, as was the Tasso on the Fresh Fettuccine. My wife thought the Organic Mixed Greens with strawberries was very good. She did have the dressing on the side. Wine was good. While wine selection is limited, it is adequate. Wine prices are reasonable. Service was excellent. We will go back.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Don't miss this one!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

My wife and I have visited Cafe128 many times. Whether if be an anniversary, valentine day, or just because; this has been and continues to be our favorite. From the owners delightful and welcoming demeanor to the gracious one for all and all for one approach of the waite staff, the time spent is special. Then comes the menu and the best. With a masterfully crafted mouth watering menu you can hardly wait to see and taste the sumptuous delight prepared by the chef. For the record, I seldom give an excellent rating but the Cafe 128 gets it every time. Bon appe'tit!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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St. Paul, MN
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“Very disappointing...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

When a GroupOn recently was offered for 128 Cafe I was excited, as we had eaten there years ago and quite enjoyed it. I'm not sure what happened... but the experience this time around was very disappointing..and I doubt we will ever go back. Change of ownership? Chef? something must have changed!
The service was fine, but the food was really not up to standard for the prices paid.
-We selected an asparagus appetizer, thinking this would be a great choice as it it currently in season in MN. We thought wrong...very mediocre and served room temp.
- I love beet salads and order them often. I expect to get beets. This salad, however had just a few matchstick sized beet slivers and was heavy on the chickpeas (not exactly a tough ingredient to add) and greens. Even that wouldn't have been so bad, except that the entire concoction was SWIMMING in dressing. I couldn't eat it. I usually try to remember to order dressing on the side -- very regrettably, I forgot this time. Big, big mistake.
-The BBQ ribs are suppose to be a specialty. I ordered a half rack, and these were pretty good. However, the rest of the plating was really lackluster. They were accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes that looked like they were served up with an ice cream scoop. They did not make in quality for what was a very small quantity (one small, rounded scoop). These were barely warm. They just sat there on the side of the plate looking loney. The steamed green beans and broccoli hardly qualified as "seasonal' vegetables.
- My husband had a fetuccini dish that was OK, but, again, nothing special at all.
- We hightailed it outta there to get coffee and dessert somewhere else...
I usually err on the side of writing reviews for places that we like and deliver a good experience.
In this case, however, because of how truly mediocre the food was - I would not want others to go through the same experience. There are way too many other great places to dine in the Twin Cities -- save your $ and some frustration and go elsewhere.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Worth a return visit!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

Awesome! Food was great! All courses top notch! We were a party of 4 and didn't break the bank! I have to go back here the next time I am in MSP!!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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