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“Tasty Korean fare”
Review of Sole Cafe

Sole Cafe
Ranked #511 of 911 Restaurants in Saint Paul
Cuisines: Asian, Korean
Restaurant details
Reviewed June 30, 2014

Excellent bibimbap which you can get either cold or hot in a traditional stone bowl. Very popular with Korean students but they're very welcoming of non-Koreans as well. Simple, unpretentious atmosphere, good value, quick service.

1  Thank bclintonk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7 - 10 of 10 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2014

Not a destination for foodies but if you're in the Korean neighborhood of N. Snelling, it's an inexpensive authentic experience. My friend had the most fun with his hot stone bowl rice and beef meal that sizzled the whole time as he stirred his food around before popping it into his mouth. He loved the soft egg that cooked as he stirred, and ate all the pickled vegies served de rigueur with Korean meals.

Thank CoolLoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 11, 2013

There are a couple of cultural things to remember before you go to this or any other Korean restaurant. First and foremost is that unless they are geered solely (no pun) toward an American clientelle, privacy will come before promptness. Second, age trumps agressivenes. Third, silence begets solitude. In other terms; For 1 and 3 if you want something you are going to have to ask for it until they get to know you on a personal level, this is not being rude...this is being Korean and in Korea you don't interrupt conversation to refill glasses that were not asked to be refilled. On number 2, if there are older people than you in the restaurant, they will most likely get served first no matter how much you are feeling dissed....it is a respect thing and for the most part I can dig it.

So if you want to be waited on.....not your place. Kimberly and crew cook up some of the finest Korean Food in the Twin Cities at ridiculously low prices due to the fact that they have extremely low overhead. Usually staffed by two people if not just Kimberly herself. It is efficiency based on getting what the customer pays for out and getting what the customer asks for upon request. At the core however and again is the food. Kimberly makes it fresh and often to standards that would hold in Korea. The side dishes are the best variety and the freshest I have had in MN and the entrees are packed with flavor and abundant in portion. If you have a digestive system that cannot handle spice and heat..either pack a portable shower and some defib pads or you may want to go back to cracker barrel. Kimberly makes some of hotter Korean dishes a double barrel potency so don't be shy to ask for extra napkins to dab the sweat.

Suggestions:

Short ribs: the best I have anywhere with the exception of Busan, ROK...exceptional
Kimchi Ji Gae (spicy soup): served boiling hot with kimchi that is fresh and broth that is flavor
Bulgogi (stir fried beef with mixed veg): Kimberly marinates the meat for a very long time so you will not flavor like this elsewhere.
Bi Bim Bop (mixed rice and vegetables): served in a stoneware pot with spicy bean paste it is a treat
Jahp Chae (rice noodles): I wish I knew how she gets that smokey flavor so robust but she won't tell me.

If the fire code in Saint Paul was less ethnocentric you would be able to have traditional table side cooking that would blow your mind, but the existing menu is by far and away more than most will be adventurous enough to try.

Speak Up and Enjoy (in that order!!)

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank bmsh67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 28, 2012

Before I launch into my diatribe of why I will NEVER visit this neighborhood cafe again, let me first say that the food my friend and I ordered was excellent. They didn't have my first choice on the menu but the second choice I ordered was great and didn't take more than 15 minutes. However, I was shocked at how poorly we were treated by our waitress. I didn't complain that she never once refilled our drinks, or how she didn't visit our table other than to take our order and deliver our food. I'm also not complaining about how unfriendly she was or how she clearly made no effort to make us feel welcome. I wasn't completely fine with the entire experience until I went to pay our bill. After paying via credit card I signed for a bill of $17.60 and added a $5 tip (that's a whopping 28% ). When I asked to receive a copy of the receipt she got irritated and handed me a crumpled up piece of paper that was someone else's bill. When I again asked her for my receipt SHE THREW 2 MORE CRUMPLED UP PIECES OF PAPER AT ME! I was completely stunned as I sorted through this trash she threw at me and found my receipt. I have had some terrible restaurant experiences in my life but this has NEVER happened to me before. I would have paid twice the amount that I paid in order to have a waitress that showed me the dignity and respect one comes to expect at a restaurant. I will not be returning.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Brandon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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