Thursday, July 30, 2009


Cheeky Monkey Deli opened in February ’09 in a wide, open space of bright, white tiles, red & glossy white walls, a huge fireplace, chalkboard menus and an eclectic collection of “frame within a frame” artwork of Andy Warhol prints, comic book covers, record album covers and vintage black & white images. It works!

My friend, Bev, splits her time between Minneapolis and San Diego. Prior to each of her trips back to Minneapolis, I am tasked to find a new eatery that neither of us has visited. Tonight, it was Cheeky Monkey.

We began the evening sipping goblets of the Banrock Merlot (organic) from New Zealand. They offer a varied and interesting list of reasonably priced beer and wine.

For our starter, we had the daily Meat Board – an excellent collection of prosciutto, rare roast beef, smoked ham, Genoa salami and black olives, pickled cucumbers, sun-dried tomatoes and grainy mustard for taking it up a notch. A basket of flatbread and French bread made for easier nibbling. Great idea for a starter!

For dinner, I chose the Cumin Pork Shoulder Hot Pot – a savory, very tender serving of pork slow cooked in it own juices (strained before serving) accented with cumin and Mirepoix. Mirepoix is a simple and flavorful combination of carrots, celery and onion used in nearly every traditional French stew. The Pork Hot Pot was topped with flat leaf parsley and caramelized onions. Yumm. As my side, I selected the braised seasonal greens. Today, it was chopped kale braised in a fantastic vegetable broth with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and tiny bits of fresh garlic. Delicious!

Bev and I decided to share a large slice of Coconut Crème pie made by the chefs in Cheeky Monkey’s kitchen. The buttery crust with a touch of brown sugar supported a thick layer of vanilla custard and a mound of whipped cream topped with a generous sprinkling of toasted coconut. Heavenly. . .

I noticed on one of the artistically written chalkboards they offer a Sunday brunch featuring food stuffs from the St Paul Farmer’s Market. My next visit will be for brunch.

Joshua, our extremely friendly server, suggested his favorites on the menu. He was spot-on every time with his suggestions. Co-owner and chef, Matt McArthur, excels in creating extraordinary, casual food. This is the best comfort food I can remember eating. Sorry Mom, Cheeky Monkey rocks!


Mmm… Mmm… Mmm…


$ 10
$ 20
$$ 30
$$ 40+

+ Stop bothering me!
++ Anyone here?
+++ Stopped when in the area.
++++ As needed and friendly.
+++++ Invisibly perfect!

✦ “One visit too many!”
✦✦ “Convince me!”
✦✦✦ “I’ll be back!”
✦✦✦✦ “Same table next week!”

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