Wednesday, February 17, 2010
"My new favorite restaurant: the Rice Palace"
By Amy Doeun for Hmong Times
February 01, 2010
Going to a restaurant with three children is always an adventure. Couple that with a wide range of tastes and a limited budget, and we don't end up going out to restaurants very much. It is actually pretty hard for me to get myself psyched up to go out. It has to be a restaurant with food that I can't cook at home and portions that will fill us up and a price that doesn't break the bank. It has to have food that I would like with my veggie tastes and that Proeun would like and that each of the kids with their individual tastes would. Well you get the picture; not very much fits the bill.
On Friday I got an assignment for Hmong Times -- a new restaurant opening. It was at a time when no baby sitters were available so the children went with. The owners are a Hmong couple who have a successful restaurant in Milwaukee. They left their daughter in charge of that restaurant, also called the Rice Palace.
Their new venture in St. Paul's Hillcrest shopping mall on White Bear Ave caters more to Southeast Asian tastes. It focuses on home-style cooking from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is an all-you can-eat buffet.
I was so impressed at the opening that I decided I had to bring Proeun back. So yesterday we went back for a second time and he was really impressed as well. The dishes include Pad Thai, Larb, spring rolls, Southeast Asian-style egg rolls, papaya salad, grilled ribs and tilapia, tri-color dessert, rolls with sweet bean filling, pho (beef noodle soup) and kao poon (curry soup). My favorite was the pho. Not only is it my favorite of the buffet but it is my favorite Pho.
Proeun's favorite was the crayfish.
The hardest part was that the children don't really get the concept of a buffet, i.e. to stuff yourself. They eat until they are comfortable then lose interest and we spend the rest of the time trying to get them to stay still while we continue to sample our favorites.
But anyway, we now have a restaurant that makes all the family happy.
The Milwaukee restaurant has a Facebook page, but there's no contact information for the St. Paul restaurant yet.
1626 White Bear Avenue
St. Paul, MN