Cheeky Monkey! {Closed}

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I would have never known about Cheeky Monkey in St. Paul if it hadn’t been for a half-off deal that made its way into my inbox. Even if I had would have driven by Cheeky Monkey and noticed it was there, I probably wouldn’t have stopped when The Happy Gnome is practically right across the street. {It’s perhaps The Best Place for tap beer selection in all of the Twin Cities.}

Cheeky Monkey is British slang used for someone who is a smart ass. Their Facebook page indicates that they are an “American Restaurant · British Restaurant · Bakery.” However, they seem to have a little bit of everything, focusing mostly on comfort foods. Cheeky Monkey appropriately describes itself as a “Deli by Day” {counter service} and “Bistro by Night” {table service}.

You’ll find Cheeky Monkey in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of St. Paul. For those of you not local to the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul cover a huge area, so we like to refer to specific neighborhoods.

Inside, Cheeky Monkey’s walls are adorned with a list of the neighborhoods of London and one of those of St. Paul. I am guessing you can figure out which is which in this photo. 😉

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We did not visit the Deli by Day, but opted for the Bistro by Night on both of our visits. Cheeky Monkey offers a selection of wines by the glass and bottle as well as bottled beers and other non-alcoholic beverages. Some wines are even offered by the half-bottle.

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We got there a bit early on our first visit. Dinner wasn’t quite ready to be served yet. So we settled in with an appetizer.

Here is what I put on my plate:

Housemade Salt & Pepper Chips 4.5 bleu cheese dipping sauce

Housemade Salt & Pepper Chips with bleu cheese dipping sauce

Housemade chips and dip have sort of become popular all over the Twin Cities. We are rarely disappointed! These chips hit the mark… and that blue cheese sauce is over-the-moon delicious. Do not skip the blue cheese sauce if you are going to Cheeky Monkey. You can thank me later.

Rob got the burger. (Are you surprised?)

Cheeky Burger 12 grass-fed beef, caramelized onion, brie, toasted ciabatta roll, bistro fries

Cheeky Burger – grass-fed beef, caramelized onion, brie, toasted ciabatta roll, bistro fries – $12

I do remember that he enjoyed this burger; but it wasn’t quite seasoned enough to his liking. Who doesn’t like some good melty brie on a burger?! That’s some nice crusty bread there, too. The fries were just okay in his book. So there is really no reason to to upgrade. Stick with the housemade chips!

My comfort food choice:

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Mac & Cheese – chicken, montchevré goat cheese, rosemary – $12

What a nice flavorful crock of mac and cheese! Next time, I’d get it without the chicken because it tasted like it came out of a can. I don’t mind canned chicken for certain purposes. It just didn’t work for me here.

~

Just before our second visit, I read somewhere that Cheeky Monkey had one of the best Cubans in the Twin Cities. I knew before our arrival that that is what I’d be getting!

Cubano Sandwich – cumin pork, smoked ham, swiss, pickles, mustard, mayo, ciabatta roll, pressed warm – $13

Forgetting all about CM’s chips, I upgraded my side to the Herb Roasted Mushrooms with butter and chives. They were a delightful alternative to the normal side, but somewhat rich that I could not finish them all.

Maybe I didn’t get the same sammy that others rave above because I was not all that impressed with my Cuban. There was crusty pressed bread, yes; but the sandwich itself wasn’t very well balanced overall. IMHO, they overdid it on the mustard. But here is why CM’s should be a great Cuban, according to Heavy Table:

…they cure and smoke their own meats, bake their own breads, and make their own mayonnaise and mustard.

Perhaps I don’t have the palate for a good Cuban. But I keep trying them anyway! I swear I had one I loved once. But that was pre-blog, so how should I remember where!?

Surprisingly, though, this was the star of the show for us that night:

Meatloaf 12 cheddar, bacon, spicy mustard, giardiniera, english muffin toast

Meatloaf Sandwich – cheddar, bacon, spicy mustard, giardiniera, english muffin toast – $12

We both wouldn’t consider that English Muffin toast; but truly, what would we know? What we did know is that, English Muffin toast or not, it was perfectly buttered and toasted, the meatloaf a nice little change from the normal sandwich filling. I thought I tasted a hint of horseradish, though the menu says this sammie is spread with mustard. So while I wanted less mustard on my Cuban, I would have gladly taken more on Rob’s sandwich!

While you are at Cheeky Monkey, you need to stop in the restrooms to check out the wall paper:

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The walls are lined with pages of old books, most of them British. Since these loos are one-stallers, that wallpaper has the potential to hold up a line if someone really wanted to start reading the walls in depth. 😉

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Cheeky Monkey describes itself as a “chef-driven restaurant” with “fresh, local, seasonal fare”. Many items on their menu are already gluten-free or can be made gluten-free, too. CM boast’s a patio in the back which I didn’t know existed until I read their website. It’s tucked away from the street, which is always nice. Even when it’s a nice day, Rob refuses to eat outdoors if a restaurant’s patio is just a little sidewalk off a noisy street.

If you do get to Cheeky Monkey, I’d recommend the Meatloaf Sandwich with Housemade Chips. Ever since the Burnsville Ale House closed, we hadn’t found anything close to their Meatloaf Sliders. Until Now. Oh! And don’t forget to ask for a side of the Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce, you little Cheeky Monkey!

What’s your favorite meatloaf recipe or way to eat meatloaf leftovers?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

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5 responses »

  1. I was hoping to find where you’ve had a great Cuban sandwich! 😦 I’ve been trying them all over lately myself, from Forepaugh’s to Clive’s and EVERY time it seems the mustard overpowers it!! Maybe I just don’t have the palate for them either. Maybe we should just order the mustard on the side and add on our own? Let me know if you ever find a good one that you really like, I will do the same!

    I look forward to future posts on meatloaf, be it recipes or sandwiches!

  2. Hi – Thanks for giving us a try. We have passed all of your recommendations on to our new General Manager, Andy. Your feedback is really important to us, and if you have any additional suggestions, we’d love it if you could send us an email at marketing@cheekymonkeystpaul.com. Seeing that you liked the meat loaf sandwich, would you mind if we use the your pic on social media, and perhaps our Web site? We will of course give proper credit! Love the mac n cheese photo as well.

  3. Pingback: Pizza is like… | Season It Already!

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