Evaluating some of the best foods in Inver Grove Heights
When it comes to finding great places to eat – whether in Inver Grove Heights or outside the community – there are varying opinions on what makes a restaurant great. It usually involves a combination of great food, service and atmosphere. And while there are limited options for all three of those in Inver Grove Heights, there are still some good restaurants with some tasty menu items. Below Eat IGH breaks down five food items every resident of Inver Grove Heights must try.
1.Jerseys Bar and Grill: Philly Wontons
These tasty bites (pictured above) are a fantastic appetizer before pounding down a juicy lucy, a great snack after a couple of ice cold beers and a little sustenance before hitting the dance floor and yelling “wooooo” when Tim Sigler comes on stage. For $7.99 you get wonton’s stuffed with slow roasted beef, jalapeño cream cheese, peppers and onions, with a horsey dipping sauce. They come out hot, so let them sit a minute or two before biting into, but when ready you will be pleased you ordered this fantastic appetizer. The horsey dipping sauce is probably worth eating by itself if you really want to.
2. El Rincon Mexicano: Salsa Verde
There’s a new mexican restaurant in town – El Rincon Mexicano opened recently in the old Papa Bello’s location behind Ace Hardware and next to Snap Fitness at 3064 65th St E, Inver Grove Heights, MN. The salsa verde accompanied by a side of chips is a must for any salsa fan. You can get a side of chips and salsa for $1.50, but there are some kinks to work out. The first time we ordered the salsa it came in a nice size bowl. The second time it came in a half full, small plastic container. They also offer a mouth-burning red hot sauce and a more traditional pico-style salsa. El Rincon is the most authentic mexican restaurant in Inver Grove Heights. When you enter the small restaurant you get the feel you are at a mexican fiesta and someone’s grandma, mother and aunt are all cooking up a giant feast for everyone. For $2 the pork tamale is a great deal (add sour cream and top with the green salsa) and the tacos (3 for $5 and $1 each on Tuesdays) are as authentic as you can get in Inver Grove Heights. Mort down at Celts is right when he says the meat has been overcooked at times, but the tacos are full of meat, topped with onion and cilantro, and worth trying. There is a lot of potential with El Rincon Mexicano, but the location – small and not easy to find – and the fact that the old Papa Bello’s sign next to Paul’s Auto and Tire is still up could hurt. The El Rincon Mexicano sign is also the colors of the Mexican flag, which is appropriate, but it’s also the same colors as the old Papa Bello’s sign. It doesn’t stand out. In a city where Baja Sol, Taco Toro (remember that place down on Concord in the former Eddy’s Bar and Grill-turned storage building?) and El Loro have come and gone, this is a welcome addition. With TC Taco nearby and El Azteca coming to the former Old World Pizza location, the mexican restaurant battles are about to heat up in Inver Grove Heights. But next time you’re craving mexican food, check out El Rincon Mexicano – and the green salsa.
3. Drac’s Pub: Grilled Chicken Salad
Hey, don’t knock a salad! Especially this one from the local bowling alley that also has outstanding pub fare and an underutilized patio (but that’s another story for another day). For $8.95 you get fresh lettuce topped with strips of tender chicken breast, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, black olives and croutons. The salad is monstrous and vegetables are cut in huge portion sizes. You definitely need a knife to cut this salad, but will be happy – and feeling healthy, ordering this salad
4. Hometown Meats: Bacon Wrapped jalapeno poppers with peanut butter
Sure, this isn’t a restaurant, but Hometown Meats has settled in nicely in the community. Offering Boars Head deli meat was a great addition and they are working hard to serve the community with all our butcher shop needs. Two things stand out at Hometown Meats: The bacon-wrapped jalapenos with peanut butter are a beautiful combination of salty, crisp bacon, crunchy jalapenos and sweet-tasting peanut butter that makes a mouth-watering treat. The bacon-wrapped jalapeno cream cheese poppers – jalapenos wrapped with bacon and stuffed with cream cheese, are also outstanding. The downside is, at Hometown Meats they cut the jalapeno in half, so when you cook the poppers the peanut butter or cream cheese oozes out of the jalapeno. They need to cut them diagonally, like a boat, add the peanut butter or cream cheese, then wrap with bacon. The bacon then holds the cream cheese in. While these are an easy and inexpensive treat to make at home, cutting fresh jalapenos is never fun and when you need something to accompany that slab of ribeye you just bought, pick up some of these jalapeno poppers the next time you are grilling.
5. Dominicks Pizza: Original Philly Cheesesteak
This Inver Grove Heights restaurant is the forgotten pizza and sandwich shop of the city. Located at 9715 South Robert Trail in Inver Grove Heights and on the Eagan border, most IGH residents forget about this place because of its location. They shouldn’t. The pizza is good and the Original Philly Cheesesteak that comes with thinly sliced steak with fried onions, green peppers, mushrooms and topped with swiss-american cheese and a swipe of Mayo is a must for any sandwich fan. Philly cheesesteak fans are a fickle bunch though – they either love ’em or hate them. If you are a philly cheesesteak fan, this is one you will love. I’d even suggest ordering two. A half is $6 and a whole is $9.75. Next time you head out to Coopers for Thursday night bingo or stop off at Trail Liquors, don’t forget about Dominick’s Pizza. The owners are great and do a lot for Eagan-area sports. Let’s show them some love from the IGH side and get them involved with our local teams too.
There you have it – five food items every Inver Grove Heights resident must try. This isn’t a best of list or our version of saying we think these are the best five foods offered in IGH. These are just some good eats we like and wanted to share with you. What’s your favorite food in IGH? Let’s hear your go-to items as we continue to explore what else IGH has to offer.