What do you do when you find yourself in St. Paul’s West 7th Neighborhood on a Saturday night, hungry and looking for a nicer sit-down meal?
Well, if you’re like us and you haven’t yet tried the popular A Side Public House, there’s your answer!
This was the predicament we found ourselves in last Saturday. And while we didn’t go quite as nuts ordering half the menu like we usually do for our reviews, we did test out two of the more popular entrée items for you!
Read on for our quick review of A Side in St. Paul.
DiscoverTheCities.com Approved Entrees
- Coq Au Vin
- Schawarma Bowl
About A-Side Public House
A-Side Opened in 2021 in the heart of St. Paul’s up and coming West 7th Neighborhood.
Maybe A-Side’s biggest claim to fame is the building itself. It sits in a historic firehouse that was first built in 1885. One look at the large, stand-alone building’s brick exterior, and you can see the history.
The team consists of:
- Travis Temke, best known for his time at F-Town Brewing in Fairbault
- Chef Drew Ledo from Dark Horse and Aster Cafe
- Tim Mattson from Blackstack Brewing and Freehouse
That diverse team is probably why the place is so hard to classify – A Side is basically part restaurant, part coffee shop, and part brewery.
On weekends, they open early as a coffee shop / brunch destination. During the week the focus on soups and salad for lunch. And every evening of the week, they serve French-inspired entrees for a full sit-down experience.
We most recently visited for the latter. (Although in the past, we’ve also grabbed quick drinks there on the weekend and previously highlighted A-Side on our list of Best Coffee Shops in St. Paul.)
Location, Vibe & Atmosphere
A Side has a lively atmosphere in St. Paul’s bustling West 7th Neighborhood.
Located on Randolph Street, this place really comes alive when the weather warms up. That’s when staff opens those massive firehouse garage doors, revealing a combination indoor/outdoor space – the inside gives off the feel of an open air brewery taproom while the outside has full-blown Minnesota sidewalk patio vibes.
We visited on Saturday evening just minutes before closing, and we were surprised to find several large groups still closing the place down.
With just 15 minutes to go before closing, we quickly asked the waitress for some recommendations, who shared the following:
- Coq Au Vin – she said this is a constant staple and one of the most popular items on the menu.
- Shawarma Bowl – a newer addition that was one of her favorites
- A-Side Burger – of course, because us Minnesotan love our cheeseburgers.
- Croque-Monsier – a fancier take on the ham and cheese sandwich.
We opted for the first two and got to chowing!
Coq Au Vin
The menu describes this as an airline chicken breast in a red wine sauce, and wow… what a beauty.
The chicken was cooked to perfection, the sauce was rich and hearty, and everything was tied together perfectly with the mashed potatoes, bacon, mushrooms, and other goodies.
This was a classic dish done right, and it absolutely hit the spot.
Again, we got perfectly cooked chicken tied together with all sorts of well prepared ingredients. Maybe the star of the show was the tahini-cucumber salad, which added the perfect amount of sour to go with the refreshing yogurt sauce and other Greek staples. (Shout out to the wonderful olives!)
The use of cauliflower rice for the tabouleh also made this a nice, lighter option that left us satisfied without feeling overly stuffed.
We had a great meal at A-Side on a beautiful night.
While our visit was quick (because we wanted to be respectful of their closing time), the open-air garage door set up makes this the kind of place where you just want to kick back and watch the world go by.
Both of our entrees were made perfectly, and we loved that they offered a lighter, fresher take than many of the other dive bars and burger joints in the neighborhood.
We definitely would not hesitate to recommend A-Side for anyone looking for a quality meal in an awesome atmosphere!
Random DTC Protips and FAQs
$20-25 per entrée, although the more lunch-oriented options (sandwiches and salads) hover around $15.
Appetizers run $10-20.
Full wait service. There’s also bar seating, and when the place is in coffee shop mode, plenty of to-go drink options.
Street / neighborhood parking on Randolph Ave.
Randolph is quite large and there’s not a ton of other businesses along this stretch, so finding parking is never too tough.
They do take them, although the schedule doesn’t look overly packed, and we had good luck on walk ins.
754 Randolph Ave, St Paul, MN 55102