Noshin’: Chinese for Christmas and New Year’s Eve Treats

Jai Mai Fun at Rainbow Chinese

Christmas Day Dining
Chinese food on Christmas: It’s what Jews do.  But, some Asian restaurants in the Twin Cities didn’t get that memo, and not all of them are open Christmas Eve or Day. A lot, in fact, are not I found out. Here are a few places around town you can get your feast on:

  • Little Szechuan, 422 University Ave. W, St Paul; 651.222.1333
  • Tea House, 1676 Suburban Ave., St.Paul; 651.771.1790
  • Pho Tau Bay, 2837 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612.874.6030
  • Shuang Cheng, 1320 4th St. SE, Minneapolis; 612.378.0208
  • Great Wall, 4515 France Ave. S, Minneapolis; 952.927.4439
  • Quang, 2719 Nicollet Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.870.4739

Appreciate the tradition, but looking for a different flavor? You’ll be delighted (and perhaps surprised) to hear there are also non-Asian restaurants open on Christmas Day!

  • Common Roots, 2558 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis; 612.871.2360. I love this place so, so much.
  • Kathie Jenkins did some research of her own and comes up with a pretty swell list. Buca di Beppo AND Moscow on the Hill are open? Yes please!
  • The Strib uncovers some delicious gems, including the St. Paul Grill [drool] and Mickey’s Diner (open 24/7!)
  • Although I can’t vouch for the validity, Twin Cities Dining Guide has a crazy-comprehensive list that reflects recent changes in the restaurant scene, including the new D’Amico Kitchen in Chambers Hotel.
  • The always-reliable Chowhound (a.k.a., foodie central) has compiled a list with a few above and beyond those previously mentioned. And why wouldn’t it? The list was posted by The Dairy Queen, who I have on good authority is one of the Tribe (but, like Superman, we won’t reveal their identity here)
  • When in doubt, refer to (And while you’re there, get yourself an account if you don’t have one yet. It’s free and totally handy.). Pop in 12/25/09 at your preferred time for a list of dining establishments across the metro area that have seats available. At the time of writing, there were 23 restaurants with availability at 6 p.m. on Christmas Day.

Know of any others? Share them in the comments below! Your fellow Jews will thank you.
(PS: Do yourself a favor: skip finding a restaurant and hit up the Jewbilee on Christmas Eve. It’s free and it’s gonna be *awesome.*)

New Year’s Treats

Since you invariably have Christmas Day off (unless you work at one of the aforementioned restaurants), take advantage of the free time and start planning your New Year’s Eve treats.  Here are my top suggestions:

  • Caramel corn from Orangette (posted 12/12/09; there is no direct link for individual posts)
  • Chili-spiced almonds from Cooking Light December 2009. Get creative by substituting different sugars and spices in the same proportions as the original recipe. I made maple sugar-cayenne ones and they were fan.tast.ic.
  • These no-cook, adorable apricot bites are a perfect complement to heavier and/or more savory menu items.
  • Even Betty Crocker gets festive with easy brie and cherry pastry cups (can you tell I love cherries?)
  • And just because this is more of a secular holiday doesn’t mean you can’t use your favorite Rosh Hashanah recipes like apple pie, Best Year Yet carrot cake, or honey cake. You know you were craving them, so just make them already!

Round out your spread with pre-made artisan goodies from a local purveyor of foodie heaven:

  • Local D’Lish is run by Ann Yin, the sweetest shop owner possible. Pick up some cayenne shortbread, a log of goat cheese, and a jar of blueberry jam from The Secret Garden; top each cookie with a schmear of each. Devour at your leisure.
    Local D’Lish, 208 1st St. N, Minneapolis; 612.886.3047
  • Golden Fig offers candies, pies, cupcakes, oils and other amazing gourmet plate-ables that are nothing short of stunning.
    Golden Fig, 790 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651.602.0144
  • The never-less-than-remarkable Surdyk’s could be your one-stop shop for New Year’s Eve. They have a cheese shop that makes me salivate — complete with specialty food items from around the globe and deli items that will make you look better than Julia Child (assuming you don’t divulge your source) — you could easily outfit a gathering with purchases from Surdyk’s alone. And that’s before you hit their overwhelming selection of awesome beer, wine, and liquor.
    Surdyk’s, 303 Hennepin Ave. E, Minneapolis; Liquor Store: 612.379.3232, Cheese Shop: 612.379.9757

With that, I bid you safe travels and a delicious New Year!