St. Paul >Food & Dining > St Clair Broiler
1580 St Clair Ave., St Paul, MN | Directions 5510544.934168 -93.167129
Neighborhoods: Macalester - Groveland
We have been occasional patrons of the St. Clair Broiler and have always enjoyed the food. The fish fry is good and the burgers better than most. The big draw on our recent visit was for the Rudolph's ribs. I ordered the full slab, thinking I could share them, or just take the leftovers home. I also thought having Rudolphs on this side of the river would be great, save gas, time and still have the best of both worlds. If these ribs were representative of what they're serving at Rudolph's on Franklin, I'm not traveling there again. The ribs were burned. I was told that the 'end piece' is always like that. Well, I think not. They were also prepared and presented without sauce, and if there was a rub of some sort, then they also were served without flavor. They were not meaty and they were served w/sauce on the side. At $19.95, one would expcect better quality. They were exchanged for another order, but these were not much better. I did take them home, but didn't relish them as you would something that met expectations and tasted great. I will not return to the Broiler for ribs. There are too many other places that serve a better tasting product. Very disappointing. Also, the Rudolph's coleslaw was watery and the cabbage was not chopped very well, huge chunks of cabbage interspersed.
Burgers are good – I really wish this place was better. I agree with other reviews that it seemed to lose something after being renovated. The food is pretty standard diner fare. I do think the burgers and malts are above average. Everything else I've had here is solidly so-so. Service is always prompt. My main complaint is that it costs about 50% more than it should for diner food.
Great morning-after destination... – My friends and I stumbled in here at 11am New Years day looking for some recovery food. We were seated promptly and given one of the best waitresses I've ever encountered. (I think her name was Michelle.) The boys went with breakfast fare and proclaimed that the omelets and fresh squeezed OJ were the best they've tasted. My burger, fries, and cherry coke were also quite good.
There was a healthy mix of students, families and older adults with a retro atmosphere.
A familiar face for St. Paul diners for over 50 years just got a facelift. The broiler feeds business people, students, seniors and kids with the same friendly service and good old fashioned food. – In Short
Since 1956, this Highland Park hangout has served up comfort food to families, college students, and folks who probably were around on opening day. You'll find an array of dishes, such as hearty omelets and beef stroganoff that can't be beat. And the thick malts are some of the best in town. You can even get beer and wine.
Disappointed--I want the old Broiler back! – If you've ever been to the Broiler and have fond memories of the dark panellng, giving the place a noir sort of feel, it's gone now, replaced with bright airy colors, which makes the place seem bigger, but also makes it seem a lot like a lot of other restaurants that don't have much character.
They've also been bought by the company that owns Rudolph's, a rib place in Minneapolis. Which isn't good news, judging by our meal tonight. The food used to taste made-to-order in the past, meaning I could go there six times and order a hamburger each time, and each time the burger would be slightly different. Never bad, just different. I like a small amount of unpredictability when I'm dining out; usually this translates into good food made by real people.
Our meal tonight, though, tasted like it was made by robots. Nothing fancy: our family of four ordered a gyro, a burger, a pulled pork sandwich, and hot beef and mashed potatoes. Everything tasted like it came out of a can or a Sysco food systems package. The only thing that I could recommend were the onion rings we had for an appetizer; at least these are every bit as good as I remember.
The price has gone up, too: $70 for the four of us. In addition to the appetizer, my kids had pop; my wife and I had water. This was way too mediocre a meal for that amount of money. I doubt that we'll be going back. I'm afraid that bringing the Broiler into the corporate fold was a move in the wrong direction.
A burger to make you swear off red meat. – This was my first visit in years, I knew this place as a classic for a burger and a malt.
I went with the burger well done. My wait was slow and my order was lost. I'm easy going and am willing to wait for a fine end result. The wait was making me extra hungry. They offered me a side salad while I waited.
The burger came and looked okay, even if it had the pre-pattied look. I took a bite and it made me lose any hunger I had. It was pink and greasy, not juicy, just greasy. The gnats I had to swat away the plate didn't help matters. The coleslaw was okay and the fries limp. I've heard tales of meals that made folks stop eating red meat, if that's your plan this is your place.
very good fish – My son & I decided to try something a little out of our usual way. When we arrived at 6:00 I was surprised that we didn't have to wait, though by 6:30 the waiting area was packed. I ordered the all you can eat fish and my son had the french toast. Both items arrived within 10-15 minutes, the fish breading was very crispy unlike many restaurants where they don't seem to be able to keep their fryer hot enough and the fish arrives mushy. It was excellent, and when I was done and asked for more it only took a few minutes. My sons french toast was presented in a very attractive manner and my son thought that it was great. Afterwards we ordered a shake, it was good but not very big for the price, the metal shake container was only 1/2 to 2/3 full. Kinda pricey for 4+ dollars. The service was perfect, it couldn't have been better. We'll definitely return soon
It's a Shame – The broiler USED TO BE A GREAT SPOT for breakfast. I hate to say it, but it's time to move onto a new place. I have been eating here for years - I loved the place. But over the last several months they have made just enough changes to ruin what was once a gret spot for breakfast. The portions are sinificantly smaller, and the updated plates and menu just feel out of place. I wonder if the new plates were bought to make the portions seem bigger, or if the change in portion sizes was made due to having smaller plates? Either way it's just a shame that they have changed what made the place great. I feel like I lost a best friend. I had been bringing my family here for years - I won't be going back. It's too bad.
this place used to be good – The Broiler used to be a quality place to get some coffee and hang out, smoke cigarettes and talk to the regulars. But things are changing. No more smoking and ownership and management has changed. It's never been about the food, and now the atmosphere has changed. So, really, what's the point?
This is not like any Diner... – How can this place be on this list much less in the top twenty? Every other small Diner in the Twin Cities can outstride their subpar fare in all categories of flavor, service and value. Anyone who thinks this is typical Diner food has been gastronmomically abused - I'm old enough to remember 50's and 60's Diner food. I'll only try the St. Claire Broiler again when I see a sign announcing "Under New Ownership & Management".
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