A few weeks ago, before the baby was born, The Wife and I headed out to St. Paul with The Rooster in tow for dinner at Cheeky Monkey Deli. Located in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood, this is a cute little place which claims it’s a deli by day and a bistro by night. With an amazing patio out back, we were excited to head over there to check it out to see what they had to offer. While we originally thought about eating on the patio, with a storm on its way in we opted to eat inside instead.
Our server wasn’t all that friendly but was prompt. She delivered menus to our table and gave us some time to look them over. After a few minutes of hemming and hawing we made our selections and went with the Curried Deviled Eggs for an appetizer, Smoked Turkey Breast sandwich for The Wife, and the Pot Roast sandwich with Roasted Cauliflower for me. The Rooster picked up a Hot Ham and Cheese sandwich for himself.
After a wait which I thought was pretty long for a deviled egg appetizer, it arrived at the table. Described on the menu as including pickled red chili and cilantro, these were as described. The eggs themselves were good and the pickled chili gave just a hint of bite that mellowed the sweetness of the curry. While I thought they were good, I was surprised that The Rooster was chowing down on them like it was his job–including the pickled red chili. He’s definitely my son. I would certainly order them again however for $7.50 I would expect more than 5 halves to be delivered but that’s me.
Eventually our entrees arrived without fanfare nor discussion about why it took so very long for them to arrive in a nearly empty restaurant.
The Wife’s Roasted Turkey Breast included bacon, avocado, grass-fed gouda, and mayo on a cibata roll instead of the suggested flax-seed bread. It was a pretty large and tasty sandwich but was a bit overpriced at $9.50 for only coming with chips on the side. While I didn’t taste any of it, a very pregnant Wife said that it was good and polished it off.
The Rooster’s Hot Ham and Cheese sandwich was a disaster. A single slice of unmelted cheese and a single slice of ham on too much bread didn’t see much action from him after he had a taste of the decent appetizer earlier. While we certainly should have taken the Nutella or peanut butter and banana options instead and even though the $5 cost included milk and a cookie, his dinner was by far the most disappointing item of the evening.
My Pot Roast sandwich came with horseradish cream, arugula, and pickled red onion served on a ciabatta roll alongside roasted cauliflower with curry, chili flake, cilantro for $11.50. While the roasted cauliflower was certainly a welcome diversion from the boring chips, I choked a little bit paying $11.50 for pot roast on a roll. Even so, the meat was tender and flavorful although I would have liked to have had more bite out of the horseradish. The pickled red onion was spot on and added a nice layer of flavor to the sandwich. My favorite part was the curried cauliflower. While the chili flakes were few and far between, they snuck up and surprised you from time to time with a little bit of heat behind the curry. While the cilantro added next to nothing to this one, I thought to myself that I needed to do a lot more curried cauliflower dishes in the oven from now on.
Overall we liked what we had at Cheeky Monkey but found it priced a little too high for our tastes. Yeah, I get that it’s in Cathedral Hill and they’re not serving your typical deli sandwiches, but even so I expected a little more bang for the buck. While I thought the food was good, it’s probably not a place we’ll return to again simply because there are too many other places around where you can get a decent sandwich and sides for less.
Have you ever eaten at Cheeky Monkey Deli in St. Paul? If so what did you think? What are your favorites and what did you think were misses? Do you have any other favorite sandwich shops around town that you’d recommend instead? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.
Cheeky Monkey Deli
525 Selby Ave
St Paul, MN 55102
See all the pictures from Cheeky Monkey Deli in St. Paul on Flickr here.