10 new(ish) east metro restaurants worth spending your money on

After debuting three years ago, Grand Central recently closed its doors temporarily for a revamp and menu update.

The coffee shop-and-deli atmosphere has been swapped for a cozier setting with a wine and craft-beer bar area. While lattes and java from Dogwood Coffee as well as crepes for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch are still on the menu, the made-over Grand Central is all grown up.

Shared plates, a sizable menu of salads and burgers and sandwiches including fried chicken and steak are now available. Full service is now an option, too: Food can be ordered and served at the table.

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Jason Bush of Shish and Grand Central is every chef’s dream employee

One of the most enduring myths about the food industry is that it is always a creative endeavor. I mean, we know it’s hard work too, but the creativity is what keeps us captivated. How do they do it? All the improbable combinations of flavor, technique, color, fragrance, concept?

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Coffee and sammiches on Grand Ave

The only train you’ll be catching at Mac-Groveland’s Grand Central is the one on its way to Tasty Town (Editor’s Note: not an actual place), as the bistro/ coffee shop is run by the foodie folks behind neighboring Turkish burger cafe Shish.

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St. Paul’s Grand Central Cafe off to good start

Dogwood coffee, Patisserie 46 pastries and a decent salad and sandwich menu should be a recipe for success for the new Grand Central Cafe on Grand Avenue.

The owners of Shish Cafe, two doors down from Grand Central, remodeled the former Grand Sandwich into a bright, airy space with sleek, simple furnishings. There’s a small bar with a few beer taps, but the place has a coffee-shop/deli feel.

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Grand Central in St. Paul now open

The owners of Shish have taken over the former Grand Sandwich space and given it a complete overhaul. We poked our heads inside of Grand Avenue’s newest restaurant by the Macalester campus.

The space has gotten a major upgrade. A beautiful bar is near the entrance, with beer taps waiting for beer. The room looks like a full-service restaurant, but the staff informed me that they are still finding their way and that the menu is likely still evolving.

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