St. Paul, MN – Cecil’s Delicatessan

My mother had an odd personality quirk – well, not to me, but certainly to those around her. She led a very standard American middle class life in the 50s and 60s, the dutiful wife and mother, whose own personality didn’t start to emerge (at least to her children) til we were well on our way out of our teens.

We each learned something different from my mother. We each had different experiences.

The “oddity” in my mother, at least as far as I was concerned, and involved, is my mother looked to me to take her to “off the beaten path” restaurants…and an occasional dive.

I think she relished telling the stories of these outings to her peers. Made her feel more “edgy” or that she had something to one up them with. Not sure, doesn’t matter, I cherish those dates I had with my mom.

The path of our adventures often took us to Minneapolis-St. Paul, where I lived a couple of times.

One of my mom’s favorite haunts with me was a little hole-in-the-wall delicatessan in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul.  Cecil’s opened on July 1, 1949, and is still operated today by Cecil’s daughter and her husband.  Unless you are “in the know” you probably wouldn’t even realize a restaurant was there, as the store front is a traditional deli and meat counter, and the restaurant is through doors in the back of the store.

But it’s worth the trek, as my brother and niece did today, in ‘celebration’ of my late mother’s birthday.  A corned beef homage, as it were.

Cecil’s are big customers of Vienna Beef, and if you are  regular reader, you know what a buff I am of that company.  I first fell in love with Vienna’s natural casing hot dogs, but have since begun an affair with their entire product line. (Which is both served, and sold at retail, at Cecil’s).

My brother, his daughter and grandbaby  plowed through their respective menu choices, before he loaded up on Vienna products to take home: dogs, buns, relish, and a brisket or two.

Cecil’s is a ‘must stop’ if you’re on a whirlwind tour of Twin Cities dining.  A must.

I love the fact that Vienna is making a big push to get their product in retail locations.  They’ve been at Cecil’s a long time.  Tomorrow?  Hopefully the world!

I can only think of one bad experience I had at Cecil’s, and it had nothing to do with the restaurant or food, but instead, a very hungover pre Mrs. Burgerdogboy who had to excuse herself, go sit in the car, and lose what little lunch she had, in the gutter.

Cecil’s sandwich menu.  Can’t get to Cecil’s?  Order Vienna Beef products for home delivery.

Vienna Beef Retail Products Display

Vienna Beef Retail Products Display

Cecil's Deli Restaurant Interior

Cecil’s Deli Restaurant Interior

Cecil's Deli Retail Shop

Cecil’s Deli Retail Shop




Cecil's on Urbanspoon

Cecils Delicatessan

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