Review: Cheap Eats at Mickey’s Dining Car in St. Paul

The view of Mickey's Dining Car from 7th Street.
The view of Mickey’s Dining Car from 7th Street. (Photo by Rachael Onserio)

A St. Paul staple, Mickey’s Dining Car lives up to its ‘greasy spoon’ reputation. Complete with neon lights and hurried servers, Mickey’s is a truly singular experience.

Upon entering, expect to be greeted by sizzling oil, hurried servers, and a fully seated bar rather than a host with pagers. Diners either seat themselves at the alcohol-free bar, or in one of four booths.

The restaurant holds 36 comfortably, an impressive feat considering it appeared to be manned by three people. Mickey’s could, however, benefit from more staffing as the floors were literally squishy (with mud and other unidentifiable substances).

The menu features a plethora of classic American dishes – almost all of which are under $10. Breakfast all day is the hallmark of a Mickey’s regular. “The Classic” is the second most popular dish featuring “Mickey’s Cheeseburger with a few hashbrowns & a little mulligan stew.”

As advertised, the burgers are classic. Juicy and flavorful rather than inventive or unique; good at being what they’re supposed to be – burgers. The hashbrowns appear crispy but further penetration reveals their soft, decidedly un-crispy essence. The mulligan stew appears to be flavored by little more than salt and pepper.

Whatever you choose, rest assured it will be saturated with butter and oil. This makes for pleasantly crispy fries but mini grease puddles from hash browns and burgers.

If you don’t mind the calories or the 30 minute seating limit, then give Mickey’s a ride. Free parking, jukeboxes, and neon lights welcome you to an experience all on its own.

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Hope in the form of Duck Dynasty

Photo source: A&E Television
Photo source: A&E Television

Lately, it seems like all the shows on TV are junk. There is The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, teaching viewers around the world to fall in love on TV just because it gives you a fuzzy feeling inside. There’s Gossip Girl, which portrays the party lifestyle of New York high schoolers as “the norm”. And there’s Breaking Bad, a show that makes you root for a meth-cooking scientist.

But, wait, there’s hope, and it’s in the form of Duck Dynasty.

A redneck, lovable, Christian-focused family, a success story that requires old-fashioned hard work and determination, and joy in simple human endeavors. Duck Dynasty doesn’t fit in with the shows on TV today, and thank God for that.

Every night before dinner, the Robertson family sits down and thanks God for the simple things: a good day, a healthy family, a sale at the company. How many times as busy human beings do we sit down and enjoy dinner with our entire family? The Robertson’s haven’t lost sight of the importance of God in family life, and they’re teaching their viewers that.

That’s not to say that the show is boring, because it most definitely is not. Uncle Si provides endless laughs with his questionable and crazy antics, Grandma Kay and her love for her son’s wives show that mother-in-laws aren’t so bad after all, and Phil’s confusion while interacting with his numerous grandchildren is sure to put a smile on your face.

There will always be TV shows that make you question whether a moral compass even exists in the hearts of the writers of the shows. They will always be intriguing due to crude humor and crazy antics that allow you to live vicariously through the characters. We as humans will always be addicted to watching the shows that make our blood boil and our heart beat fast.

Wednesdays at 9 pm on A&E Television Networks, the Robertson family takes center stage. Take an hour out of your evening to watch the shenanigans that make Duck Dynasty the wholesome show that it is.