Business Matters: Locally-owned Brooklyn Park restaurants
A common complaint told to Brooklyn Park City Council members over the years is there’s not enough locally-owned sit-down restaurants. But that notion is changing. New restaurants have opened with choices to match the diversity of the city.
“A Dream Come True” for Owner at Mi-Sant
Inside a former KFC in Brooklyn Park, there’s a new restaurant that started with a leap of faith. Co-owner Linh Nguyen started Mi-Sant Banh Mi Co. after quitting her business analyst job in downtown Minneapolis. Coming from a family that has worked in the restaurant and grocery business, Nguyen has never looked back.
“I’ve never been happier working 14-15 hour days,” said Nguyen. “I’ve always had a vision, a dream of having my own business.”
Nguyen started Mi-Sant with her sister, who handles the financial side; and her brother-in-law, who specializes in making pastries. The restaurant, which specializes in Vietnamese sandwiches called banh mi, has earned positive reviews.
“They’re happy, very happy, there’s something like this in Brooklyn Park,” said Nguyen, speaking of her customers. “We chose Brooklyn Park because we see that it’s a growing place, has a great variety of demographics here.”
The restaurant also offers French pastries, Vietnamese and American coffee, as well as a variety of other items ranging from rice and noodle bowls to fruit smoothies.
“I really want to break that trend where fast-casual food is unhealthy,” said Nguyen.
Diverse Finds Fit Diverse Community
Mi-Sant is one example of a growing number of restaurants that attracts customers to Brooklyn Park. The city has a map on its website showing a wide range of offerings.
“It’s great that it’s such a diverse community,” said Natalie Conrad, a spokesperson with Minneapolis Northwest Tourism. “You see a lot of people throughout the community opening up these great restaurants, and kind of bringing their own flavor, which I think is really exciting.”
Conrad says whatever type of food you’re craving, you’ll find in Brooklyn Park. One popular example is Lemon Grass Thai.
“Some of the best Thai cuisine you can get in the Twin Cities is here in Brooklyn Park,” said Conrad about Lemon Grass. “They’ve got so many great options. They’ve got sushi, they’ve got pad Thai. Everything you’re looking for, egg rolls, wontons.”
Another example is Crazy Cajun.
“It’s probably some of the most authentic Cajun cuisine you can get in the Twin Cities. It’s actually a really popular spot for some of the Minnesota Vikings,” said Conrad. “They’ve got your New Orleans classics, like po’ boys and jambalaya. They’ve got fried gator and catfish, so a lot of unique things you can’t really get anywhere else.”
Conrad also listed Fat Nat’s Eggs, a popular cozy diner breakfast spot; Fat Chance, a popular sandwich shop; and Wagner’s Drive-In, a community favorite for 35 years, which was recently named one of the best roadside restaurants in America by Cheapism.com.
And you may not realize Brooklyn Park has several food trucks too. G’adys offers authentic Mexican fare near the Menards parking lot.
Minneapolis Northwest offers a dining blog for top spots in the northwest metro, including several options in Brooklyn Park.