A May 2005 trip
to White Bear Lake by Craig Randall
Quote: About 10 minutes from downtown St. Paul you will find a true unknown gem. Italian food in a fun atmosphere... reasonable prices... and some unique dishes!
So, where to begin? We visit my folks in White Bear at least annually and never consider the trip to be complete without a trip (or three) to Donatelli's ("Donni's" in the local vernacular.) The restaurant has recently doubled in size. It has been the same size for the last 20-plus years, then the salon next door finally moved, a wall was kicked out, and the kitchen expanded, and now you have Donatelli's Version 2.0.
Some menu items that come highly recommended:
The Donatelli's "Original Dunker" (I always get mine with meatballs - huge and delicious!)Italian fries: A thin-pizza crust covered with cheeses and accompanied with their house marinara sauce (or ranch for you ranch junkies) for dippingDeep-dish pizza: It doesn't matter what's on it, it's delicious. They used to put the cheese under the sauce to keep it melted while you're busy devouring the rest of it.Pizza turnovers: It doesn't matter what's in it, it's delicious. I recommend the sausage.Antipasta salad: ALWAYS done right, with tasty dressing and the right mix of meat, cheese, and produceBeverage: GREEN RIVER. Never order anything else. You can get Coke anywhere. When you're at Donni's, get the Green River. It's like sitting at a soda fountain. Donatelli's mixes their own fountain drinks, so if the lime-inspired Green River doesn't grab you, order a fountain-mixed Cherry Coke or Vanilla Coke. They'll mix up a Suicide or Super-Suicide for you, too. You can't miss.
There are more expensive restaurants in the Twin Cities, but I haven't found a better one yet. It has casual, relaxed dining; a jukebox; and four coin-operated black-and-white TV sets in four of the booths from the old days. It’s $0.25 for a few minutes of eating like you're in your living room, except the food's much better and you don't have to vacuum the crumbs!!! Enjoy!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 20, 2005
County Rd. E. & 120
St. Paul, Minnesota 55110