Bite of the Week: The Sloppy Hot Paisano at The Little Oven

Jan 09, 2019 556

If you write about food for long enough, your eyes start to adjust and you can actually start seeing the scene clearly. What was once a small constellation of bright, newly formed, trendy restaurants fades to a more tolerable level and you can begin to see all the restaurants in the state that have quietly served their diners for years or even decades—places like The Little Oven in St. Paul’s East Side.

There’s nothing whatsoever sexy about The Little Oven. It’s a quarter century–old, cash-only, completely traditional Italian-American red sauce joint located in a quiet neighborhood across the street from a meat market. The menu is classic, and the portions are big. But if you like comfortable—comfortable seating, comfortable service, comfortable food—loosen your belt a notch or two and settle in. The Little Oven is a warm hug of a restaurant and you’ll dine in saucy splendor.

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