Five Twin Cities Restaurants and Their Patron Saints



Lee’s N Dee’s BBQ Express

161 N Victoria Street, St. Paul

Brought forth from the smoker
White bread wet with barbeque sauce


Lee — St. Leander of Seville
534-600 AD or 601 AD. Bishop of Seville. Brother to St. Isidore. Known primarily for his work converting the Visigoth kings of the Iberian peninsula.


Dee — St. Demetrius I of Alexandria

125-230 AD. 12th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the Sea of St. Mark. An illiterate farmer, married fifty years and yet a virgin. Appointed Patriarch after fulfilling the dream prophesy shone by St. Julian, 11th Pope.


Barbeque — St. Barbara

Kept locked in a tower by rich pagan father. Converted to Christian, and installed three windows to honor the Trinity. When her father learned of this conversion, he drew his sword to kill her, but Barbara prayed and was miraculously transported to a mountain gorge. Her father pursued, got rebuffed, and eventually caught Barbara, and brought her before the prefect Martinianus. Barbara was tortured routinely, but each morning her wounds healed. She was condemned to death by beheading, following this martyrdom her executioner was struck by lightning. Also Patron Saint of Towers, Firefighters, and Bomb Disposal Units.




2451 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis

Or on a date night
wait-staff called in to sub
and schlep


Rinata — St. Renatus of Sorrento and Saint Renatus of Angers

The first Renatus was 5th century bishop of Sorrento. He is often depicted as an old man, or hermit. The second Renatus, also born in the 5th century, lived in France. After failing to provide sacrament to a dying child, the bishop of Angers, called Maurice, went into self-imposed exile, returning only after years of expiation. Upon return, he prayed at the tomb of the dead infant, and the infant was miraculously resurrected. The resurrected infant was called Renatus, and succeeded Maurice as Bishop. These two Renati merged sometime in the 13th century.



Jesse’s Café

1825 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis

Brought into this America
another brilliant searing grill
soulful space
American dream food


Jesse — Tree of Jesse

A pictorial representation of Christ’s genealogy. The patriarch Jesse is often depicted at the base of the space, with a trunk jutting from his side. Figures are depicted as branches (Solomon, David and Mary) ending with Jesus Christ as a blossom.



Lulu’s Mart

1626 Selby Avenue, St. Paul

Has tables now
and lovely tart hummus
eyes water in happiness
but teenage boys still come and go with weird regularity
Oh Lulu
you drug front of the angels


Lulu — St. Lucy

283-304 AD. Born in Syracuse. Lucy consecrated her virginity to God and vowed to distribute her dowry to the poor. Upon discovering this development, her betrothed ordered her desecrated in a brothel; the guards could not move her however, so firewood was brought in and a pyre was constructed around her. When she did not burn, she was martyred by repeated stabbings.



Uncle Franky’s

728 Broadway Street NE, Minneapolis

And last winter
I walked to work through snow drifts on Broadway
no sidewalks
no luck
and saw a lone cardboard raft of onion rings half buried
and somehow
I resisted them


Franky — St. Francis of Hoboken

1915-1998. Born in Hoboken, St. Francis first found success as a boy singer with Harry James and the Tommy Dorsey Band. Following a period of poor critical reception, including an ill-fated marriage to Ava Gardner, St. Francis reemerged in 1953, landing a K.O. double whammy in an Oscar winning performance (From Here to Eternity), as well as a new contract with Capitol, the label he would call home until his eventual martyrdom in 1998. St. Francis is also the patron saint of Birds, Bums, Chicks, Clydes, Dames, Finks, Harveys, Pallie’s, Ta-ta’s, and Ring-a-ding-dings.

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