Category: Bar food (page 1 of 3)

Really Good Cheese Curds: Pat’s Tap

Pat’s Tap has many lovely qualities.

If you can forgive Pat for preferring the Packers, you’ll appreciate her generous happy hour, Skee-ball machines and a patio welcoming to pets.

Oh yeah, and the food’s good too.

What I’m here to talk about today is cheese curds. 

It’s easy to make OK versions and hard to perfect. Deep frying battered cheese so that it has the ideal taste and texture is a complicated and beautiful thing.

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My First And Last Wondrous Punch: Red Dragon

I never want to drink another Wondrous Punch but I have no regrets about trying one.

Until this weekend, I had never had a “Wondrous Punch,” but I’ve always known the name. Most Twin Cities residents do. It’s the signature drink at Red Dragon, a dive bar located on Lyndale in South Minneapolis. As far as I know, Red Dragon’s always been there. The exterior looks the same as it did when I used to drive past every day ten years ago.

People tell their Red Dragon stories wistfully. They typically occurred a while ago and end in “I don’t remember much,” a brawl, or puking. “The Wonderous Punch is really strong,” they add.

Many things in Uptown have changed. When everything becomes newer and shinier, I’m drawn to establishments that keep serving what they’ve always been serving in an unapologetic, irony-free manner. They don’t serve kale salad or change their menu font from Comic Sans because they don’t want to.

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California Wine Country: You Have To Put Your Phone Away At Ernie’s Tin Bar

“I want to be a wine baron,” Jake stated as we sat at Buena Vista’s bar illuminated by the glowing picture of Count Agoston Haraszthy.

“Who doesn’t” I replied.

The evening before, our flight landed in San Francisco, thus beginning our road trip weaving east to Tahoe and then up to Portland.

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A Little Post About Taste Bar

This is a tiny post about a tiny bar where the classic cocktails are listed chronologically. My friend @ArsonistKitten told me so, but I found the idea so fantastical that I almost didn’t believe her.

They are. From the Mint Julep c. 1790 to the Cosmopolitan c. 1985. After going through a stretch where I felt jaded by expensive, unbalanced signature cocktails, I typically stick to Manhattans or whiskey. They never let me down.

I asked the bartender if he could recommend a drink based upon my affinity for Manhattans. He suggested the de la Louisiane made with bourbon, Benedictine, punt e mas, Peychaud’s bitters & absinthe. It was perfect and he was right.

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Don’t Smoke Weed On The Patio: Tropical Liqueurs

The warm welcome we received at Tropical Liqueurs curiously morphed into explicit instructions not to smoke weed on the patio. Then, with a wave of his hand, the gentleman sent us inside with a cheerful, “Have fun!”

We giggled as we heard him repeat this same greeting to everyone behind us. An establishment that has to work this rule into their greeting must have had quite the problem with people smoking weed on the patio.

Ever since I heard that Tropical Liqueurs opened a store in St. Louis’ Soulard neighborhood this past August, I wanted to go. Call it curiosity, or something. An entire bar whose offerings are composed of swirling slurpee machines filled with a rainbow of house-made alcoholic concoctions; what wasn’t there to be curious about?

Most know what raspberry lemonade and a Long Island Iced Tea taste like, but the names Tiger Paw, Silver Bullet and Voodoo Brew leave one with little clues.

The hilarious and sad thing about our first Tropical Liqueurs experience was ordering our Voodoo Brew while Hootie & The Blowfish’s “Hold My Hand” blasted over the sound system and finding ourselves the oldest folks hanging out on the patio.

Getting old is weird.

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Voodoo Brew tastes like banana and bubblegum. We sipped and shivered outside in the cold until we could take it no more.

Tropical Liqueurs’ motto is, “Where it’s always 85 degrees and sunny” which seems to be the law of the land here. There’s really not much room to chill inside by the bar (no pun intended), so you probably need to take your drink and go. *Addition: There’s plenty of seating upstairs. Thanks @nancerdancer

The evening dipped into the 40’s, but this didn’t stop anyone from hanging out on the patio and balcony living like it was 85 degrees and sunny. Also, we couldn’t leave the patio. Not with our drink, anyway. The employee sitting at the back exit conveniently reminded people who forgot.

The next time we visit Tropical Liqueurs, we’re going to remember we can mix different flavors. A handy chart on the wall by the bar lists prices and each size’s approximate strength. For example small ($4) has 2-3 shots. We split a medium.

Just as you’re never too old for pita pizzas, Hootie, or french toast sticks, you’re also never too old to get a kick out of neon slushies.

With a little love, and some tenderness
We’ll walk upon the water
We’ll rise above this mess

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