Last weekend we celebrated my husband’s birthday. Our friends led us on a little bar crawl through downtown Fargo. We trounced from highbrow to pickled eggs, through the winter’s first snowstorm.

The Lobby Bar at The Radisson Hotel

Setting The Scene:
This may be the newest joint in Fargo. Small nook with large glass windows that look onto the street. Tranquil and quiet. Older clientele. Surprising bathroom. Walls covered, floor to ceiling, in small, shiny, silver tiles.

A shrimp cocktail. Seafood was fresh, with a nice texture. Upon delivery, our friend commented, “I think there’s too much space between the shrimp.”

Spicy Bloody Mary. Really, quite spicy. Did not taste like a mix. Liked it.

The rest of the bar menu included three varieties of sliders, several pizzas, and risotto, among other options. Several chalkboard specials. Limited fried foods.

Amiable. Attentive.

Closing Thoughts:
A decent option if one is looking for a quiet, secluded place. Wish they’d post a menu online.

Pickled Parrot

Setting The Scene:
Any fraternity/sorority house’s fantasy basement. Equipped with a bar shaped like a giant horseshoe that’s sunken into the floor, a stage, and a large dance floor. I ogled the large boxing glove connected to a weird, coin-operated game. Wonder how many drunk people ignore the prominent, written disclaimer.

A lively band of young man played ska in NDSU shirts, while drunk santas danced.


Jake took advantage of the birthday special, a two for one. We chose the mysterious, Saturday evening special. A Chuck Norris shot.

UV Cherry vodka + energy drink. Think one step above cough syrup. It took me the entire hour to finish the shot. Probably better shot, not sipped. At least I felt a little perkier.

Menu is basic bar food. Burgers, fried stuff, and sandwiches.

We shared a basket of crispy tater tots. Oil tasted a little old, but after a Chuck Norris punch to the trachea, each bite felt like a massage.

Our North Dakotan friends introduced us to pickled eggs. They tasted less terrifying than their bile-yellow color indicated. Kind of like a sour egg. The rubbery texture of the egg whites was more freaky than the flavor. I submerged the rest of my portion in cheap ranch while my husband went back for seconds.

Avril Lavigne, pre-Chad Kroeger.

Closing Thoughts: 
A great set-up to enjoy live music. Made me reminisce about my college years and wish our little college town had a place like this. Instead, we shuffled between the bar with no food, the bar with food but no live music, and Joe’s, the place where girls stood on a bar and danced around poles.
Setting the scene: 
Classy without being pretentious. Cozier than the Hodo.
Last summer, we visited Monte’s. I thought the cocktails were excellent, but the entrees seemed  overpriced and “meh.” Now, there’s a new chef with a new menu. We shared a plate of Fried Pacific Oysters and Calamari, $10, and a burger. The calamari tasted fresh and was tender.

We liked the horseradish and mustard sauce and the fresh salad greens. The tart dressing dressing balanced the fried seafood. My single bite of a fried oyster tasted murky and lingered in my mouth. Two lonely oysters remained on the plate.

The burger was fantastic. Arrived medium well. Forgot to specify doneness/wasn’t asked. Garnished with a tomato slice and romaine leaves drizzled in balsamic. A worthy contender for my favorite burgers in Fargo, along with Mezzaluna’s M Burger and the Hodo’s Bison Burger.

Homemade tater tots contained a molten-hot cheese, sour cream, and onion concoction. Like the best kind of baked potato, packed into a tater tot and deep fried.

Friendly. We arrived at Monte’s shortly before 11 p.m. The front of the house told us there was absolutely no food available. However, we were unaware the kitchen staff had told Jake we could place an order when he had snuck back to use the restroom. They did not act like it was an inconvenience, so we ordered away and appreciated their offer.

Closing Thoughts: 
Appealing atmosphere that’s comfortable for lingering. Would like to return to try more of their new menu.