The Every Bar In Mason City Quest: Mulligan’s

This past weekend, we visited Mulligan’s Bar & Grill on our third stop along our Every Bar In Mason City Quest.

Every Bar in Mason City Graphic

Mulligan’s is a bar & restaurant located on the edge of town near the bowling alley Mystic Lanes. We had spent the day running errands and worked up an appetite by dinner, so we chose a bar we knew offered a full menu. We made ourselves comfortable on stools perched along the shiny wooden bar. Jake ordered his typical tap IPA while I asked the bartender, “What cocktail do you recommend? What’s popular?” At the last bar we visited, I learned that asking a bartender for the establishment’s “quintessential drink” is totally weird, so I hoped this was a better way of phrasing the question.

She described a toasted marshmallow liquor and recommended adding it root beer or ginger ale. I replied that I was game and chose ginger ale.

butterbeer watermarked

This is not a cocktail I’d typically order, but the rule of the quest is bartender’s choice, whether it’s a sweet mashup or bitey shot. Fortunately, I found that the cocktail tasted delightfully like butterscotch. Jake is a man who prefers his bitter IPAs and even he enjoyed this drink.

I awkwardly tried to make conversation by comparing it to Harry Potter Butter Beer and was met with bewilderment. Jake gently reminded me that I am now two for two on initiating awkward conversations with bartenders as we start this quest. He feels more comfortable gracefully blending into his surroundings and I make this impossible by asking for “quintessential drinks” and talking about Butter Beer.

Life lesson: It’s not necessarily normal to weave Harry Potter lore into every day conversation; i.e. I am not normal.

Speaking of normal, ranch dressing is completely normal in North Iowa and you’ll find it served with most fried appetizers. Jake tolerates ranch, but I like it so much, I won’t publicly admit to how many foods I eat it with. “We have the best ranch,” our bartender earnestly stated. Between my salad and our jalapeno poppers appetizer, I had lots of opportunities to try it for myself.

I divide ranch dressing into two categories: Good ranch & bad ranch. Good ranch is homemade, meaning anything ranging from completely homemade to mixed from a Ranch packet, while bad ranch is that sour, pre-bottled, shelf-stable stuff. Mulligans serves good ranch.

Jalapeno wm

Between the two of us, Jake made the best entrée choice. The ground beef in his patty melt was moist and had a freshly pattied texture & our dinner salads were crisp. We have to confess that while we ate our meals, we experienced entrée envy each time a server passed by with someone else’s very delicious looking steak. Our friends later confirmed that Mulligan’s is one of their favorite places to order steak.

The dinner menu is concise and lists specials for each day. On this particular evening, we passed on the Saturday specials of prime rib and crab legs, but would return to try them on another occasion. Other daily specials that caught my eye included broasted chicken and fried fish.

In conclusion, we found a warm atmosphere, friendly bartenders, a new favorite cocktail, and good ranch at Mulligan’s. Plus, lots of TV’s to watch sporting events, which Jake appreciated.

In other exciting news, Webster City heard about how Franklin County hosted the North Iowa Bloggers for a Harvest Blogger Tour weekend this fall and invited us to join them for a day of eating, shopping & touring soon. We’re also visiting West Fork Wharf in Sheffield, another reader suggestion.

The Every Bar In Mason City Quest
Burke’s Bar & Grill
Candy Bar Nite Club
Homer’s Sports Bar & Grill
Kozy Korner
Mason City Brewing
Mulligan’s Bar & Grill (11/24/2014)
Patrick’s Bar
Ransom’s
Sidewinder Bar
Spike’s Tap & Grill
Sportsmans Lounge
VFW Post 733
Willow Run Lounge (11/01/2014)
Wise Guys Sports Pub (11/08/2014)

Restaurant/Hotel Bars
1910 Lounge
Chop Eleven
LD’s Filling Station
Loredo’s
Papa’s
Pastime Gardens
The Quarry Tapas Bar
Rib Crib
River City Bar & Grille at the Clarion Inn
Whiskey Creek
Wok ‘n Roll

Reader Suggested Bars Throughout North Iowa
Bernie’s Bar, Forest City
Elly’s Lakefront Tap, Clear Lake
Lake Time Brewery, Clear Lake
Signatures Sports Bar & Grill, Northwood
Tanks Bar & Grill, Rudd
West Fork Wharf, Sheffield

14 Comments

  1. This is such a fun idea! And I totally approve of the Harry Potter reference. 🙂

  2. i love mulligans! They have live music there some nights. My mom songs there wth the Raiders and the Big Band Coliltion. 🙂 always a good time. If you are venturing out of MC, Sips in CLear Lake is great for drinks and food! The Tiki bar & The Landing in CL is also a great places in the summer time. Tanks in Rudd is a great local bar. If you go to Tanks, it has to be a Friday so you can try their ribs. They are a favorite among all. 🙂 love following you on this journey!

    • They have a nice, warm space. Thanks for the info on Tanks. We’d hate to miss their ribs. Those are one of my favorite foods ever.

  3. Tanks in Rudd does have the best ribs! They are served Wednesday thru Saturday. Warning. .come hungry as you will receive a lot of food (very good) at a low price.

  4. Why am I reading blogs while I’m hungry? Now I want cheeseballs!

  5. I see the bar inside the Historic Park Inn isn’t on your list…..It should be!

  6. Funny thing,this bloggers tour. In 2009 I was one of the first bloggers on the Bloggers Tour in Hutchinson KS. I was working in Hampton, and we decided to bring bloggers in for a weekend and partnered with the Chamber, Farm Bureau, Historical Society and others to create a successful bloggers tour. It’s been done well for 3 years! I now live in Webster City and was thrilled when I saw the North Iowa Bloggers participating in bloggers tours. They work! We’re very happy to have you coming to our neck of the woods and have a fabulous day planned for you.

    Deb Brown

    • Thanks for sharing Deb-that’s really cool to hear you were one of the first blogger tour participants and coordinators. I think I can speak for everyone when I say we are so excited to visit Webster City. Thanks for hosting us!

  7. we’re pretty excited to have you — lots planned for that day!

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