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Liffey’s Pub

2 Aug

Today, Lauren and I visited St. Paul to tour the Titanic exhibit at the Minnesota Science Museum (I touched part of the Titanic), but before that, we stopped for a late lunch at Liffey’s Pub in St. Paul, right down near the XCel Energy Center.

I ordered the Shepherd’s Pie and a pint of Boddington’s.  The food was excellent.  I am all about thick gravy, meat, and vegetables, so this was right up my proverbial alley.  And of course the Boddington’s is always a favorite.  As my good friend Patrick once described it, “it kind of tastes like air.”

I ordered the Shepherd's Pie, which came with a side salad.

I ordered the Shepherd's Pie, which came with a side salad.

Lauren opted for the bison burger, which she enjoyed but wondered if it was as lean as it could have been.  She also sampled four half-pint glasses of Guinness beers, including the original, the 250 special lager, Harp, and Smithwick’s.

Lauren opted for the bison burger.

Lauren opted for the bison burger.

Lauren also slammed back sample-sized Guinness brews.

Lauren also slammed back sample-sized Guinness brews.

The real fun was dessert.  The waitress talked me into ordering a 3-dessert sampler, supposedly small portions of their three desserts.  I anticipated little shooters or something, but I was shocked to receive full-sized portions of chocolate cake, apple crisp with ice cream, and a carmel apple cheesecake.  This was definitely the highlight of my meal, and all for only $6.99!  I made certain to hit the gym extra hard that night to work off what had to have been a couple thousand calories.

This 3-course dessert could have fed a family, but I did it proud myself.

This 3-course dessert could have fed a family, but I did it proud myself.

Aside from the food, I enjoyed the quiet, empty atmosphere of the 2:40 Sunday crowd, and the attentiveness of our vocal waitress, who did an excellent job with recommendations.  We tipped her well for her efforts.

Lauren:

It’s impossible to dislike the Liffey. I love it when I get the option to order a salad with a burger, and out of the kitchen comes a pile of mixed baby greens. But the burger itself was, unfortunately, very forgettable. For supposedly being a bison burger, it was incredibly greasy! I didn’t quite understand how that happened, unless it had been marinated in butter. Blech.

The real highlight of our visit to the Liffey for me, was the four teeny Guinness beers on a tray. Guinness 250 has just come out, so as a long-time fan of the dark Irish stout I had to try it. My verdict? I prefer the original Guinness. The anniversary brew had too much sweetness for me. I had tried Harp and Smithwick’s before, of course, but I enjoyed drinking out of the teeny little glasses.

When we go out to restaurants, it tends to be Ryan who wants to order desserts. I am actually not a very big fan of most restaurant desserts. I’m not a huge fan of dense, fudgy chocolate concoctions, and most cheesecakes you will find in an average restaurant are grainy and worth neither the calories consumed nor the money spent.

However, I can rarely resist a tasty fruit-based dessert. Don’t be fooled that I am trying to be “healthy” if I ever order a fruit dessert in front of you – I simply prefer desserts that are centered around seasonal fruit! So it was with gusto that I tucked into the apple-pear cobbler portion (middle) of the ridiculous dessert trio that Ryan was convinced into ordering. Nothing speaks of the approaching fall (and our approaching wedding!) like a spicy, fragrant apple crisp. Mmmm.

Ryan: Overall, I’d recommend Liffey’s for food and drink before or after your next Wild game.  4.4/5 Noms + bonus points for atmosphere and staff friendliness.

Lauren: Our waitress was very friendly and attentive, talking to me about the new Guinness 250, but the restaurant was also empty but for us. I didn’t care for my burger, to be honest, but the Liffey is still a great place to grab a beer and an appetizer before a Wild game. 3.5/5 Noms.

Town Hall

20 Jun

Ryan

After attending the Twins/Astros game on the evening of Saturday, June 20, Lauren and I met up with friends Christian and Jaime at one of our favorite local restaurants/breweries, Town Hall.  Located at Seven Corners in Minneapolis on Washington Ave, Town Hall has long been Lauren’s standby for excellent food and drink.

A couple of Town Hall's craft brews went down smooth on a muggy summer night.

A couple of Town Hall's craft brews went down smooth on a muggy summer night.

In my experiences there, I’ve found their home brews exceptional.  On this night, I tried the Oatmeal Stout and was once again very satisfied!  This isn’t the kind of place you should go to get drunk.  I think Town Hall is better for occasions when you’re going to just sip on a beer or two and savor the flavor.

I didn't think to get a picture until I was halfway done.  But, better late than never.

I didn't think to get a picture until I was halfway done. But, better late than never.

I had no choice but to order the Seven Corners Burger, the best burger I’ve tried so far in the Twin Cities.  Of course I’m biased because I don’t like cheese, so I can’t consider most people’s favorites like the Juicy Lucy.  The Seven Corners burger is a 1/2 lb. burger topped with smoked bacon and Oatmeal Stout BBQ sauce, served with a lettuce, tomato, and pickle.  I’m not sure what it is that makes it so good.  Maybe it’s the BBQ sauce or even the bun, but whatever it is, it blows me away!

Lauren

It’s true, reviewing Town Hall Brewery, for me, is like interviewing someone I’ve known for years. I took many a date there for dinner before Ryan convinced me to settle down. I particularly love the sidewalk patio.

Like Ryan, my typical go-to choice of entree at Town Hall is the Seven Corners Burger.  But this night in particular, I decided to deviate from the beaten path for something just a bit lighter.

Lauren raved about her Raspberry Chicken Salad.

Lauren raved about her Raspberry Chicken Salad

Don’t let the salad fool you — I stole at least a few fries off of Ryan’s plate. I loved this salad, though! The bright pink dressing was a bit heavy for my taste, as I usually prefer to order my dressings on the side and drizzle them on lightly. But the red onions had a little bit of bite, the blue cheese was tangy and the chicken tasty.

I think the Seven Corners burger will always be my favorite menu item at Town Hall, but for a lighter option I was very pleased with this salad.

Ratings:
Ryan: 5/5 Noms!  The food and drink were delicious, the atmosphere was great, and the prices were very reasonable.

Lauren: I agree with Ryan! I love this place. Reasonable food prices, delicious beer and a friendly, casual atmosphere.