Our friend, Narren, was up here in the Cities for a conference last week. Being the good friend he is, he called us wondering if we wanted to get together for supper one night. Our answer was “Well, duh.” After winding our way through the maze of one-ways in downtown Minneapolis, we found Narren waiting outside of his hotel for us. Once he hopped in the car, his first question was “Where are we going?” Yeah, this wasn’t helpful. Lindz and I rarely go to downtown, so it’s practically a foreign country to us. So we found a parking ramp a little farther down the road and figured that was a good starting point. After walking around for just a bit, we discovered that we were right by the hotel where Lindz and I had our “stay-cation” (a post that is coming soon, i.e. as soon as I remember to get some pics from Lindz’ computer). At this point Lindz suggested going to Kieran’s Pub, neither Narren or I could come up with any reason not to, so that is where we ended up.
I’ve never been to Kieran’s, but I’ve heard about it constantly from friends who work downtown, as well as ones who like to frequent pubs. I haven’t heard a bad review, and after visiting, I can see why. Since we went on a Tuesday, it wasn’t very busy at all, which is exactly the way I like it. We were seated immediately and promptly placed our drink order. Both Narren and I decided to go with the June beer special: Brooklyn Lager.
As far as food, I couldn’t resist going with the fish and chips. After all, we were in an Irish pub. Also, it is one of those dishes that I use to determine the quality of a place. I use dishes that are deceptively simple to prepare, but if it’s done right, it’s wonderful. If it’s not done right, well, you can tell immediately. In other words, there really isn’t a middle ground for taste. The result? Kieran’s passed with flying colors. Easily one of the top 3 places where I’ve had fish and chips here in the Cities. I took the walleye option over the cod. No particular reason, just the way my whim was pointing at that moment. As a added bonus, I didn’t even need to ask for malt vinegar. They just assumed that I wanted it because everyone should eat it this way. I love it!
. . . So I guess I’ll catch up a little on my posts that I’ve been neglecting. I’m going to do the less involved ones, so don’t pretend there is any actual chronological order here. It’s just what’s convenient for me, and that’s what’s important right?
We ate out a couple of times at places that are worthy of posting. The first one is Mac’s Fish and Chips located on the corner of Hamline and Larpenteur in St. Paul. I cannot speak with any authority about any dishes beyond the cod and chips basket, clam and chips basket, deep fried cheese curds, and salt-water taffy. I’ve never been able to convince myself to order anything else because this subset of their menu is just that good. This is a place that I cannot possible recommend enough. BTW, chips = french fries in the British parlance for those not in the know. Oh, I should note that Mac’s wraps the baskets in newspaper like they do back in England. It’s a nice touch.
The other place of note that we ate at was Muffuletta on Como Ave. I had never eaten there before so I was interested in going to an alumni dinner that Lindz’s school was throwing. Ok, I was interested in going for a reason beyond just free food. Maybe Narren was right, I am just a food whore. But I think that is a topic for another post. Anyway, Muffuletta is a bistro style place with a globally inspired menu. Since the school took over the whole restaurant, there was a limited menu. I got the salmon wellington and Lindz got the mushroom risotto. Hers was very tasty but nothing I haven’t eaten / made before. I have to admit that curiosity drove my decision to have the salmon. Ever since we honeymooned in Jamaica where I had the most amazing beef wellington, again a topic for another post, I’ve been fascinated with the dish. The salmon dish was over some roast veggies and some kind of cream sausce that I can’t remember the specifics on. On the whole, the dish was good and put together well. My only complaint about it was that the salmon was over cooked. I don’t know of a solution to the problem, so while it is a critique, it is not a judgmental one. It is just something I would have liked differently. If that makes any sense at all.