The Lowbrow – Minneapolis


He did it again!

My husband wanted to surprise me with a new restaurant. On a random weeknight, he asked me if I wanted to go to La Chaya. I assessed my calories for the day and took a look at their online menu again – a great tip for healthy dining out.

“Sure!” I said.

However, when we made our way to south Minneapolis, we did not stop at La Chaya. We kept on going.

“Where are we going?”

He just laughed.

Upon arrival, we drove around the neighborhood for a place to park and found a spot right behind a big truck marked FBI. Huh? Let’s just say it wasn’t the FBI. A little bit of profanity in the tagline below the initials.

Anyway, at this point, I still didn’t know the restaurant until we walked up to it –  The Lowbrow. I hadn’t heard of it! I swear, South Minneapolis doesn’t get any recognition for all of the great little restaurants dotting the neighborhood streets. I might just have to start a blog on South Minneapolis. 😉

When we sat down, I was pleased to see that there were mostly Minnesota craft beers on tap:

Almost all MN beers on tap. None of that light crap.

I looked at their selection of wines, too, and just as I was about to decide, Rob ordered for me:

“We’d like one each of the Fox Barrel Ciders, please.”

Then he told me that this is one of the reasons he wanted to come here. When we went to the Twisted Fork Grille, we were anxious to try the Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear Cider on tap. But they were sold out. At The Lowbrow, the Fox Barrel Ciders are sold by the bottle, but they are on their regular beverage menu. Sure, $12  may seem like a lot for a beverage. However, these are 22-ouncers. If we each would have two drinks, in Minneapolis that comes to about $12 anyway. The plan was to pour half of one cider in our glasses and then switch. {No, not mix them. Basically, we each get to have half of each bottle to try.}

Fox Barrel Ginger & Blackcurrant “Cidery Reserve” unfiltered Pear Cider with organic honey – Colfax, CA

Okay, so these pear ciders weren’t from Minnesota, but we’d never found nor had them before. Besides, I’m not a fan of Crispin. Anyone who thinks you need… no, encourages you to put cider over ice is crazy. In essence, they don’t want you to taste their beverage, but drown out the flavors. There’s a reason light beers are served “ice cold”. I fear this is a new phenomenon catching on with cider because bartenders have been asking us more and more frequently if we want a glass of ice with our cider. 😦 Yes, cider should be chilled, but not diluted over ice. But I digress…

Fox Barrel Rhubarb & Elderberry “Cidery Reserve” unfiltered Pear Cider with organic honey – Colfax, CA

The Verdict? Both pear ciders were very, very good! I think that I liked the Rhubarb one a bit better just because the Ginger one was a bit too gingery for me. However, Rob said he thinks he liked the Ginger one a little better. This surprised me, because he hates when I cook with ginger! {Maybe he just hates when I cook. ;)} Nonetheless, we’d drink either of the two again any day.

By now, you’ve probably noticed the bar top in the photos. If not, look a little more closely:

Baseball cards make the bar top! This is a good use for them – sports cards don’t have much value these days.

As for the food, I love The Lowbrow’s philosophy:

“The Lowbrow is committed to bringing scratch-made comfort food to your plate using locally farmed, sustainably grown ingredients.  We proudly offer gluten-free and vegetarian options as well.”

Anytime a restaurant is using fresh, high-quality ingredients and supporting the local community, I am in! I wanted to make a good choice that night, knowing my calorie alottment remaining. However, Rob told me that this place is known for their grilled cheese. Okay, so at least I got it with salad instead of fries and had them put tomato in the grilled cheese. A compromise, right?

Grilled cheese – choice of Wisconsin Cheddar, Swiss or both. Um duh – BOTH!

Rob got a burger and fries. He decided to cut the burger in half so we could each swap halves!

The Lowbrow Burger + Chipotle Gouda

“All Burgers at The Lowbrow are made with 100% grass-fed Minnesota Beef.”

Food Verdict:

  • The grilled cheese was very good, but not nearly the best I’ve ever had. Rob loved it and I think it was his favorite grilled cheese ever, despite “ruining it” with tomatoes. Hey, I held off on the avocado, babe.
  • I’m accustomed to getting greens now when they are offered. Sometimes they are drizzled with a lovely vinaigrette, like at Pardon My French. However, the dresing here didn’t really suit me. So the greens sat.
  • You won’t believe we are going to say this, but we found the fries a bit too salty. Yes, over-seasoned.
  • The burger was a good quality basic one. I didn’t really taste the chipotle gouda. And while we could tell that the meat was great quality and was perfectly cooked to our liking, it wasn’t seasoned. Yes, under-seasoned.

If we go back, I’m sure Rob will have another grilled cheese. I will try something else on the menu and maybe one of their specialty cocktails. It looks like a great place for brunch!

What is your favorite grilled cheese or cider?



11 responses »

  1. Hand me over some of that rhubarb cider! I have a craving now. Never heard of the Lowbrow but then again, I’m not all that familiar with Minnesota yet…but I should since it’s our 4th year in the state. I think we’ll give that place a try next time we’re up there. I like their philosophy too and we love a good beer or cider.

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  3. Thanks for the review of the Lowbrow. I’ve been living out of MN for about 11 years now and am going to be visiting soon and may just try this place, if only for the cider. Would you recommend any other places?

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