Tag Archives: beer on tap



Saturday night, Rob rounded up some friends and we went down to Republic, a craft beer bar and restaurant. Rob had almost chosen it for his birthday dinner this week, but decided it would be more fun to head there in a group.

It’s the second time we’d been to the Uptown location of this restaurant. But all it took was one visit to put Republic’s beer and burgers on Rob’s Top 10 lists.

There are several things that I love about this place:

  • There are no televisions! – Thus, no distractions. Unless your mate is constantly on his/her SmartPhone, you should have his/her undivided attention!
  • The Simplicity – There is one menu with one side listing beers by category {Ales, Belgians, IPAs, Ciders, etc.} and the other side listing food by category {Daily, Vegetable, Beef, Cow, Pig, Bird}
  • Local Beer Selection – Of their 56 craft beers on tap, about of third of them are local – meaning within the Twin Cities metro. There are many more hailing from the entire Midwest.
  • The Beer Flights – They are exceptional here because there are no exceptions. You can choose any three beers in a flight of half-pints for $10.
  • Beer Feature – There is also one Beer Feature that is just $3 at any given time until it’s gone!
Republic Beer Flight - 8 oz pours of any three different beers

Republic Beer Flight – 8 oz pours of any three different beers

This is the route I like to go so that I can try a variety of beers. Jen and Kim did the same and each included a Cider in their lineups. Lately, mine have been consisting of the Porter and Stout varieties. But I did add the Steel Toe Imperial Red Ale to the mix this time.

The Food

I’d like to describe the food here as “Elevated Comfort Food.” I can almost guarantee you that I’ve heard that phrase somewhere else. So I can’t attest to its originality. But I do think it describes it well. Here are some examples:

Beer Battered Fish & Chips - Fulton Blonde beer batter, house-made tartar sauce

Beer Battered Fish & Chips – Fulton Blonde beer batter, house-made tartar sauce

When I asked Kim how her fish and chips chips was, she gave meĀ the look and said, “It’s awesome.” You could see that there were spices in the batter. And that is not how she described the fish and chips at Pat’s Tap.

Sausages - roasted potatoes, mustard

Sausages – roasted potatoes, mustard

Even though this was so simply described, our friend Mike was intrigued. When it arrived, I asked what kind of sausage was in the dish. He said, “Kielbasa, I think.” Rob hates the word “hearty,” but if we had to describe any dish as such, this would be the one. There were a lot of potatoes! Purple, Yukon, baby reds… He had a pile leftover after eating half of them and all of the meat. His wife, Lisa, said that they’d take them home and she’d make some hash for breakfast.

Poached Eggs - grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes, chimichurri {add steak for $6 or sausage for $4}

Poached Eggs – grilled vegetables, roasted potatoes, chimichurri {add steak for $6 or sausage for $4}

I surprised myself by ordering poached eggs in a restaurant. But. It. Just. Sounded. Good. I added steak and was glad I did. The grass-fed beef was perfectly cooked and maybe even “made” the dish.

The poached eggs were a little overcooked, in my opinion. I like me a runny egg and they were barely so. Also, I took a big bite of one and found something crunchy. After a few bites, I realized it was an egg shell and it was all dispersed throughout my mouth. I have never experienced this before. How could it happen? I thought maybe I was imagining it, until I carefully forked up another bite and found another piece of shell in tact. When I showed the server and asked her to take away my napkin which contained the remains of the shell-bite, she apologized; but that was about it.

That being said, those roasted veggies were divine. And I ate every bite of potatoes. I don’t buy potatoes because I could eat them in quantity with no regard to portion. So, indulge I shall, when they are offered on my plate at dinner.

Angus Burger - carmelized onion, bacon, aged cheddar -or- blue cheese {burgers served with a mixed green salad, sub fries for $2}

Angus Burger – carmelized onion, bacon, aged cheddar -or- blue cheese {burgers served with a mixed green salad, sub fries for $2}

And then – The Burger. Lisa, Rob and Jen all ordered one. Jen said that there was a good amount of blue cheese on hers. Other places are a little skimpy on that. And she went on to explain how she never had any patience to cook up some carmelized onions herself, but how wonderful she forgot that they are! Rob confirmed that it is still one of the best burgers he’s had in the Twin Cities.

What is your favorite comfort food?

How would you kick it up a notch?


Pig & Fiddle – Minneapolis {Closed}


Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve written a local Restaurant Impression. Crap. I’ve dined so many places I’ve wanted to tell you about in hopes that if you are in the Twin Cities, you’ll visit. And if you aren’t, you’ll be inspired to make similar dishes!

And since it’s American Craft Beer Week, I thought I’d tell you about a place known for beer that we’ve been to a few times… Oh, Crap… Last fall and winter. Yeah, it’s been that long.

Although, winter didn’t end here until a couple of weeks ago this year… Do I get a pass? Pretty please?

The first time we went to Pig & Fiddle, we were invited by our friends Wendy and Tracy:


Was this really last fall? It couldn’t have been. I was wearing short sleeves and I’m a FREEZE BABY!


More importantly, check out that chalkboard behind me. That is the constantly changing beer list! They have a wide array of taps. Here is a shot from our second visit to Pig & Fiddle when we sat at the bar:


Yes! You see Steel Toe Dissent on that list! That is where we discovered it. Steel Toe describes it as a Dark Ale, but we thought it was more like a Stout. {We learned on our Beer Trolley Tour, that that has something to do with rights and trademarks.} Yeah, now just count those taps of craft brews!

But back to our first visit with Wendy and Tracy. That night, Wendy and I opted for a bottle of wine. I KNOW! Pig & Fiddle is known for its beer, and we got wine. But it was soooo good. I love me a good, big, bold Zinfandel and that is exactly what we got:


Who knew that a restaurant with an emphasis placed so heavily on beer, would have a decent wine list as well? As for the food, the description of this establish on the Pig & Fiddle website reads:

Located at 50th and France Ave. in Minneapolis, Pig & Fiddle is the gastro-pub younger sibling of the Muddy Pig. The beer list is worthy and hefty with 36 taps along with a rural Euro-inspired menu.

Wendy and I both ordered:

GRILLED CHEESE asparagus, chevre, smoked gouda and caramelized onion on sourdough 12

Grilled Cheese
asparagus, chevre, smoked gouda and caramelized onion
on sourdough – 12

I love asparagus, so I liked that addition; but the sandwich didn’t really taste like a grilled cheese. I think I would have called this sandwich something else. It tasted like springtime! But the real star of my plate was the side salad! Sandwiches are served with “a choice of frites, a tossed salad or mashed potatoes.” I read what was in the Main Dish Tossed Salad and knew immediately that it was what I wanted as my side.

TOSSED SALAD aged cheddar, radish, toasted sourdough and shallot vinaigrette

Tossed Salad
aged cheddar, radish, toasted sourdough
and shallot vinaigrette

Can you believe that I loved this salad so much that the grilled cheese was an afterthought for me? I loved the chunks of aged cheddar, the crunch of the roasted sourdough croutons, the perfect blend of mixed greens and the tangy vinaigrette. It’s not very often I have radishes either. Did I mention that I kind of liked this salad? Yup. You’ll find it on our Best of the Twin Cities page!

The boys ordered the burgers:


They didn’t realize it until after digging into their burgers that they weren’t cooked correctly. Rob tends to eat all of his fries first. So, while Tracy made his way through his burger, he just thought it was undercooked. However, when Rob got to his burger and found that his was overdone, we knew what had happened. They placed the burgers in front of the wrong people. Don’t worry! The server and manager made it right for them!

The boys tried a few different brews that night, but the favorite was:

Great Lakes Erie Monster - Imperial IPA

Great Lakes Erie Monster – Imperial IPA

If you don’t like ales that are too hoppy, just give an Imperial or Double IPA a try. It sounds just wrong, but I feel like the imperials and doubles often taste smoother! Yes, there is still hoppiness, but in my opinion, it’s more well-balanced, despite the high percentage of alcohol.

On our second visit, I got the tossed salad as an entree and was happy, happy, happy. Plus that was the night we discovered Steel Toe Dissent.


Tossed Salad
aged cheddar, radish, toasted sourdough
and shallot vinaigrette
small 6 | large 10

Rob ordered something different as well and was also happy, happy, happy!

POLISH-STYLE PIEROGI mushrooms and sour cream 12

Polish-Style Pierogi
mushrooms and sour cream – 12

Our most recent visit was in January, when we decided to order and do a battle of Imperial Stouts! We wondered if the local Fulton Worthy Adversary would hold up to Michigan-based Founders Imperial Stout. Founders has a tough time making a bad beer.

I honestly don't eve know which one is which now...

I honestly don’t even know which one is which now… {Funny how they were served on Left Hand Milk Stout Coasters!}

The winner? Founders by .0000000001 %. Seriously. They were both that good. If you ever see one of these on tap, order a pint. They are hard to find and once they empty the keg, it’s usually gone!

That night, for food, we switched things up again:


I was debating between this and a British Chicken Kebab. This pita sandwich doesn’t seem to be on their menu anymore. I believe it was chicken curry, but I remember it being pretty light on the chicken. And there is that salad again!

Rob ordered this:


This was a pasty stuffed with beef and gorgonzola. Rob loved it, but I’m not finding it on their menu anymore either. Some items could be seasonal.

Still, looking at their current menu, I’m thinking I need to try this next:

Guajillo Chile Rubbed Rib Tips with rhubarb glaze and Belgian endive. Looks like another trip to Pig & Fiddle is in order!

Happy American Craft Beer Week!

What is your favorite pub fare?