Tag Archives: Burnsville restaurant

Mediterranean Cruise Cafe


It is time.

Rob and I have been going to Mediterranean Cruise Cafe for years. But that meant probably twice or so each year. In the last year, he’s finally discovered the wonder that is the Med Cruise, as it is lovingly nicknamed.

My favorite foods tend to be Mediterranean – tapas from Spain, salads from Provence, Italian pizza and pasta as well as pretty much every Greek delight you can imagine. Maybe it’s all that garlic. Maybe it’s the flavor. Maybe it’s the fact that it whisks me away to a warmer place that isn’t Minnesota.

Whatever the case may be, the Mediterranean Cruise Cafe has never ceased to please everyone we’ve brought there! The Med Cruise has been a South of the (Minnesota) River restaurant since 1979. I’d been to their small dive-ish restaurant in Eagan just once when I first moved to the Twin Cities. However, they relocated to Burnsville in 2009 after building a gradiose establishment that could rival any restaurant in the city!

Let’s start with Happy Hour. The only shame is that on Friday, Happy Hour ends an hour earlier. It’s one of the reasons we disowned it as a pre-poker stop. 😦 But the deals on signature cocktails and food are worth a stop.


They won’t always alert you of Happy Hour, we’ve found; so be sure to ask. For cocktails, we recommend the Manhattan (Rob) and Peartini (Carrie).

As for Happy Hour food, the half-off items really can’t be beat. First, I think Med Cruise has the best, creamiest hummus around. Rob loves to order the Steak Hummus, a small plateful of hummus topped with chunks of beef tenderloin and pine nuts and drizzled with olive oil. Also recommended: Mediterranean Flatbread topped with slices of gyros, mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese. Yes, please!

My secret Chicken Kabob Munchies is my appetizer-turned-meal that is also half-off during Happy Hour. Yes, that is $5.50 for all of this!


Chicken Kabob Munchies with Hummus & Garlic Dip – Reg-$11, HH-$5.50

I call it a “secret” because while many of the other entrees are $15 to $50, you can get this appetizer as a meal on any given day for just $11. It’s plenty of food and so tasty! It’s listed in the Appetizer section under Combo Platters on the menu:


The only thing we aren’t fond of at Med Cruise is the pita bread that they serve along side everything. It’s soft, boring and I picture it coming out a of bag, not made fresh. But that’s not an issue if you know the other secret:

Order Toasted Pita Bread with a side of Garlic Dip!

 When it’s just the two of us, we like to sit at the bar.


If you look carefully, you can see us in the mirror:


They won’t always give you a wine and cocktail list automatically. You may have a plastic one at your table when you arrive; but it is not all-inclusive. So be sure to ask for one – it’s extensive! I’m always discovering something new. Like last time, I found a low-calorie cocktail menu:IMG_2368

I tried the Mediterranean Magic:


Mediterranean Magic – Cointreau, tequila or vodka, lemon juice, club soda, mint leaf – 109 calories

I saw that the bartender had to look it up in order to make it. So who knows if it was the right cocktail I was served. At first, I thought it was only okay; but it grew on me as I sipped. Is it strange that I preferred to chomp on the mint rather than let it sit in my drink?!


Just like the cocktail and wine menu, you can probably stare at the food menu all day. There are so many items from which to choose! When you turn this menu over, the other side is completely filled with entrees including kabobs, steaks, seafood, just to name a few.


Other items we order often at Med Cruise are the Chicken Gyros Platter (Carrie) and Toasted Garlic Gyros (Rob).

TOASTED GARLIC GYROS 10 Toasted pita with garlic dip, gyro meat, toasted on the grill, garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and garlic dip.

Toasted Garlic Gyros – Toasted pita with garlic dip, gyro meat, toasted on the grill, garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, onions and garlic dip – $10

Ordering the Toasted Garlic Gyros is how we discovered the wonder that is Garlic Dip! With all of these winning dishes we’ve had, it really is hard for us to venture out and try something new. We have our tried-and-trues.

But on our last visit with friends,

we had a completely different experience!


It was our second trip to Med Cruise with our friends Jared and Matt. On this occasion, they wanted to order a Greek wine. To be quite honest with you, I had never had a Greek wine I’d liked.

Jared chose one to taste. Our waiter brought over two glasses and offered a pretty nice pour for each of them to try. I tasted it, too. There was something a little off about it. We all agreed that it had been sitting out way too long. Med Cruise uses vacuum wine savers for their wine. So you’d think that open bottles would be well-preserved. Still, a wine saver will extend the life of an open bottle; but it won’t keep it forever. I don’t think Med Cruise is in the habit of throwing any wine out. That’s why I’m not very fond of ordering wine by the glass when I dine out.

Jared still decided to order the wine anyway, by the bottle.

The difference was astounding! 


I absolutely loved this wine! It was medium-bodied with a nice acidity and a dry finish. It tasted nothing like the taste we were given. I imagine that Med Cruise would sell more wine by both the glass and the bottle if they just kept the wine fresh.

Now that I think about it, I’ve never cared for wine by the glass when I’ve ordered it there. I could barely drink the house wines I’ve tried during Happy Hour. And even when I’ve ordered a wine I knew I liked, I could tell hit had been sitting out way too long. Now, if I’m ever going to order wine by the glass, I just need to get the guts to ask them to open a new bottle. Yes, if I’m paying exorbitant amounts for a glass of wine, at least I can be given a fresh glass. Right?

To start, we ordered the usual toasted pita and garlic dip and also this:

KIBBE NIYAH NEW 15 Middle Eastern spiced steak tartar.

Kibbe Niyah – Middle Eastern spiced steak tartare – $15

This was so delicious, especially when slathering the kibbe on toasted pita bread with some garlic dip! I was really surprised that Rob not only tried this, but ate more than a few bites! I’ve only seen him try tartare one other time and he got sick the next day. After that, I thought it would be Never Again!

But even after those tasty starters, Jared and Matt went all out and ordered us a lamb feast called:


Just check the online calendar. I also love that there are so many healthy options on the menu. When everything tastes so great, it’s hard to choose another place south of the river!

From what region of the world is your favorite food?


Costco – A Restaurant Impression


I should have posted this one on April Fool’s Day.

But Rob and I only went to Costco for lunch for the first time this past weekend. So yeah, it’s no joke! I’m going to write about it.photo 2

Every time we go to Costco and drop more money than we expect, we talk about “someday” eating at the little food court.

This weekend, we did.

photo 1

 We chose:

We even split the soda {aka pop here in Minnesota} that was part of Rob’s Polish Combo. The Pepperoni Pizza was a little greasy; buy, hey, it’s pizza. I dug it.

Healthy? Not at all.

Tasty? You betcha. {That’s Minnesota-speak there, too.}

Cheap? Cheapest lunch date I’ve ever been on.

photo 5

Have you ever “dined” at Costco?




The Pear & Half-Priced Wine


Happy Wine Wednesday!

I heard on Robert Irvine’s Restaurant Impossible that the slowest night of the week for restaurants is Monday. It makes perfect sense. Weekends will be busy. When it comes to the start of the week, people get back to their routines and often reconnect with health or financial goals.

In Europe, you’ll often find restaurants closed on Mondays. You may even see that where you live.

But for those that are open, one way to get people inside…

Half Price Wine Nights

Monday just happens to be Half Price Wine Night at one of the most convenient restaurants for us South of the River – Roasted Pear. And this post is long overdue.

We’ve been frequenting this place for quite some time. In fact, The Pear (as we affectionately call it) has been in business for about ten years now – just as long as Rob and I have been together!

For us, this place is an easy choice. We can always get a seat, even if it’s just at the bar. We know what we like {and don’t like} to eat there. And the service is great. {Shout outs to The Michelles, Olaf and Dan!}

The Wine

So the wine list isn’t stellar, but it’s inexpensive. Actually, even when it’s not half-price, it’s affordable. My only beef? Reds are not usually the right temperature. They have what looks like a cellar where they house the wines, but it is not temperature controlled. Red wines should not be warm. They should not even be room temperature. Go for cellar/basement temperature and you are usually golden. To rectify this? I ask for a wine chiller to bring it down a few degrees.

My absolute favorite wine to order on half-price wine night is the Edmeades Zinfandel:


This is a flavorful wine for any restaurant. It’s any wonder why I choose any other wine when we go there on Mondays. I do like to vary things a bit and try new things. But a lot of the other reds on the menu, I have found, have that “sweet” generic taste to me.

Because we’d easily spend $25 or more elsewhere on a crappy bottle of wine any given night, we decided to try The Pear’s highest price wine ($50) on a half-priced one night. We knew it would be a much better value.


Only that wine really was a Decoy! The menu (shown below) said that the wine was from Napa Valley (most known for its cabs), but the one we received was from Sonoma. But it’s a region I love anyway!


One Monday not too long ago, the lights went out while we were dining at The Pear. In fact, the entire block of businesses had a power outage. Michelle was bartending and brought out flashlights for her guests. And some of us lit up our tables with our cell phones. However, when one diner left, the headlights of his car shown through the window illuminating our half-price wine bottle like this:


Actually, we see a lot of people who are dining alone ordering a bottle on half price wine night. I’ve even seen one couple who ordered a red for him and a white for her. Yes, they had two bottles of wine at their table. Why on earth? Because you can doggie bag it! Why not get what you like?

The Food

We honestly don’t love everything at The Pear. But we do have a few favorites that never do us wrong! First, you can always start off with a good bowl of soup.


Tomato Basil Soup

This is the best tomato soup I’ve had in the entire Twin Cities. {Sul Lago takes a close second.} When they finally put this soup on the menu full-time, I felt that it was the best thing they ever did. For just $5, you can get a filling BOWL {they don’t serve it by the cup} of Tomato Basil Soup topped with a grilled-cheese crouton. It is served with of a triangle of their yummy bread topped with herbs and served with a composed butter:


But at dinner time, you can’t order a grilled cheese with their tomato soup. 😦 Instead, I opt for the Cheesy Garlic Bread. Dip it right in the tomato soup. I’m not telling you that this is low-calorie or healthy by any means; but you won’t be disappointed! During Happy Hour, you can get the Cheesy Garlic Bread for just $4, making your entire dinner just $9 when you add the soup.

We are nearly always pleasantly surprised with their pizzas. {Note: We hear that you won’t find pizzas at the Brooklyn Park location. As I understand it, they don’t have a pizza oven.}


Reuben Pizza – $13.50
Thousand island dressing, corned beef, sauerkraut, five cheese blend and swiss cheese

The Reuben is Rob’s favorite pizza. It’s what he orders the majority of the time. The Thousand Island you see above is not how the pizza arrives though. While the crust is absolutely perfect, the pizza doesn’t always turn out consistently the way he wants. So he orders an side of Thousand Island, just in case. Before we boxed up and took this half of the pizza home, he poured the remaining dressing on top.

If I’m to order a pizza at The Pear, it’s often this one:

Margherita Fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella, and roma tomatoes 11.5 - See more at: http://www.roastedpear.com/Burnsville-Menu/Dinner#sthash.5tmnwn2W.dpuf

Margherita Pizza$11.50
Fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella, and roma tomatoes

During Happy Hour, you can get a mini version of the Margherita Pizza for just 5 smackaroos.

There is a signature item on the menu that cannot be missed:


Roasted Pear Spinach Salad – $11
Spinach, roasted pears, caramelized pecans, gorgonzola cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, Add grilled chicken – $3

I adore this salad! But I love spinach and always add grilled chicken. So, it makes me happy. The salad, I’ve found, hasn’t been consistent either. Sometimes it’s under or overdressed or there is a limited amount of blue cheese. You can always ask for the dressing on the side. But somehow, I think that’s wrong here.

We also have liked:

~ Cajun Tenderloin Bites – $10.50 – Spicy sauteed tenderloin tips with bearnaise and horseradish sauce

~ Roasted Pear Baked Brie (though it’s been years since I’ve had it!) – $10.50 – Caramelized onions and roasted pears wrapped in puff pastry

~ Rotisserie Chicken – $15.50 – Rubbed with a house spice blend and served with vegetables and choice of potato, as well as a salad to start

~ French Dip – $9.75 – Slow roasted beef and swiss cheese on a french roll with au jus (Ask for a side of horseradish sauce to give it more of a kick.)

What we have tried a few times at The Pear and haven’t really enjoyed are the steaks {minus the cajun tenderloin bites app} and the burgers. The fries aren’t memorable either. But we know we can get our favorites of those elsewhere and know what we really come to The Pear for that we can’t get anywhere else!


The Roasted Pear has a very nice Sunday brunch, something I’m usually not a fan of when it means a buffet. Not included in the brunch, but something I like to order is a Bloody Mary. It was my fave Bloody Mary for a while. It’s still good, I just have a few others that have topped it since.


Roasted Pear Blood Mary {meaning it belongs to the RP, not that there are roasted pears in it!} with beer chaser

Brunch is reasonably priced and includes the choice of sparkling wine or mimosa, their brunch buffet {which I normally won’t do!}, and your choice of a made-to-order Eggs Benedict on an English muffin. Once I get my complimentary beverage, I’ve got quite a variety in front of me. {Sometimes there is even coffee, too!}


What I like about the Roasted Pear Brunch is that I can put a teensy bit of everything on my plate. They even have their Roasted Pear Salad on the line! One thing I never order off of any menu is lasagna. But The Pear’s is to die for. So I can nab just a bit at brunch time, without ever having to order it as a heavy meal in and of itself.


And then there is dessert. I usually am filled up on my Eggs Benedict and one plate of food; but if there is room, I might try a couple of mini desserts to enjoy with my remaining bubbly.


We rarely get dessert on any given night. But if you do, you must try their signature Roasted Pear and Craisin Crisp. Per their website, it’s “Pears and cranberries baked with a crunch topping served warm with vanilla ice cream.” It’s not something I’d normally ever order; but our table split it once and I was won over immediately!

I love that The Roasted Pear incorporates pears, especially roasted ones, in so many dishes on their menu. We love The Pear for it’s location, friendly staff, casual atmosphere and the signature dishes that you can’t really find elsewhere.

Happy Wine Wednesday! Twin Cities peeps, stay tuned in the next week or two… I have a Half-Priced Wine gift for you… 🙂

What’s your favorite signature dish at a restaurant?

Do you go out for half-price wine nights?


Burger Jones – Burnsville


Burger Jones belongs to the Parasole group of Twin Cities restaurants. While there generally aren’t multiple locations of each of the Parasole restaurants, there is a Burger Jones in Burnsville as well as the Uptown area of Minneapolis.

At the Burnsville location {I can’t vouch for the Uptown one}, the moment you walk through the door, you see huge pictures of cows on the walls of the entryway. Okay, so we’re at a burger joint. We know we are eating beef. I get it. But I can’t imagine if we were at a Greek restaurant ordering gyros that we’d see sheep plastered all over the walls.

Am I the only one that finds this a little odd?

In addition, the walls of the bar area are covered with professionally taken photos of people. Not ones of customers or anything, but an entire string of blown up photos of people stuffing burgers into their faces or licking their lips.

Also weird. 

And not very appetizing.

Despite these oddities, we keep going back. Why?

When I sit down and look at the line of taps to choose from, all is right with the world:

Burger Jones has an lengthy list of cocktails and beers.

There’s another line of taps on the other side of the bar. And while it’s not the biggest tap selection I’ve seen, it’s one of the best “South of the River”. {South of the River = the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburbs south of the Minnesota River}.

It’s also only one of two restaurants “South of the River” that I know of that serves Strongbow Cider {in the can}. Still, I can honestly say that I’d save the Strongbow for the other establishment. There are just so many tap beer options here, that you wouldn’t find there. And there seems to be a newer one added each time we return. One of my favorites is:

Summit Oatmeal Stout

Again, it’s the only place “South of the River” that I know of that has this beer on tap. In fact, it’s tough to find Summit Oatmeal Stout on tap anywhere. That saddena me since it’s one of Summit’s best-brewed and most flavorful beers, in my opinion. {I’m sorry, even as an IPA lover, the the new Sága just doesn’t cut it for me!}

There are some fun cocktails on the menu, too:

Lake Street Lemonade

Sucker Punch

But my favorite of all is the St. Germain Sangria! It was taken off the menu for the winter last year. Then, this summer they added a peach sangria instead. I still haven’t tried that one because I continue to ask them to make me the St. Germain Sangria! Seriously, just ask for it and they’ll make it. If they don’t, they might be a newbie. But in my opinion, it’s the best Sangria ever.

Sangria made with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Of course, with a name like Burger Jones, you just gotta order a burger. Choose one on the menu already concocted or build your own:

There is also a new Burger of the Month every month. However, we often forget about it. For some reason, when we eat at the bar, we are rarely informed of the BOTM. We usually think of it after we’ve already ordered or eaten. But there was one occasion when we remembered to ask and Rob ended up ordering it:

Philly Cheese Burger with cheese sauce, onions, and peppers

Rob said it was just okay. To be honest, the burgers here are good, but not really great. You have the choice of ordering your burger pink or no pink. Pretty straight-forward. Though, I’ve found that there is never enough cheese, at least not enough so you can taste it. Why pay more for the ever-flavorful Gruyere or Fini Aged Cheddar if you can’t taste them?

I’ve even stepped outside the box and built my own burger:

My BYO: Junior Jones on a Homemade English Muffin with Gruyere, Tomato, and Avocodo Mayo

I have no idea why I’ve ordered this avocado mayo so many times. I always think that I’ll like it because I love avocado and I loved flavored mayos. But each time, I find out that it has no flavor! I need to stop ordering it until they SEASON IT ALREADY!

And homemade English muffin? Not a chance. It tasted like the regular old packaged English muffins I get at the grocery store. It was barely even toasted. I’ve tried a homemade English muffin at another Parasole restaurant and it was fluffly, toasted and heavenly. There is no reason why they can’t do that here.

But Rob finally found his favorite Burger Jones burger:

El Cubano

El Cubano is topped with ham, slow roasted pork, Swiss, pickles and mustard.

The French Fries {the regular ones} are probably one of our favorite items on the menu at Burger Jones. You order them as a side item. Rob and I split one order between the two of us and as much as we love them, we’ve still never finished them!

French Fries with Chipotle Aioli

These fries are nearly perfectWe like to couple them with the Chipotle Aioli as our dipping sauce.

Another surprisingly yummy part of the Burger Jones menu is The Dog Park. Yes, that means hotdogs. They use Nathan’s famous all-beef hotdogs and can be ordered plain or with your traditional toppings. But I can get that at a ballpark. So let’s spice it up a bit!

Rob’s favorite:

The Pitbull – bbq pulled pork, fried pickles, slaw

My favorite:

The Chihuahua split, filled with cheddar and salsa verde, topped with a fried egg.

Other food:

  • Rob loves the Cheese Curds.
  • The Sliders aren’t very exciting.
  • Southwest Salsa Veggie Burger – just a frozen Garden Burger. Pretty dull and boring. It didn’t stand a chance against my favorite Morningstar Chipotle Black Bean Burgers I get at Costco!
  • Burger Jones Chili  – runny and greasy

It’s so hard to be healthy when eating out at a joint like this! Sure, there are some salads on the menu. Okay, okay. I’ll order one next time and report back. But then I’ll have to call it Salad Jones.

The last thing we love about this place is that it is dog-friendly. There is an outdoor patio that allows dogs. Before the patio closes for the season, I’d love to get Sophie Jean out there!

What kind of burger is your favorite?


Burnsville Ale House – Burnsville {Closed}


Lately, we’ve been hearing and seeing not-so-great reviews about the Burnsville Ale House, a newer pub-restaurant off Highway 13 in – you guessed it – Burnsville. Quite frankly, we don’t understand it. In fact, we’ve been going there quite often. I was planning to write a post on this place after we’d tried a few more menu items.

However, I think it’s time we set things straight.

And now realize that we have tried quite a few things on the menu! And just so you know that we aren’t getting paid by Burnsville Ale House to write this post, I’m going to include the great and the not-so-great aspects of this joint. You’ll learn why we keep going back.

Over the years, the building that now houses the Burnsville Ale House has changed owners and names several times. However, it has still remained popular with bikers. This time around, the renovation cleaned the place up a bit, but the owners kept with the same layout.

While we do still see bikers walk through the door, it really is a place for everyone. In fact, in this sense, I kind of feel like I’m at the bar in the sitcom Cheers when I’m there. You’ll see people from different walks of life just enjoying a cold pint. We often recognize the same characters seated around the bar time and time again. And if you become a regular, they do learn your name. The first time I told my husband that I felt like I was at the Cheers bar was when someone started to talk to someone else all the way across the bar. Did you ever notice that they did that on the sitcom? Patrons didn’t have to be sitting next to each other to have a conversation!

On our first visit, I was honestly stunned by the number of beers in their selection, or lack thereof. This place is called an ALE HOUSE. The Lyndale Tap House and The Valley Tap House each have more than 25 beers on tap, many of which are craft or microbrews.

Maybe that’s what I expected? Even Burger Jones has more taps and selection than The Burnsville Ale House. If you are going to call yourself in Ale House you need to offer up more than your usual contenders and a couple of specialties.

Still, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt here. It’s tough to open a restaurant. And having that many taps starting out is expensive and a huge risk. In any case, despite the fact that they may not have a huge number of taps, they do offer a little something from almost every category. And I truly believe that is more important. See, I’ve come around!

Happily, we were surprised to find this on tap here:

A pint of Lucid Cammo – Double Pale Ale {Minnetonka, MN}

We first discovered this Minnetonka, Minnesota craft brew at the Groveland Tap and fell in love. {With the beer, not each other. We were already married at this point. Uh, to each other, not the beer.} This is the first time we’d found the Cammo on tap “South of The River”, and as far as we know Burnsville Ale House is the the only establishment that carries it in the vicinity.

It’s Rob’s go-to beer of choice at the Burnsville Ale House and one of the main reasons the place has kept us coming back. But the Cammo clocks in at 9% alcohol. It’s far too easy for me to have one too many! So when they started to carry another beer brewed by Lucid, I gave it a try. Lucid Air: Unfortunately, the name is accurate. It tastes like air. There is no flavor at all, in my opinion. However, if you like lighter beers, but still want to support the local breweries, this beer may be for you. So, while I prefer to still have a pint of the Lucid Cammo, I’ve been switching over to the nutty Alaskan Amber if I decide to have another.

Join the Tap Team!

Then there’s the food.

The food really surprised us here! Rob, my burger-loving husband, is quite a fan of The Gaspar, although he’s also tried the Bacon Bleu and the Bruschetta Fresh burgers and has been pleased with those as well.

The Gaspar Stuffed with Tillamook cheddar & bacon, topped with caramelized onions $9.95

And while they have been experimenting with the fries, I think they have finally perfected them! These fries are so good that they make Rob’s Top 10 list:

Golden Fries Rather than describe these beauties to you, I’m challenging you to give’ em a try now. I dare you.

Rob also thinks this sandwich is the bomb:

The Bomber – Roast beef, ham, pepperoni, Swiss, Pepper Jack &
giardiniera with shredded lettuce & spicy mayo $10.95

The only sandwich I’ve tried is the Grilled Cheese:

Ultimate Grilled Cheese
Golden-griddled & stuffed with mozzarella cheese,
smoked bacon, tomato & fresh basil $7.95 {sans bacon}

Only I got the bacon on the side:

I like bacon, just not in or on a lot of things. I know… I’m the strangest person on the planet because of this.

So this is my Semi-Ultimate Grilled Cheese with tomato and basil only:

That cheese was so ooey-gooey that I really did want Rob to take a picture of me taking a bite, but the moment was lost…

Speaking of cheese, the only thing that sounded good to me one night we were there was a cheese plate. I didn’t have high expectations because, after all, this is a sports bar kinda place. We joked after ordering this Meat & Cheese Plate, that I’d just be served some slices deli meat and cheese plopped on a plate, like something you’d find at Cub Foods.

And that’s exactly what I got:

Meat & Cheese Plate
An array of deli meats & cheeses
served with garlic bread $7.95

For only $7.95, what did I expect?!

At least my expectations weren’t high. I wasn’t that hungry anyway, so I made a couple mini-sandwiches with the cheese, deli meat, and garlic bread. But by now, I know you are wondering when I’ve ever been able to eat healthy at the Burnsville Ale House. Well, I recently tried the Caprese Salad:

Fresh Salad Caprese
Fresh mozzarella with sliced tomato
& fresh basil, drizzled with herb-garlic
vinaigrette $9.25

YES! This is what I’m talking about! It’s not your traditional Caprese Salad, but light and refreshing. It was exactly what I was in the mood for that day. The flavors were great, not just some tomatoes and mozzarella atop a bed of greens. I hadn’t read the menu carefully, so I didn’t know that this salad was actually dressed with an herb-garlic vinaigrette. After several bites, the flavors became a little overwhelming, but not so much that I couldn’t finish it! I will just make sure to order the dressing on the side next time so I can control my desired amount. Yes, you heard that… I will order it again! That mozzarella was oh-so-fresh and had me flabbergasted why that did not end up on the cheese plate!

And something I would have never ordered, but was recommended:

Meatloaf Sliders
Topped with Guinness
caramelized onions & gravy $8.25

I’m so glad they were recommended! They were meaty, juicy and flavorful. They didn’t even need the gravy. They are definitely an item to order again.

Other Menu Items:

We didn’t take photos of everything. But here’s our take on some other items…

  • The Mad Dog {Annie’s Secret Recipe} “Beefy, cheesy delicious-ness on a hot dog bun!” $3.95
    • Was it wrong of me to assume that this was a hot dog? It’s not. It’s slop on a hot dog bun. I found it kind of disgusting. It seemed like something I might have thought about eating after-bar in college. But even that’s pushing it. I think I’d stick to pizza.
    • But maybe it’d make great hangover food? If you test it out, let me know.
  • Reuben Pizza Corned beef, 1000 Island, sauerkraut, Swiss & Mozzarella.10”/$13.95 ~ 16”/$17.95
    • Rob’s favorite Reuben Pizza is at The Roasted Pear in Burnsville. O’Sullivan’s in Gladwin, Michigan, makes a decent one, too.
    • Rob said said the Burnsville Ale House Reuben Pizza was just okay. He didn’t care for the crust. There are so many other things he’d rather eat here.
    • It’s overpriced. A ten-inch pizza for $14? A full-sized one at the Pear is $13.50. $18 is a lot for a 16″ mediocre pizza. We’re not talking gourmet here. This is no Pizza Lucé.
  • Adult Mac & CheeseServed with garlic toast. Macaroni with housemade cheese sauce. $9.95 Try it with green chilies & Andouille sausage for $1 more
    • Rob loves this Mac & Cheese when he adds the mild green chilies and spicy andouille sausage, giving it an extra kick.
    • He says it’s the best he’s had in Minnesota and possibly the best he’s ever had.
  • NachosLoaded with pepper jack cheese, shredded lettuce, fresh pico de gallo, sour cream & choice of red or green house-made salsa $9.95 Add Black Beans or Beef for $1
    • I see people around the bar ordering these all of the time! It must be the type of food  one instinctively thinks about ordering when at bar-restaurant like this. After all, nachos have become a regular part of any American restaurant menu.
  • QuesadillasThese are not on the menu, but they need to be!
    • A few months ago, chicken quesadillas were a special. They were excellent.I don’t know if the chicken was marinated in lime and cilantro, but those kind of fresh flavors were there. They need to go on the permanent menu. Like right now.

Speaking of quesadillas, one time, I decided to order the Traditional Tacos

Traditional Tacos
Ground beef stuffed in choice of hard or
soft shell with lettuce, tomato & choice of red
or green salsa & a side of black beans {not shown} $8.95

I ordered the hard shell tacos just because I prefer corn tortillas to flour. However, they do their hard shell tacos a bit differently here. I didn’t realize it until they came out. They fry their own tortillas to create the hard shell. If you’ve never had a taco this way, it makes all the difference in the world.

When Rob bit into that taco, his eyes lit up. He loved it so much that he said he’d never get a burger at Burnsville Ale House again. My husband not get a burger at a place where he loves them? What is this world coming to?

We’ll just see if he holds to that. 😉 While I love the green salsa, Rob prefers the red because it’s spicier. I tried it and tasted a hint of smokiness, perhaps it is made with chipotle in adobo.

And if you expect cheese on your tacos, don’t order them here. Can you believe that the first time I had these that I didn’t even notice that there was no cheese? It’s only when Rob ordered them the next time, that he pointed out this detail. This stereotypically cheese-loving Wisconsin girl didn’t even miss it. That’s how good the flavor of these tacos is here. If you really want cheese, I’m sure you could ask to add some. But truthfully, cheese is not needed. I can’t believe I just said that.

Service and Ambiance

We love the service here. It is attentive, but not overly fake. They know when to just leave you alone. It feels like a bar – like it should. But the bartenders do remember you if you visit regularly. The ambiance varies by time of day, so be sure to go at a time that suits your mood. An early weekend afternoon or Happy Hour might give you that Cheers vibe. The patio is very relaxed and perfect when the weather is great. If you got on Saturday night for live music, it’ll be much busier and loud, but you’ll be able to find a nice place to sit and relax.

No matter what, Rob tells his friends that this place is worth for a stop for a pint of Lucid Camo and an order of tacos. I wouldn’t disagree with him. 😉

Do you have a Cheers bar in your neighborhood?

If so, what do you like most about it?