Tag Archives: cider

The Lowbrow – Minneapolis

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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?

Cheers~
Carrie

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The Anchor Fish & Chips – Minneapolis

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My husband really wanted to try a place that was new to us.

He had heard it had one of the best burgers in all of the Twin Cities. As a burger aficionado, he just knew he had to try it out before he writes a guest post on burgers here at Season It Already! later this month..

For me, it was a surprise. He drove to Northeast Minneapolis {one my favorites parts of the Twin Cities}, so I wondered what was up his sleeve. And as we drove passed Anchor Fish & Chips, I knew that was where Rob wanted to go.

But there was a line of people trailing out the door.

AND

My husband does not like to wait!

{This is why we usually go out to eat earlier than most people our age. If not, we try to snag two seats together at the bar.}

He looked at the line and disappointment overcame him. I told him that we had no idea how fast that line went, so we had to at least go in to check it out. He obliged. We got in line and asked how long the wait would be. “Uh… Maybe about twenty-five minutes,” the gal said. I looked at Rob. He said, “Great. You can put our name down…”

WHAT?! Did I just hear what I think I did?

She told us we could get a drink at the bar if we’d like and either stand in the entryway or go outside in the back. Whew. Something to keep him occupied for a little while longer… 😉

The place was buzzing. Tables were full and although there were two seats in the bar area, we found out that people waiting would be seated there, too. We couldn’t snag a seat. A beer it was. I saw on the menu something I love to order whenever I’m at an English or Irish pub:

Cider

Drinks in hand, we headed through the restaurant out to the back parking lot. I saw people getting up from two or three different tables. It won’t be long now, I thought. Outside, the lot reminded me of a place where employees would go out for a smoke break. It wasn’t really meant to be set up for customers. {Maybe one of the guys out there smoking and on his cell phone was an employee?} We enjoyed the lovely late afternoon weather, but didn’t need to for too long…

In less than ten minutes, the woman came out to get us. We were seated and each opened a menu on the table. It was short and simple. To me, the menu items looked authentic from what I remember from my travels in England twelve years prior.

I ordered:

The Fish & Chips

How could I not!?

When a restaurant has the phrase “fish and chips” in it’s name, shouldn’t it be our duty to give their signature item a try? Yes, I am in the process of losing weight. No, I did not plan for these calories since it was a surprise night out. Yes, it was going to set me back. But honestly, I could not pass up this opportunity. {Call me weak, if you will, but I don’t look at it that way.} There was little to nothing of healthy value on the menu anyway. And instead of griping about Rob taking me to a place where he knew there were no healthy options, I decided to just indulge in the experience.

And it was worth every bite!

I was a little worried about how my body would handle all the grease. I hadn’t eaten anything deep fried in a long time {other than stealing a few fries from his plate here and there.} But I did just fine. Still, I know that I ate way too much. I should have practiced The 50% Solution. That is something that I would do differently if I could do it over again. But surprisingly, I didn’t feel stuffed. Maybe my long run after work had worked me up an appetite? Still, I do know that this was not the food to replenish my body. It’s not something I’d do every day. Knowing that, I enjoyed it and didn’t feel one bit guilty. 😉

I had heard that the fish and chips at Anchor were tops. However, I didn’t understand how fish and chips could really be different anywhere. Now I do! I really can’t explain it. The fish was flaky and not too greasy and the “chips” just like I remembered in England. You are going to have try them for yourself.

Since Rob is allergic to fish, he opted for:

The Helicopter Burger & Chips: Burger topped with Irish Cheddar, Fischer Farms Ham & a Fried Egg.

Actually, he opted for the burger because he had read somewhere that it was one of the best in the Twin Cities.

His verdict? Well, you will just have to wait to find that out on his guest post later this month!

My verdict: I bit into the burger and all I could taste was ham. Ham is fine on a burger, but I wanted to taste the burger, too. Maybe I got too much ham in my bite? Nevertheless, I loved my fish and chips more.

Would we return? Why yes, of course. It may be a while since I don’t need another 1000 calories for dinner anytime soon. 😉 But I did learn that if I’m going to have fish and chips in the Twin Cities, why go anywhere else?

The Anchor Fish and Chips will be launching a food truck at the end of May, too!

What is your favorite place to order fish and chips?

Do you make a healthier alternative at home?

Post your favorites in the comments!

Cheers~
Carrie