Tag Archives: lonely blonde

The Post Fulton Diaries

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After our venture to Fulton Brewery, we sought out a bite to eat. We decided to drive around until we found something. We had nothing planned, so it would be spontaneous! This sometimes backfires when we I can’t may up our my minds.

We drove around and less than a mile away we passed the Smack Shack. Do you know how many times we’ve seen this place online and in local magazines?! We’ve heard rave reviews about their food truck and particularly their Lobster Roll.

As we passed it, we went in search for a place to park. {Note: Just because you can park, doesn’t mean it’s free. It cost us only $1.75 to park not far from Fulton for 3 hours. But it cost us $42 to park near Smack Shack. Why? We didn’t feed the electronic meter! DOH! I won’t be making that mistake again.}

We got out of the car and made our way over the block and a half to the Smack Shack. On our way, we walked passed Cuzzy’s. Oh no. Decisions, decisions. I made Rob choose. It was, after all, almost his birthday.

He said we’d start at Smack Shack. Maybe we’d hit Cuzzy’s, too. He wanted to check both boxes.

Smack Shack

I thought this place was named for the fact that you’d be smacking your lips because the food was so good. Silly girl. There is a another meaning to the word…

Smack: (Eastern U.S.) : fishing vessel, especially one having a well for keeping catch alive.

Okay. That totally makes sense now. No wonder they are known for their lobster rolls. The funny thing? I wasn’t in the mood for seafood. I have no idea why. Maybe it was because it was 7pm and I last ate at 11am and felt like I was just famished. I was also indecisive. I can’t tell you how long we looked at that bar menu.

They had a small handful of beers on tap, including the local Fulton we had just visited a few blocks down. I do love that in Minneapolis, restaurants are great about serving the beers from their local community! But at that point, I chose a Sparkling Sake instead.

Why? Because I saw it on the menu and I had never had one before.

I liked it.

It was low in alcohol.

And I like sake.

And I like bubbly.

Win-Win-Win.

Then we ordered a couple of small plates.

BRAISED BEEF SHORT RIB with Pickled Fresno & Ancho Garlic Mayo 6.95

Braised Beef Shortrib Taco with Pickled Fresno & Ancho Garlic Mayo – $6.95

There are no words to describe how good these are! The beef is tender and the flavors are so well integrated and balanced. When we raved about them, our bartender said that the smoked pork tacos were even better. We couldn’t even imagine that was possible!

Seasoned Fries 4

Seasoned Fries – $4

The fries were pretty good, but nothing to completely rave about. We didn’t finish them, especially since this was the point when Rob admitted that he wanted to go to Cuzzy’s, too.

We agreed that we’d go back to the Smack Shack, especially if we have people in town who love seafood!

Cuzzy’s

We walked into Cuzzy’s knowing it was going to feel more like a bar than a restaurant. And with that comes bar food. There were dollar bills all over the walls and ceiling, but nothing like McGuire’s in Pensacola, where we hosted dinner after our beach wedding.

It was the first time I realized why Fulton named their blonde ale the Lonely Blonde. A guy walked in, sat down at the bar and said, “I’d like a Lonely Blonde, please.” People are ordering Lonely Blondes all over Minneapolis! Clever. And I hadn’t even realized it until I heard someone order it.

We opted for a burger and tots to split. I never expect this when we mention that we are going to split something, but they split it in the back for us. Never, ever expected, but always appreciated!

 Black and Bleu Burger With portobello mushrooms, bleu cheese and Cajun seasoning 8.99

Black and Bleu Burger with portobello mushrooms, bleu cheese and Cajun seasoning – $8.99

This burger was excellent and hit the spot! I can’t even begin to explain how perfect those portobello mushrooms were. The flavor was well balanced with just the right amount of seasoning and blue cheese.

And although I was no longer hungry after we polished off our burger, when the gal next to us ordered a Mexican dish, I turned to look at it because it smelled so good! It looked fresh and yummy, too, not just slopped on a plate like you find some version of Mexican food.

Looking for bar food in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis or close to the Twins’ Target Field? I think you’ll be satisfied here. Maybe even impressed. We were.

The cuisine at Smack Shack and Cuzzy’s is completely different. Some would say that Smack Shack’s food is a bit more elevated; but for bar food, I’d probably say the same about Cuzzy’s.

In my opinion, while different, they are equally enjoyable. We’ll be back to both! The problem will be choosing which one. Maybe it will be depend on our food mood. But if we can’t decide, we just might have to flip a coin.

What are your favorite types of small plates?

What kind of food do you like to split?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Fulton Brewery – Minneapolis

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Soooooo…

We’ve been to a few of the breweries in the west Twin Cities metro area, but really that’s about it. It’s kind of hard to believe when we’ve been to five breweries in Charlotte and six breweries in Temecula!

My husband occasionally participates in a co-worker Happy Hour at Steel Toe, one of our faves in the Twin Cities. We also support a lot of local breweries when we are dining out.

But how is it that we haven’t made it to the Fulton taproom yet? It was, after all, the first brewery taproom in the Twin Cities!

Well, when Rob’s co-workers arranged an outing to the brewery and Rob invited me along, he did not have to twist my arm.

Fulton-1

The boys of Fulton made their first beer in a one-car garage in the Fulton neighborhood of South Minneapolis in 2006. According to the story on their website, Fulton served their first keg at Happy Gnome in October of 2009.

As they grew, they moved a few times to have enough room to brew. This means that they are no longer brewing out of that South Minneapolis garage in the Fulton neighborhood. And in 2012, they relocated to downtown Minneapolis, where they opened the first brewery taproom in the Twin Cities.

With its newly expanded patio and extra bike parking, Fulton has been referred to as an “Urban Oasis.”

And even though we drove there in rush hour traffic on a cold, cold night, I’d wholeheartedly agree.

Fulton-2

You’ll find the Sweet Child of Vine IPA and Lonely Blonde Ale on tap all over the Twin Cities Metro. But come to the brewery for some specialty beers.

We’ve found it on tap at some obscure places, but served at the taproom is one of our absolute Fulton favorites – the Libertine Imperial Red Ale.

Fulton

It was my beer of choice for the evening. The funny thing is that I’m not generally not into red ales. But this beer goes against any brewing rules. It’s a fall beer, generally available September through November.

We were crossing our fingers that our other fave Fulton would be available: the Worthy Adversary Russian Imperial Stout. We had it back in January at the Pig & Fiddle. We put it up against the Founders Imperial Stout which was also on tap that night.

Battle of the RIS

Oh dear, are they both heavenly! It was actually pretty difficult to differentiate between the two. If we had to choose one, we would say that Founders beat out Fulton by 1/100th of a point. In other words, we will always order the local Worthy Adversary if we find it on tap.

But alas, Worthy Adversary isn’t available until December. We arrived on November 21st. I guess that means there is a winter trip to Fulton in store for us…

When the taproom is open, a food truck is parked outside. While we were there, it was Lulu’s Street Food. Boy did that food look good! A couple of our friends tried it:

Mark ordered a Crab Cake Sandwich and said it was probably the best crab cake he had ever had! Nora said that her Wild Mushroom Hash would have been way too dry if it wasn’t for the runny egg.

I assumed that we would be food-trucking it that night, but Rob wanted to find another place in the neighborhood. Although I had a beer under my belt and was feeling almost hangry having had lunch around 11am, I could hardly say, “no” considering it was his birthday the next day and he had the day off. {Come back Thursday to find out where we dined post-Fulton!}

As Rob finished his last beer, I sipped on a Blueberry Cream House Made Soda {Yes! They have those, too!} It was a little over vanilla-ed for my taste. Then we stocked up on some Fulton purchases before heading our way out.

Fulton-3

Growler of Libertine + Fulton Pint Glass + the softest ever green Fulton t-shirt = awesomeness

Empty growler now = required trip back to Fulton.

Question: Who wants to join us?

Cheers~
Carrie