Though outfitted with eight TVs and three supersized screens that broadcast any and every sporting event, Buffalo Bar and Grill is more than a standard sports bar. Live music rains down from the eatery’s stage, escaping from talented local bands and the karaoke-crooning vocal cords of aspiring rock legends. Guests can sip on a beer and nibble on mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers, and mini tacos as they try their hand at Texas hold’em. Hearty burgers and succulent sandwiches and wraps rehabilitate tired appetites after rousing rounds of pool, darts, or realistic video games that depict bowling, hunting, and spotting errors in the Wall Street Journal.
The ruleta wheel at Pancho Villa Mexican Restaurant sends tablefuls of friends into a frenzy when one of the bunch is chosen to take a spin. Landing on the right space in this wheel can grant the entire table free drinks from a selection of specialty margaritas and cocktails. This is just one of the ways the staff amps up the festive atmosphere in the restaurant—there's also karaoke every night Thursday through Sunday. And thanks to the flat screen televisions, patrons can keep an eye on their favorite teams as they face off with rivals or trade secrets for keeping their shoelaces tied.
Patrons come as much for the atmosphere as they do for the menu of chicken flautas, cheese enchiladas, shrimp chimichangas, pork ribs, and other traditional Mexican cuisine. When the weather's nice they can dine outside, where umbrellas protect their entrees from the sun's sticky fingers. Regular lunch specials and the Monticello location's lunch buffet make midday dining even more enticing.
152 Club Bar & Grill sates surly appetites with a menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and more than 30 beers. Start the gustatory sojourn with fried pickles, spicy battered spears served alongside ranch dressing ($6), or dive mouth-first into the Island burger, a half-pound teriyaki-smothered patty dressed in a ring of pineapple, a layer of canadian bacon, and a space suit of vegetables ($8.75 with fresh-cut seasoned fries). The Club Stacker sandwich stacks smoke-pit ham, thick-cut bacon, and turkey breast between three layers of toast draped in american cheese ($8.25 with fries). The bacon-cheeseburger pizza represents a symbiosis of sandwich and pizza, sizzling with grilled hamburger meat and bacon on top of a thin crust covered in six cheeses and hamburger pickles ($12.25). A long list of beers, such as Blue Moon and Michelob AmberBock, gives guzzlers a choice of foamy beverages to wash down their grub, and seasonal draft selections rotate like a protractor playing Twister.
•For $10, you get $20 worth of dockside dinner and drinks, valid Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to close. •For $10, you get $20 worth of dockside lunch and drinks, valid Monday through Friday from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. •For $5, you get $10 worth of dockside breakfast and drinks, valid Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The year 1927 saw Babe Ruth’s Yankees dominate pro baseball and the precursor to Big Louie's Bar and Grill—Main Street Tavern—open in Minneapolis. In addition to depicting athletes from that bygone era, the Big Louie’s menu catalogs an array of traditional American bar and grill fare. From boneless wings to fish ‘n’ chips, the cuisine roster has even more depth than the famed Yankees lineup of ’27. The restaurant further establishes its entertainment value by hosting karaoke and bingo and by not allowing recitations of real-estate-law books.
Hopkins Tavern gives customers plenty of reasons to stop in, offering 32 local, regional, and craft beers on tap and pub fare ranging from wings to cheese curds. But the staff knows how to keep patrons entertained as well as satiated. Along with daily happy hours, the tavern hosts team trivia and bar bingo nights. Wild fans can look forward to watching each game live on the bar’s TVs along with cheap domestic brews and shots to celebrate every Wild goal.
Conversation at Mainstreet Bar & Grill moves in buzzing orbits around pool tables, live musicians, and big-screen and projection TVs broadcasting Minnesota Viking games. Banter slows to a halt as half-pound burgers and chicken sandwiches arrive with occasional adventurous twists, such as sliced pineapple or Cajun spices. Button-tufted red leather booths line one wall, where patrons chow down under railroad crossing signs and vintage soda signs. Thursday nights acoustic open mic shows let songwriters try out new songs when cover bands aren’t performing past hits or reading aloud from Elvis’s partially completed crossword puzzles.