When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, drinks, and that’s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality, and, ultimately, customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Over the past 70 years, Dickey’s has been passed on to Travis’s sons, but not much else has changed—the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked on site, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu remains the same. Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.
According to the barbecue masters at Z's Smokin' Bonez, the only wrong way to enjoy barbecue is to experience it by smell only. So when they designed their menu of smoked meats, they decided to serve their house brisket, pulled chicken, and smoked pork in a range of styles. The most popular iteration is the house's barbecue platter, with racks of dry-rubbed ribs or choices of two meats paired with sides like creamy coleslaw or smoked Gouda mac and cheese and a slice of the famous jalape?o cornbread. But for more unique preparations, chefs load brisket, and smoked pork inside hoagies for heartier appetites and inside wraps for slimmed-down portions. Chefs even cut up portions of brisket to beef up bowls of spicy chili. For take-home meals or when you need to prove your sidewalk actually is hot enough to cook a meal on, guests can take home portions of meat and sides available by the pound.
Lone Spur’s menu offers a massive selection of tasty eats known to spark spontaneous “Yeehaws” and unprintable Deadwood quotes from dining city slickers. Master cooks harness a slow-cooking heat to ensure that each brisket emerges from the pit 14 hours later in a delicious smoky cloud that won't try to kill you like the monster from your favorite island program. After a lunch of sandwiches and ol’ Mexico bites such as the buffalo burger ($9.50), brisket melt ($7.95), and lunch taco burrito ($7.75), you can ride back through town for some dinner barbecue (any two meats, $12.95; any three meats, $15.95), which includes Texas toast; a choice of cole slaw, potato salad, or soup; and a choice of seasoned steak fries, ranch house beans, cornbread, or baked potato with your beef, pork, or poultry order. If you still miss the danger of high noon shoot-outs, Lone Spur offers a chili so hot it requires a signed release before consumption. And if you can't take the heat, try the smoked sautéed pork barbecue ($11.45, Texas size $13.95) or three pounds of turkey leg ($12.95) instead. For dessert, dive into a hot fudge brownie stampede ($4.99) or Texas saucy banana ($4.99), just like real cowboys did before they settled in for a night of pillow fights and painting each other's nails.
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.
In its cozy retro space, Town Talk Diner uses fresh, local ingredients to create modern versions of classic lunch-counter food. Tickle your tongue freckles with Town Talk's tasty frickles: fried pickles with dill mustard sauce ($7). The popular kitchen sink burger comes loaded with cheddar, bacon, and Chef Tommy Begnaud's kitchen sink sauce ($12). Meanwhile, the baked mac 'n' cheese unites fontina, asiago, gruyere, and cheddar with elbow macaroni and a choice of smoked chicken or bacon ($14). Lusty gents who normally pour a shot of bourbon with breakfast can skip a step by ordering the bacon Manhattan, a cocktail of bacon-infused bourbon, homemade cherry liquor, and homemade cherry vanilla bitters ($8). Alcoholic floats include the monkey business, which fuses chocolate, bananas, peanut butter, and bourbon ($12.00) into a lazy malted river. Town Talk's bartenders are the discussion of the village, having recently claimed City Pages' Iron Bartender award for the second year in a row.
There isn't anything fancy about the sandwiches at Maverick's Real Roast Beef Restaurant?and that's the way they're supposed to be. Mpls. St.Paul Magazine praised the deceptive simplicity of the eatery's signature sandwich, saying that it "will ruin you for any other roast beef sandwich." In addition to creating open-faced sandwiches loaded with mashed potatoes and gravy, the kitchen also assembles more traditional options with pulled pork, turkey, or tuna salad. Milkshakes come in 14 flavors and various side dishes?including potato salad and cole slaw?round out the menu's selection of classic, down-home comfort foods that are great for eating on a plate and not catching with your mouth.