In 1962, Lawrence William Yanz opened Hastings Bierstube, where he dished out German delicacies such as bratwursts, Reubens, and 6-ounce sirloin steaks. After his passing in 1983, his sons, Jim and Mike, started two new locations before forming a fourth with a family friend. The sons expanded Hastings Bierstube’s already extensive menu, introducing the Taste of Deutschland sampler platter, which features a selection of wienerschnitzel, sauerbraten, and house-made spaetzle.
Along with slinging authentic cuisine, the owners send lucky diners on vacations to Germany during giveaways, which fall on special occasions such as Oktoberfest and David Hasslehoff’s half birthday. For visitors remaining on American shores, the restaurants host weekly events, including bingo, open mics, karaoke, and live music.
With views of the Mississippi River outside the humble, historic storefront, Red Rock Cafe mixes fresh ingredients into the three most important meals of the day—breakfast, lunch, and dessert. For breakfast, the taco omelet stuffs seasoned meat, pepper-jack cheese, and diced tomato in a soft, scrambled shell of three eggs ($8.49). The quintessential breakfast diplomats, two eggs, negotiate between fresh, gravy-smothered biscuits and neighboring italian sausage, onion, and mushrooms in the scrambled house special ($8.59 each). To kick off the lunch menu, the Rodeo burger bursts out of the pen as bacon, fried onion, and barbecue sauce ride a bucking third-pound patty ($7.59), and the Rachael substitutes turkey breast for the Reuben's corned beef and embraces a layer of sauerkraut and swiss cheese on rye bread ($8.49 each).
Hit-N-Run occupies vacant spots on both plates and stomachs with hearty pub classics. Cajole stubborn jaw muscles into masticating with starters such as wisconsin cheese curds ($6), or choose from among a mighty triumvirate of buffalo, Cajun garlic, or barbecue sauces to accompany homemade, hand-breaded buffalo fingers ($7). The Hit-N-Run club stockpiles thick-sliced turkey, roast beef, grilled onion, and cheddar cheese, all blanketed with homemade sandwich sauce ($8).
From its humble origins as a soda fountain in 1930s Saint Paul, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar has grown into a franchise with more than 28 locations all over Minnesota and the Midwest. As TV screens blast sports news in the background, patrons at each eatery dine on a menu of classic American and pizzeria fare. Thick, hand-pressed burgers form bunned towers with hefty toppings such as smoked bacon, haystack onions, and chipotle mayo. Families looking to bond can practice fractions on regular, deep-dish, or thin and crispy pizzas or group juggling acts with samplers of 27 juicy wings. In addition to pastas and salads, each location's bar carries a varied drink menu that includes draft beers such as Blue Moon and Samuel Adams alongside wine, martinis, and margaritas.
Jersey's Bar & Grill serves up plates of hearty pot roast, thick burgers, and crispy chicken tenders as live country and rock bands serenade crowds. Like Garrison Keillor's alternate glam-rock stage persona "Gary Sonorous," the selection of Juicy Lucys combines a treasured Minnesota touchstone with a touch of decadence. Beef patties are stuffed with provolone, applewood bacon, or American cheese before getting topped with caramelized onions, Cajun mayo, or grilled peppers. Burger aficionados pore over the customizable burger menu, building their own creations from multiple topping, bun, and meat choices. For breakfast (9 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday), chow down on omelets, hash browns, steaks, and pancakes.
Amid scenic views of the Mississippi River, the two-tiered patio and all-glass-enclosed dining room treat diners to breathtaking vistas of North America's largest river system and its mermaid inhabitants basking on the shore. Not just about the scenery, at Mississippi Pub, the cooks maintain a strong passion for the food they dish out. Plating traditional pub grub and fresh seafood entrees like fish tacos and shrimp po' boys, they take a fresh approach with their menu. A full bar, boasting bottled and draft beers, shots, and cocktails, complements hearty American fare, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and weekend breakfast options.