When Maynard's Restaurant opened its first location on the shores of Lake Minnetonka in 1998, it was a melding of the nostalgic and the modern. Sure, it was an old-fashioned diner, but one that added a gourmet flair to its casual American cuisine, from a pot-roast French dip to a butternut squash ravioli swimming in cranberry cream sauce. In 2005, a second branch opened in Rogers with equally comforting ambience, swapping out the lakeside locale for a cabin-esque dining room lit by a roaring fireplace.
When it comes to grilling meat, The Prairie Tap House's executive chef, Phil Dvorak, draws upon the traditions of Baltimore to craft pit meats, which he marinates for three days with a secret housemade spice recipe. Afterward, he slow-cooks each cut over an oak-fired grill, thinly slices it, and serves it on a locally baked Kaiser roll.
With this meticulous method, Dvorak sears 10 meats, including pork served with buttermilk slaw and beef served with crisp white onions and house made creamy horseradish sauce. The rest of The Prairie Tap House's menu sticks to more traditional pub food, albeit with an upscale twist, from Korean beef lettuce wraps to handmade pastas tossed with lobster, bacon, and creamy toasted-fennel sauce. Along with 30 wines, bartenders complement feasts with 35 draft beers and more than 50 brews doled out in bottles, cans, or a server's gloved hands cupped together.
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 birthday beer bash Fridays and bar bingo nights. Twins fans can look forward to watching each game live on the bar?s TVs alongside the affordable drink specials that flow during each live game.
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.
On May 28, 1958, Bob Kinnan welcomed patrons to his new bar, Bob's Lookout, with 30-cent beers. Two years later, Bob's mother contributed a concise menu complete with hamburgers, fries, and a porterhouse steak dinner. These days, Bob's joint?now known as The Lookout Bar and Grill ??offers a much wider array of drinks and comfort food. To create their from-scratch meals, the grill's chefs draw on Bob's family recipes as well as their own, which range from jumbo mushrooms stuffed with sausage and cream cheese to burgers infused with Cajun spices.
Not everybody shows up to The Lookout for food, which is now as renowned for its cuisine as its entertainment. The award-winning eatery's outdoor patio stands amid palm trees and a flower garden, not to mention a children's play area, cozy hammocks, and a horseshoe pit. The Lookout's backyard even hosts its very own volleyball court, where visitors can play pickup games or devastate newly-built sand-kingdoms. More festivities await inside, including weekly rounds of bingo, karaoke, and eclectic live music every Thursday?Saturday night.
At Malone's Bar & Grill, every booth, table, and bar seat has an optimal view of at least one of many televisions decorating the eatery. That means nary a second is lost watching sports and TV shows while patrons down beers, burgers, and cheese curds, or opt for heartier steaks and salmon glazed in honey.
Malone's pays homage to the neighboring movie theater with movie reels decorating the walls, and offers deals for guests that take in a movie on the same day as their visit to the restaurant. Additionally, the owners of the bar and grill routinely give back to the community by hosting fundraisers and sponsoring events such as golf tournaments, motorcycle runs, and 50-yard dashes.