The human stomach is a competitive organ, eager to contest claims that it's been outsized by a person's peepers. Let your body's internal snack sack disprove the disparity with today's Groupon. For $35, you get $70 worth of steak, seafood, wine, and more at Jax Café, a historical dining destination at the corner of 20th and University Avenue in Bottineau.
Jax Café has been surf-and-turfing its way into the hearts and duodenums of Minneapolis since 1933, when the end of Prohibition finally let its chefs sterilize cooking utensils with alcohol rather than throw them away after a single use. Treat your liberated taste buds to a thoroughly modern tickling with a glass of effervescent champagne, versatile red, or intriguing white wine from Jax's extensive wine menu, best when paired with a plate of palate-pokers such as Jax's "famous" crab rolls ($8.95), N'awlins cajun shrimp ($9.95), or gorgonzola cheesebread ($7.95). But Jax Café's menu is best known for its steaks and chops. Carnal connoisseurs can get their professional-grade protein in the form of slow-roasted prime rib ($28.95) seasoned and served with au jus, creamy horseradish, and a baked potato; center-cut New York strip steak ($38.95) served with a baked potato; bone-in steer tenderloin ($42.95) topped with a giant mushroom cap and served with a baked potato; and twin lamb chops ($31.95) served with mint jelly and a baked potato. Seasoned seafarers, meanwhile, can pick out their own whole Maine lobster ($48), pan-seared scallops ($26.95), and rainbow trout ($26.95) out back before getting reacquainted with it under slightly more cooked and lemon-buttered circumstances in the burnished glow of the dining room. All entrees come with your choice of soup or house salad.
Since Jax's modest start more than 75 years ago, it has expanded to occupy the entire first floor of its charming brick building, as well as additional outdoor patio seating where diners may feast their eyes on the lush garden between feasting their mouths. Otherwise, relax like a digestively responsible turtle on a hot rock in the warm chandelier light of one of the restaurant's old-fashioned dining rooms. The family-oriented café also serves Sunday brunch, giving family-oriented families a good venue for subtly hinting at choosing a college close to home. Chef Bob Foster also graciously makes some of his most prized ancestral recipes available on the café's website. Reservations are recommended, so call ahead.
This Groupon may not be used on Mother's or Father's Day, though it can be used on Luke I Am Your Father's Day.
- Jax remains a special place because it is still, if you'll pardon the tired cliche, a place where everybody knows your name. Besides the food - Jax grills up a great bone-in tenderloin (a tradition that goes back to the first menu in '33, which featured a 50-cent steak dinner) and the kitchen knows its stuff when it comes to trout - it's the little touches that keep the crowds coming. – Star Tribune
- Jax's food seems straight out of a vintage copy of Betty Crocker's Easy Entertaining: prime rib, shrimp cocktail, chicken Chardonnay, broiled Parmesan-topped tomato, hash browns, and a steak-house iceberg wedge with blue-cheese dressing...If I were prejudiced against such traditional foods—and sometimes I am—I might complain about them being mushy, overcooked, and indistinct. But at Jax, I was surprised to find the shrimp toast paired with a dipping sauce that was actually spicy, trout so lightly cooked as to seem almost sushi-like, and a side of fresh veggies with an al dente crunch. – Rachel Hutton, CityPages
- The steak melted in our mouths and the lobster was delicious and fresh. Our drinks were well made. The dining room had a very nice ambience, an old style feel... – wyeth, Citysearch
- Jax has stuck with what works best and it has stood the test of time. If you have a chance to go to brunch it is the best in town...truly a cornerstone to Minneapolis dining. – matt5mn, Citysearch
Along with the end of Prohibition, 1933 brought sweeping changes across the country. It definitely changed the building at 1928 University Avenue NE in Minneapolis, which had been functioning as a hardware and furniture store for nearly a quarter-century. Proprietor Stanley Kozlak immediately went out and obtained a liquor license, transforming his retail shop into a bar and restaurant.
It would prove to be a smart decision—more than 80 years and three generations of Kozlaks later, Jax Cafe stands as a Minneapolis institution whose reputation has spread throughout the Midwest. This is thanks in part to singular touches such as those with reservations that are celebrating receive personalized matchbooks and a stream on the lush covered patio from which diners can net their own rainbow trout for dinner. It’s no wonder Travel Channel foodie Andrew Zimmern has gushed that this restaurant is “dripping with character.”
Part of that character comes from a certain adherence to traditions. Jax is furnished with patterned carpet, white linens, a grand piano, and a phone booth—yes, a phone booth—and the menu has the classic supper-club meals to match. Fresh Maine lobsters are kept in a saltwater tank said to be the first of its kind in the state, and the selection of Certified Angus Beef includes an 8-ounce filet the restaurant calls “the steak that made Jax famous.” That’s not to say Jax is stuffy or old-fashioned—the menu also includes roasted chicken breast with risotto, kids' meals, and craft beers served fresh from the tap, or bottle.
1928 University Ave. NE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418Get Directions