location: st. paul
because several of us minneapolis people and/or transplants had never been, that's why. in fact, out of the 6 of us there, 4 of us hadn't been. al's, sure. because again, minneapolis. anyway, sole food isn't just about the high end places and/or the cuisines of the world.
and sometimes you just want breakfast for dinner.
which apparently works a lot better for me than breakfast for breakfast (or dinner for dinner, quite frequently, for that matter).
perhaps it's the venue. it's a lot less crowded here at dinner, not surprisingly, at least before the hockey crowd gets out on weekdays, it's on the register of national historical places, as seen in films and television, etc.
everyone else went with dinner food, some quite decent burgers, mulligan stew with tender chunks of meat and veg, and very generous root beer floats. all pretty good. cole slaw was served with the dressing on the side, kind of interesting. the flavor doesn't meld that way, but it's not ever overly dressed then either.
i had the omelet (as seen on alton brown's 'feasting on asphalt'). they take the eggs, run them through the malt-maker to fluff them up and fry the result in tons of butter. you'd think it would be greasy, but it's light and fluffy, probably due to the same science behind really good fried chicken not getting greasy plus the fluffing.
though you still walk out of that place smelling like grease. but not like smoke, too, which is always nice (probably part of why i was never here as an adult). anyway, back to the food. the omelet could've been a tad more done (the cheese wasn't fully melted). i should've asked for mushrooms, that would've kicked hinder if done right. the toast was perfectly done.
the hash browns were great. best in the twin cities that i can remember eating. perhaps you have to have 60 years of grease on the grill to get them crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. and they're not done via shredding, there's substantial chunks in it (in a good way). they make them with onions for a bit of sweetness and it way works. way tasty.
service is like you think it would be. the owner is behind the grill, there's the busser, and the server, who if they haven't been there forever, it seems like they have.
i'll have to find my way back here again when i want some breakfast at any time of the day.
© the bent sun as risen