Monday, September 10, 2012

Hell's Kitchen

I'd heard of it, not sure what I'd heard, so when Steph offered me birthday dinner there for Saturday night, meeting there so she could walk and get her exercise, I had to both be prepared for anything and ask directions.

The good news is they have their own parking ramp. The better news is I found close on-street metered parking free (handicap sticker). They're on 9th Street by Marquette in downtown Minneapolis these days, down in the basement.

Given the name, seems apt.

The corridor is filled with decorations ranging from funky (light fixtures made of inverted wire cages which suspend silverware for a "fringe") to weird (cow skull painted red except for the horns). The ladies room had holographic portraits mounted on the walls, changing from old-fashioned formal sittings to skeleton, vampire, and axe-murder victim complete with axe in head. Creepiest was the stage. The performers were OK, better if they hadn't been amped up so loud and we hadn't been sitting so close. Behind them however was a stage-to-ceiling plaster(?) angel statue, downcast eyes, beautiful spread wings.  Ordinarily this wouldn't have been creepy, but I've seen too many Dr. Who episodes where they try to come kill you if you take your eyes away from them!

Now the food was great. Steph had their beef of the day, meaning they take a local whole cow and go through the entire carcass until it's finished, then buy another. A lot of pot roast gets served that way, but Saturday night she had porterhouse steak. It can be a bit tough since they buy grass fed rather than hormone-stuffed corn fed cows, but hers was just fine. I ordered bison burger, lettuce-tomato-onion on wild rice bun (ate half the bun for the carb count) with toasted blue cheese over the top. Yum! Tried the fries, which use larger grain salt, possible sea salt or kosher, and declared them good enough to box up and bring home to Steve. (There were no low carb sides.)

Steph also had a Manhattan with huge blackberries floating in it. I stuck with ice water, both for carbs, and driving after. Not to mention I still basically don't like the stuff. Don't feel deprived that way.

We had a nice conversation in the car later, parked in a scenic spot along Lake of the Isles. No loud music to interfere. She had to head home at dark, meaning close to 8, needing to get up early for her week at the radio show and needing to work on her script. They don't get all the info until the night before, like who's next week's guest, and she has to put together a perfectly-timed promo.

Would I go again? You bet! Oddly enough, I live -relatively -right next to Eichten's, where I can both see bison and purchase frozen bison burgers. Last time I was there, however, they didn't have bison on the restaurant menu. (I made the suggestion to them, so maybe by now...) The point is, I don't go there. Perhaps that should change. Especially now that road construction makes the trip nearly impossible. They need support.

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