Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bar Abilene - Minneapolis, MN

Our large kickball group likes to meet every once in a while for Sunday Brunch. Generally, someone picks a random restaurant that serves alcohol and as many as 20 of us descend upon an unsuspecting restaurant for drinks, food and fun. EJens was the ring leader this go around and he picked Bar Abilene.

I’d never been there, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I’d heard it was kind of a meat market club for dbags in Uptown (just being honest – my apologies to those I offend). However, when D.Rough and I rolled in to the place, it was much nicer and well lit and modern inside. People seemed to be friendly, even though there were 20 of us. We like that.

Our server Jenna hooked us up with brunch food and drink menus and everyone got to ordering. They have a bloody mary bar if you’re into that, and they also have some drink specials (cheap beer specials and mimosas mainly). D.Rough got a brunch margarita and I got a tequila sunrise – yeah – I’m THAT guy. I was bummed when the tequila sunrise came out without any grenadine to make the “sunrise” part of the drink. But we figured that’s either how they make the drink there, or they did it intentionally since it was overcast and rainy. It didn’t stop me from drinking many of them though, don’t worry. And for the record, D.Rough's margarita was surprisingly good - fresh lime juice makes all the difference. I'll get 13 of the margaritas next time, since they're on special!

The food menu looked much better than I had expected. The regular food menu had all kinds of things that sounded delicious. And then the smaller brunch menu has 6 items on it – ALL of which sounded incredible. It was a tough decision. We both wanted Tortilla Soup, so we decided to split a bowl of that. Then, D.Rough ordered up the Huevos Rancheros and I got the Chilaquiles (with extra bacon). See, a tequila sunrise and margarita were the perfect choices for our Mexican brunch.

The food took a totally acceptable amount of time based on the number of people we had and the busy-ness of the restaurant. No one complained at all about the wait time, so that was good. The food arrived and everyone was much more excited than I think they even expected. People thought it was going to be simple or crappy bar food, but this was the exact opposite.

The Tortilla Soup was much better than most restaurants I’ve ordered it at. It wasn’t mind blowing, but it was better than average – a welcome surprise which we will capitalize on at a later visit, for sure. There was a nice slice of avocado on the top as well as lime for squeezing into the bowl of chicken-y tomato-y broth.

D.Rough’s huevos rancheros were delicious. The chorizo was perfectly cooked and didn’t taste greasy at all. There was a healthy glob of guacamole on the plate which was very flavorful and combined well with all the other flavors. D.Rough was able to puncture both egg yolks on her huevos, which is a big thing to her and means they were perfectly cooked. This was on some flour tortillas with salsa verde and queso fresco, for additional awesomeness. There were crispy tortilla strips which added some great texture to the whole thing, as well. This was a great dish of food.

My own Chilaquiles I can’t say enough about. They are in the top 2 or 3 chilaquiles dishes I’ve ever gotten – and I order this a LOT. I thought it was going to be small when Jenna brought out a small cast iron skillet filled with molten cheese. However, as I ate it, I realized this was the perfect portion size for this dish. Chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican dish usually made with soggy tortilla chips/strips made so by melty cheese and eggs. I didn’t get much in the way of tortilla strips, but even if they weren’t in there, they didn’t need to be. The eggs had green chili in them and salsa roja, as well as sour cream and bacon. A couple friends tried this and said how great it was, as well, so I’m not simply biased. This was a fantastic way to start the morning, especially with the tasty strips of bacon they added to the top of mine.

Based on the comments I heard from almost all of our friends, Bar Abilene was exponentially better than any of us expected. And the best part was the brunch specials are all $5.95. Of course, the number of drinks we had pushed it way over the $40 mark, but still, the food is pretty inexpensive. Then you have to go out to the pay-lot in the back of the building and give them another $5… sigh…

A couple margaritas and tequila sunrises later and D.Rough and I headed home for some naps. Siesta time, suckas…

Top 5 things about Bar Abilene
1. Chilaquiles
2. Huevos Rancheros
3. Tortilla Soup
4. Super awesome staff willing to accommodate a super large group
5. Fantastic food menu, both for brunch and for lunch
6. The food is really quite cheap!

Bottom 5 things
1. Pay to park
2. Tequila Sunrises are not on special
3. People complained about them adding 18% gratuity to the bill, but that’s how it works with large groups, people – I would have given her 20%
4. No grenadine in the tequila sunrise
5.Beer specials were Miller Lite and Michelob Light, since the Coors Light was out…I heard people complaining about this beer special – I really don’t care about it, but I’m listening to the people


1 comment:

Kristi said...

I am totally starving...the chilaquiles look AMAZING!!!!