Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fireside Lounge – West St. Paul, MN

D.Rough, and a number of other people, highly recommended the Fireside Lounge to me. Everyone said it had amazing breakfasts where you could have some adult beverages to wash down your steak and eggs. It wasn’t breakfast time, but I had heard there were other good things to eat there. We walked in and they were decorating for Halloween. As in, they had to move boxes of decorations off of tables when people came in to sit down. The staff were very apologetic and made sure they got things hung quickly and weren’t in the way. It was actually sort of fun, hearing them banter and razz each other’s decorating skills.

Deciding on something to eat wasn’t easy. They have all kinds of things I wanted. Turkey dinner special, burgers, tenderloins, fried chicken, spaghetti, salads, and a bunch of other things. D.Rough and I finally decided we wanted burgers. She got a Black and Bleu Burger – Cajun seasoned burger with blue cheese crumbles – and I got a Pulled Pork Burger – BBQ pulled pork on a burger. And, we had been talking about cheese curds for some time, so we got an order of those.

The photo here is two good buddies watching the baseball game on the television and drinking heavily. They were pretty hilarious with their bickering about sports and laughing about all kinds of things. It’s hard to see, but there is a cell phone on the table and they are on speaker phone having a conversation with another of their buddies who wasn’t able to make it to their appointed regular drinking session. It had potential to be annoying since they were both yelling loudly into their phone, but it was more touching that they missed their friend and were making sure he still felt included. That’s the kind of fun and friendly atmosphere this entire place has.

The cheese curds were quite tasty. A tad bit overfried, and still no match for the Minnesota State Fair cheese curds at the mouse place, but still delicious. They weren’t fried so much that the cheese had oozed completely out of them, which we’ve had before, but they were just a little crunchier than many places. That being said, we still devoured these things in lightning quick fashion and wanted another order (but we were responsible and didn’t…sigh…)

The Black and Bleu Burger was one of the better blue cheese burgers I’ve had. The presentation didn’t look like much, but the flavor of the cheese was a perfect match for the Cajun seasoning in the burger. A lightly toasted bun made the whole sandwich well above average. The Cajun fries that came with it were also good – a nice double fry on them gave them a nice crust and it was more seasoning than heat in the spice. Really good.

The Pulled Pork Burger was also top notch. More pulled pork than I expected on top of the burger and it was nice and tender. It came with a side of BBQ sauce that I think might have been Sweet Baby Ray’s (which I love) and when slathered all over the pulled pork, it was even better than I expected. The burger itself was pretty good, but the combination was even better. And I’m glad I went with the onion rings. They were clearly not from a frozen bag and had a lot of batter on the rings.

This was a great dinner at a local lounge. I won’t even call it a dive, since it’s nice inside, but it is a nice homey lounge that I’m looking forward to going back to. I’m guessing a nice substantial breakfast here, with A.M. adult beverages, would be just the thing for a weekend morning.

Thanks everyone for recommending this place. I’m just sorry it took me so long to get here.

Top 5 things about Fireside Lounge
1. Black and Bleu Burger
2. Pulled Pork Burger
3. Onion Rings
4. Super friendly staff
5. Atmosphere I could hang out in

Bottom 5 things
1. I didn’t get the coleslaw that was supposed to come with my pulled pork burger
2. Slightly (seriously not that much!) overfried cheese curds
3. I’m not even sure if the patio they have (in warmer weather) would be a better atmosphere than hanging inside with the locals
4. N/A 
5. N/A

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