Saturday, January 25, 2014

7th Street Social – St. Paul, MN

It had been far too long since I had dinner with EnyaFace! She suggested 7th Street Social for dinner and we even picked a night that D.Rough didn’t have anything going on, so she was able to attend. She and I knew this place had opened and were curious what it was going to be like. The only other time I had been to this building, there was some definite weirdness (like me being served food during a wedding reception – NOT kidding). We walked in and I was happy to see the place had been deeply renovated. The bar area was nice and open and there was a smaller dining room – the banquet room is still there, just shut down and used as overflow on weekends and special parties. Once seated, we realized all of were the youngest people there by about 30+ years. The dining area didn’t have a real happening feel to it, honestly.

They have some creative cocktails, so we all found one we liked:
  • St. Paul Sour for me – Bulleit Rye, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup, wine float – odd with the wine in there, but I came around to liking it a lot by the end
  • Blackberry Old Fashioned for EnyaFace! – Bulleit Bourbon, sugar in the raw, blackberry puree, orange, soda – the sip I had was quite tasty
  • Cry Baby Cry for D.Rough – hard apple cider, prosecco, ginger beer – I really liked this and would love to have this on a nice summer day outside in the yard

The menu only has a few things in each section, so making a choice wasn’t too difficult. We asked the server if he had any recommendations, which was a bad idea – he read 90% of the things from every section of the menu, which took about ten minutes, and didn’t get us any closer to deciding what we wanted.

We all started with the House Smoked Salmon with all the garnishes. I wasn’t sure what the garnishes were going to be, but we had all of them. When the dish came out, I understood what they meant. There was a nice hillock of smoked salmon, next to two stacks of buttered and crusty toasted baguettes, a mound of capers, some sour cream, lots of chopped red onions, and a pile of chopped hard boiled eggs. Honestly, this was the best part of the meal. The salmon was smoked well and wasn’t fishy in that way that makes you wonder how long it was out. The toppings were delicious, even if we had slightly smaller piles left over when we finished it all. The whole thing was worth getting again.

I got the Flat Earth Dark Beer Pot Roast – Cygnus X-1 gravy and sweet butter mashed potatoes. The dish had plenty of food on it, but once I took a few bites, I was reminded why a lot of people don’t order pot roast at restaurants. Unless you have either awesome gravy or awesome pot roast, the whole thing tastes bland. The gravy had no flavor to it, not even beer flavor, which was the main ingredient. The pot roast tasted (and chewed) like it had been around a while sitting next to something that sucked the flavor out of it. And since the assorted vegetables on the side of the plate were covered in teh gravy, those were sort of ruined as well. The mashed potatoes were good, but those are difficult to mess up, especially when you add sweet butter to them. I was a little bummed about mine.

D.Rough got the Fiorenza Burger – country ham, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, tomato on ciabatta bread. Al of the things on the burger sounded like they might lead to a pretty good burger, but this wasn’t the case. The meat itself should have something going for it and it fell flat. No flavor in the meat. The two bites I tried were really lackluster, with the ham being the staring flavor of the whole sandwich. Thankfully, the fries were well cooked and well seasoned, so we basically fought over those and left some of the burger when it was all said and done.

EnyaFace! got the Mac and Cheese and was pretty happy with it. She said there were a lllllllot of bread crumbs on it, but once you got down to the bottom of the crock, you had some pretty good cheese flavor and a good amount of it. From the sound of things, not the best she’d had, but not the worst, either.

Somehow, we had managed to NOT eat all of our dinner by this point and still wanted something for dessert. The write-ups we had read before coming here talked about the best thing not he menu being the Nut Goodie Kro-Nut. …to which the server said they didn’t have any today. WHAT? Alright fine. He said the replacement was a bread pudding (my temporary favorite dessert for the past month) with a whiskey sauce on it. The server also confirmed repeatedly and forcefully (I’m not joking about how forceful he was about this): Raisins, but no nuts! Repeat x6. EnyaFace talked us into sharing it and it came out pretty quickly.

There was serious amount of whiskey sauce on it and surrounding it. It was drowning in sauce. But thankfully, the sauce was really good. And with that much, you didn’t have to ration it on a per-bite basis. The bread pudding was super dense and firm, but with it sogging up a bit in the whiskey sauce, it ended up being pretty nice by the time we neared the end of it. And yes, we definitely finished this dessert.

I hate to say it, but this was one of the more mediocre meals I’ve had. I maybe could have been able to foresee that, based on the amount of older folks in the dining room. We don’t plan to go back here anytime soon. We’ll go a little bit further down the road and go to Ras!!!

Top 5 things about 7th Street Social
1. Smoke Salmon Plate
2. St. Paul Sour
3. Cry Baby Cry

Bottom 5 things
1. Flat Earth Dark Beer Pot Roast
2. Fiorenza Burger
3. Out of their signature item, the Nut Goodie Kro-Nut
4. So many bread crumbs on the Mac and Cheese
5. Their website is a blog plage, not an actual website – pet peeve, sorry

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great to see you and D Rough, but I agree, it was "mediocre"!

That waiter was trippin'!

EnYa Face!