Thursday, March 12, 2015

Half Time Rec – St. Paul, MN

D.Rough has mentioned this bar a few times since we met. I keep wanting to call it Half Time Parks and Rec, oddly enough. But recently, the people who do Smack Shack in Minneapolis (I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed THAT place – we love it) took over the kitchen at Half Time Rec. Since Coach and Bendy were in town visiting, D.Rough thought we should go there and show them a good time.

The place is basically an Irish pub, with some equally Irish fare on the newly revised menu. There were so many things for us to decide between that we had some issues deciding who was going to split what and if we should do appetizers. Hilarious (and probably frustrating for the server). We decided to get the Irish Poutine (Shepard’s pie gravy, bacon, and cheddar chunks) to split and then we all got our own individual meals.

The poutine was pretty awesome. I know there are poutine purists in my friends group, but these were delicious – I don’t care what you say. The fries are seasoned potato wedges and the gravy was almost a stew. So good!

Bendy got a corned beef sandwich, which had cheddar and cole slaw on it. The thing is pretty monstrous and comes with a “half order” of fries. The biggest half order I’ve seen in a while. She loved it.

Coach got the beer mac and cheese. It’s a serious portion of mac and cheese with peas in it and the top is covered in popcorn. Also he loved it and recommends it (though he wished there was more beer flavor in it).

D.Rough got the bangers and mash, which she shared some of with me. The sausages come from Butcher and the Boar and were so flavorful. I haven’t had bangers and mash in a while and these made me wonder why that is. Stupid decision on my part. Hahaha

I got the Jumbo Breakfast Dog – a quarter-pound hot dog wrapped in bacon, covered with scrambled eggs, cheese, and sausage gravy. The thing is monstrous and not easy to eat with your hands. There were a lot of flavors happening all at once on this heap and I almost prefer them all separate, frankly. That being said, all of the flavors that were there were fantastic. I’m glad I got it, but I’m also glad I checked it off the list so I can get something else the next time. Good but super filling.

After we ate, we popped down into the basement for some bocce. Yes, they have two full-length bocce courts in the basement of this place. Not a finished basement by any stretch – the kind where you might have a person in a pit in the basement kind of arrangement. They used to have a bar downstairs as well, but that’s been shut down. You can still bring your drinks down there, though. We played a couple games and smack talked for a while and had a blast.

This is a really fun bar. Sounds like things get pretty rowdy there during football games and any type of Irish festival – just a heads up.

Top 5 things about Half Time Rec
1. Bangers and Mash
2. Jumbo Breakfast Dog
3. Bocce in the basement
4. Corned beef sandwich
5. Live music many nights

Bottom 5 things
1. Wished there was more beer taste in the mac and cheese
2. The basement smells like a scary movie basement
3. The lobster rolls – which are amazing – are quite pricey
4. Parking on the street, if you’re lucky to get within a block of the place
5. I keep calling it Half Time Parks and Rec – I can’t stop

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