The Depot is one of those St. Paul institutions – it’s a home-town-feel bar that serves American bar food. It’s very straight forward in its approach to serve lots of drinks and keep people fed. Nothing flashy. The inside is dark, in a clean dive-bar way, and the grill and fryer are hoppin’.
The menu consists of standard bar fare – burgers, chicken or steak sandwiches, coney dogs, fries, and onion rings. The reason D.Rough and I went there was for the coney dogs, so we both got one of those. I didn’t feel like it was enough, so I ordered a bacon cheeseburger too. When we walked in, I noticed the cook was making patties with his hands, not pulling frozen discs out of a bag. I almost got a deep fried pork sandwich, but the server told me it was more like a deep fried pork chop than a breaded flattened pork tenderloin like back home. I went with the cheeseburger. …and some onion rings.
The coney was pretty darn good. The dog itself was not a regular grocery store dog. It had a nice snappy casing on it and the meat had a really good taste. The chili was decent (although, there could have been more) and meaty, and the cheese on top was about the right amount. I haven’t had a coney in a good long while and this one really hit the spot.
The bacon cheeseburger was also really good. Cooked perfectly with just a touch of pink in the middle to keep the rest of it juicy and not dried out. It had a nice layer of cheese on top, hiding the bacon underneath. With a couple of pickles, the burger was pretty darn good.
The onion rings were really good, as well. Also, NOT from a freezer bag. Nice thick better on large rings of onions. The batter was cooked all the way through without any doughy or greasy spots. These were good rings!
Overall, it’s a pretty good lunch spot, although a bit slow on the wait for food. I think the cook was making each ticket to order, one by one, instead of cooking three or four burgers or sandwiches at the same time for different tickets. I might be wrong. I wasn’t in a hurry, though, especially since they had drinks there.
Top 5 things about The Depot
1. The bacon cheeseburger
2. Coney Dog
3. Onion Rings
4. Not expensive at all
5. A full bar (with pull tabs) never hurts
Bottom 5 things
1. Not super fast, even for a lunch visit
2. Pretty limited menu (but what they have is good)
3. Small number of pretty standard beer taps
4. It’s a small space
5. I’ve heard this place gets nuts before and during Minnesota Wild games
Kelly's Pub / Depot Bar
241 Kellogg Blvd. E.
St. Paul, MN 55101