Restaurant Review: Pickle Park

On Thursday evening, well before the Dumb Valleyfair Incident That Would Bring Me To My Knees For 36 Hours, Jason and I tried a new restaurant.

He was excited because the restaurant is owned by one of his favorite musicians, GB Leighton. I was excited because the name of the restaurant is Pickle Park. (Also, I was excited because our dinner was to be followed by a trip to Half Price Books, where I haven’t been for a long, long time, and finally, BOOKS!)

We got to Pickle Park and after being appropriately impressed by the plethora of televisions (Jason: “Of course…the Twins aren’t on tonight”), we gazed hungrily at the menu. I literally could not decide what to order, which usually means I end up with the chicken fingers, but at the last second, I spotted the Buffalo Bacon Extreme. JACKPOT.

And that was before I realized it was served with a side of spaghetti. Let me repeat that: My huge sandwich of buffalo chicken, bacon and cheese…was served with spaghetti.

It was beyond delicious. And Jason’s burger was just as delicious and portions-busting.

Our bill was (with drinks) less than $30. Awesome. Next time, we’ll go there during a Twins game or when they have live music.

And maybe I’ll have the chicken fingers.

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Rating: 5 out of 5 pickles

Restaurant Review: Billiard Street Café

Last week, Jason and I went to eat at Two Stooges Bar & Grill, which is conveniently located in the Billiard Street Café in Fridley. I’m not exactly sure what the proper name of the restaurant is (Two Stooges vs. Billiard Street), but I do know they have two of my favorite things: billiards and ham and cheese sandwiches with bacon.

After perusing their newly expanded menu, Jason and I cemented our status as regulars by ordering our usual: hot ham and cheese sandwiches. With bacon. (You may have heard me mention them before.)

Billiard Street’s menu is awesome and full of bar food staples (wings, pizza, burgers, cheese curds and mozzarella sticks) along with steak, walleye and pasta dishes, and I suppose some day we might have to suck it up and order something different, but why mess with perfection? You don’t change horses midstream, right?

There’s plenty of TVs for your sports viewing-pleasure (or even your Desperate Housewives-viewing pleasure) and a video arcade if you’ve been eliminated early from your dart or pool tournament.

The prices are excellent and after dinner, it’s always fun to play pool on one of their 43 tables. Especially when I demand to play on a 9-foot table instead of an 8-foot table, because 8-foot-tables are for wussies.

Food = excellent
Service = good
Price = excellent
Atmosphere = excellent
Pool table availability = excellent

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Rating: 5 out of 5 pickles

Restaurant Review: Barnacle Bill’s

There are very few restaurants that get me excited enough to do my patented Butt Dance when I realize we’re eating there. It goes without saying that Buffalo Wild Wings is one of those places. So is Ruth’s Chris.

But my favorite establishment is Barnacle Bill’s in Brooklyn Center. It has so many things going for it:

  • it’s attached to a bowling alley
  • the menu is extensive
  • the nautical décor is phenomenal (I would kill to have the two giant porthole mirrors that were above our booth last time) and
  • now that I have to work full days on Fridays (note to Workplace: I still haven’t forgiven you), showing up at 6:00 means we don’t have to wait for a table.

That’s because the dinner rush is at the too-early hour of 4:30 p.m., when all the senior citizens line up. There’s only two reasons that carloads of senior citizens would pile four-deep in the waiting area at a dining establishment: great food and excellent prices. Barnacle Bill’s has both.

Jason and I love the top-notch menu: burgers, steak, ribs, fish, pasta, you name it. The clam chowder alone is worth the price of admission. Also, it’s fantastic to gaze around the dining area and realize you’re the youngest patron by 30 years.

This has become our go-to place since it’s close to home, and we’re determined to become regulars. Nearly every time, I order something new (strange for me, the girl who would eat the same thing every day if digestively possible) and I’ve yet to be disappointed.

On Friday, on our way out the door armed with leftovers that would be more than enough for another full meal, we held the door for an elderly couple. “Excuse me,” the woman said, “but is this a good place to eat? We’re from out of town.”

“Yes,” Jason and I said in unison. “It’s the best.”

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Rating: 5 out of 5 pickles

My wish has been granted

Awhile back, I complained mightily about the absence of a Dave & Buster’s restaurant in my general geographic vicinity. Obviously, someone in management at Dave & Buster’s read this site and sprang into action, because only 10 minutes away a big beacon of beautifulness has been erected.

That’s right: a shiny new Dave & Buster’s.

Jason took me there last weekend as a surprise. That day quickly became known as the “Best Day Ever.” Because I am eight. And apparently, very easy to please.

Anyway, D&Bs had wonderful food; everything on their menu, including every item on the drink menu, looked delicious. For a sports nut like me, there was a wall of TVs available for football watching; for the more discerning diner, an elegantly decorated dining area. And for the child in me, or I suppose, actual children, a giant arcade area with skeeball and trivia games and games that spit out tickets to be redeemed for useless but attractive crap.

No shuffleboard though.

But that’s OK. They had pool tables. Which I intend to play during my next 2314097097 visits.

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Rating: 5 out of 5 pickles

P.S. I now fully intend to use my newfound restaurant-erecting powers to wish for a Jimmy John’s to go into one of the strip mall units for lease sitting vacant a mere three blocks from my house. Please god, make it so.