Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Local: The Local – If there is an award for pouring the most Jameson Irish whiskey in the world, The Local is a four year straight champ. Surrounded by hand-carved wood and original chandeliers, this local watering hole has been around for two decades, not just serving up some stellar drinks, but are you aware about the food? Yea, let’s get into that.
Starting this evening of #FOODPORN off with two Big Gingers with my weekly gluttony man-date @tonyflizzle. This is their signature drink made with 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey. This drink and the whiskey in it were born here at The Local. 2 Gingers is made at Killbeggan Distillery, the oldest working distillery (1759) in Ireland. They just happen to be on special tonight, and we were told to definitely squeeze the lemon and lime for the ultimate flavor mix. I love this drink and I love 2 Gingers, keep pouring.
Mushroom Caps – Wild rice from northern Minnesota stuffed into champ potatoes (champ is a simple Irish side dish made of scallions, potatoes and butter, with the addition of spinach and ground mushrooms) and combined with cream cheese and seasoning. They are then topped with roasted garlic Panko and finish it with a dab of truffle oil and some porcini sea salt. Crispy and tasty, those two qualities are a beautiful thing. The truffle oil made the whole dining area smell grand. Anything served in a cast iron gets bonus points from me, just let them cool and don’t burn your tongue from eagerness.
Chicken Shots – Their signature appetizer; they brine and marinate chicken breasts. Then they bread them in their seasonal flour and fry them to order. They are then tossed with their whiskey honey glaze – reduced honey, molasses, vinegar and spices with almost 8 liters of booze to bring this lovely sauce together. These are amazing. I imagine these being just as good the next day, easily. Sweet and crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. I would imagine these being great with noodles. I foresee endless possibilities and combinations with these. A staple here at The Local if you weren’t aware already.
Fish and Chips – Their fish is caught and frozen on the boat and shipped directly to them without going through any extra processing until one of their prestige cooks cuts it down. Because of that, they have the advantage of avoiding the soggy water-logged fish that places try to pass off. They use Finnagins in their beer batter and it comes with a pile of fries, their house tartar, and finished with course sea salt and fresh dill. A lightly, yet crisp battered, lovely, fresh, and HUGE portion of fish. Perfectly paired with an ice cold Heineken.
Guinness Nitro IPA – A perfect beer to pair with our next dish, curry. Seriously this is my first time trying this, and I’m highly impressed. Smooth, delicate, with a nice head, and three heads are better than one. Very well balanced and not what I expected from an IPA. Did you know this place was the first to have it on tap about two months ago? Now you do. Bring on that curry!
Curry Dinner – Curry is a pub staple in Ireland. Theirs is a mild yellow curry with a bit of toasted coriander and cumin to round it out. They prepare the chicken in vinegar and coconut “brine” and simmer it in curry sauce with bell peppers and yellow onions to order. It is served with basmati rice and sides of popadom, chili paste, scratch cucumber riatta, and onion chutney. What a pleasant and hearty curry. I’d come here just for this if there weren’t so many other amazing dishes to choose from. I’ve never in my curry-eating life had sides to add, and you know what, all of them worked. So go ahead and dump them in and enjoy.
Trio of Desserts – Bread Pudding; A denser version of Grandmas favorite, topped with hazelnut struessle. Chiboust; Vanilla flavored pastry cream and merengue folded together and frozen. They then brûlée it and serve it with fresh berries. Guiness Mousse – Two types of beer infused mousse layered to look like a pint. All three are wonderful and I’m not sure what to write to convince you otherwise. How adorable is that mousse? Also, perfect portions to share this trio of sugar. Paired with The Local Irish Cream…
The Local Irish Cream – Made fresh in house with 2 Gingers Whiskey, and the rest is a big giant secret. Just know that you will beg for the secret recipe to this dessert-inspired drink, because it is that good. Move over RumChata & Hot Chocolate, there is a new after dinner drink in town. I will get this recipe, give me time.
I’ve had a few drinks and a few beers tonight, but the final drink to end the night was the strongest and gave me the biggest buzz. Ooooohweeeee! Pictured on the right is Irish Coffee – Sweetened with a little bit of stout and topped with a unique whipped cream. Aside from the Big Ginger, this is their best winter seller and was named as one of the five best in the US by Imbibe Magazine. I can’t feel my face, and I like it…From a coffee drink? Yup.
Like a game of clue, there are unique rooms such as the Boardroom, Kissing Room and private event rooms; The Hollow, The Sanctuary and The Choir. Phatphood got Tony Fly wasted in The Hollow with the boulevardier, I win! The view looking down from upstairs is like a wide-open old bank or a library, but with a party going on. Great place to hold an event or meet just about everyone from Target after work… let me get that discount card. But if mingling and throwing back Irish whiskey is not your thing, the food is magnificent and every plate should be left overturned. Seriously, keep coming back until you’ve had it all, including the weekly specials.
The Local, 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402