Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Uptown Cafeteria and Support Group - Minneapolis

I have been waiting to try this controversial restaraunt for months, and was pleased when Mr. H and I found ourselves there on a very cold early evening. Upon entering, we were greeted with a kitschy cafeteria theme. From walls lined with blue, green and yellow cafeteria trays, to rotating desserts in a towering glass case, white and blue stools, white linoleum style countertops, and cafeteria style menus this place is definitely big on theme and color coordination. We slid into one of many booths, and reviewed the menu.

The menu is sort of the schizophrenic type. On the table, you get condiments such as sriracha, green tabasco, ketchup and mrs. butterworths syrup. The menu offers fritters, wings, potstickers, grilled cheese and po' boys, linguine, chicken and waffles, and scottish salmon alike. Some have said the mess is as much in the food as on the menu and in the decor, but I find this style of cuisine exhilirating. In addition, they have some seriously awesome drinks, which I can't exactly recall, but one is called the Bo Derek, and they are well priced in comparison to other trendy minded places. Plus, you can get a liter of Bandit wine( ) for $19. That's excellent.

We finally decided on food. I went for the Turkey Burger (Wild Acres all-natural turkey with muenster cheese, avocado and green chilies - $10.99) with a side salad, and Mr. H the Hot Italian Beef with fries, after it was raved about by our server (slow-roasted sirloin, provolone, caramelized onions, house-made giardiniera - $12.99.) We waited a short while, and our server actually brought out Mr. H's sandwich first, stating to us that my sandwich would be up soon...

Hot Italian Beef

I hate to seem mean spirited, but this sandwich was terrible. The beef was bland and tough, and the "giardniera" was basically some hard carrots. The jus was worse. It tasted literally like water....dirty water at that. Mr. H did not eat more than 2 bites, but we did munch a few fries which were crispy and salty and awesome. The waitress came back and was very good about us sending the sandwich back. She apologized but wasn't annoying about it, offering to put in a different order. This time, Mr. H ordered the Buttermilk Fried Chicken (mashed potatoes, cheddar drop biscuits; 1/4 bird $12.99, 1/2 bird $16.99). As we waited, I started on my salad.

The salad was mothing special. It was just greens, and was underdressed. I was pretty underwhelmed. Then my turkey burger came...which I had to wait to eat until Mr. H got his Fried Chicken 10 minutes later.

For whatever odd reason, the turkey burger described on the online menu is not this one. This one just has avocado, pimento cheese, and sweet pickles. The turkey was ground and was very flavorful and true to the bird. The bun was nicely toasted and not overpowering the other awesome aspects of the sandwich: the velvety avocado, the bursts of rich pimento cheese and the best part (to my surprise), the sweet pickles. The pickles MAKE this sandwich, and I am forever a converted sweet pickle fan. The standard pickle spear serving on the side was the best I've ever had. Too often can these pickles me soggy, too salty and too sour. This one was firm, crunchy and the salt level was mild. Overall, I was very pleased with this dish.
Fried Chicken

I defenitely am no fried chicken-connoisseur, but I know good food, and this was off the hook good. The chicken was crunchy and juicy. The breading pulled off the bird in flakes, coating your mouth with a crunchy, yet soft texture. The best part is that the chicken was juicy. Not dry, not greasy, and not tasting too fried, the huge chunk of chicken was so appreciated by us that Mr. H needed to have his pic taken with it...

Everything else was excellent as well. The potatoes were earthy, salty and smooth. the addition of the buttermilk breading was so comforting I could have sucked my thumb. The biscuit was interesting...I do believe they have actual peppercorns in them, and that definitely lends a distinct black pepper taste to them. I personally am a fan of this, but I have heard some aren't so much.

Overall, a very mixed experience at The Uptown Cafeteria and Support Group, but I will definitely be back. Most likely in the warmer months, so I can check out the very popular and highly praised Skybar, which is said to have one of hte best rooftop views in Minneapolis.

http://Uptown Cafeteria on Urbanspoon

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