Let’s face it; most of us go to brunch as an excuse to drink alcohol before noon. We are looking for our Mimosa, Screwdriver or that hallmark, post-hangover, hair-of-the dog beverage – the Bloody Mary. So, I am not going to beat around the celery bush here, wouldn’t you really like to go to some place where that morning eye-opener is free? Well you’re in luck. And, if you still can’t bear to admit to yourself that you’re really musing about booze before breakfast, then rationalize this choice as a brunch bargain for tough economic times.
First on the list is a popular neighborhood watering hole – The Lindale Tap House. The Tap House is known for their happy hour, a couple dozen beers on tap and hearty pub food, but this after-work hangout also does a nice breakfast on weekends, from 10:00 to 3:00. While the breakfast menu is somewhat limited, every diner gets a free mimosa!
With many breakfast spots now charging six of seven bucks for a pathetic cocktail of frozen concentrate O.J. topped with a splash of cheap Spanish Cava, so this free Mimosa represents a per person discount of some 30-40% on a typical brunch. So, if you are still fretting over a tipple before noon, take heart, at the Tap House you simply had no choice. Here they bring you that free Mimosa without you asking for it. So, it’s not your fault.
The brunch menu features classic “man food” for breakfast – steak and eggs, biscuits and gravy, breakfast burritos and their signature Pit Beef Hash – but they also offer a couple of unusual options like cheesy grits with shrimp and the Scottish Breakfast with smoked salmon which pair better with the free Mimosas. But the best Mimosa match is the Tap House Benedict, which replaces the typical English muffin with a buttermilk biscuit and the usual Canadian bacon becomes your choice of pit beef, pit ham, smoked salmon or – for the vegetarian in your group – a black bean and mushroom patty.
However, if you can’t resist sweets for breakfast the Tap House also serves an amazingly gooey French toast with a hard cider toffee sauce. This is far too sweet for my taste, as it’s topped with caramelized apples, glazed pecans and maple whipped whipped cream. But, the most amazing thing of all is that all brunch plates here are only $8.95, with that free mimosa included.
The Tap House is located at 2937 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 55408. See: www. thelyndale.com for more details.
If you’re hankering for a free Bloody instead of that Tap House Mimosa, there is another bar room breakfast available at a spot that you would never have guessed serves one – The Local Irish pub downtown.
Again, if you don’t know The Local, you would probably be expecting to find a bar full of Liam Neelson-sounding characters chasing their Jamison’s with Guinness. And on any given night you would be right. But you will also see a fair number of lasses among them with both genders knocking back a local “Irish” whiskey called 2 Gingers. That’s because, local pub magnate, Kieran Folliard, sold his interest in his food-and-drink empire (The Local, Cooper, and Kieran’s) to follow his own whiskey dream and bottle his own. Folliard’s 2 Gingers label was available in Minneapolis liquor stores in November of 2011 and can most certainly be found that The Local. But that is probably not what you will be having for breakfast. That would be the free weekend Bloody Mary.
The Local welcomes you with a wildly international mix of patrons on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 to 2:00. When you grab a booth and are thinking of breakfast, many of your bar mates are time-shifted soccer fanatics who are pounding beers from The Local’s extensive list of British brews as they shout at European league football matches played live on the “telly.” This gives The Local a wonderfully British atmosphere as you pour over the menu.
As for that menu, it presents you with all the usual Irish suspects cloaked in their native brogue – bangers, rashers, black pudding, baked beans and of course, corned beef hash and shepherd’s pie – most served with eggs and The Local’s signature creamy hash browns. These plates average $8.99, but they are not the reason you’re here; because they don’t come with the free Bloody. To get that free drink you must order the brunch buffet.
The Local’s buffet breakfast is a self-serve affair that includes their own Green Ox™ link sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs, baked eggs with veggies, roasted quartered potatoes, seasonal fruits, a tray of cinnamon sticky buns and, of course those creamy hash browns, which make the perfect salty match for your free Bloody Mary. The one free drink and the all-you-can-eat buffet is only $11.99.
The Local is your classic corner pub, on the corner at 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN, 55402. See: www.the-local.com for more details. So, order the buffet, knock back your free Bloody, and then wander to the back of the pub to shout at TV with 2 Gingers either in front of you on the bar or sitting on the stools next to you. That’s how you say top-o-the-morning properly.