Monday, June 4, 2012

Town Hall Brewery

Town Hall Brewery in the Seven Corners area of the West Bank (across the street from Republic) is, I believe, one of Minneapolis' best-loved brewpubs. In addition to their wide variety of house-brewed beers (and a small selection from other breweries), they have a fairly extensive menu of standard pub fare such as wings, steaks, a variety of salads and sandwiches, and, of course, burgers.

Their standard burger is a 1/2-lb of meat cooked medium well served with lettuce, tomato, and pickles (which I requested be omitted). To this I added cheddar cheese and fried onions (not sure if I was going to get pan-fried/caramelized onions or deep-fried onions -- either would have been fine!), and I requested my burger be cooked medium instead of medium well. Served with a side of fries, the addition of cheese and onions pushed the total up to an entirely reasonable $8.50.

The burger arrived looking pretty good -- a nice big hunk of meat with a piece of cheddar draped and melted nicely on top. Sitting on top of the cheese was a small pile of caramelized onions. The top bun was very lightly toasted, and I assume that it was the same for the lower bun (its state was harder to determine due to the confounding factor of having had a piece of cooked meat sitting atop it). The toppings were sparse -- a single small leaf of green-leaf lettuce and two small-but-thick tomato slices, barely big enough to cover half the area of the generous patty. And, sadly, two pickle slices which I promptly discarded. The meat appeared to be cooked somewhere on the border of medium and medium-well, to my eye.

The bad: The meat was way underseasoned. Good flavor, but seemingly no salt at all added to the whole affair. And while it wasn't dry, it seemed...inconsistently juicy -- some bites were better than others. On the other hand, the fried onions actually weren't completely cooked until limp, giving the burger a little textural bite. And the bun was excellent -- fresh but not too soft, a little sweet, and with maybe a hint of whole grain taste to it. A far cry from the low-rent bun at Merlin's Rest.

This burger would benefit greatly from the addition of bacon and...barbecue sauce -- which is conveniently available as their Seven Corners Burger, using Town Hall's own oatmeal stout barbecue sauce! I'd probably choose this one over competitor Republic's offerings.

Town Hall Brewery
1430 South Washington Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 339-8696Link

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