The thrill of finding the small, local eateries with creative concoctions and a unique vibe is partly what makes our restaurant tour so fun. But, we can’t take credit for finding Blue Door Pub on our own. Guy Fieri gave it recognition with a feature on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and several of our know-good-food-when-they-see-it friends made a point to recommend it. So though our Friday night spot wasn’t a hidden gem, we’ll gladly join the crowd in tooting its horn.
A no-reservation operation with a seating area smaller than our first apartment means a table waitlist is inevitable. But, the bar’s fun selection – the standard mix plus local and regional craft brews – made the hour-long wait almost fun (great company helps, too), and the food proved it was worth every minute.
Jim had trouble deciding among the craft brew selection, but ultimately ended up with a Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and a local Surly creation. Then he went for Blue Door’s claim-to-fame: the original Blucy burger with blue cheese and garlic stuffed inside the beefy patty. Juicy and tangy, the burger lived up to the hype – especially when paired with the pub’s own Cajun tater tots dipped in ranch. Had we remembered to get the punch card, he’d only have 9 more Blucy-variety burgers to try before scoring a free t-shirt. With such criteria, we’re guessing they don’t come in Adult small or medium.
I tried the St. Paul sandwich that featured an egg foo young patty, an omelet filet topped with garlic aioli, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Though I’m still not completely sure what all comprised the omelet, the moist tomatoes, sharp cheese and creamy garlic would make it easy to order again. And, the Lift Bridge’s Farm Girl ale – a lighter wheat brew, recommended by a friend – was the right thing to wash down a few (ok … all) of my own Cajun tots.
The beer selection? Appreciated. The food? Yummy. Plus, the menu had enough options for any mood or meat(less) preference. The atmosphere? Familiar-feeling and full of life. While our Friday-night patience may not always tolerate the waitlist, we wouldn’t mind revisiting the charming St. Paul neighborhood for some cold beer and savory tots. Plus, the additional Blucys we’re anxious to try (9 more, to be exact) put Blue Door Pub on our repeat-restaurant line-up… give or take the t-shirt.
RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Menu Selection: ♠♠♠1/2
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠1/2
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠♠1/2
Total bill, including tip: $41