2990 W. River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Hours: Monday - Sunday 7:00 am - 11:00 pm
I arrive around 4:00 to meet a friend. We plan to sit outside on the pleasant patio that wraps around the east side and front overlooking Lake Street and the Mississippi gorge there is room for 100 or so but the fine misty drives us indoors. Inside is dark wood tables and booths with plenty of metal highlights to liven things up. Windows line the room on 3 sides with booths east and north and tables on the south. At 4:00 the place is about a quarter full. Most of the house looks like they live in Longfellow and just left work or don’t work. A table of mid to late middle aged ladies clad in earth tone and pastel business attire dominates the southwest corner. They greet each other with the kinds of hugs where you don’t actually touch the other person. Behind me a late middle aged couple talks on their cell phone with someone they are going to meet soon. A bank president and his consort wander in. One guy from my demographic sporting a walrus mustache and garbed in baseball cap, T-shirt and cargo shorts sprawls in a booth chatting with a woman of the same age. Student types dominate the bar. Single people looking to meet someone begin drifting in and by 5:30 or so small groups of people begin bunching by the door waiting for tables.
The menu looks nice. They make all the food from scratch. They offer 14 entries ranging from $13 to $17, 8 sandwiches served with fries or slaw range from $11.50 to $14, 9 burgers range from $10 to $14 - also served with fries or slaw and they also have a variety of flat breads and they serve breakfast.
My friend and I are here for the beer. The Longfellow Grill is part of the Blue Plate group and they feature beer from the Freehouse down town and I am drinking a # 2 IPA (6.3% abv and 55 IBU). It’s pours a full, clear light amber pour with a thin cream colored foam film on top. Melon, floral, citrus aromas rise from the glass scented with malt with some light spice. It has a fruit and lightly sweet malt palate with an assertive bitterness, balanced towards the hops. It has a snappy mouth feel with medium carbonation and body. It is a perfect beer for a fine soft afternoon to enjoy with good company. The Longfellow Grill has a selection of 35 draft, bottled or canned beer. Pio, the Freehouse brewmaster, does some really nice things with bigger beers. His Freehouse No. 20 Barley Wine is a perfect sedative for a lousy day, or a social lubricant for a celebration. There are a couple of TV screens hanging on the walls but no one pays them any attention and you can talk without raising your voice.