13 July 2013

Happy Hour bargains at Bar Louie, Mpls.

When Bar Louie opened in Uptown last year, my wife and I were intrigued. At the time, we weren’t aware that it’s a chain. But it sounded like a fun time especially the outdoor patio. It took almost a year, but we finally decided to try their happy hour.

Happy hour is a pretty good deal. We went intending to have one of their $7 martinis, which we did. They were good, and $7 is a pretty good price for a martini. But we actually had a little bit of a hard time deciding on which martini to order. Most of them seemed a little too fruity for our tastes, and we actually ended up getting pretty basic martinis.

For food, we got one order of calamari and a roasted vegetable flat bread. We liked the flat bread better. It had a nice crisp crust and the vegetables were very tasty. The calamari was good too, but was a little too greasy and gave my wife a stomach ache later in the evening.

We arrived early and had no trouble being seated at a table on the patio. We really liked our server. He was friendly and informative. So it was a pretty good experience, except for one thing. They do permit smoking on the outdoor patio, and there was a guy smoking a cigar two tables away. We were pretty much downwind from him, so for most of our time at the table, we would get whiffs of cigar smoke.

While we were there, we saw a flyer promoting $5 burgers on Tuesdays. The burgers on the menu looked pretty good, so we decided that for our next visit, we’d come during happy hour (for $3.50 beers) and each have a burger.

So about a month later, that’s what we did. We don’t normally go out on Tuesdays, but this was a special occasion. (My last day in the office before retiring.) We got to Bar Louie a little later than our first visit, and as we anticipated, it was busier than before. We were told we’d have to wait up to 30 minutes for a table on the patio. We could wait in the lounge area outside and order a happy hour beer. That sounded ok to us. DSC00481

We settled in and a server came around. We asked for a beer list. Don’t have one, she said. What do you like, she asked. I told her I like an amber. Don’t have one, she said. So that kind of left me up in the air. I suppose I could have walked into the bar and looked at the taps to see if there was one that I’d like. Finally she suggested a beer and we both decided to try it.

Well, before the beer arrived, our buzzer started buzzing that our table was ready. Just then our server arrived and handed us our beers. We took them to the table with us. After we got seated, another server stopped by with a bill for the beers. We asked if they could be added to the tab for our food, but no, we had to pay the first server separately.

OK fine. Our food server was much friendlier, and also better at recommending beer. I had a second beer with my burger and liked it much better. The burgers were very good. I had a BBQ burger, and my wife had a ‘Blue Louis’ with blue cheese. By the way, you get a choice of Tater Tots or fries with the burger. Tater Tots … yum!

We were asked how we liked the meat cooked. I always ask for a burger to be cooked medium, but my wife likes burgers still pink in the middle. She was a little annoyed that the burger came out cooked through. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think restaurants should bother trying to cook a burger to order. But if you give the customer a choice, then you ought to serve the food they way the customer wants it.

So here’s our bottom line on Bar Louis Uptown. It’s a fun locale. Not all of their servers are friendly. I don’t think we’d eat there during regular hours. But happy hour is a good bargain, as is the $5 burger promo on Tuesdays. So all in all, not bad.

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