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By: | Posted: 04/17/2013
The strangest restaurant in the history of Minnesota, in my humble opinion, has got to be the performance-art-for-dinner bizarre Miami, a Scarface-themed restaurant that lived a brief, incomprehensible, but truly memorable life at 913 W. Lake Street, just outside of the throbbing heart of Uptown. Once it closed, taking its white table telephones, its endless loop of Scarface, and it’s profanity-riddled drink list, its sunset murals, and its spit-it-out-bad food with it, merely awful restaurants followed in the not-badly-located Uptown slot. Now, there's Morissey’s, which is the exact opposite of bizarre.
It’s an ordinary Irish pub! With Guinness on tap, dark wood, filament lights, glittering bottles of Irish whisky on the back bar, Uptown cuties with perfect hair on the high stools (fresh from the adjacent hair-dressing district of Uptown central), and a rock solid fish and chips. What’s not to like? Nothing! It’s a winner. Not bizarre.
[caption id="attachment_1830" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Fish and Chips at Morrissey's Irish Pub"][/caption]
Top on my list of stuff I liked: The fish and chips! A long filet of Pacific cod that's not quite as good as that at our local fish and chips champion, the Anchor, but is darn close: A good, thick hunk of fresh fish, lightly, crisply battered, fried till its crisp as a snap. The chips could have been better, they tasted frozen and run and of the mill, but they were fine. Add a side of curry gravy, straight out of an Irish jar, or so said my server, and you’ve got a hangover-killer, a drink-sopper-upper, you’ve got everything a plate of everyday chips and curry is supposed to be, in the Irish tradition. Still, this is the best fish and chips in Uptown, by a country mile, top five in Minneapolis. Good. Really good. I’m not really counting Red Stag, because their fish fry is only on Fridays. And we’ll talk St. Paul fried fish another day, because it’s in its own league. But fear not, I have not suddenly come up with a form of amnesia specific only to Mac’s and the Groveland Tap.
What, you say you don’t like reading things in sentences, but you need a list? Well here’s a list!
Top 5 Minneapolis Fish and Chips:
1) The Anchor
2) Red Stag Supperclub (Fridays only)
3) Morissey’s Irish Pub
4) The Lowry
[caption id="attachment_1832" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Anchor Fish & Chips"][/caption]
If Morissey’s upgraded their chips they’d skip up a spot, methinks. And why did I include Red Stag when I said I wasn’t gonna? Because the list clarified things, and I didn’t want to leave the Red Stag off. Cute little Red Stag.
And, back to Morissey’s. Also truly noteworthy: The Reuben! Made with excellent rosy and tender corned beef, served with melted Gruyere on grilled rye, this was just-right bar food: salty, weighty, rich, good. Everything else I tried I’d probably avoid in the future: Smoked salmon on smooshed-flat boxty cakes was totally dull, like salmon and capers straight from the fridge on a quesadill. The Shepherd’s pie featured grainy-tasting beef and a nothing-special potato crust. I wish I had gotten the Full Irish Breakfast, served all day and night, and featuring eggs, bangers, rashers, black and white puddings, in short, the works. Next time I go I will get the Irish breakfast! I'll have it beside another pint of Indeed Day Tripper, which I had at Morissey’s and loved the hell out of. In fact, I think it’s just fantastic that this Irish bar has all sorts of good local taps, including Surly and Fulton, instead of the only-Irish checklist that so many Irish bars rely on. All in all, I give a neighborhood thumbs-up to Morissey’s. It’s not at all original, but it’s authentic and good, and sometimes, that’s enough.
Morrissey's, 913 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-465-8555, morrisseysuptown.com
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.See bio
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