Hail Mary

It's not a cocktail before noon, it's a restorative meal in a glass

FUJI-YA, 600 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.871.4055 and 465 N. Wabasha St., St. Paul; 651.310.0111; www.fujiyasushi.com

 

IKE'S FOOD & COCKTAILS

An unironic steakhouse that recalls the '40s and '50s, Ike's Food and Cocktails serves up a classic, solid, all-around good Bloody Mary. It's a blend of ingredients reminiscent of a time before weird mixers like V8 Splash. Its ingredients are just the traditional mix of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, ground pepper, horseradish, and Sacramento Tomato juice. To snack on between sips you get a kabob of lime, celery, pepperoncini, jalapeños, olives, pickled veggies, and, of course, a beer chaser. This Bloody Mary is more spicy-flavorful than hot, and truly a cocktail rather than a meal (which is good, because Ike's serves great burgers and steaks). If it's not a school day, you can order a "Weekender," a super-sized version that not only comes with more sauce, but also a second skewer of snack foods (cheese, shrimp, and meat stick).

IKE'S FOOD & COCKTAILS; 50 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis; 612.746.4537; www.ilikeikes.com

 

GREEN MILL

If you're game for a location perhaps more pedestrian, a place where you can order up some tasty, cheap buffalo wings while watching a big-screen TV, Green Mill has your Bloody Mary. The Mill Mary comes in a large brandy snifter--not the ideal glass for such a drink, but after I requested a straw it wasn't a problem. The Mill Mary is mildly spicy and definitely filling. It's also a blank canvas: Each order is served with a tray containing little jars of Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and other spicy add-ons. Garnishes include a pickle spear, celery, speared olives, a cheese cube, and a salami slice folded into a delicate meat flower just for you. Order up some appetizers and you have a filling and nutritious meal--provided you count the tomato juice as a vegetable.

GREEN MILL, various locations; www.greenmill.com

 

FLOYD'S OF VICTORIA

For those willing to commit to a road trip for the ultimate buzz (which is more exciting than a trip to view a giant stone woodchuck), there's Floyd's of Victoria: A mere half-hour drive will take you to the stone and wood cabin that's the home of the Breakfast Bloody Mary. Made fresh in a 16-ounce glass rimmed with lime and celery salt, this concoction is a blend of just about everything that can be found in a well-stocked bar fridge. There's lime, pickled asparagus, celery, beef jerky, a super-secret Bloody Mary mix, ice, and vodka (choose from the throat-burning Phillips, pretentious Ketel One, sassy Absolut Peppar, or many others). The overall effect is that of a meaty V8 veggie blend. It works in an "everything-but-the-kitchen-sink" sort of way, much like seven-layer dip or vegetable soup made from leftovers.

Of course, a premium Bloody Mary is only as good as the amenities that come with it, and this one is a garnish bonanza: enormous stuffed olives, cocktail onions, jumbo shrimp, dill pickles, marble jack cheese, and meat. This isn't a drink you can get just any time, though: The Breakfast Bloody Mary is only available to soothe last night's hangover Saturdays and Sundays until 6:00 p.m., but you can also order it up on the Mondays and Fridays of important drinking holiday weekends like Thanksgiving and Labor Day.

FLOYD'S OF VICTORIA, 1758 Arboretum Blvd., Highway 5 and County Road 11, Victoria; 952.443.9944

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