George and the Dragon's family-friendly pub

Traditional English fare lures kids and adults in south Minneapolis

It seems like all the English dishes have been slightly tweaked to suit more American tastes. Not that the owners are trying to make this the premiere authentic place for English transplants to get their bubble 'n' squeak on. I mean, their version of a fry-up breakfast doesn't even include Heinz beans. They do make a Sunday roast, which included a monster slab of rosy beef roast covered in thick gravy, rich mashed potatoes, a popover (in place of Yorkshire pudding), and a sort of Minnesota picnic pea salad (in place of regular steamed or mushy peas) made with peas, cheese, bacon, almonds, and a mayo-based dressing. The bangers and mash were a standout favorite, though the texture of the finely ground meat in the sausage is more what you would expect in a Swedish sausage than in a British banger. George and the Dragon gives this dish a unique treatment by mixing the meat with Irish oats that have been soaked in 2 Gingers whiskey. The same sausage gets wrapped in flaky pastry dough and is reborn as sausage rolls, delicious with a side of hot, whole-grain mustard cream for dipping.

Burgers and toasties (grilled sandwiches) all come with the option of excellent house-made chips (thick-cut, fluffy-inside, darkly golden French fries) or puffy tempura-fried green beans with truffle mayo, which are well worth the upgrade. Toasties were all a little too heavy on the cheese and spreads, which didn't do any favors for the wimpy bread they came on. Better to opt for one of the aptly named Dragon burgers with pepperjack cheese and briny hot pickled peppers on a bun that doesn't buckle under pressure.

George keeps things simple at dessert, with just a few verbal offerings per night. The chocolate bread pudding was fine if a little dry, but the berry trifle was a more enjoyable dish, with sweet lemony pound cake and whipped cream but, confusingly, no custard.

Navarro is an industry vet, and he runs his restaurant that way, meaning it's a tight ship but not at all stiff. Even in a hopping restaurant, courses were timed well and drinks refilled swiftly, and there was no long lag between getting our check dropped and actually paying it. Though the menu is fairly predictable, it's also all very palatable and well portioned. Nothing is too much, too bland, too spicy, or too expensive. Navarro's vision was for George and the Dragon to be a true public house, a come-as-you-are place for people to gather seven days a week. It's a little early to call, but looking around at the well-fed customers with clean plates and full beers, it seems like it's mission accomplished. Dragon slayed. Villagers converted.

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2 comments
Lindsey Sheppard
Lindsey Sheppard

We had a great time here! The environment is warm and welcoming. A modern twist on an old world style pub. It calls for ordering a beer for sure. Beer list includes local favorites and some unique imports. The wings were delicious and crispy and the curry perfect. We will be back very soon.

Morchellampls
Morchellampls

I visited George and the Dragon recently with a group of friends. The room was so loud and echo-y that soon I had a pounding headache and had to leave. Granted, most of the noise was coming from my friendsfriends, but, still I am not a fan of the trend of loud restaurants.

 
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