BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR—ST. PAUL - 2006
The Muddy Pig
A great neighborhood bar needs to have a certain aura. It can't be too crowded, it's gotta have some decent food, it needs to be cozy and homey, but you should still be able to cut loose. This St. Paul not-so-secret has it all in spades. Decked out like an English pub, but without all that pesky soccer memorabilia (it would only confuse us Yanks), the Muddy Pig has the feel of a thirtysomething's dream hangout—stocked with board games the kids can play during the day and loaded with so many beers you'll bring your friends back at night. The better-than-bar food (try the bruschetta, drizzled in balsamic vinegar, smothered in basil, and topped with tomatoes) complements the extensive drink menu where Dad can get a single-malt scotch, Mom can get a nice Pinot Noir, and their slacker son can get a BubbleJack IPA. The service is occasionally slow and surly, but if you sit back, relax, and bust out the Scrabble board, you'll be just fine.