BEST NEW NEIGHBORHOOD BAR Minneapolis 2008 - Buster's on 28th
South Minneapolis has long been in dire need of decent neighborhood watering holes. The old 3.2 corner joints that litter the blocks south of Lake Street just don't cut it these days. The near ravenous response that greeted the opening of the Chatterbox Pub in 2000 was one indication of this marketplace void. The debut of Buster's on 28th is another step toward making decent beer and bar food readily accessible to residents of the neighborhoods surrounding lakes Nokomis and Hiawatha. Buster's boasts a beer selection that's among the best in the Twin Cities, with 28 taps ranging from local stalwarts like Surly and Summit to exotic Belgian ales such as Rodenbach Grand Cru and Liefman's Lucifer. The food is a notch up from typical bar fare, both in ambition and execution. Alcohol-absorbing standards like chicken wings and calamari are impeccably executed, while the salads are uniformly fresh and delicious. The pizzas are also aces, with the shitake mushroom and goat cheese combination particularly tasty. The half-pound burgers, served on fresh buns from next-door-neighbor A Baker's Wife, are equally superb. Since opening in July, Buster's has been packed most weekend nights, further proof that the market for decent neighborhood bars in south Minneapolis is still not sated.