The Lyn-Lake intersection has felt a little less special since JP's American Bistro closed. The space sat dormant for months, until late last month when the buzz of Lyndale Tap House broke the silence.
The Lyndale Tap House claims to specialize in Baltimore pit style cooking, which as I learned, involves rubbing down various types of meat with a special spice mixture and letting it sit for several days to incorporate the flavors (sounds nice to me). After a good rest, the meat is seared, then grilled slowly over coals to create a nicely moist texture. Finally, the meat is sliced paper thin before they pile it on a Kaiser roll.
There were many intriguing options on the menu, including a Philly, pit ham and pit sausage sandwich, but if they claim pit beef to be their thing, I figured I had better check it out. The sandwich was essentially a medium-pink pile of flavorful top round beef with a Kaiser and shaved onion garnish - generous to say the least. The meat was flavorful, with a unique, but not outlandish spice incorporating both savory and a little hint of sweet. I wouldn't say their pit seasoning is life-changing, but I thought it was a nice change for my Minnesota conditioned palate.
Of course it helped that the beef was of extremely tender, that the shaved onions added a nice element of contrast, and the horseradish sauce wasn't too overwhelming (although I'd order it on the side in the future since the liberal application started to work its way onto my hands and just about everything else in the sandwich's basket).
Sandwich Rating: Tasty. The sandwich was huge and a pretty good value at $8.95. Over saucing seems to be commonplace these days, and I can overlook that because the beef was still flavorful and perfectly cooked. I found it to be a welcome change of pace and will certainly be back to try a few more of their Baltimore pit-style creations.
Epic Sandwich Copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins