There was a time when eating at the Turf Club meant waiting, hoping, and wishing for the Tamale Lady to stroll in with her four for $5 special. Now the newly renovated and reopened live music venue in St. Paul has a full kitchen of its very own, and is serving weekend brunch and a daily lunch, dinner, and happy hour. How does the culinary show stack up against the dependably cool music lineup? It depends on what you're looking for.
If you're in the market for a fancified, micro-gastronomic feast that's foamed, flowered, confited, or gelled, keep moseying. If you're looking for lunch, brunch, or dinner standards that pass muster but don't quite thrill the palate, all from the comfort of your favorite local music venue, you've found your mate.
Brunch in particular is made for the non-fussy set. Served during the generous window of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in a dark, just-been-rocked bar by tatted-up waitstaff and one really tired-looking bartender, it's an experience akin to the CC Club's breakfast except the dining room is airier and there are recently renovated bathrooms that don't conjure up hazy memories of whatever Saturday night did with your dignity.
Ranging from fine but not fabulous lemon cheese blintzes with blueberry compote to the ultra heavy, gut-busting stuffed and smothered hash brown, Turf Club's brunch offerings are fairly traditional, with vegetarian and carnivorous options alike. They're also harmless: Nothing will knock your socks off, but nothing will offend either. Biscuits and gravy, buttermilk hot cakes, and French toast round out the familiar wake-up crew.
Dinner and lunch bring a few (a very few) more options for the vegan and gluten-free diners, including salads, red beans and rice, and a corn chowder. Turf Club throws its hat in the Juicy Lucy ring and also tosses in a distinctly Southern-influenced set of sandwiches: pimiento cheese and ham, Nashville hot chicken, and a fried bologna and cheese. The late night and happy hour menus also serve that pimiento cheese (with crackers this time) plus an assortment of wings, deviled eggs, and fried green tomatoes.
The Turf Club's kitchen is open every day from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. with a happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. and a weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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