It's basically the weekend, folks, and if you're reading this, you made it out of the crushingly cold nightmare that was the polar vortex. Time to refuel and recover in the traditional way: with heaping platters of meat.
In northeast Minneapolis, you have two new places to try—one of which opened during the vortex—so get out there, ask your neighbor nicely to recharge your car battery if you have to, and replenish those energy stores.
If there's a more lovely combination of words to read when it's 22-below out than "Come and get it, we are open and ready to give you the meat sweats!!" we haven't heard it.
The owners of Eli's Food & Cocktails announced nearly 10 months ago that they'd be moving into the old Legends Bar & Grill building on Hennepin Avenue–though then, their new place was going to be called Lipstick Pig.
"We’re gonna keep the same Northeast bar vibe—meat raffle, pull-tabs," chef/co-owner Jeff Weber told us then.
The (wisely, we'd say) renamed meat heaven officially opened Thursday. No full menu online yet, but they've teased a Double Double Bacon Pork Butt Burger, "Pork Candy," and what appear to be absolutely massive smoked wings. Looks like there's also a beer brewed with HeadFlyer Brewing—Dogtown Beast Lager—and a bourbon collab with RockFilter distillery.
In a November press release, the Beast team promised meaty offerings of pork ribs, chicken, beef, and whitefish, all "conscientiously sourced and smoked over oak, pecan, and apple woods with the slow, low traditions of classic barbecue cooking." Smoked meats are served by the half-pound, with the standard sides, and there's also a takeout counter.
The same release said you won't recognize Beast as the former home of Legends; it's been stripped to bones and tricked out with oxidized metal panels, a "hot smoky inspired" concrete floor, and industrial lighting.
But don't worry: The meat raffle and pull-tabs are still part of the plan, as are weekly bingo nights and live music in the basement on weekends.
825 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-331-4575, beastbarbecue.com
Market Bar-B-Que has had to move a few times—when you've been around since 1946, that's bound to happen. So when the Polski family heard their Nicollet Avenue landlord would be giving them the boot for redevelopment last May, they packed it up once more. Except this time, they're trying out a new neighborhood.
Market Bar-B-Que basically recreated the original experience in a different part of town, according to this Strib report. They stripped the old place down and moved much of the interior to the new spot, giving it a vibe that feels downright timeless for a restaurant that opened in mid-January.
The massive menu has more than a dozen sandwiches—including "the biggest wiener in town"—plus trays, combo platters, and seafood. There are a few salads, and an Impossible burger makes an appearance for the vegetarians in your party. Signature sides include the standards like baked beans, collard greens, and hush puppies, along with Dorito-dusted pork rinds. (Check out the full menu below.)
This is a Market that can satisfy your midnight meat cravings, too: The spot's open 11 a.m. through 2 a.m., seven days a week.
220 NE Lowry Ave., Minneapolis, 612-872-1111, marketbbq.com