My co-worker Mike lives near Minnehaha Park so we arranged to have dinner after work at Sea Salt Eatery which is located near Minnehaha falls in the park. We drove to Mike's house after work and hung out there for a few minutes. Mike's wife is from the Czech Republic and they had some Czech liquor that we tried; it was clear, plum flavored, and about 100 proof. Scott, Mike, and I all had a shot before heading to the park.
We walked from Mike's house to the park, stopping at the falls to take a couple photos (you can't really pass that up if you're going there). The previous day I was a little worried that the weather wouldn't hold up; Sea Salt is an outdoor restaurant so if the weather is bad you don't really want to go. The weather turned out to be beautiful that day, however, I should know better than to trust weather forecasts at this point.
At Sea Salt you order inside the restaurant and get your drink, and then they bring the food out to you when it's ready. As we waited in line I scoped out the menu. The seafood tacos sounded good, but I was concerned that it wasn't going to be enough food. I asked the cashier how big they were and decided to go with a catfish po' boy. Mike had ordered some clam fries for the table to share so I didn't order any other side dish.
I had heard that they had Surly on tap here, but the taps that I saw were only Summit Pilsner, Summit EPA, and New Belgium Skinny Dip. I was a little disappointed, but I can always fall back to Summit, no big deal. So we headed out to our table beers in hand to wait for our food. Eating outside in Minnesota in the summertime is great, especially in the evening when it's not so hot anymore. I don't even recall any mosquitoes that night, which is pretty amazing.
I was a little skeptical of the clam fries, but those things are GOOD. And there were plenty for the five of us to eat. My catfish po' boy came out and I was stunned at how big it was - there were three huge catfish filets on a long hoagie bun, it all barely fit. After allowing Erin to photograph my sandwich I dove in, and it was great.
The bun was soft and the catfish was lightly breaded and not greasy, it was fantastic. Mike ordered some tacos and they also looked good, they were loaded with cilantro. All the food we had looked so FRESH, I was impressed. Mike said they go there a lot, and I can see why, especially when it's only open a couple months out of the year.
After we finished our food Scott and I went inside to get another round of beers and as we walked in from the opposite side we saw something we had missed earlier - an extra set of beer taps with the Surly beers :) They had Furious, Bender, and Bitter Brewer with the signature Surly tap handles. All of sudden, the meal just got better; Scott, Mike, and I all got a Furious and Erin had another Skinny Dip (she's not much for the hops).
I give Sea Salt two thumbs up for the food, the beer selection, and the reasonable prices.
- Service: Service was good, I like, that they bring your food out after you order it.
- Food: Fantastic sea food, Erin even liked her oyster.
- Drinks: I liked the beer selection, make sure to ask for the Surly if you don't see it, it's there :)
- Ambiance: Right in the middle of a park on a nice summer evening, it doesn't really get better than that.
- Price: For our beer and food, our bill was around $35 which I think is great for fresh seafood.
- Convenience: There's some pay parking spots in the park but you can park on a side street and walk a bit for free. If you're going here it must be a nice day so walking shouldn't be a big deal.
As with most places on our list, I was very excited to try Sea Salt Eatery. I love seafood, and I love things that are fried, so it seemed like it would be right up my alley. As usual, the weather forecast for last Thursday had changed approximately every 5 minutes in the 24 hours preceding our dinner. Luckily it ended up being beautiful and sunny.
When we got there, the line wasn't that long and there were quite a few open tables. By the time we left, it was pretty packed, so I was glad we got there when we did. I was having a bit of order indecision. I've never had a po'boy, so I decided to go with that in the spirit of trying something new. I'd also never had crawfish, so I figured why not. I threw in one oyster on the half shell to see how that was as well.
We took our beers outside (in the absence of any light beer, I ordered the Skinny Dip) and waited maybe 15 minutes for our food. The clam fries came out first, and they were great - fried but not greasy and very fresh tasting.
When our food arrived, I was surprised at how big our po'boys were - they were HUGE. My oyster was very large as well. In fact, it was so large I was not sure if I would actually be able to eat it in one piece. Luckily, I perservered and overcame the oyster. It was fresh and delicious. I'm actually not sure if I've had an oyster before, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but this one tasted great.
My po' boy was very good too - the crawfish were apparently pretty big, and the bread was great.
I definitely enjoyed Sea Salt and would love to go back. It seemed fairly reasonably priced and the atmosphere was great, very casual obviously, and the staff was friendly.
Sea Salt Eatery
4825 Minnehaha Ave.
Highly recommended on a nice summer night