Monday, June 30, 2008

Sea Salt Eatery

Visited on Thursday, June 26 with Scott, Mike, Dasa, and Tomas

Sea Salt Eatery

Ben's Review
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.

Minnehaha Falls

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.

Sea Salt Eatery

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.

Clam fries

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.

Catfish po'boy

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.
Erin's Review
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.

Sea Salt Eatery

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.

Sea Salt Eatery

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.

beer

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.

Oyster on the half shell

eating an oyster
(Luckily Ben grabbed my camera to capture my oyster eating experience)

My po' boy was very good too - the crawfish were apparently pretty big, and the bread was great.

Crawfish po'boy

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.

Deets

Sea Salt Eatery
4825 Minnehaha Ave.
Minneapolis

Highly recommended
on a nice summer night

12 comments:

dirt-e said...

The other surly taps where next to the other cash register a few weeks ago. Perhaps they are hiding in back now?

Anonymous said...

The food is decent, the beer is great but be prepared for a long wait if they are busy at all. I've seen employees taking breaks in the middle of a Sunday afternoon rush. There seem to be more employees standing around than there are working sometimes. This place needs the review of an efficiency expert and they could double their sales I bet.

mrs.leah.maria said...

So glad for this review! I'm usually only down at the Falls once a summer, for the AIDS Walk/10K, but I've always wanted to check this place out!

Now I know it's worth it, if we go early . . . :)

HungryinSW said...

Thanks for the review. I've always wanted to check this place out. Also, I saw Victors 1959 on your list and hit it the other day. Thanks for the inspiration. I did a brief write up at www.hungryinsw.blogspot.com - I'll head back there for sure, but not before I hit Sea Salt. I dig your guy's blog.

Holly said...

My husband and I went last night based on your review and we loved it. Thanks!

paperedtogether said...

definitely a great place to go :: really good food, great beer :: a super place to go with pesky kids!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever checked out Yelp.com ? I think you'd totally find it addictive, and I think your opinion would make a great addition to sight!

Justin Chase said...

I have been to the Czech Republic a few times and I think the liquor you are referring to is called Slivovitz. It's very popular there and often times it's homemade. I remember I was sick once when I was there and it was offered to me as the cure... Unfortunately it tastes like rocket fuel.

There was also another herb flavored liquor called Becherovka that was a little more palatable surprisingly.

ben said...

Yep, it was Slivovitz and it was homemade; Mike brought it out in an unlabeled glass bottle.

Scott Olson said...

"Luckily Ben grabbed my camera to capture my oyster eating experience"

I call BS, thats not the picture you are referring to at all. Oh, and if I click on the picture, it asks me to sign in?? Are you phishing (thats like fishing but with a PH).

I want the true picture of you actually EATING the oyster.... Here you are just eyeing it up suspiciously, like when you look at me.

Anonymous said...

OOOverrated
it was supposed to be the best sea food restaurant; we took my father-in-law for father's day dinner. the line was relatively long and the girl took order was slow. we waited 20 minutes to place the order and 45 minutes for 2 orders fried fish and crab cake sandwich. we checked our order twice with 15 minutes apart. the servers and manager didn't seem to care.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were there over the weekend for the first time. Fotunately we knew enough to arrive early and only waited in line 20 minutes. We ordered a pitcher of beer while we waited for our food. The price was good, the atomosphere was fantastic; perfect for any type of individual/couple. Unfortunately we both came down with food poisoning after consuming a large amount of oysters and shrimp. We're each going on day 2 of the yuckies and so far no sign of it letting up.