Friday, July 2, 2010

Ginger Hop

Visited on Saturday, June 19th

Outside Ginger Hop

Ben's Review
As part of my Father's Day celebration, Erin let me pick from a list of places to go out for dinner while her mom came over and watched Annie. We've had a gift certificate to Ginger Hop for awhile now and I figured it was a good time to put it to use.

Inside Ginger Hop

After a forgotten camera and a quick return home, we got to Ginger Hop around 6:30 with no wait to get a table. They have a great tap list that includes recent MN additions Deschutes and Odell's, I went with the 90 shilling from Odells, which was excellent.

Odell's 90 shilling

We looked at the appetizers and since there was an item with cream cheese, no thought was needed to make a decision, Erin is powerless against it. We got the cream cheese and carmelized onion won tons. They were good, but nothing special, I would still almost prefer the shitty ones at Kim Huoy Chor. As usual I had trouble deciding what to get, with conflicting feelings of wanting to get the same type of thing I always get because I know I'll like it, and wanting to try something new to see if there is another dish I can love. I decided on the red curry stir fry, which isn't that unique but I'd never had a curry stir fried before, so it was a little different.

Red Curry

The dish was beautiful and tasted great, though it wasn't spicy at all and I don't recall being asked for a spice level, which is always a nice option to have. They did have a spice tray at the table so I threw some chili garlic sauce on top, which helped out. I actually ended up eating WAY too much food as I ate nearly half of Erin's General Tsing's chicken (a relative of the heroic General Tso, and they must share recipes too).


I had a fun time and a good meal (two, really) at Ginger Hop, but there wasn't anything too interesting to make me want to go back anytime soon.

  • Service: Service was great, we had no issues. I particularly remember the host being right by the door when we walked in, which is nice to see.
  • Food: Good food, but nothing fantastic compared to other places, in my mind.
  • Drinks: Ginger Hop has a good tap list and some cool specialty drinks. From what I saw of the bar, it looked very well stocked, might be a fun place to belly up to.
  • Ambiance: It was surprisingly tame for around 7pm on a Saturday night. Thankfully, it was the kind of place where you can actually have a conversation, that might be reason enough to go back.
  • Price: Prices were right in line with what I would expect.
  • Convenience: Meter parking on the streets and a couple ramps are available.

Erin's Review
I'm just going to go ahead and say it - Ben sucks at this blog! He is the reason this post is SO LATE. As you can see, his review is EXTREMELY DETAILED - it probably took him a whole 15 minutes to write it. Ahh, the trials and tribulations of a joint blog :) As Ben mentioned, I nearly forgot my nice camera when driving to Ginger Hop. We made it about half way, but I decided we needed to go back. If we're only going out to a place for the blog once a month (if we're lucky!) I at least want nice photos of the experience! We still are getting out and about, even with a 5 month old baby, but our outings are usually limited to lunches or breakfasts at quick places unless we have a baby-sitter. My mom was nice enough to watch Annie on this evening. They had some nice grandma bonding time :)

Inside Ginger Hop

When we got to Ginger Hop, I was surprised by how empty it was - it was around 7pm on a Saturday evening, so I thought for sure it'd be busier. I really have no idea if this place is popular or not, I just remember adding it to our list when it opened. Amanda gave us a gift certificate for Christmas, so that is the main reason we went there. There were a few events going on in the cities on this evening, including Rock the Garden, so that MIGHT be a reason for it being empty - who knows.

Madame X

I ordered the fruitiest drink on the menu - the Madame X. It was a hot summer day, and this hit the spot. I could barely taste the alcohol, just as I prefer :) The cream cheese and caramelized onion wontons were pretty tasty, but you really had to search for the onion flavor. I still enjoyed them, as I do with most wontons.

Cream Cheese & Carmelized Onion Wontons

After convincing Ben to get something different than he always gets, I went with the General Tsing's chicken because I needed more deep fried food in my life. Obviously. This was a bit too spicy for me, which I should have known. I liked Ben's Red Curry much more, but I always am too tempted by fried food. The chicken was nothing special though, so I wouldn't really recommend it.

General Tsing's Chicken

Since I didn't really eat a ton of my meal (Ben had no problem finishing off mine, and his) I felt justified in getting dessert. Who am I kidding, I actually ALWAYS feel justified in getting dessert! They had Guinness Chocolate Cake, which I have made a few times and love, so I chose that. It was very good! I liked the simple presentation of the cake, and the frosting was delicious - more cream cheese :)

Guinness Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

If the place would have been busier, I'm sure the vibe would have been better, but as it is, it felt kind of blah. I certainly won't make a point to go back to Ginger Hop - way too many other places to try first!

201 E. Hennepin