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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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