Are you a true Minnesotan? Here’s the test: Do you like smoked fish — check yes or no. My answer is hell yes, just in case you were wondering. I was raised on smoked salmon up in the north country and have loved the taste since it first hit my lips. So, when I heard that Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub was opening a mere 10 blocks away from my home, I was thrilled. Beer AND smoked food? Hallelujah!
I found myself there on a Tuesday night around 5:45. I was meeting some friends from work and luckily, we got there just in time — it seemed to fill up right after we arrived. We sat down and were quickly approached by our server, inquiring about which beer we’d like to try out.
Honey Wheat Ale, Light Rail Pale Ale, Big Jim IPA, and Smokehouse Porter were on the menu, but we were informed that they were out of the Big Jim. Bummer! I love a good IPA. I settled for a Light Rail Pale Ale and my friend John ordered the Honey Wheat Ale. I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful and drinkable the Light Rail Pale Ale was! It was bright and hoppy and went down real easy. I tried a sip of the Honey Wheat Ale and sadly, was not impressed. It seemed lackluster and flat compared to my golden pint. Well, no biggie — since we got there at 5:45, our first drinks were covered under happy hour pricing and only put us out a mere $3. Can’t complain about that.
Our other friends started to arrive and we scanned the menu to decide on dinner. It was nice to see that they offered more than just smoked meats — for you vegetarians out there, they offer a Smoked Egg Salad or Portabella Mushroom Sandwich. Both sounded delicious, but I decided to go with the Smoked Trout Wrap ($9.50). In addition to the smoked fish, it had Granny Smith apples, havarti cheese, mixed greens, and dill mayo on a herb and garlic wrap — it made my mouth water just reading about it.
Our food arrived timely and looked excellent — my only complaint was that I wished there was a pickle or small side to accompany it — it looked a little lonely. The first bite brought me back to the smoked fish of my youth, and I savored every second of it. The fish was the star of the wrap — it was smokey and moist. The apple added a needed crunch and the dill mayo was the perfect element to tie it all together. The others in my group tried the Smoked Turkey Sandwich, Smoked Beef Sandwich, and the Northbound Burger. No complaints here! They were all very pleased with their meals.
We polished off our food and enjoyed another round of beers. Our waiter was attentive, but not pushy. It’s nice when you don’t feel rushed to finish up in a busy, neighborhood place. Since I went with the pale ale for the second round too, I resolved to try something different next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time. See you soon, Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub.
It’s great to see a brand new establishment so vibrant and busy! Their patio was fall-feeling with pretty planters of mums, and the inside had a clean, modern aesthetic.
Friendly, efficient, and helpful.
The beers were simple in their unmarked pint glasses. The food looked nice, but could have used something more to jazz it up.
The Light Rail Pale Ale was awesome –I’m looking forward to trying more of their beers — and my Smoked Trout Wrap hit the spot.
Value for Dollars
Our first drinks made it in under their great happy hour — $3 beers! — and after that were a bit more expensive. The food was very reasonably priced — after tip, my total was about $23. Pretty reasonable for two great beers and a delicious wrap.
But don’t take my word for it: