The holiday season is here and I have far too many traditions I’m trying to fit into a one month period. Last week I ran through my list thus far:
- Attend a Christmas Party - check
- Put up our Christmas Tree – check
- Watch Home Alone – check
Next on my list was the annual Holidazzle Parade. Since I’m not a native Minneapolite the parade isn’t a longstanding tradition in my family, it’s more like one of those “c’mon honey, let’s start our own tradition” kind of traditions. To convince Alex to join me again this year, I enticed him with a downtown happy hour. And since he was giving in to my forced tradition, I let him choose our destination. The Local.
The restaurant is split into a number of different “rooms“, making each section feel like its own neighborhood pub. We pushed through the crowds and found the first open seats in the Porter Pub area, bellied up to the bar where those suckers with kids didn’t dare sit.
The happy hour at The Local isn’t a phenomenal deal, but it is the perfect pair to the Holidazzle Parade exuding that feeling of tradition I was going for. Here’s the scoop: Monday – Friday, 11 am-6 pm, $4.50 taps, well drinks and house wines. Plus, from 2-6 pm, $6 appetizers.
Since we sat at the bar we had a great view of the beers on tap. Lots of great Irish options and a few local favorites.
Alex decided to go with a Harp’s. Cool and refreshing. I was a temped by bottles of 2 Gingers whiskey everywhere – the most authentically Irish and Local Minneapolis whiskey around. Big Ginger for me. They do have a Skinny Ginger option, but I’m working on my winter weight.
The service was surprisingly fast in a bar with standing room only. We got the bartender’s attention to grab us a food menu and asked for a few recommendations since there were so many tasty options. Happy hour includes $6 appetizers from 2-6 pm, so we decided to get two apps to hold us over for the evening. We went with the Crispy Calamari and The Local’s Wonton’s.
I dug into the Crispy Calimari first. Make sure to squeeze all that lemon on top – my first bite was without and the breading was a little plain. For the second taste I waited for the lemon juice and then reached over for a dip in the curry aioli. Yum! I quickly dipped my pinky in for some more aioli (you can do that when you’re eating with your spouse). It sure beats the tartar sauce I was expecting.
The Local’s Wontons were next. Fried food rarely disappoints me, but I was a little worried about the Irish filling – corned beef and sauerkraut. I took a taste and thought it was genius. My own little rueben sandwich fried with sweet chili sauce for dipping. We were glad we listened to the recommendation on this one.
$25 later we had full bellies and I had a little whiskey in my blood to keep me warm for the parade. We paid, thanking the bartender for his help, and shuffled outside to find my family and a good spot to watch the parade. A great opener for the evening to come.
And here are a couple other happy hours to enjoy prior to the dazzling lights of the parade.
Great for friends, family, co-workers, and even kids I guess! But be aware, The Local is always packed and tables are hard to find.
Nothing to complain about here. The servers know what they’re doing, easily handling the crowds and making sure everyone is satisfied.
Bar food with a little downtown style.
The appetizers were spot on. Great flavor, generous portions, and just the right sauces! I’d recommend their Rachel Sandwich if you go for lunch or dinner.
Value for Dollars
1-5, I’d say it gets a 3.5 .
But don’t take my word for it…