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Nov 1, 2008 07:19 AM

[MSP] Bulldog Lowertown Review

Like a lot of other St. Paul folks, we've been terribly excited about Bulldog opening in Lowertown, especially since we live just blocks away. Last night was our first opportunity to go since they opened on Wednesday.

It was very crowded but we found a table right away. The room itself is very pleasant and I was happy to see that they have table shuffleboard, a game I was addicted to in college. The noise level was incredible, especially when we first arrived and the music was blasting. It was turned down later on, which was a relief. I've never really understood the need for bars to play their music so ridiculously loud. Don't people actually want to talk to each other?

The beer menu is amazing, the size of a novel. Yet the prices on all the beers are quite reasonable. My husband got a tasting flight of six hoppy beers. We both liked the Bluebird Bitter the best of the bunch. I tried a pint of the Saison Dupont Farmhouse Ale and loved it.

We were a bit disappointed by the menu, which seemed a little dumbed-down for the St. Paul customers. I know that each Bulldog menu differs somewhat, but we had really wanted to get truffle fries and they weren't on the menu. Nor was the truffle burger or the togarashi burger. Perhaps I'm a little sensitive, being an almost lifelong St. Paul resident, but sometimes I think that some restaurant owners think that everyone in St. Paul is a yokel and they'd better aim their menus strictly for the yokel crowd.

Still, the food was quite good. I ordered a patty melt and the onions came nicely caramelized and it was cooked perfectly medium rare. My husband got a Humpty Dumpty burger, which came with a fried egg and Canadian bacon, and he really liked it. The fries were great, too.

We had a great time and we'll definitely be back to Bulldog, especially since it's so close to home for us. It's wonderful to have a nice bar in the neighborhood (especially since LoTo has been such a massive disappointment). But I do hope the owners will consider the fact that one of the things that makes Bulldog stand out from the hundreds of bars in the Twin Cities that serve beer and burgers is their creative twist on traditional bar food. Some of us really want those creative twists. In other words, please put truffle fries on the menu!

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  1. Oh no! No truffle burger! How disappointing. Nevertheless, sounds like the food they did have was pretty good. Thanks for reporting back for us!


    1 Reply
    1. I went to the Bulldog Lowertown for lunch today, but had to leave after an hour without ever getting any food.

      The wait-staff seemed to be working hard, and the bartenders were knocking out drinks, but food seemed to be just barely trickling out of the kitchen. Since they only opened recently, some snafus are understandable, but it didn't look like the management or the kitchen workers had any sense of urgency about the problem... lots of standing around slack jawed back in the grill area.

      Given the location among the offices in Saint Paul, one would think that ownership/management would anticipate and plan for a business lunch rush, but they seemed incapable of, and indifferent to, meeting the challenge

      I hope they can get their act together because there seems to be good potential.

      1 Reply
      1. re: PaintBoy

        I was in there last night for dinner. I talkd to the owner for a little bit, and he said that yesterday's lunch was a disaster. He didn't specify what went wrong, but he was definitely aware that there was a problem.

        It was jam-packed in there by 4:45. I was able to snag two seats at the bar, but it took another 20 minutes to flag down a bartender for a beer. Maybe I got there during shift change? My burger was bloody (gross), they ran out of tater tots, and half of the beers that are on the beer list aren't in stock yet. They just got their buyer's card right before they opened, so some of the harder to find beers are still on order.

        I'm going to be generous and chalk it up to growing pains... It's only been a week.