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MSP - The Strip Club

I've been reading this blog for about a year and never felt the need to write until now. For the most part, I've just read, learned, and gratefully excepted the advice given. However, this past weekend I had an experience that differed so greatly with what I have read, that I thought I would share it. We, myself and three others, had dinner Sat. night at The Strip Club in St. Paul. I was very much looking forward to it but was dismally disappointed. Our reservations were for 8:00 and we were seated relatively promptly. Our server was quick to give us menus and our water glasses were filled. We ordered a round of drinks and I loved my Danny the Bucket (Lemoncello, Campari, lemonade). We ordered four small plates, two of which were excellent (Walleye Fritters, Foie Gras), one which was not quite what we expected (Poutine) and one which never showed up (Devil's Eggs) although it did make an apperance on our check. We enjoyed our drinks and small plates even though it was extremely warm, extremely noisy and extremely crowded on our balcony space. Also, it appeared that our server had forsaken us for a large party of 12 or so. We ordered another round of drinks when he came to take our entree orders around 9:00. Three drinks were delivered within minutes but he had forgotten mine. He brought it about 15 minutes later. Normally, I am not one to watch the clock but given the lateness of the hour and the size of the clock on the wall, it was hard not to do so. We had not yet received our meals by 10:00. At one point, the server flew by our table, acknowledged us and said the food would be out in two minutes. When it did arrive I was very unhappy. I had ordered the pork shoulder with black beans, sausage, chilies, kale, tomato & citrus. I was very surprised when I looked down and saw not black beans, but Cannellini beans which I do not care for. No mention of the substitution was made by the server. Also, there was one niblet of sausage (yes, I counted). Two of my friends enjoyed their meals but my husband was disappointed with the rib eye special, which was unfortunate as I am always on the hunt for an alternative to Manny's. When we finished our entrees, we had a wonderful desert. It was a large donut with a butterscotch syrup in the middle, covered in chocolate sauce. I have a sweet tooth and enjoyed it throughly, although I would have preferred not to have shared it! When all was said and done, it was 11:15 when we left and and we all worried about falling asleep on the ride home due to the extreme warmth of the room. Bottom line; the service seemed harried, the pace was French-like and the food was hit or miss.

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  1. So...after the smoke clears, will you give them another shot at getting everything right?

    1. Welcome leeniebeanie! Sorry to hear you had a bad experience at Strip Club. I think the place has great potential. But, I, alas, like you had a very disappointing experience. I think they must be great when they are on, and not so great on their off-days.

      I'd like to say (to RedTop) that I'll return to give them another shot, but, no, no probably I won't. At least, I haven't thus far. I do intend to try them for brunch, maybe.

      ~TDQ

      1. I am sorry you had a so-so experience. We have been to TSC four times and had fantastic experiences each time. It sounds like your server was preoccupied with the other party, which of course is unaccceptable, but luckily not the norm.

        Did you say anything to your server about the quality of your entree?

        Is your husband accustomed to grass-fed beef? It does taste quite different.

        1. Hello all - I may give them another shot (those walleye fritters were teriffic!) but it wouldn't be my first choice and it wouldn't be on a Saturday night. You all bring up some very good points (I am lovin' this site) especially regarding the difference in grass-fed beef. Thanks.

          1 Reply
          1. re: leeniebeanie

            I appreciated your review and hope you do try it again. The eggs are great-- definitely order them again (and hopefully you'll actually receive them next time)!

          2. Thanks for the review. I always appreciate these dissenting opinions on Chowhounds.

            If I had to guess, it sounds like your food and drinks were stuck behind the 12-top all night, which is regrettable, but no excuse for the service you received. We haven't been to Strip Club yet due to it's distance from us and the fact that I enjoy my beef (corn, silage, grain or grass-fed) unadulterated (except salt and pepper) and Strip Club appears to take Thousand Hills beef and put stuff on top of it (though I understand it can be ordered unmolested).

            I would hope you give it a second chance if you live in the area and, with luck, not draw the unenviable spot behind a big table in a restaurant with a small kitchen, and report back.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Foureyes137

              To be fair to the restaurant, YOU have the option of putting stuff on top of your thousand hills steak, but they do not, in advance, come pre-topped.

              In addition to the extremely well-crafted cocktails and thousand hills beef (with or without adornments) i think the small plates are generally delightful, as indicated in the above luke-warm review. Right right so its impossible to muck up foie, and the poutine wasn't what you expected (is it ever?) its really a shame that you didnt get your Devil's Eggs as they are incredibly delicious. Ive been very happy at the strip club with a couple of cocktails and a collection of small plates - and unlike some other small plate places around town it seems like they represent a pretty decent value (i want to say the eggs are about 3 dollars) im so tired of small plates having non-small prices, or if the prices are adjusted downard then they can go from small to micro plates - im lookin at you, solera.

              1. re: tex.s.toast

                Yes, agreed. The steak is on the menu and the "toppings" are ordered separately. I have only eaten the "unadulterated" steaks there -- never topped.

                www.domeats.com Check the menu for yourself.

                1. re: MSPD

                  I'm aware that the meats can come unadorned...hence my observation "though I understand it can be ordered unmolested", however...I find the option of putting blue cheese on a great piece of beef insulting. Yeah, I get it, I'm the weirdo...

                  1. re: Foureyes137

                    im definitely no purist, and really not a steak guy, but blue cheese on a steak strikes me as somewhat traditional.

                    bittman thinks so:http://bitten.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/...

                    I guess in terms of steakhouses and menu options better to offer and risk offending those who like their meat plane than not offer it and lose the business of people who want blue cheese, pistachio butter, basil or whatever else they will put on your steak for you.

                    Finally, for the record, i didnt mean to imply that you didnt know TSC offered their steaks sans-topping, but wanted to make sure that anyone referencing this thread did not get that impression.