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Nov 2, 2010 07:34 AM

town talk diner

anyone been over the past few weeks, since the big shake-up in the kitchen?

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  1. What was the shake-up in the kitchen? I haven't been there in a couple of months. I love their drinks - their cocktails are excellent and bartenders knowledgeable and passionate about cocktails, and they're a ton of fun too. But I've always thought of the food there as "meh". It's a good choice with a large group with diverse palates, but other than that, it's not that great. I hope the shakeup brings a more inventive menu and tastier food.

    4 Replies
    1. re: foreverhungry

      i agree, and i hope a more inventive menu will result...when they first opened, it was a more interesting place to eat. it's hard to tell what will happen.

      1. re: petergray

        Thanks for the link. Interesting situation. I didn't realize TTD was owned by the Theros group. That in part explains the lack of quality behind the food. Rudolph's is OK, but St. Clair Broiler might actually be the single worst "restaurant" I have ever eaten at. Ever. Spanning a dozen countries, and over 30 states. And I'm including Applebees and TGIF style chains.

        Given that ownership, I'd say TTD actually kept up a remarkable quality of food. But, as the article said, maybe this is a great time for a re-birth. I'll venture back in a couple months once things have settled. But same ownership as St. Clair Broiler? Ugh....

        Applebee's Restaurant
        2201 Coulee Rd, Hudson, WI 54016

        1. re: petergray

          I second the notion re: decline in inventiveness. I was there a few days ago and it didn't seem materially different but I was recalling the more interesting and extensive specials they used to have. It was a place where you could have six people have several different dining experiences from burger/hot dog to great, high-end dishes.

          I wouldn't hesitate to go there, but with places like Haute Dish sort of moving into the space where Town Talk used to be, I too hope for a return to more ambition.

          1. re: MSPD

            well, it's still a good place to go for a fun cocktail, atmosphere, and snacks. it's great for the neighborhood, and a solid weekday option. i wish the menu was more doesn't have to be for me to like and patronize the place, but it'd be nice.

      2. I feel that TTD has had one of the biggest falls from grace of any restaurant in the Cities. I haven't been since the staff drama, but we went maybe 3 months ago and it was incredibly disappointing. We had a careless server who didn't get my order correct and barely interacted with us. The food, although it sounded delicious, was boring. TTD was one of our favorite places where you could hang out at the bar, get tastes of fantastic drinks, laugh with the bartenders, etc. and now I find the space unfriendly and depressing. I still have my Groupon and I'm not really that motivated to go and use it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: katebauer

          This is a shame. Town Talk Diner was a favorite of mine when I lived in Minneapolis. Even after the ownership change in 2008, I thought it was still good. I haven't been there since early 2009, though.

          Town Talk Diner
          2707 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

          1. re: katebauer

            Agree with this entirely. I used to love to belly up to the bar, take some drink recommendations from the knowledgeable bartenders, try a sample of whatever new thing they were creating, visit with the regulars. I went last night and noticed that the drink menu hasn't changed in ages. The food menu had a mix of some of the old standby's (cheese curds, kitchen sink burger) and some really unexciting new dishes. Three of the six happy hour apps. were not available. The bartenders were all brand new and asking each other for help on the drink recipes. I'll forgive them for the kinks during what must be a pretty stressful transition period. But while I've always thought a $14 mac&cheese was overkill, I was willing to ignore it because it was really creamy and tasty. Last night's mac and cheese was dried out, not creamy and reminded me of the kind you could get from Lund's deli for $5. I'd have been happier stopping at Noodles. And the cheese curds were definitely a smaller portion than usual. I guess I'm curious to see what the new chef they hired from 112 can do with the menu, but I'm not eager to go back. So disappointing, because this used to be my favorite neighborhood restaurant.

          2. Wow, we just drove through the snow on a rare date night (and because we had an expiring DealStork). Let's just say that as we left we were tempted to tell the couple coming in that they might want to hit Denny's across the street instead.

            We went because we had recently been to a party that hired out TT bartenders and my husband had one of the best old-fashioneds of his life that night, but those bartenders must have been part of the staff walk-out or something. His old-fashioned tonight was watery, flavorless, and to add insult to injury was served in a wineglass (thus only about half the pour after the ice was added).

            They were out of many of the items on the menu, which I never take as a good sign. My grilled cheese, a simple enough dish to prepare, was seriously akin to the Denny's. My husband's meat pie, talked up as as one of the stellar items that the new chef was making, was skimpy on the meat and served in a bowl with a puffed topping that cleverly disguised that the bowl was less than half full below. It was a smaller serving than a cup of soup.

            The room was more or less empty, just a few other tables, and absolutely freezing. We didn't stay for dessert, even though we were still hungry, because they were also out of most of the items on the dessert menu. And let's just say I don't think it was because of the mad dinner rush that arrived before us.

            We are seriously now back home and heating up frozen food from Trader Joe's. The whole thing makes me really sad, and angry at myself for wasting a rare night out.