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Jul 10, 2011 01:11 PM

verdict's out

Had brunch at the new Wise Acres in Tangle Town. I was a die hard Liberty Custard fan so I wanted to feel ok about the new tenants in the space. Food was decent although slightly pricey for breakfast. The kitchen was really slow, however our server was not. Biggest complaint is that my dining mate wanted an over-easy egg instead of a poached egg on a dish and the chef said "no" to our special order. Really? Odd. You're new to the neighborhood so I would suggest you bend a little. Even if you're an established restaurant you better bend a little to your patron's small requests. I would go back though to give them another shot. Great plants and flowers everywhere.

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  1. So are the rumors that the new guys are keeping the custard machine true?

    5 Replies
    1. re: shadowfax

      I've only had coffee there, but I believe that they still serve custard there as well. Last week, Rachel Hutton reviewed the place: she was generally positive about the place but thinks that the custard isn't quite as good as it used to be.

      LInk here:

      1. re: bob s

        I swung through there, having forgot that Liberty closed. Did run in and DID NOT see a custard machine or see custard the on the menu. BUT, I was also more than annoyed seeing a really decked out upscale and pricey replacement of the beloved and relaxed Liberty Custard. Not happy. But would feel better if they served custard...

        Tired of Minneapolis being the city of pricey neighborhood joints.

        1. re: shanemio

          Of course, it's not the Wise Acre folks fault that Liberty closed. And I wouldn't call its neighborhood the home of lots of pricey neighborhood joints (Cathay Chow Mein anyone?). I have my own reservations about the place (and I think it looks expensive), but I do admire the way that they've integrated their farm into a neighborhood restaurant.

          1. re: bob s

            I wouldn't call its neighborhood the home of lots of pricey neighborhood joints either - especially since it is my neighborhood. I am referring to the profusion of new neighborhood restaurants in Minneapolis that are not competitively priced based on location. Unlike NY, SF and even Chicago, where location is often a leading indicator of lower and more competive prices. And I certainly would not compare Cathay to Wild Acres. Or the multiple versions of new Chinese Wok storefronts that are all over either.

      2. re: shadowfax

        Yes, they have custard. Reviews aren't great, $2.50 for a single dollop isn't exactly popular either.

      3. I'm guessing that's not the "have it your way" breakfast featured on the online menu.

        1. From the reviews and pics on other websites, plus a review of the menu, only people in the mood to throw away money would eat here. We are rich with other options, not in need of the pretentious, overpriced fare offered here.

          3 Replies
          1. re: SarahInMinneapolis

            All their lunch offerings are under $10, and dinner is under $20. Execution-wise, if it doesn't taste good, it doesn't taste good, but neither the offerings nor the prices seem particularly out of line to me.

            1. re: kevin47

              Have you been there? The prices aren't that bad on paper, until your food arrives. Quite literally the smallest sandwich I've ever seen. That and two fork fulls of slaw and two slices of refrigerator pickles - $7.

              If they have cut out all middlemen and are farm to kitchen, shouldn't that help keep prices down? For what it is, it's more expensive than Heartland.

              1. re: semanticantics

                Wholeheartedly agree. The portions are just meager, and the food, while quite tasty, is not so much tastier than other restaurants that it warrants the exhorbitant price-per-bite. As I said in my review earlier, the burger was quite delicious, but the tiny plate of less than 10 fries for $5.00 was almost insulting. Potatoes are the cheapest produce around.

                It's too bad, because honestly an extra handful of fries or a couple more ounces of ground beef would probably make all the difference to diners, and the focus would be the quality of the food rather than the size...

          2. OK, now Tilia in Linden Hills. Tilia vs. Wise Acres vs Town Hall Tap. Tilia wins by a landslide in my book. Finally a restaurant that I have not ordered one clunker at. $3 for an appetizer in Minneapolis? A really good appetizer of perfectly charred flatbread with dukka,an African nut and spice mixture, to dip it in? To see $3 for anything on a menu is surprising. I love this restaurant. So far, it's been a sure thing. My only complaint is how crazy loud it can be. Need some sound treament.

            1. We went to Wise Acre last night and though the meal was very pleasant and the waiter extremely nice, I wouldn't say the experience was good enough to warrant a 30 minute wait on a Tuesday night and the high price tag.

              The evening started off somewhat frustrating as to get your name on the list you need to stand in the small entryway of the hotel while the waitstaff are moving past you to get outside. Also, this isn't the restaurant's fault, but we were really turned off by the other people waiting for tables. For example, the woman behind us in line started a conversation with the host about getting her table of 7 in before we could even finish getting our name on the list, and while waiting outside we were subjected to a man being pretty rude to the kid working the window because he wasn't able to serve them food off the main window. It left me wondering what's become of notoriously polite Minnesotans.

              Once we finally got a table the experience was enjoyable, although the restaurant is quite loud. As mentioned, our server was extremely kind and engaged us in conversation is a very earnest way. We ordered the wings appetizer which was good but didn't justify the $2.33 per wing price (!!). Our daughter had the hamburger from the kids meal which was as big as an adult-size hamburger, and it should be for $9, but was way too big for a child to eat. I had the Shades of Summer salad which was a bit heavy on the dressing, but overall light but still filling as a dinner. My husband had the brie and bacon burger and I enjoyed the taste of it that I had, but wasn't blown away by it (brie + bacon can't be too bad). We all really enjoyed the rhubarb ketchup, which is unusual for me since I usually don't like homemade ketchups (I'm thinking of TTD's bacon ketchup). Since we'd ordered a custard outside while waiting (vanilla with brownie bites - delicious - but they charge $1 extra if you want cone vs. cup!) and the kids meal comes with custard, the waiter comped us a beer which was unnecessary although appreciated. The bill came to around $60 without tip, which I normally wouldn't flinch at, but seemed like a lot for what we got. When I got home last night I compared prices with The Lowbrow up the street and noticed that similar dishes were 1/2 to 1/3 less at The Lowbrow, which also advertises locally sourced food and grass fed beef.