This recipe comes from a visit to Revival in South Minneapolis. After my first mouthful of their Tennessee hot chicken I knew I had to try to recreate it at home (the Cheetos style Pork Rinds are next). Good thing they announced recently that they were going to expand, that place always had a line and we had to get in at open to find a spot to sit down. This recipe is damn close to what they have.

The optional spent grain flour ingredient was one I have been meaning to use in a recipe and this was my opportunity. If you are brewers like us, I would recommend trying it out.


The Meat:
6 Chicken breasts, preferably never frozen
Dry Rub:
1/4 C Beef Ribs Spice Rub
The Coating:
5 Eggs
4 C Flour
1/4 C Spent Grain Flour (optional)
1 T Cayenne
1 T Granulated garlic
1/2 T Beef Ribs Spice Rub
Finishing Sauce:
3 T Cayenne Pepper
2 T Brown Sugar
1 t Garlic powder
1 t Yellow Curry
1 C Fry oil (careful!)

Start by cutting the breasts into tender-style strips, usually around 3 per breast. Put in large bowl and sprinkle on and mix in dry rub until modestly coated. This will not take the entire 1/4 cup, save some for the coating. Put in fridge and let sit for at least two hours.

Break the eggs and whisk in a large bowl. In a separate bowl thoroughly mix together the dry ingredients. Pull the chicken out of the fridge and dip them in the dry mix and place them on a plate. This step should be done ahead of time to allow the chicken to warm up a bit from the fridge before cooking, 30 minutes or so.

Set your deep fryer to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Dredge a piece of chicken in the eggs and raise to let the excess drip. Dip once more in the dry mix and tap out any excess. Place in your fryer, , laying it away from yourself, making sure not to overcrowd the space – leaving about an inch between pieces.

Let cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Pull out of the fryer and place on a rack to cool and drip.

Mix the dry ingredients from the finishing sauce and with a dry, clean, metal or glass measuring cup pull out some of the fry oil and pour on top of the dry ingredients. Mix well. Either brush on or dredge the mixture onto the finished chicken.

Tooties on Lowry is a bar that if you were to see inside in the dead of night when there is no people, beer or food around, you might go in but not without some serious hesitation. It has the look of a place you would find tucked away in a small town in the boondocks of Wisconsin – wood paneled walls, vinyl stools with rips in them, a gravity furnace hole in the center of the place, a ficus tree in the center of the dining room…

But you do not notice those things when you enter in the height of things. What you do see are families and friends gathering and hugging each other. Old friends bellying up to the bar and shaking hands with the person sitting next to them. Kids running around the game room playing with each other in games of hide-n-seek. Though the physical aspects of the building detract from the appeal, it’s the people and the employees that generate the merriment and jovial nature of the atmosphere.

Credit: foodio54.com

Having eaten there before, my comments on what Tooties is only solidified with this mancuisine visit – It is a community space that locals come to eat food, drink, and be together. Being at Tooties just makes you feel warm inside, before you even have a beer or bite of food.

Their tap selection is notable, at our visit they had just had Insight over for an event and had some of theirs, along with many other local breweries (an a surprisingly absent presence of the big brew dogs, which we enjoy).  We tweeted Tooties in the morning of our visit asking what food we should try and one recommendation was to have the peanut sauce from their wings cover a burger patty and served. It was delicious [thanks twitter Tooties!].

Top commendation goes to their wings. We did Tooties’ “Wing of the month” which has ghost pepper and Surly and they were top notch. Their wings have the right amount of meat, cooked at the right temperature for the right time and covered with deliciousness. Their wing cooking process is refined, and creates delicious and filling wings.

If you are ever in the Robbinsdale area, at North Memorial Hospital (knock on wood – you won’t need to!), or in North Minneapolis and you are looking for a place to settle in, we strongly recommend giving Tooties on Lowry a visit.

Food: 4/5 typical bar food, made in a way that raises them above.
Drink: 3/5 Beer and wine bar, with local selections but not too diverse.
Atmosphere: 5/5 Welcoming, friendly and warming
Overall: 4/5 Good food, great atmosphere, tired building.

Bumped into a beer distributor we knew in a parking lot recently and after some discussion he was wondering why we had not yet made it over to the just-opened JL Beers in Burnsville. We had no good answer and a week later we took care of the void in our map.

JL Beers is a growing collection of pubs out of Fargo. The nearest is in the near Nord’east across from Surdyk’s. Two of our members had been to that location and had prior ideas as to what a B’ville location would bring and thought to test those notions. Refreshing to have a spot in the ‘burbs that isn’t super-sized and overly bright.

The beer selection is indeed impressive. The menu of many pages warns of constant changes in the wide range of malty to silly hoppy, and from session beers to alcohol levels that seem just plain dangerous. Two of us went with flights to sample the wares. The Don’t Worry be Hoppy and Ales from the Dark Side were wonderful. Pint prices were in line with local averages.

Flights of Fancy
Flights of Fancy

Eventually, you need to get some food. The group felt that we had been hitting too many upscale places that were a bit pricey recently and that our recent run to the HalfTime Rec was a welcome return to a good, sensible burger joint. Fortunately, although new, JL’s burgers were both wonderful and reasonable.

IMG_2302All of our burger choices were big, juicy and filling although they looked a bit naked on the large serving platters. Given the small tables, JL may want to scale the plates a bit. We did order some sides as well- maybe they were taking up the extra space…

The JL Burger, Classic, and County 42 were perfect examples of what they claimed. The loaded fries had quite a kick and plenty of cheese. We could have used forks but ate the pile before we could ask for them. We also ordered a chicken sandwich but had the kitchen add some sauce and an egg on top, great addition.

As for service, the help was everywhere but could not always hit right on the timing of when to grab orders or refill glasses. Seems like they cover for each other when they see a table in need – nice touch. Beer, food, water all came as wanted by a nicely mixed group of wait staff. The bunch behind the bar seemed lively and the crowd that gathered to eat was mostly in their 20’s/30’s with many couples sitting across from one another. Although the setting is somewhat industrial the place was warm on a cold night and the buzz was good.

Happy JL guy at the taps

We are recommending the place. It’s just south from Costco and a block or so from the Burnsville Center. We should also let you woodworkers know that there is a Rockler nearby. Even without a Juicy Lucy option for the hometown feel (they are from ND) and no “ring-of-onion” there’s plenty there to fill the stomach.

Food: 4/5 Lots of options, and ability to add to make it what you want.
Drink: 4.5/5 Beers for everyone willing to try, but no happy hour.
Atmosphere: 3/5 Cramped and crowded, but the ambiance was there.
Overall: 4/5 Great for a new south metro bar to fill the void as of late.

An event at work gave a few of us the option to venture out around lunchtime. After a short discussion we came to J R Mac’s for a [thankfully] quick bite. We found a spot right in front of their door in the tiny parking lot and came into a bar space filled with one table of 6+ people and sporadic chairs filled thereafter. No head turns or quieted tones upon entry – unique for us.

Taking a couple chairs at the bar we were greeted by the one bartender/server who placed the laminated menus down and explained to us that Saturdays were ‘Taco-Days’ and that she recommended going that route as specials go all day. Obliging to the lady we ordered some tacos and some beers.

The pull tab booth in the back had a line of regulars and we joined the movement. The big surprise with this visit was that the taco shells were deep fried and then filled, like a crunchy enchilada. Although this provided for some ideal taco flavorings the insides were the style that you may find at any run-of-the-mill fast food taco joint.

Before we left and discarded all the empty pull tabs [no big winners here] a look around gave a nice summary of what this place tries to be, and quite frankly is: a neighborhood bar with an atmosphere that welcomes and indulges, but lacks the backbone to bring in anyone outside of ‘dropping in’ distance.

IMG_4897
J R Mac’s Tacos
  1. Food: 3/5 Classic bar fair
  2. Drinks: 2.5/5 Limited beer list and drink specials. Spotty glassware.
  3. Atmosphere: 3/5 Quiet atmosphere centered around the bar and pull tabs.
  4. Overall: 3/5 Worth a stop, but would be hard to be a regular.

J R Mac’s website

Anchor is a place that we knew we would return to – check out this review of Anchor fish & Chips that we did in November of 2010. Very little has changed since our initial visit 5 years ago.

Got there early and was seated at the windows at the front. They do have a patio but it is limited to a 6 person maximum. As a warning to first-timers, they do not seat your group until all members are present so come together, come as a small group, or expect to wait a bit.

The kitchen is smaller than you would expect, but they do sell a lot of one item and when you do it as well as Anchor, there is not a lot of prep or space that is needed. The two of us ordered the Fish and Chips and could not get ourselves to try anything else. Their beer list has expanded in the last 5 years but the Nordeast by Premium is $1.50 less than the rest so we felt obligated to have those poured. The food was a bit over-salted, but it was undecided if that added to or retracted from the flavor. What we did decide on was that it was quick and quite delicious.

A visual sampler of what we ordered:

IMG_4667
Their current menus: Drinks/Brunch – Meals/Sides

The Anchor Fish & Chips Website

  • Food: One Trick Pony (its in their name) 4/5
  • Atmosphere: A Cozy 4/5 
  • Drinks: 3.5/5
  • Overall: A Strong 4/5

A small crew headed out to South Minneapolis to eat at this smaller, younger sibling version of the Town Hall Brewery at seven corners. This relationship may come as a surprise to some as there is no word of this location in the elder brother’s not-so-easy-to-navigate web site – but  following those of a younger generation, they are on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/townhalltap. We were greeted outside, and then inside, the door by a run-down local who was looking for small change to ‘buy a pizza’ but watched intrigued as he left the premise to wander further into the neighborhood. As a likely host to most of the places we visit this was not a deterrent to us sitting down, and we were very pleased to have done so. A short wait found us to a booth in the back, properly padded and cleaned.

Top of their beer list are the brews Town Hall produces (and we immediately ordered our favorite – the Masala Mama [the other ones we are usually not impressed by]) and a great list of domestic and imported beers followed shortly thereafter. Once this place gets a Happy Hour going, we would be glad to visit here often.

The menu consists of the usual bar food: wings and fry types for appetizers with the addition of fried pickles, highly recommended. We had a few burgers, sandwiches and a cup of soup with no complaints across the table. The best addition to the menu would be the pressed sandwiches. With their bread coming from the famous bakery a few doors down, The Turtle Bread Company, each bite was pure gold. The burgers were very decent and were not as impeded by the odd pie plates used as their serving vessels as they would appear to at first sight.

The waitstaff were very eager to please and noticed us glancing at the beer list even before we were halfway done with what we had been served (we were even approached with a good amount of proper sarcasm when we asked a question about the menu – a definite plus!). Although the walking paths had some tight spots, the liveliness of the place allowed for unnoticed bumps and shuffles of people getting by. We liked the separation of the bar and seating area being only implied instead of concretely established and enjoyed being able to see a TV screen from our side to theirs as we had our moments of mastication to fill the inevitable silences therein.

If you are in the neighborhood, this is a definite stop you need to make, and make it soon.

A few of us decided to try the place that’s rated as the best fish and chips in the region. Our quest took us to the Anchor Fish and Chips Shop in Minneapolis. Wonderful night out! The fish was breaded with a flavorful breading that was: not heavy, not tasteless, and not made with oil from last week! The chips were good and on the recommendation of Kyle we got the curry sauce as a dip for the chips- good call.

We had a great waitress that seemed to honestly enjoy the work, and why not. The place was really upbeat with a combination of neighbors, suits getting off work, and general population like ourselves. The place got busy by seven with a waiting line of about six. But, things seem to turn over quickly enough that everyone found a seat within ten minutes.

The menu is wonderfully sparse with a noble but brief beer list as well. The place claims that they cannot serve beer without a meal. If anyone knows of this Minneapolis code please fill us in. Bell’s, Harp, and others fill the list. The menu has all you need, no veggie options if you are looking for primary protein

Meals were around $8-$10. A good value in a place like this. No reservations about returning to this place.  The charter school across the street is somewhat famous in the cities and the steeple a block down the road is remarkable. Bring the camera if you are inclined that way.

By the way, we will return some weekend morning for the breakfast. reminders of the Scottish meals we had on the island. Eggs, black pudding and sausage, fried tomatoes with mushrooms, and of course-baked beans. We will return.

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Land of fried foods and plenty of things to wave the stick at once you are done eating them. This post is a stomping grounds for the Man Cuisine Crew to share their likes and dislikes as far as fair food at this years “Great Minnesota Get-Together”. (more…)