Bryant Lake Bowl: an Uptown classic

If you have ever lived in or visited the Uptown Minneapolis area, you have probably heard of Bryant Lake Bowl.

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Located right in the heart of Uptown at Lake and Bryant, it’s the sort of place you go to when you can’t make up your mind. Why? Because it offers a little of everything. It’s a bar with daily happy hours during the week and a live DJ spinning on Tuesday nights. It’s also a restaurant serving three meals a day, offering a mix of creative and standard fare (all delicious). It’s also a theater showing everything from comedy to movies to stage performances to drag shows. And, last but not least, it is also a bowling alley:

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Not wanting my family to visit and miss seeing such a unique gem, I brought them to Bryant Lake Bowl on Saturday night. The restaurant and bowling alley was packed. Luckily, we only had to wait about 15-20 minutes for a table. We put our name on the bowling wait list before we were even seated. Immediately after looking at the menu, we decided to order the homemade tater tots as an appetizer to share:

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They were large and in charge and DELICIOUS. I’ve never had something quite like it (except maybe a regular tater tot…), but they were big, crunchy, soft and super hot on the inside, and seemed to have some additional spices (and maybe some sweet potato?) even though I can’t identify exactly what they were. Bottom line: get these now.

I ordered another appetizer for my meal. Mock duck spring rolls:

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These were another winner. They came with a ginger tahini sauce, and the rolls themselves were superb – full of veggies and flavor. They were pan-fried, so the exterior had that delicious crunch to it…yeah, you know what I’m referring to. 🙂

My mom ordered a roasted mushroom and squash risotto:

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My brother ordered a caesar salad which came with grilled tofu on top:

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And my dad got a burger with mashed potatoes. The mashed potatoes were weirdly liquidy (see below):

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Overall, the food was really good but the service was definitely lacking. There were two mistakes to our order: I never received a small house salad I ordered and my brother’s salad came with tofu on top even though he ordered chicken. It didn’t bother us too much because I was full anyway and my brother didn’t mind, but it wasn’t the greatest reflection of customer service.

Unfortunately, when we finished our meal there were still six names ahead of us on the bowling list! Since there are only 8 lanes, we were worried it could be a really long wait so we decided not to stay. Plus, yogurt lab was calling our name again. 🙂 Nonetheless, this is a really fun location that I would recommend going to – especially with friends or a date – if you are in the area. They have a date night on Mondays for $28/couple which includes two entrees (you have to choose from a pre-selected list though), a bottle of wine, and a round of bowling. Definitely a good deal!

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