Victory 44 4/8/2014

When it comes to restaurants, there often seems to be a bias to stay in Minneapolis and the close southern neighborhoods with the occasional trip to St. Paul.  However, Travail and crew changed all that by shedding light on what the northern neighborhoods have to offer.  Victory 44 is not too far from Travail and also has been highly regarded, even making it onto a previous Eater 18, so it made its way onto my list.  As a more casual restaurant and coffee bar, I thought it made sense to try it out for lunch one day, though they offer what appears to be a solid tasting menu, too.

Venue:

The inside is very cozy and definitely feels like more restaurant/cafe than a coffee bar.  Being early spring, it wasn’t nice enough to sit outside, but the patio looked very nice, too.  Overall, it gave the impression of a classed up cabin.

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Food&Drink:

My dining companion and I ordered the dishes below.  I included what I can remember of what my dishes involved, supplemented a little by what I could find from their Facebook page.

  • Devils on Horseback – blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon with smoked blue cheese foam, ginger gel, and roasted almond crumbles
  • Little Gem Salad – roasted cherry tomatoes, fried egg yolk, thick cut bacon, sliced radishes, avocado foam, blue cheese crumbles, and lemon vinaigrette
  • The Perfect Burger – 80/20 beef/bacon patty, cheddar, dijon aioli, bacon, and pickles, served with and fries tossed in bacon oil and sprinkled with herbs, parmesan, and bacon powder
  • Clam Chowdah
  • Pimento Grilled Cheese

I knowingly ordered way too much food because I wanted to try a few things and also figured I would take the leftovers home.  The salad could easily have been split between 2 people, and the burger alone was enough for a lunch.  Everything was delicious.  The blue cheese foam went very well with the dates for the the Devils on Horseback.  I enjoyed the avocado foam and lemon vinaigrette on the salad, too.  The burger was solid with a lovely tanginess from the dijon aioli, and the bacon powder (unexpectedly white) was novel.  I tasted my friend’s Pimento Grilled Cheese, and I definitely got the Southern comfort food roots, though apparently this was a much fancier take.

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Everything was very reasonable.  The burger is priced at $14, but again could have been a full meal alone.  Most of their small plates are $3-4.  Overall, very accessible even for lunch and a very good deal.

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