Sunday, May 24, 2009
The Happy Gnome - St Paul, MN
I was glad to be back at The Happy Gnome Restaurant this trip back home. This was another place that I found the last time I was in Minnesota and taking a walk down Selby Avenue in St Paul. It has a huge beer selection and claims to have over 44 beers on tap and 200 different beers by the bottle. It is really cool because when you walk into the place you see this monstrosity of a chalkboard that lists all the beers that are on tap.
On my most recent trip to Minnesota, I had the opportunity to stop here twice. The first time was for beer and appetizers and the second time was for a Mother's Day brunch. The food here is really good and the service is even better. My first visit, we tried the chicken wings and a burger. Both were delicious, but I have to say I really enjoyed the wings. Rather than the usual blue cheese or ranch dressing, they offered a horseradish and celery slaw to go along with the wings and to cool off the palate. I have to say that I enjoyed the change. For the Mother's Day brunch, I had the B.Y.O. Grilled Cheese Sandwich with two different cheeses, carmelized onions, roasted red peppers, and asparagus all served on a multigrain bread. This was delicious and I don't know why I never thought of making my grilled cheese this way. I especially loved the asparagus and melted cheese together. This all came with fries. I enjoyed my meal with Murphy's Irish Stout, which to me, went perfectly with everything.
I cannot do this post without a special shout out to Wayne Roemhildt, the bartender, who really made this a memorable meal. I was there with my family, and more importantly my mother, for a Mother's Day Brunch. We arrived at the Happy Gnome with nary a table available, but a seat at the bar for all, while we waited for a table to become available. However, about ten minutes after our arrival, we realized it was more fun at the bar, thanks to Wayne. He was funny and had us laughing so hard, it was like a free show with the meal. Of course, he did call us riff raff, but I won't hold that against him. Thanks Wayne.
Also, we enjoyed the live music and our fellow patrons at the barstools with who we shared a lively political discussion. (The Happy Gnome is located very near Minnesota's state capital building). And special notice and thanks to the kind hearted gentlemen, and his lovely family, who bought us a round of drinks. We have been many places in the world, but this really felt like home, like Minnesota.
The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave
St Paul, MN 55102