Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blue Mountain Lodge (Orange City, IA)


My wife and I went to the Blue Mountain Lodge with our nephew, who is a student at Northwestern in Orange City. Locally, the restaurant has a very good reputation, and we went on that alone.

The craft beer list was extensive--for NW Iowa anyway. Possibly two dozen bottles of fine beers, including at least four I hadn't had before: a pleasant surprise. I ended up getting the Sprecher Russian Imperial Stout, good but a bit light for the style--still enjoyable to drink. The remaining menu beers were a combination of Belgians and regional favorites.

For dinner, my nephew had the pulled pork sandwich, which he pronounced excellent, while we had the pizza special that was adequate but I would try something else next time I visit.  Great place to eat for beery parents visiting their kids at the college.

The Parrot's Cay Tavern & Grill (Grand Forks, ND)


Parrot's Cay is a very interesting little place that my nephew and I stopped at after a UND hockey game. Not the standard beer bar that I visit while travelling--very much a local joint that has a mixed bag of clientele.  

Evidently, they have very good wings--pictures all over the wall. Didn't investigate--being a vegetarian. Beer battered onion rings we had were good. Pull tabs in the corner weren't too weird, but the blackjack table beside the pull tabs was a new feature for me in a pub. Whole place has a grungy bowling alley feel--but no alley. 

For the beers that were there--30 or 40 taps--they were very well served.  I had a New Belgium Skinny Dip on draft special, which was good. For a committed beer geek, odds are low that you'll find something new here since the range is on the lighter, low key end of the beer spectrum. Service was by whichever bartender/waitress was available, so fast and friendly.  

Checking out the facebook page, evidently they do Firkin Fridays.  Perusing deeper, there seems to be a pretty rabid wing following and a Wingfest. A pretty cool--if odd--local place for a well served craft beer.