This week’s opening of the Crooked Pint, at 2723 Commerce Drive NW in Rochester (near Costco), increased Rochester’s beers-on-tap count by 30 and boosted Rochester’s beer nerds’ happiness quotient by the same number.
Rochester is finally catching up with the craft beer revolution.
Let’s start with what’s important, shall we?
Crooked Pint’s 30 brews on tap come from 20 breweries, including (for now) two hard ciders and 11 “rotators,” meaning the individual breweries will be continually switching out the taps for the latest brews.
The Pint gets a lot right here, including lots of unique beers and Minnesota breweries, as well as making sure their wait staff knows their list inside and out. (To my husband, there’s nothing worse than when a server describes a beer as “darker” and “really good.” The man wants to know whether it’s an imperial stout, double IPA, lager, ale or one of the others that I can’t think of right now.) Our server admitted she’s not much of a beer drinker, but you’d never know it by the way she could name every beer on tap without looking at a list.
They also serve up the beer in the right glassware and offer samples so you can try before you buy (though no flights).
The beer is good, but the Crooked Pint isn’t just about (good) beer.
There’s something on the menu for everyone here — but almost everywhere on the menu you’ll see something unique.
Their specialty? The Lucy — and they’ve got a lot of them. These are burgers stuffed with something, like beer cheese, peanut butter or bleu cheese, to name a few. Their signature Lucy is the Beer Cheese Lucy, which is stuffed with beer cheese and topped with bacon, bistro sauce, haystack onions and pepperjack and served on a pretzel bun.
I had the fish tacos, which feature fried cod and Cholula mayo, but there’s also the tater tot hot dish, ale house walleye and chips and a whole list of sandwiches, such as the grilled Cubano and lobster grilled cheese. Starters feature slightly spicy tater tots, stuffed pickle chips and even poutine. They also have a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, and they feature daily specials and happy hour discounts.
But listen to me: I will come for you if you don’t leave room for dessert (it’s hard, but I believe in you). At the end of your meal, you must order the Chocolate Chip Lucy. They start with two oven-warm, cream-cheese-stuffed, chocolate-chunk cookies and top with ice cream, chocolate and caramel sauces and whipped cream. It sounds like a lot, and it is for at least two people, but it was perfect — the highlight of my meal.
Odds and ends
And now, for something completely different: Here are a couple things you need to know now — either for this weekend or for planning ahead.
I know of two tap takeovers happening in the days leading up to Rochester Craft Beer Expo on May 2. (See page 17 for more on the event.) First, tonight, the Thirsty Belgian (2650 S. Broadway, Suite 600) will be hosting New Belgium Brewing from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in what they’re calling a “sour power hour.” Then tomorrow, May 1, Odell Brewery will take over the taps at Brothers Bar and Grill (812 S. Broadway) at 4 p.m. for the evening.
And remember a couple weeks ago when I told you to ask the Lost Cajun for another crawfish boil? (They hosted the first one last weekend, and it was packed.) They knew that question was coming — and they already had an answer. Their next crawfish boil is scheduled for May 16. Reservations are required for seatings at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Get on it! Call them at 507-258-5192 to reserve your spot.