Value Driven

A lot of us have dreamt of opening a restaurant. You’d open it in your own town to take care of friends and neighbors. You’d serve food that’s better than the chain restaurants and average bars by cooking from scratch. You’d have great service to make people feel like they’re at home.Tim and Sandy Shears are realizing this dream in Brooklyn Park with Morgan’s in the Park, a welcome addition to the northern suburban restaurant scene.

Together with chef Sean Sixberry, the Shears family has put together a truly quality-yet-affordable menu. My family especially enjoyed the stuffed quesadilla with beef brisket. The brisket was plentiful and the homemade chipotle sour cream drizzled on top gave a nice kick to each bite.

It made me happy to see fried pickle slices offered as an appetizer—they’re the perfect bar food, and they’re rarely on menus in this part of town. My only criticism is that the pickles should be cut into thicker slices, giving them more pickle flavor.

When I saw a braised beef short-rib entrée on the lunch menu for just $7, I had to order it. It wasn’t the best short rib I’ve ever had (not as tender as it could be), but it was good. And at that price, it might just be good enough.

I’d also recommend the stuffed chicken burger. The chicken is ground in-house, then stuffed with bacon, cheddar cheese, and jalapeño. The spice is spot on, the flavor of the patty perfect—it’s a great sandwich. I’d stay away from the pulled-pork rib melt, however: it had an odd oily flavor, and the coleslaw just made the whole thing messy.

Rounding out the menu is a solid beer list that includes Surly Furious and Bender, Alaskan White, and Summit’s Silver Anniversary Ale. All the beers are well priced, too, averaging around $4.75.

In the north suburban land of boring restaurants, Tim and Sandy Shears are trying to do something different, something better. And if you want to escape the chain restaurants and mediocre bar food, their dream is your dream, too.

Morgan’s in the Park, 9690 Colorado Ln. N., Brooklyn Park, 763-657-7294,

Jason Derusha is a reporter for WCCO-TV.