On our way from Maple Grove to the airport this week, we stopped at a place I’ve been looking forward to trying, The Lowbrow. I’ve heard mixed things about the place—perhaps as a result of overly high expectations.
If I lived near The Lowbrow, I think I’d be a frequent visitor.
The vibe is warm and welcoming: funky graphical art on the walls, warm wood on the floors. The menu is very approachable—but still exciting. Lots of locally farmed food, the beef is grass-fed, and many ingredients are organic.
I loved the jalepeno poppers ($7.25). They are huge, fresh, spicy jalepenos, stuffed with this really delicious blend of cream and jack cheese, then fried up nicely. They were super-spicy (our server warned us: “It’s summer! They’re fresh!” and she was right!).
There were lots of families with small kids at The Lowbrow between 5-6:30 p.m., and the kids menu is stuff your kids will be happy with, if not a bit overpriced. Sammy had the mini-burger with cheese and a side of fries (the fries are AWESOME, by the way), and it cost $6. Then you add a small apple juice for $1.50, and you’re paying $7.50 for your three-year-old. Seems a bit steep to me.
Seth had a perfectly-sized small bowl of noodles that the online menu says costs $3, but I just checked my receipt and we were charged $3.50. Wish I noticed that in the restaurant.
Our entrees were really good, but short of really great. I liked the beefy flavor of “The Fire Breather” (above right, $9.50). It has a chili rub with a really delicious chipotle gouda cheese. The jalepenos were a little under-sauteed, and the burger was a little overcooked, but those are relatively minor quibbles. The side salad was super-fresh and nicely dressed. I think this is a really nice value for a tasty grass-fed burger.
My wife tried the two fish tacos off the snack menu ($6.50) and described the fish as being “bland.” I agree. The tacos came with a side of house-made tortilla chips—which were incredible.
So: the fries, chips, poppers ruled. Skip the fish tacos, and dig into the burgers. Living in Maple Grove, I’m not sure I’d drive 20 miles to go eat at The Lowbrow with any regularity, but if I were in the neighborhood, it’s a nice, friendly, good place to eat.
4244 Nicollet Ave. | Minneapolis, MN 55409