It would be blasphemous to open a music memorabilia-themed restaurant in Minnesota without some sort of tribute to our most famous and funkiest musical icon, Prince. So the Hard Rock Café at Mall of America, which opened in October, covers their bases with not one, but three of The Purple One’s glam touring outfits, displayed in a glass case just through the main entrance.
In true Hard Rock Café style rock memorabilia lines the walls, including a guitar signed by local rock royalty The Replacements, as well as the orange sweater worn by Alanis Morissette in the video for “Ironic.” The two-story restaurant also houses a stage for live performances, but one has to wonder what the sound quality is like in a venue located basically inside of the rowdy Nickelodeon Universe theme park.
At a recent press dinner, we found the cocktail menu as colorful as the musicians the Café pays homage to. Perfect for the upcoming summer months is the refreshing Magical Mystery Mojito with Hendrick’s, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and Monin Cucumber, or the playful Red Berry Press, with fresh fruit and Svedka Clementine vodka and fresh fruit served uniquely in a French press coffee maker. The bar also carries Surly on tap for those looking to salute a different type of local legend.
Standouts from the Café’s menu, which was revamped last year, include the Rebel Burger, which features a scrumptious Sam Adams Rebel IPA barbecue sauce, and the house-made apple cobbler. Cap off dinner with a Twist-and-Shout Shake, a true taste of rock star decadence which pairs Barcardi OakHeart rum, Guinness, crème de cacao, ice cream, salted caramel sauce, and a crispy bacon topping.