It’s in the name: Eat Street is great for eats. But what friendly drop is there to wash it all down? Plenty. We’re turning Nicollet Avenue’s Eat Street into Drink Street.
Words to the wise:
· Watch the time, preferably on an actual watch (nobody likes to hang out with a phone-stoned drinking buddy). If you have four hours of free time in an evening, plan on four different stops. This allows ample wiggle room should one stellar cocktail deserve an encore... or two.
· Wear comfortable shoes. No one wants to wait while you toddle behind the group, whimpering in your five-inch red suede heels. Don’t take it personally if you are left on the curb to massage your sad hooves and wait for a cab. You knew what this night was about.
· In the words of Wilford Brimley, “Eat your dinner, and eat it early.” Or something like that. The point is, you can’t really appreciate a new cocktail or beer if you are buzzed to the point of un-appreciation. Grab a taco or a banh mi and get it out of the way. Your friends don't want to carry you home.
First stop: The Black Forest Inn, corner of 26th Street and Nicollet
Don’t let their lack of happy hour stop you from enjoying a Fünkystadt: a made-for-Black-Forest-Inn Bavarian-style wheat beer by Summit. This monster-sized brew is only $6 and pairs nicely with the Inn’s signature ham and sauerkraut balls.
Second stop: Eat Street Social, 26th Street between Nicollet and Blaisdell
“I’ll see you in court!” is not a customary invitation to party — that is unless it comes as a drink suggestion from an Eat Street Social bartender. With a light, citrusy mix of lavender-hibiscus infused Modest vodka, lemon Holiday aquavit, malort, Petal & Thorn vermouth, and seltzer, this drink is summer in liquid form.
Third stop: Icehouse, Nicollet between 25th and 26th Street
Icehouse is one of the best places to get adventurous with your alcohol, on account of the $5 “sipping shots” that come in every color, flavor, and spirit you could fancy. The bartender recommends the best-selling “Satan Laughs and Spreads His Wings,” made with bourbon, hazelnut orange liqueur, and spicy bitters. On a completely unrelated note, you’re probably hungry again. The answer? Dessert. Specifically, the mint ice cream and chocolate zucchini cake, which is served with chocolate sorbet, ganache, Oreo crumbs, and cinnamon. No fancy drink pairing needed. This dessert goes with everything. Every day. All of the time.
End of the line: Pancho Villa, Across Nicollet from Icehouse
You can only end your night one way and that is with freshly made guacamole and a damn good house margarita. This place really is a little bit of Latino heaven on earth. They only seem to have one rule: Do not spin the birthday wheel o’ deals if it is not your birthday. As hard as it may be, resist the urge and walk yourself out that front door. It’ll be your birthday soon enough, pal.
Now call your cab, sleep off your fun adventure, and come back next week for more. Round two: Black Sheep’s simple and sweet cocktail menu; Gyst’s wine, kombucha, and beer; and Rainbow Chinese’s craft cocktails and cream cheese wontons. Drink Street, this is the beginning of a booze-fueled friendship.