By Coco Mault
Sidling up to the bar at Ike’s Food and Cocktails is nothing short of an event. It’s like the red carpet of bars. Hanging baskets overflow with fresh fruit waiting to be squeezed into fresh cocktails. There are tall cylindrical glass vases packed tightly with colorful little candy suckers sitting atop the bar; Ike’s is good at presenting little bits of novelty within their overall classic theme. The lighting is low and the jewel-toned palette of the entire restaurant is reminiscent of a classic steak house. Picture it: if Don Draper were wandering about in Minneapolis in one of his funks and looking for a place to perk up, the menu at Ike’s would do the trick.
Classic cocktails dominate the drink menu — particularly old-style alcoholic dessert drinks such as the Grasshopper and Brandy Alexander. Their Brandy Alexander is served without fanfare — no hazelnuts or garnishes of any kind. But that’s okay. That way there is more room in the glass for this ice-cold cream, brandy, and creme de cacao concoction. This drink can vary quite a bit from place to place, mostly in consistency. Some may be used to a brandy Alexander that resembles an ice-cream shake served in a brandy snifter. Ike’s serves there’s in a martini glass and flows more like thick chocolate milk. They mix theirs strong too, but it is certainly delicious.
Ike’s is also known for their Weekender Bloody Mary. During brunch, their bloodys are a drink and a buffet all in one. If their ice cream drinks are lacking in garnish, they certainly make up for it here. Not only do they include the usual fare — pickle, pickled green bean, and celery — the glass for the Ike’s bloody mary must also accommodate green and black olives, a beef stick, shrimp, a cube of cheddar cheese, lime, and pepperoncini. Ordering this cocktail outside of weekend brunch presents less garnish, but it will still hit the spicy spot. Ike’s rims a tall glass with salt and spices, and fills it with a spicy mix and vodka, possibly pepper-infused vodka. Topping it off are all the green garnishes: lime, olive, pepperoncini, and pickled green bean.
There’s plenty to eat at Ike’s, and visitors may find themselves asking for just another minute the first few times the waiter comes around. The Ike’s burger won’t disappoint. It comes with a side of slaw and fries. The presentation is wonderful, too. The plate will arrive with the fries and slaw exposed, but the burger will be wrapped in paper like a delicious little gift. And instead of a bow, there is a gold seal noting the beef is Angus Approved, and a little plastic cow is skewered into the top of the burger. For anyone who likes a loaded burger, Ike’s packs plenty between the bun, including onions, lettuce, and tomato.
When the check arrives, a yummy little surprise comes along with it. No — not candy or a mint, but warm little chocolate chip cookies. Just when you might be feeling full to capacity, there’s always room for a little cookie. And that’s just one of many reasons why the place’s slogan is “I like Ike’s.”
Ike’s Food & Cocktails
50 S. 6th St
Hours: Weekdays, Breakfast 7 am–10 am; Lunch 11 am–3 pm; Dinner 4 pm–close; Sat–Sun, Brunch 10 am–2 pm; Dinner 4 pm-close
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