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Restaurants & Bars

Craftsman for lunch, Lake Street Mpls, long

michael | Jun 3, 200512:04 PM    

Craftsman is now open for lunch, which is all I do when I eat out.

Craftsman is the sort of place where servers read the specials in the style of a long oral dissertation, and without written accompaniment. The specials consist of a dozen fancy ingredients, leaving me to wonder if the dish will be an elaborate mess with individual flavors lost or clashing. Anyway I didn't order the specials, and rarely do anywhere, since I'm unclear how often specials are leftovers, and how often specials are special, and not in the sense of retarded.

I ordered the Korean Burger. It was less than I expected. First of all, the Craftsman is the sort of place that has to be fancy with its presentation. It's not enough to put the fries on the plate next to the burger; instead they're in a paper cone stuck in a mug. I emptied the fries onto the plate and into the mug, and crumpled up the cone.

The Korean Burger did not arrive with a fried egg or kimchi; these would have been improvements. Instead it arrived with stringy leeks which were impossible to chew or cut into easily even with a sharp knife. The leeks looked charred, and/or they might have been overripe as well. The burger patty had a small translucent yellow glob of (mozzarella?)cheese centered on the top. How strange, I never equated cheese with Korea, on the other hand, this is the age of globalization when all countries start to look alike in terms of diet.

The side dish of tangy, not spicy BBQ dipping sauce was a saving grace, as was the Rush River India Pale Ale (IPA) on draught. The IPA had plenty of bitterness and a golden color. Rush River is a WI brewery.

The interior is decked out in the Arts and Crafts style with wood and stained glass light fixtures. Such a beautiful space deserves noble music which evokes the turn of the century, possibly Elgar or Vaughan Williams. Instead the restaurant was serving warmed over jazzy, bluesy, swingy covers courtesy of KBEM that you might expect at any other "upscale" restaurant in the nation.

When or if you dine at the Craftsman (or anywhere else of course), read the bill closely. The Korean Burger was listed on the bill as $11.00, whereas the menu lists it as $10.50, which is still a rip-off and possibly the most money I've ever paid for a burger. The server straightened out the bill for me, but the bill came back with the Korean Burger relisted as DONT MAKE. I have no idea what that means. Usually I see COMP alongside a subtraction (-.50 for example).

Desserts are all over $6.00, of course, and chocolate is underrepresented. In other words, I didn't do dessert.

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