I am very excited for the very first installment of Hunk’s Buzz. At the beginning of the year my boyfriend Sam and I made a resolution to try somewhere new every time we wanted to go out to eat. Hunk’s Buzz will focus on the local businesses that we visit. This weekend we ventured to Sweeney’s Saloon in Saint Paul.

I have driven past Sweeney’s more times than I can count. You can find this charming little saloon on Dale Street in Saint Paul between the Cathedral Hill and Grand Ave. areas. Four of us went to dinner there Saturday night. My sister Zoë , my boyfriend Sam and his roommate Chris had no trouble finding the perfect corner high top table as soon as we walked in. The inside of the bar was beautiful, all exposed brick and dark wood. There was a party going on in their upstairs room which my friend Chris said was amazing! His parents used it for their anniversary party this year and he said that they were so pleased with the venue.

Once the four of us were seated our server came over and took our drink order right away which was great. Unfortunately he was the only server working that side of the restaurant and there would be very long periods before we could get him back when we needed him. We ordered the spicy mac and cheese bites and pizza roles to begin with we made sure to order refills at this time since about 20 min had gone by between server sightings. About 25 min later our appetizers came, we tried to keep in mind that not only was the place pretty packed but there was an event going on upstairs and one about to start in the back room so I’m sure the kitchen was pretty slammed. The appetizers were well worth the wait, The pizza rolls were a gooey little pocket of heaven and the mac and cheese bites were the perfect blend of creamy goodness with a spicy zip. Sam kept trying to catch our servers attention to order some ranch for the pizza rolls, eventually we had to give up on that.

After a while we had to flag down our server to place an order for our dinner and another round of drinks. We all ordered burgers. Zoë and I built our own she ordered a veggie burger with bbq sauce, honey mustard, american cheese, lots of jalapenos and chipotle mayo (quite a saucy burger). I ordered a burger with cheddar cheese, bacon and mushrooms. Sam ordered the Diablo Burger with jalapenos and their special ghost pepper cheese. After much debating Chris ordered the Dale Street Burger with american cheese. The Dale Street Burger was topped with mini mac and cheese bites and marinara sauce and sounded interesting and amazing all at the same time. After another 30 min wait our burgers came out delivered by one of the busboys who was on top of his game remembering to ask if we needed anything else before he left us which was great because we needed lots of extra condiments (they are a little stingey with the ketchup).

Everyone was over the moon for their burgers. We all ordered our burgers medium and they were cooked to perfection. Sam couldn’t stop raving about how amazing his ghost pepper jack cheese was, Zoë said that Sweeney’s easily has the best veggie burger she has tried since becoming a vegetarian and Chris must have enjoyed his because it was gone before I had the chance to ask how he liked it. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed with my burger. Although it was cooked perfect and tasted good, I didn’t think it was anything special. My mushrooms and bacon were cold as if they had been sitting around for a while before coming out to the table. We all noticed the fries which could rival McDonalds they were so yummy were very cold as well. Again I believe that none of these things would have been an issue if they hadn’t been so busy when we came in.

We made sure we had our cards ready to pay so the next time our server came near we could grab him and split up our bill. Although the bill was split up with the wrong food and drink combos per person everyone basically paid the same so we didn’t make a big deal about it. We got a little impatient waiting for the bill so Zoë and Chris decided to duck out for a quick smoke break while Sam and I waited inside to wrap things up.
When we did see our server he was very charming and knew what he was talking about. The food was delicious and I would recommend Sweeney’s Saloon to anyone. My only warning is don’t go around the dinner hour during the weekend and make sure you aren’t in a rush for anything. We had a lot of fun and the energetic and casual atmosphere was wonderful. I will definitely go back this summer to try their patio, I have heard amazing things and the pictures I found online are very appealing.

To find more information about Sweeney’s Saloon you can visit their website: www.sweeneyssaloon.com