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Submitted by Bob McClain
(www.wordsmithbob.com)
7-13-05
Kips Irish Pub

Trippiní The Irish Brogue


Itís not likely very many of you have ever explored the lush green hills of Ireland. In fact, youíll probably never get there, much less set foot in a genuine Irish pub. Well, now you have the opportunity to do so daily and never leave the lush flat prairie of Minnesota. And I mean, a genuine Irish pub. One that was designed in Ireland, the parts to build it came from Ireland, and the experts (pub-fitters) who constructed and decorated it, you guessed it, came from Ireland.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of food and whatnot, I just want to say that this place is worth a visit just to explore the dťcor. Because the family behind Kipís owned a distillery in Ireland, youíll find genuine Irish keg ends mounted on the walls. Youíll also find a wall made up of bottle bottoms. You will, of course, find the sort of traditional materials youíd expect in a real Irish pub such as slate, wood, plaster, stained glass windows, and copper. And speaking of copper, thereís an authentic copper kieve from an Irish distillery over the bar. Whatís a kieve? Youíll just have to ask the bartender. Need one more reason to look at the ceiling? They had a woman fly over from Ireland who painted a mid-1800ís mural-style map of Ireland on the ceiling, holding the old mapbook in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. Now thatís style.

I talked to several employees while I was there and the sense they gave me is that Irish pubs want their patrons to feel at home when they visit. And thatís the feeling Kipís is trying to create. So Irish comfort foods are highlighted on the menu. Usually, I ask people at the restaurant what they would recommend for a first timer to try. I actually started an argument. Half said Bangers and Mash and the other half insisted you try the Chicken and Pepper Jack Boxty. Most people know that Bangers and Mash is mashed potatoes and sausages, but, I had to ask them, what is a boxty? For those of you who are of the Scandinavian persuasion, this will seem very familiar. A boxty is similar to lefse. Itís a potato Ďpancakeí made from potatoes and flour. Then itís smothered in chicken and pepper jack cheese and drizzled with roasted pepper aioli. If it sounds like a quesadilla to you, thatís what I thought. They also have a large selection of seafood. After all, Ireland is an island.

If youíre in the market for dessert, I have to recommend the Chocolate Cake. Itís a chocolate torte with Guinness on the side. Yes, Guinness beer. Donít question, just try. Appetizers range from 3.95 for the Wedge Cut Chips to 7.95 for the Salt & Pepper Calamari. Lunch runs from $6.95 to $7.95, although they have a lunch special for $10 that includes drink, tax and tip. For dinner, expect to pay no more than $15 for the most expensive item on the menu. Desserts are $4 or $5. They also have a kidís menu. Kipís offers two banquet rooms, one that seats 15 and another that seats 25. They have a large selection of Irish beers on tap, a good selection of single malt scotches, and a fair wine list. They are open M-F 6:30am to 1am and S & S from 7am to 1am. Call 952-367-5070 for more information about Happy Hours and brunch.

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