I was in the Twin Cities a few weeks ago calling on accounts and I offered to meet one of my dealers for dinner as we couldn't get together during business hours. He suggested an Irish pub in downtown St. Paul called Patrick McGovern's Pub (see map).
I'm not overly familiar with downtown St. Paul, not like I am with Minneapolis. But with the new Xcel Energy Center just down the street, the area has become revitalized over the past few years.
Patrick McGovern's is run by Patrick Boehmer, who has owned the place for 34 years. Patrick McGovern's started as a small corner Irish pub, then took over the space next to it just to the south a few years ago. Recently, they expanded to an outside patio area with a full service bar. They also have a party/meeting room upstairs for receptions or parties.
Actually, we were going to meet there for dinner on a Wednesday night, but it turned out that Elton John was playing at the Xcel Energy Center that night. My dealer said, "It's going to be a zoo downtown if we go. Let's do it on Thursday night."
So, we did. I got to Patrick McGovern's around 7 p.m. and sidled up to the bar and grabbed a Summit Extra Pale Ale. The bar area has a very warm feel to it, heavy on the dark walnut paneling. The bar, itself, looks to be well worn - possibly older than the 34 years Patrick McGovern's has been around.
Due to traffic (the main roads around the Twin Cities always seem to be under construction), my dealer didn't show up until about 7:30. We sat at the bar and talked for about a half hour before we retreated to a booth in the half-full bar area for dinner.
Patrick McGovern's menu is varied with steaks, burgers, pork chops and ribs. They also featured a number of comfort food items on the menu. One that jumped out at me was the meat loaf on sourdough bread, with homemade mashed potatoes and gravy. I was a little hungover from going to the Twins game the night before, I thought I needed to have a "stick-to-your-ribs" meal.
My dealer ordered his favorite - Jalapeno Halibut sticks. They're basically halibut filets cut into fingerling sizes, then dredged in a breading with chunks of jalapenos and deep fried. They sounded good, but I stuck with my meat loaf.
And the portions were huge. The waitress brought me a huge piece of meatloaf - close to a pound of meat - on a large slice of homemade sour dough bread, with the mashed potatoes and it was all topped with a great beef gravy. Oh, it was a spot hitter.
Total bill with our food and beer came to just over $40 with a tip. It was a lot of food for not a lot of money.
There's plenty of parking in the immediate area in the form of parking ramps just to the west of the place. If you're up in the Twin Cities and want a change of scenery from downtown Minneapolis, Patrick McGovern's Pub is a great place for a cold beer and a good meal.