"I wanted to name the place 'Efficient and Delicious,'" Bittercube's Nick Kosevich jokes as he takes a short break behind the Hasty Tasty bar. "That name was vetoed, unfortunately."
That name also would have worked here, to be clear. Lyn-Lake's newest restaurant -- which comes from Michael Veazey and chef Chris Gerster (formerly of the Commodore) -- is all about speed, flavor, and fun.
Here's the rest of the lowdown on Lyn-Lake's latest.
5. It's gonna get a little smoky in here.
The Hasty Tasty kitchen has a hulking, bright-red, 5,000-pound smoker that can hold 1,000 pounds of meat at a time. We'll say it again for the people in the back: 1,000 pounds of meat at a time. Veazey had the wood-fired rotisserie custom-made in Texas, and all those rotating racks of ribs are a glorious sight to behold.
4. But like, not too smoky.
Behemoth smoker aside, Veazey and Gerster don't want char to be the only thing you taste here, and you won't get any of that palate-scorching flavor that no amount of eating and drinking can erase. "We're using light smoke, Gerster says. "We're using smoke as a vehicle for flavor ... as opposed to the main goal." Some dishes don't hit the smoker at all; others are just fiery enough. We chowed down on a coconut risotto with charred broccoli, for example, that was perfectly balanced and savory.
3. You won't get the meat sweats, either.
Gerster and co. ate a lot of barbecue as they researched and planned their own menu, and he says it got to be a little bit overwhelming. So while there's the requisite ribeye and wings at their new joint, there are plenty of plants and grains on the menu too: mushrooms and spaghetti squash and an oddly irresistable raw veggie salad we couldn't stop sticking our forks into.
2. The place boasts a serious cocktail menu that's part Can Can Wonderland, part Alma, part Lawless.
That's courtesy of Kosevich and the drink wizards at Bittercube, who built Hasty Tasty's program from scratch: the shape and color of the bar, the layout, everything. "When we get to start from the ground up, it's always much more exciting for us," Kosevich says, adding that HT is the pinnacle of what they've been working on at their other Minneapolis-St. Paul projects. Expect visually stimulating cocktails, some classics, some frozen slushies, and plenty of drinks -- like the Chicken Fried Fizz, made with chicken-fried cane syrup -- that are pure fun.
1. It's open now.
The Hasty Tasty said hello to its bustling Lyn-Lake corner on Wednesday, November 29 (no sign up just yet, but they're in there), and is open from 4 p.m. 'til bar time today and tomorrow. They're closed Sunday and Monday this week as they get up and running, but will be open Tuesday through Sunday moving forward.
The Hasty Tasty
710 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-545-5899