November 3, 2019

Duck Duck Gray Duck

Duck.... duck... duck... duck... GOOSE! Just kidding, everyone knows it's duck duck gray duck. And, while everyone continues to debate this, let's talk about the Gray Duck found in downtown St. Paul. Gray Duck Tavern is settled right in the heart of downtown St. Paul and providing patrons with comfort food they say is "inspired by the north star state."

It's been open for the last couple of year's now and we've been wanting to check this place out and just not got around to it. Changes in the kitchen and the menu now has Gray Duck Tavern what it is today. We recently read an article that the Pioneer Press published on burgers; In 2019, the burgers in these cities are better than ever. And, while some of the burgers on this list are absolutely worth trying and on our top 10 list, there is plenty on the list worth staying away from and others we hadn't tried. Gray Duck's was one of them.

What really got us wanting to check Gray Duck Tavern out was the fact that Chef Sutherland, a very well-known chef throughout the Twin Cities Culinary Scene is running the team behind the scenes. But, while Chef Sutherland may very well be a top notch chef, his burger game needs some help.

I give you, the Animal Burger. Double chuck patties, american, caramelized onion, bibb lettuce, tomato, special sauce, pickle, mustard on a thick and dried out bun. Upon arrival to the table, the patties came across as the ones that are typically pre-made and stored for a later date (even a much later date), not very fresh and the cheese was just barely melted. I removed the bibb, tomatoes and pickles and started getting my hands dirty.
At first bite, I immediately knew, that even though we like to try variations of burgers, it wasn't going to even compete for a spot in the top 10 list. The meat was flavorless and all you really tasted was the dry bun, mustard and onions. Absolutely nothing to brag about or include in the Pioneer Press.

Not all was bad though... We also ordered the Gray Duck Tator Tot Hotdish. Prepared with a red wine braised short rib, carrot, pea, wild mushrooms, cream, parmesan and of course golden brown tots to top it off. One bite of this dish and you will want seconds and definitely the type of comfort food anyone would enjoy.
Each and every bite from this dish was enjoyable. The braised beef was exceptional and very tender. That melt in your mouth like butter type of tenderness. Wasn't overly heavy on the cream and just the right amount of veggies to complete the dish.

Tag you're it! Time for you to do some running around the bar which is what my wife was doing with her eyes looking at other patron's drinks wishing she hadn't ordered the Old Fashion. According to her, not worth the money and lacking any flavor and substance. As a former craft beer aficionado (8 months clean), searching high and low for the very best the region has to offer, the craft beer selection is weak at best.

Okay, now you are it! You'll have to check this place out yourself and not everything was a letdown. But, I was expecting a whole lot more out of our visit and left craving the best burger money can buy, a burger form The Parlour Bar.

Gray Duck Tavern
345 Wabasha St. N.
St Paul, MN 55102

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