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ISSUE 121 VOL 11 PUBLISHED 2/22/2008

New 'Beef' Restaurant Bites

By Mark Legler
Contributing Writer
and Anonymous
Contributing Writer

Friday, February 22, 2008

Yes. The food is as disgusting as the name.

Beef O'Brady's, a recently opened "family sports pub," is an unwelcome addition to Northfield's dining scene.

With its origins in Florida, Beef O'Brady's has supposedly spread to more than one hundred locations in the U.S. But why anyone would want to infest Minnesota with this casual dining mess is lost on me.

Beef O'Brady's has a strange obsession with youth sports. Little League pictures are plastered across the walls and the menus are illustrated with smiling children in athletic garb with weird captions like, "A Winning Smile." This amateur obsession is appropriate. Beef O'Brady's is a struggling Little Leaguer. But its aspirations fall far short of the majors. Beef's cannot even approach the competence of a minor leaguer like Applebee's.

The boneless wings are an 'O'Brady's specialty. The little shamrock next to the description told me so. The shamrocks along with an "Irish Blessing" are some of the Irish touches you'll find at Beef's (Note to Beef: The Irish don't need their name drug further through the mud).

According to Beef O'Brady's, over one million of their wings are served a week. I soon realized the boast was more a statistic of shame, like "two million children die of starvation a year." Maybe this prominence has vested the Beef O'Brady's folk with such confidence that they deem sauce unnecessary. When I asked for the blue cheese sauce that comes (as per the menu) with the wings a waitress replied she would check. Whether she did, I don't know. The dry, obscenely bland "wings were so bad I started to tear up at the thought of one million of the nubs going out weekly."

The O'Brady Burger was also unforgivably awful. The patty was dry and was obviously frozen shortly before it was thrust upon me. The toppings were worryingly lacking in color and extremely cold.

The "Watterson" sandwich is named after one of Beef's first customers. If the man is like the sandwich, he is a terrible person. The sandwich is roast beef with Swiss cheese on rye. The rye bread was soaked with the rancid drippings of the roast beef. My dining compatriots and I choked it down. I believe the words of my friend were, "I can barely swallow." Stranger than any of these entrees was the cheeseburger wrap. If you ever wanted to stuff a cheeseburger into a flour tortilla (for a healthy alternative!), don't order it. It's a dumb idea to begin with. The cheeseburger wrap is an eight dollar hot pocket. After eating Beef's fare I realized why the employees seemed so hesitant to help the customers. They're embarrassed. There is a plus-side to Beef O'Brady's. Ten-ounce beers are one dollar. But Beef closes his doors at 11:00 p.m. on weeknights.

So Florida, thanks but no thanks. We'll take your football players but you can keep your Beef O'Brady's or Pork O'Paddy's or whatever other terrible "food establishments" you come up with.

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