The Occasional Restaurant Review – The Lowry

Jenni and I like to try to go to new restaurants–or at least restaurants we haven’t been to yet. Instead of going back to some of the same old places, it gets us into places that maybe I’ve heard of, or we’ve driven by or something.

I took the day off yesterday, and we had plans to make a family trip to the Walker Art Center (bad idea on the day before the Rock the Garden festival, by the way…), and I figured we’d grab lunch on the way since we’d be near Uptown. I looked at our options in the area, and after discovering that The Leaning Tower of Pizza (our first choice) was not open for lunches, we headed to The Lowry (the second choice).

I didn’t go in with much in the way of expectations: I wasn’t looking for a white-linen kind of experience, but I wasn’t looking for greasy diner food, either. I wanted a good place that could feed the whole family with something each of them liked. So it’s kind of good news that I can’t say it was amazing, or that it was awful, either. It is what I think it aims to be: a slightly upscale or more pretentious local bar and cafe, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner; raw oysters and burgers, mac and cheese and fish and chips. And being Uptown, it works hard to fit into its environment, and it certainly achieves that.

Jenni and I both settled on the turkey BLT, which was good, though my biggest complaints were that there wasn’t enough mayo on it, and the sourdough bread didn’t have any of that sourdough charm that I expect–none of that rich and tangy taste, and only some of the crispy, dense texture. But the turkey was tasty and not dry or tasteless, the veggies were crispy and tasty, and the bacon was, well, just bacon. Otherwise, it was a fine, if slightly overpriced sandwich.

Hannah had the fish and chips, since that’s her go-to restaurant fare. I thought the batter was really good, though too spicy for her–it had a noticeable, but not overwhelming kick. It was light and crispy and well cooked, and she said that the fish was tasty, too. It came with a spicy dipping sauce that, since Hannah doesn’t put anything on her fish, tasted good on my fries.

Patrick did the burger thing and said that it was good, but that he really liked their fries, though for how they were done there, I’d like them a little crispier. But Patrick goes out of his way to tell us when he’s having a top-notch burger, and this, apparently, was not one of those. But he didn’t dislike it, either, which scores points for being another restaurant where he’s comfortable eating.

The Lowry is a fine place to eat, and I didn’t expect it to be perfect or truly amazing. I was looking for a decent sit-down restaurant where my whole family would be happy with at least one thing from the menu (which is a BIG requirement when we all go out). Would I go out of my way to go back there? No. But if I’m in the area and I want something like that, I’d probably go again.