It’s cold and snowy here in Minnesota, but that doesn’t stop the Dive Night crew from braving the weather and checking out another year of dives. Unfortunately what became a tradition was not the best choice of places to kick off the 2011 dive adventure. Meister’s, which was really good in Stillwater and pretty good in Scandia turned out to be kind of mundane in Shoreview. Of course that’s just my opinion.
The decor is frighteningly ordinary, except for the occasional dancer you might find in the hallway outside the restaurant. You see, Meister’s in Shoreview is contained in a strip mall and shares a hallway with a dance studio. We got to see a spinny guy in a matador costume when we were there. But other than that the place is pretty ho-hum.
These little cut-outs of German people (we called them Heidi and Hans) were taped to a mirrored wall on one side of the dining room. The room itself was pretty well lit and except for Heidi and Hans was pretty devoid of any character.
There was also a very large party of people in the dining room, and they took up the whole length of the room. They were all really old, and one guy had exactly one tooth. I think it was Grandma’s birthday, because the lady at the head of the table looked to be about 127 years old. I thought it was sad that Meister’s was the place her family chose to celebrate what could be her last birthday, but who am I to judge? Anyway, the four of us were seated in the back corner booth, which was fine.
First we ordered our drinks. Ray and Husby got a big old pint of beer and Ruthie and I ordered a glass of white zinfandel. Our wine choices were generic. I don’t know why I think I can get a good glass of wine in a dive, but I’m always a little disappointed when I can’t. I should probably start drinking hard liquor if I want to get a good drink in a dive. Our wine came in little splits and tasted like the kind you would get out of a box with a spigot.
No matter, we’re there for the food, not the libations. First of all I will give Meister’s kudos on the temperature of their food. Everything was hot. Like, really hot where you’d have to let it sit for a while before biting into it. That’s good. The choice of appetizers was limited and pretty ordinary. We ended up getting onion rings and mushrooms. The mushrooms came with a little ranch dipping sauce.
Ray couldn’t resist getting a cup of the sausage tortilinni soup, which he said was tasty. It came with three packets of crackers. Very generous indeed!
As for the entrees, we each had something different. I had the philly sandwich (sans green peppers *burp*) with au jus, Ruthie had taco salad, which was huge, Husby had a buffalo chicken wrap sandwich, and Ray had a rueben. As I mentioned, everything came to us really hot and tasted fine, but in my opinion the menu in general and my dinner lacked any kind of originality or pizazz. The rest of the gang might have different opinions.
And what kind of dive would Meister’s be if it didn’t have a Friday Night Meat Raffle? Of course we had to buy a couple of chances because who doesn’t want to go home with a hunk of raw meat after an evening out?
Unfortunately none of our numbers were winners.
Long and short? We kicked off the third year of Dive Nights with a tradition, but the least favorite of the three Meister’s. Nothing about it was outstanding, but nothing was icky either. It was just…zzzzzz.
One thing I must mention is the service. That was pretty decent. Our waitress was very attentive and did a good job of keeping up with us and the large party of old people. Nice and friendly, but not too friendly to get in your way. I like wait staff like that. Our waitress was excellent.
So that wraps it up. I feel a little guilty not being more positive. I will say if you’re going to go to an average place to eat you should be accompanied by superior company, like Husby and I are every time we’re out with Ruthie and Ray. Thanks, guys!