Traipsing Around Town: Traveling Back in Time at 50's Grill

By Taylor Uggla

I know I’ve mentioned this place before, but after yet another charming weekend visit I’ve decided that it just wouldn’t be fair not to give it a full-on review. After all, with its retro décor and old-fashioned menu choices, there’s no place else like it in the Twin Cities.It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but once you’re in the door you’ll feel as if you’ve gone back to the era of greasers and prettied-up housewives. The waiting area, designed to look like a 1950s living room, contains vintage armchairs and a round television set, and the restaurant itself is filled with hot pink vinyl booths and black and white checkered tiles. A waitress dressed in a pink blouse and poodle skirt will bring you to your table, and since the walls are adorned with old posters, it’s fun to anticipate if you’ll be seated with James Dean or Marilyn Monroe.

Then the real fun begins. Which type of malt should you have? There are twenty-nine flavors to choose from. Grasshopper? Cookies and cream? My favorite is almond fudge, the perfect blend of nuts and chocolate. Be sure to bring a full appetite, because extras come in a big silver cup, and you’ll have enough to fill your malt glass twice. It’s actually fun to share this treat with somebody else, whether it’s your best friend or a new sweetheart. Just ask for an extra spoon.

In fact, almost anything at 50’s Grill can be split in half. Portions are big, and there’s often enough on your plate to bring home. Burgers come on big fluffy buns, and when you order a blue plate special, you receive mashed potatoes, a vegetable, homemade bread, and your choice of soup or salad on the side. This restaurant is known for their chicken potpie, but if you’re a vegetarian like me, you’ll enjoy the Garden Burger with fries, piled high with red onion, lettuce, mayo, and a tomato. I’ve also heard good things about the grilled chicken salad and the Canadian walleye.

50’s Grill is just a good place to go for comfort. You’ll feel like you’re eating food straight out of your mother’s kitchen, and it’s the perfect place to go for coffee and a piece of pie. All baked goods are made fresh daily, and you really can’t live if you haven’t tried any. The most popular item is banana cream pie, and apple comes in at a close and delicious second. According to the menu, they’re the “best in the Midwest.” You can also buy whole pies or cakes to eat later.

So, grab a partner and head on down to the 50’s Grill. It might be a drive, but it’s the cutest little diner you ever will see, and certainly a refreshing alternative to the St. Clair Broiler. Meals run at the standard $8 or $9 price, and it’s a great place to bring a date. Besides, where else can you enjoy a Green River phosphate these days?