Shantytown Bar and Grill – Bloomington, MN

Disclaimer: After we leave a restaurant we do our reviews independent of each other and do not read the others until they are going to be posted. So there may be some repeated themes/ideas in our reviews.


It’s like the people that own Shantytown Bar and Grill are trying to hide the place, it’s in a weird location, the parking lot sucks ass and they don’t have any sort of web site (other than a Facebook page). It is so easy now to have a web site with at least your contact info, how to find the damn place and a menu. It might bug me even more if a restaurant has a web site but doesn’t have any of their menu on it, UGH…. Really…. Come on people its 2012, it’s not that hard, your kids can do it for you in a matter of minutes.

Alright now on to the place; It’s a great little neighborhood bar/grill. With many houses nearby you can tell it’s a place people stumble home from every night. Especially with the special they listed on their walls, like $1 domestic bottles on Wednesday nights and $15 for a pitcher of wings and a pitcher of beer on Saturday nights.

We started with the onion rings with seasoned sour cream. They were really good, very crunchy and not overly crumbly as they stayed together well. Personally I just like ketchup with my onion rings but the seasoned sour cream was ok.

I got the Chili Cheeseburger with tots, before we went here I read many posts about how great the tots were. The burger comes with onions, chili, sour cream and cheese on top. It was a nice size patty that was a little over done, it wasn’t as juicy as I read other reviews talking about either. The chili was very basic with nothing standing out or nothing to make it very spicy. Everything together was very tasty but I think if you took off the sour cream the flavors of the chili would stand out more as it tends to dull other flavors.

Now the tots, they were tots people, just tots… If you like tots then great, they have tots. I will say they were cooked very well, not mushy or underdone. But they are just tater tots. The seasoned sour cream helps but in the end I felt ripped off paying an extra $1.75 for these.

Altogether if this place is in your neighborhood it’s great, go have some beers and a burger and walk home. Driving 15-20 miles I pass places I would prefer to go, not to say it’s bad it just doesn’t do anything to make it drive worthy.


Shantytown Gourmet Hamburgers lives up to the name “Shantytown” by being in a crappy building with crappy parking in a crappy location.  My description of “crappy” does not and should not pertain to all of the residents within walking distance of this place. If I were to live near this place, I most definitely would be a regular customer (If only for the beer specials).

Shantytown is a classic bar (or that’s at least how I see it), so it’s a seat yourself and someone will be with you shortly type deal.  We first started with an order of onion rings. They were breaded not battered. I prefer the latter. They were served with a seasoned sour cream that I could do without. I am more a fan of ketchup (of the Heinz variety) on my onion rings. Unfortunately they don’t have Heinz at this place. Not sure what brand it was because it was in a generic red ketchup bottle but it definitely wasn’t Heinz. The onion rings were big, hot, and full of onion, so they went down with ease.

The burger I ordered was called The Bailey. It comes topped with sour cream and green olives. I also ordered a side of tater tots. There was a lot of talk out there about how great there tots are. Well I have news for you. THEY ARE TATER F’ING TOTS. It makes me wonder what tots these other people are eating in their lives that these ones make some sort of big impression on them. They do offer Cajun seasoned tots, which I assume just have some spices poured on them.  My burger came on a toasted and buttered bun. The patty itself was cooked nicely and was pleasantly big for a “bar burger”. Maybe 1/3 pound or so. I was in the mood for something out of the ordinary so I was happy that I liked the combined flavors of sour cream and green olives on my burger.

Overall this place would be a really cool drinking spot. They have great nightly specials and you could get pretty tipsy without putting a dent in your wallet.  The burgers are a bit overrated and the tots are just tots. Our bill for two sodas, an order of onion rings, and two burgers with tots was over $30.00. Unless you’re planning on doing some drinking, you’re better off saving yourself a few bucks and hit up a Culver’s for your burger fix. Until next time…

Shantytown Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

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One Response to Shantytown Bar and Grill – Bloomington, MN

  1. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely horrible.

    I went there with some co-workers (it was their idea), and the food and service was horrendous. My biggest problem was the service, but they are very limited on food and just have nasty fried stuff. Only go there if you want simple fried junk food.

    The waitress was really bad. It took her a long time to stop over, and then she barely gives us the time of day. I tried to order some nachos with a few of the ingredients/add on’s changed, and they messed up my order. She also never came back to our table to refill drinks And believe me I really needed more water to help with all the salt and sodium I was eating.

    Needless to say, I do not plan on going back.

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