Looking to catch a game? Playoffs Sports Lounge is an upscale sports bar located on the University of Minnesota campus just blocks away from TCF Bank Stadium. With a delicious food menu and a variety of tap beer, Playoffs is the perfect spot to catch all the games. The name speaks for itself. As you walk into Playoffs Sports Lounge you will notice the sports memorabilia bringing back memories of Minnesota’s historic sports tradition and also highlighting the present state of Minnesota sports. Whether you swing in Playoffs for a game or just to grab a bite to eat, don’t look pass these delicious food and beer pairings.
For starters, we ordered the Organic Field Greens salad. Prepared with shaved apples, candied walnuts and fresh berries served with an orange champagne vinaigrette on a bed of field greens. To compliment this light dish, we chose the winter seasonal from New Belgium Brewing, Accumulation White IPA, to wash it all down. With the complexity and variety of flavors in the salad, depending what is on the fork the beer changes flavor profile with each bite. Accumulation White IPA is very versatile with any flavor in the dish. The tropical fruit notes from the hops in Accumulation lends well to the berries, along with the champagne vinaigrette creating a light, citrusy pairing. As you crunch into the candied walnut, it adds a nice richness to round out the dish.
For the next dish, we welcomed the BBQ Beef Flatbread to grace our palates. Sliced beef, roasted red peppers, jalapeños, pineapple, shredded cheddar and mozzarella, topped with jalapeño slaw create a unique and flavorful dish for sharing or enjoying solo. To round out the flavors we paired this dish with New Belgium Fat Tire. Fat Tire has won the hearts of craft beer consumers over the years with its sense of balance: toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness. The BBQ and pineapple in the flatbread brought out a sweetness character of the malt in the beer and the refreshing hop character helps balance out the heat from the jalapeños. You can’t go wrong when pairing Fat Tire with food!
This next pairing was one of our favorites of the day. The Jamaican Jerk Wings paired with Summit Brewing Oatmeal Stout was spectacular. Covered in a sweet and spicy jamaican jerk sauce, the Oatmeal Stout was the perfect pairing to enhance the flavors of the dish. Every sip of the oatmeal stout, followed by a bite of the chicken brought out the wonderful flavors of the jerk spices. The jerk spices countered by bringing out rich, cocoa flavors in the beer. We’ll let the pairing do the rest of the talking.
Last, but definitely not least was the signature Playoff Burger. This burger is prepared with handmade prime beef topped with smoked ghost pepper cheese and bacon with fresh cut fries and onion rings. This will make you sweat a little. There is no better pairing to go with a big burger like this than Summit Brewing’s Great Northern Porter. With the many varieties and choices consumers have these days, Great Norther Porter tends to be looked over at times, which is a mistake. This beer is amazing with roasted malts that offer up coffee notes leading to a slightly sweet, chocolatey finish. Paired with the Playoff Burger, the beer stands up to the heat of the burger and brings out the wonderful char flavor of the beef. Just an outstanding pairing to end this ‘Hump Day Lunch Day’ at Playoffs Sports Lounge.
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