2124 Marshall St Ne, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5541845.009570 -93.271868
Neighborhoods: Northeast, Bottineau
My husband heard the food was horrible, so luckily he ate before we went there. Party of six, 6:30 on a Saturday and we were seated right away. The servers wear wrinkled work out clothes, but were professional non the less. Drinks are overpriced for the area, wine is served in very small glasses. The food took over 45 minutes and was horrible. No one enjoyed what they ordered. The shrimp was frozen and very fishy ($10 for 6 small) the scallops over spinach were cooked perfectly, but the spinach was old and slimy. The burger came out like a hock puck. The sausage was a joke, and the summer vegetables were soggy (probably frozen as well). Between the two of us, we spent $80 and left hungry. This is an overpriced and terribly executed menu. The only good thing, is they will re-fill your water at no charge.
Nice Place – To the person that wrote the previous review...why would you bring a 5 year old there? It is not a family style restaurant. It has a bar atmosphere. I wouldn't even bring my 15 yr old there. I like The Sample Room. It is a great place to meet friends for a drink and a meal. A good date place too.
Bad service and bad food, what more could you ask for? – My husband and I thought we would try this place on a Sunday night with our 5 year old son. When we arrived we had to wait to be seated which is fine of course but...there was one party ahead of us (two young women) a booth opened up and it was clear that the next thing to open up would be a 4 high top next to the bar and then nothing for a long time. The 4 top opened up minutes after the booth, would you not seat someone with a child out of the way in booth rather than on a high chair in the middle of the restaurant? I knew then that it wasn't going to be good, as any experienced host/server would never be that dumb. We sit down and a waitress aproaches our table in the sky with some waters and says "I'll be right back with you." please now don't forget about the 5 year old - 15 minutes later (which is like two hours to the 5 year old) she shows back up to take our order, of food. I ordered the drink I had planned on and the cherry 7UP I had promised my son on the ride there in the car. Waitressing 101 take drink orders immediately and never make people with kids wait, get'em in and get'em out. I ordered the scallops and some kind of vegetable pie. Scallops where prepared correctly, the "pie" was not good. The bread was dropped off at our table after the food. I made the mistake of taking one more run at it and ordered the shrimp. Honestly the worst shrimp I have ever had out. Terrible. My waitress stopped back 5 minutes after the shrimp had been delivered by another waitress and told me that they should be ready soon an she would have them right out. Then she looked down and saw them on my table. I would never recommend this place and will not ever go back.
Skip the Meatloaf and look out for over-zealous table clearers... – For the most part, I really do enjoy the quality food and variety of The Sample Room. A friend and I went there this Saturday to catch up over some good eats and wine. We ordered the Sampler Platter of four different appetizers, and they were all wonderful except for the meatloaf. Now, I just made homemade mealoaf recently, and I'm sorry, but I would have expected better at The Sample Room. It was VERY processed-tasting, and downright dry.
Secondly, it was not very busy the night we went, and yet, the bus staff insisted on grabbing at our food before we were finished. One in particular grabbed my bread with her bare hands before asking if I was finished. Yuck! "Um, NOW I'm done, thanks." It was really annoying and really made my friend and I skip dessert there and go someplace else for it. Too bad, because our waitress was delightful. They just need to train their bus staff on how to leave people alone.
If you go, pay in cash! – I was a regular, enamored fan of the Sample Room until...
After having dinner at the Sample Room one night, I discovered my credit card had been charged for two dinners instead of one. It happens, I thought to myself, and since the Sample Room is a neighborhood restaurant and I was a loyal customer, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. I thought I was doing them a favor by contacting them before I contacted my bank. I called the restaurant and was assured that the matter would be resolved by the end of the week. I was also told that if the matter wasn't resolved by the end of the week, I should call them back. Well, the charge was processed by my bank and went through a couple of days later. So I called them back. The second time around, I was coldly received and upon informing them the charge had gone through was told "we reconciled this matter yesterday." Aha - so, now it was my problem (now that it was resolved on their end). The person was very rude to me and I can tell you I will not patronize the restaurant again. Their problem immediately became my problem when I had to sort the matter out on my own by contacting my bank and requesting an "investigation" into the charge. I won't be giving the Sample Room the benefit of the doubt again. It's too bad because I was a loyal, regular neighborhood customer who really liked the food. My advice to you - if you go, pay in cash!
Fabulous! Unpretentious. Great with Children. Best food of any 'Wine bar' in the Cities. – Had late dinner/snacks there last Sunday with my Bride and Daughter. Had the gravlox, baked brie, scallops and crab cakes. Gravlox was great (I make my own), brie was excellent, the crab cakes tasted were almost 100% crab and the pan-seared scallops (size of golf-balls) were as good or better than any I have had at various Seafood establishments in the Cities. The Sous-Chef brought out a sample of the Soup of the day - Parsnip. Quite possibly one of the best soups I have ever had.
My Daughter, 6, ate everything. We also shared 3 wine flights - one white and two red. All were quite approachable and a good value.
Hope you find it as pleasant as our family did. Ambience 9, Service 10, Menu 10.
What's the attraction? – I've been to the Sample Room on a few occasions and I keep saying, "Give it another chance...." Well, I've given it enought chances - I can't find anything I LOVE here. Everything is just okay. I think it's a bit cramped for my style. Service is good, but I think they need more than 1 server for the place.
Nice spot in Northeast – Cute and cozy spot to stop and have a glass of wine. Martini's however can be quite expensive. Good wine list though, enjoy with one of their sampler plates where you can choose a taste of different items while sipping on a glass of good wine. Can be difficult to find a spot when it gets busy.
Hmmmmm..... – I liked so much about this place - location was good, easy to get to; parking was super easy (they have a lot out back); signage was attractive; the inside atmosphere was spot on - love the size of the place, the lighting at dinnertime, great bar; the staff was great and clearly got on well with the locals - BUT the food didn't quite match. Sandwiches and heavy meats don't really match the atmosphere - is this a cool funky hang out or a sports bar or a nice romantic place to eat? There is so much potential here - they need to drop the sandwiches at dinner, offer fresher more seasonal foods (don't serve those styrofoam non-organic strawberries - yuck!), and offer items for those of us who don't eat meat (like a nice simple light pasta). I don't see this as a dressy stuffy place, I see this as a fun place with fun food. I will definitely be back because it is in my neighborhood, but I would be more likely to have a drink than spend the cash on a so-so dinner. I hope they keep working at the menu because this place is on to something and what eating in Minneapolis could be about.
Overrated. I can't see what the fuss is all about... – Ever since my favorite bartender left (where is he now?) this place has been lackluster. Really he was the only reason I went. Here was a place I thought had finally arrived--a neighborhood bar where the bartender knows your name, remembers your drink, listens to you, has a joke to share, shakes your hand. Unfortunately those days are gone again, and I'm left with the gaggle of jaded servers who look like they just woke up and rolled of the couch to come to work. They couldn't me more uninterested in serving me. It's a shame, because I live nearby, but more and more often I find myself driving to other neighborhoods to other restaurants. The food here is good, but a little bit pricey. Once, when I wanted the waitress to take my roast turkey back to the kitchen to heat it up some more, she said the chef was in a bad mood and that she was afraid to even go near him. WOW. I just ate cold turkey.
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