What seems like forever ago now, I had dinner at The Sample Room in NE Minneapolis to celebrate a friend's new job - and my new job, too, I guess.
I had been here once before, briefly, during Art-A-Whirl a couple of summers ago. We sat outside and I don't even think I had anything.
We ended up here for the celebration after a last minute search for a place to celebrate the night before. We called everywhere and there wasn't a single place that had a table for 7 at 6pm on a Saturday night. That seemed weird.
But since The Sample Room doesn't take reservations, we took our chances and managed to get a table in a very, very crowded restaurant.
Two things I liked about The Sample Room:
1. It was super crowded. There's something about having dinner with friends in a loud, crowded restaurant. It helps make it seem like more of a party. It wasn't obnoxiously loud. It's just a very small space and every table was filled with people chatting it up.
2. I did not spot any children there. Maybe due to the fact that it's a very small, loud restaurant, people don't think of it as a place to bring The Family. And I'm happy about that. I know people with kids are allowed to eat at restaurants, but some restaurants just don't feel like the kind of place that toddlers need to run around in and babies need to scream in. Some place just feel a little more "adult" and The Sample Room had that vibe. At least for that night.
Two things I did not like about The Sample Room:
1. The wait. It took FOREVER to get our food. We had plans to go see a friend's band for an early show and I was worried that we wouldn't make it - even though the early dinner time was partly planned to allow plenty of time to catch them. And then, when you're sitting there waiting for your food, you end up drinking more and then the bill goes up and up and up...
2. The food. The food was...okay. There was nothing I had that I would tell people "OMG you HAVE to go to The Sample Room and have this dish!" And since it is the "sample" room, the servings are small, as you are supposed to share them and try many things. But they are also pricey and not very vegetarian friendly. So, my little bowl of potatoes was all I had and there really wasn't much else I could do about that.
But, for the most part, it was a pleasant experience and I would probably go again when I didn't have to be somewhere else at a certain time and now that I know what to expect.