Revival Restaurant in Minneapolis is 1.2 miles away from my apartment. It is literally only 6336 feet away and it has taken me a year and a half to finally eat there. I cannot even count how many times I’ve heard this restaurant referenced and I am baffled that I did not realize how close it really was!
Revival’s menu is southern cuisine to it’s core and it’s crowning jewel is fried chicken.
I didn’t take any pictures of our drinks, mostly because they were just beer, but also because I was so fully distracted by the food and shoving as much of it into my face before my stomach protested that I wasn’t even able to finish my one Surly Furious. I was beyond full.
For drinks – at the Minneapolis location you can get beer, wine, or cider. They have rotating local taps. However at their St. Paul location they actually have a full bar as well, which is the best news I think I have ever heard. If you visit their website their menus at their three locations are a little different as well.
Pork Rinds: hot cheetos style with a side of cheese sauce
I was continually warned about the wait at Revival, because it is a very small restaurant and they do not take reservations. With that in mind, I told my friend Tom that he should probably eat a snack prior, because I was not going to deal with his hangry ass 😉
Our wait was an hour, which was actually not too bad, so we ended up next door at Apoy to wait it out with a couple cold beers. I have to admit that when the bartender tried to convince us to get an app while we waited we were both hungry enough that we considered it, but I’m beyond glad we withheld, because there just wasn’t room for more food in my stomach, PLUS we now have another new place to go back and try (added bonus).
The moment we sat down at our table I made a gametime decision and quickly picked out the Clams (garlic clams, herbsaint butter, bacon lardon, toast) and the Pork Rinds as an app so we could get them in ASAP. Unfortunately, they were not serving clams that night, but our waitress was amazing and treated us to a slice of Key Lime pie at the end of the meal to make up for it (4 stars for service).
Normally Pork Rinds aren’t my favorite due to their almost styrofoam texture, but the Hot Cheetos crumbs added a surprising kick and once you dipped them into the cheese sauce; game over. It was SO good. Only complaint I have is that for the amount of Pork Rinds you get, even dipping them into the cheese sauce conservatively, it was just not enough. They could easily double the dip portion without it being too much.
Chicken + Waffles: honey butter, real maple syrup
Picking out our actual meals was all about our eyes being bigger than our stomachs. I knew I was going to get the Chicken + Waffles Southern Fried style, because I have never had Chicken + Waffles before and it’s a Revival specialty. However, not knowing if I was going to like it, I also decided that a side of mashed potatoes + gravy and an order of hush puppies needed to happen. Of course, I was thinking that they would be a serving of 4-5 hush puppies and was NOT expecting a giant plate stacked full!
On the other side of the table, Tom was having an internal battle of his own. He couldn’t decide if he wanted his chicken southern fried or Tennessee hot and was weighing the pros and cons of the 2 piece meal vs. the half bird size. Naturally his eyes won out and he got the half bird (5 pieces) of Tennessee hot chicken (seasoned with cayenne pepper and I think habanero) with a side of mac and cheese thrown in for good measure.
To say we didn’t even get close to finishing is an understatement. Tom ended up only getting through 2 pieces of his chicken afterall, we split the mac & cheese (because duh I wanted it, too), we each had one hushpuppy, I had a single bite of my mashed potatoes and I made it through about half of my chicken + waffle. Fast forward 12 hours and on Sunday morning we brunched like actual royalty with those leftovers.
Being a chicken + waffle newbie, Tom guided me through the food preparation:
- Remove chicken from waffle
- Spread butter all over waffle
- Put chicken back on the waffle
- Pour syrup over whole plate
- When eating: make sure that you direct your fork straight down so that you are able to get a piece of chicken and waffle in the same bite
- Don’t be afraid to use your hands
Yes, I did need to be told how to eat my food. No, I am not ashamed of myself. I was at a literal loss about how to attack it properly with full chicken pieces just laying on top of a waffle. And having every flavor in the same bite? That was what made it worth ordering.
We were completely full to the point of uncomfortable, but as I previously mentioned, our waitress brought us a free piece of pie so OBVIOUSLY we had to eat it! I’ve never had Key Lime Pie before, but I would liken to a zesty cheesecake. It was delicious.
The food was amazing and completely worth the wait. 5 stars.
It is very small inside, I wouldn’t recommend trying to go with more than 2 people, because of the size and the table layouts. I saw larger parties of course, but for ease, knowing that we went at 6pm on a Saturday and still had to wait an hour for 2 people, it’s an efficiency thing.
The lighting was very dim and the tables are very close to one another. We actually ended up having a conversation with our neighbors and were able to swap a couple recommendations. They did however turn us down when we offered them to try our pork rinds after they asked about them…so I guess even Minnesota nice has a line people don’t cross haha.
I would definitely recommend trying to get there early so you can get your name in. They will send you a text when you are next up and give you 8 minutes to get back so you can easily put your name in and then jump over to Apoy or Lowbrow across the street (another one I have yet to try) for a beer while you wait.
Revival – Minneapolis
4527 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55409
Open Daily: 11AM – 10PM