Wednesday, August 7, 2013
JL Beers Proves There is Life After All in North Dakota
810 13th Ave. East
West Fargo, ND
I don’t think I’m that hard to please.
I like good food. And I like good beer.
So a place that specializes in exciting, exotic microbrews from across the country that also serves delicious, drippy cheeseburgers should be right up Suit757’s alley. Right?
So why the hell are places like JL Beers so hard to find in our overly-franchised American landscape of mediocrity?
And why do I have to travel to the end of the earth to find one?
The good folks who live in North Dakota probably don’t consider their state to be the end of the earth.
But to the rest of us, a journey to Fargo can sure seem like it.
I’ve been to all 50 states.
But like most travelers, North Dakota was one of the very last I crossed off my list.
Unless you happen to work in the oil industry, chances are you’ve never been there either.
Which makes me wonder, if a state appears on the map, but no one you know has ever been there, does the state really exist?
Well, I’m happy to report not only does the northernmost half of the Dakotas really exist, but it turns out it sports one of the top places in America to drink good beer and chow down on juicy burgers.
JL Beers is the type of place you’d expect to find in Boston or Seattle -- not in Fargo.
The beer selection is fantastic, including some of Suit757’s obscure favorites and others that have never before graced my liver...
…such as Pursuit of Hoppiness brewed by Grand Teton Brewing Company in Idaho.
The only other place in America I’ve tried Grand Teton’s beers was in…the Grand Tetons.
To find this hopilicious red ale in Fargo of all places was a great kick-off to my evening.
I also enjoyed the heck out of some great seasonal beers from two of my favorite breweries in America, New York’s Southern Tier and California’s Sierra Nevada.
But in spite of its name and its dozens of inviting tap handles, JL Beers isn’t just a great beer bar.
The food is top notch too.
My “JL Burger” was a juicy, greasy mound of burger bliss.
Two slabs of beef smothered in melty cheese, slippery sautéed onions and a “special sauce” that would make a Big Mac blush in envy, this beauty easily made the Suit757 Burger Hall of Fame.
Even the way-too-generous portion of homemade potato chips served on the side was top notch. Hand cut, deep fried until crispy and sprinkled with a cheddar jalapeño seasoning, these chips were about as exciting as any burger side dish can get.
Red brick-decorated with neon beer signs and baseball on the flat screens, this place is beer sipping, burger munching man cave heaven.
Even the t-shirts were top shelf, sporting clever sudsy sayings like, “Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder” and “Reality is an illusion caused the lack of good beer.”
I could understand why this place was so popular at 9 o’clock on a Tuesday night. Populated with couples on dates and West Fargo hipsters, it’s pretty clear there aren’t too many places like JL Beers in North Dakota.
That’s why I was damn glad I found it, proving once again that a Suit can find a good time in just about any type of strange place.
Even in North Dakota.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!