Clearly old-school arcade games are having a moment here in the Twin Cities, and that’s a fun thing. But even better is an arcade that also serves food above and beyond the concession offerings one would normally expect. That’s the case with Minneapolis’ Tilt Pinball Bar.
Tilt’s menu is limited and focused mostly on hot dogs. But instead of nuking a sad Oscar Meyer wiener and dumping it on a plate, Tilt gets its hot dogs from Wisconsin’s Peterson Craftsman Meats (and sources vegan sriracha brats from The Herbivorous Butcher) and uses them as a base for some creative tinkering. You can either get the specialty offerings ($8) they’ve created, or you can build your own (starting at $7).
We tried the #5 specialty dog, which had a tangy kimchi and Kewpie mayo, a spicy-sweet combo that manages not to overwhelm the meaty dog. The Second City is a tip of the hat to the traditional Chicago dog, and has a comforting familiarity and array of flavors. But our favorite of the specialty dogs was the O.G.B, a decadent dog comprised of melted Gruyere, bacon, and smoked onions (above). That’s a rich and flavorful pile of goodness right there.
Our server told us that her favorite build-it-yourself combo was chili and cream cheese, and to our surprise, it was actually good. The cream cheese acted as a thicker, richer version of sour cream, and the chili, made in house, was meaty and mildly spicy.
Tilt is making most of its offerings in house, including the well-done kimchi and a roasted tomato and jalapeño salsa with crema and mint served with tortilla chips ($5). The salsa is only somewhat chunky, but the roasted tomato and jalapeño are flavorful and spicy without being overheated, and the mint is just a hint in the background.
Tilt also has a small but thoughtful cocktail menu (as well as a lengthier beer menu), and it appears that just as much creativity was involved behind the bar as in the kitchen. We tried the Feel the Power ($8), which combines tequila with carrot-ginger juice, Tattersall’s Grapefruit Crema, and red chile. If you’re not wild about sweeter drinks, this is for you — it packs a spicy, cheerfully puckery flavor that pairs wonderfully with the hot dogs.
Tilt Pinball Bar, 113 E 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404; 612.236.4089