Sep 052008

Cuisine: American, Steak, Ribs, Chops
Restaurant Features: Bar, On-Site Parking, Patio Dining

Location: Hugo, MN
Address: 14725 Victor Hugo Boulevard  Hugo, MN 55038  (651) 756-1894
Links: Blue Heron Website * Blue Heron Facebook PageGoogle Map


Atmosphere: The Blue Heron is a very large restaurant, with a handful of dining areas surrounding a centrally-located bar area.  There are several large-screen TV’s on the walls throughout the restaurant.  The decor of the restaurant was one that had no apparent theme, but was painted with warm masculine colors to go along with the wooden tables and chairs.


Bar Area


Menu: Appetizers include Calamari, Sante Fe Quesadilla, Muchos Nachos, Onion Rings, Wings, Chicken Satay, Walleye Fingers, Prime Rib Asparagus Wrap, Grilled BBQ Salmon, Steak Bites, Bruschetta and Spinach & Artichoke Dip.

Salads include Fresh Tomato Mozzarella, Chef, Taco, Caesar, Wedge, and Pear & Bleu Cheese.  Soups include French Onion and a Soup du Jour.

Entrees include Grilled Fajitas, Shrimp Scampi, Broasted Chicken, Walleye, Filet Mignon, Ribs, Ribeye, Pork Chops and Chicken Florentine Lasagna Rolls.

Pasta dishes offered at Blue Heron are the New Orleans (Jambalaya), Seafood Linguine, Bolognese, Pasta Primavera, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Chicken Alfredo, and Caprese.

There is also a large selection of sandwiches including the Prime Rib French Dip, Old Fashioned Club, Prime Rib Philly Cheese Steak, Grilled Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, BBQ Pork, Walleye, Cuban, Italian Sub and Glazed Hickory Chicken.  Wraps include Southwestern Chicken, Smoked Turkey & Avocado, and Buffalo Chicken.  There are also a number of Specialty Burgers including the Blue Heron Burger (cheese, sauteed mushrooms, fried onion, smoked bacon, jalapenos, pineapple, lettuce and tomato).

Price guide: Appetizers $8-12  Salads $9-10 Entrees $13-24 Pasta $10-14 Sandwiches $8-11
What we ordered: We started with the Nachos, which was a huge pile of chips loaded with sauteed peppers, jalapenos, green onions, black beans, tomatoes and seasoned ground beef, with guacamole and sour cream on the side.  The portion was huge, with all of the ingredients stacked on top of the chips.  The nachos were good, but it was hard to get both chips and ingredients together in the same bite. There seemed to be cheese baked only on top.


We also ordered the Chicken Satay, which I was disappointed to discover was not what I consider chicken satay at all!  Not Thai Satay, anyway.  The chicken skewers were very good, nice and tender, but the flavor was distinctly teriyaki.  Apparently the kitchen was all out of the Thai Cucumber salad that traditionally accompanies Satay, so they substituted it with coleslaw.  Both were very good, just not what I was expecting.


For my dinner, I had the Mushroom and Swiss Burger.  The burger was quite large and pretty good.  It had a decent amount of fresh sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese, served on a toasted bun.  The burger was ordered medium-well and it was quite pink in the middle.  The few thick-cut fries they gave me were hot, but sparse.


One of my companions ordered the Bacon Swiss Burger


One of my companions had the Walleye Sandwich.  This is actually what I had ordered for my meal, but I missed the description that said it had American Cheese, so I was unable to eat it.  It was unfortunate for me that such a nice fillet of walleye was covered with a food I have a strong aversion to.  My companion was nice enough to swap the burger for the walleye and enjoyed it.  The fillet was large and perfectly browned with a light breading.


Another companion had the pork chops, which were very thick and tender, and perfectly seasoned with maple glazed brown sugar.  The green beans were also sauteed in a sweet glaze and ad a nice texture to them.  The baked potato was not nearly as good as the rest of the meal.  It was old, hard, dry and had obviously been sitting in the tinfoil since the dinner rush many hours earlier.


Service: I had heard such bad things about the service at the Blue Heron that my expectations were not very high.  I am sorry to say that the service on my visit was even worse than I could have expected! In fact, I am going to go as far as to say I had the worst service of any restaurant I have ever done a review on at this point in time (about 75 restaurants!).  My companions and I arrived at the restaurant shortly after 9pm, long after the dinner crowd had gone.  There were only a few other diners in the restaurant, but several people having cocktails in the bar area.  The hostess greeted us in a friendly manner, and brought our party of four to a table in the bar area.  We asked for a table that was close to one of the large-screen TV’s so that we would be able to watch a Pre-Season Vikings game that was in progress.  After we were seated, it took at least ten minutes for our server to come to our table to take our drink orders.  Drinks took at least ten minutes and she had forgotten one of them, so that drink didn’t arrive until 25 minutes after it we ordered.  Our server was friendly, but did not go out of her way to give us helpful suggestions of what to order.  Appetizers arrived approximately 20 minutes after we ordered, however the restaurant made a substitution for an item that they were apparently out-of, without consulting us first.  Half-way through appetizers, the TV that was showing the Vikings came was changed to something else.  Our party asked three different people at three different times if they would kindly put our game back on.  All three requests were ignored, despite reassurance that they would change the channel back.  We waited, waited, and waited some more for our entrees, our server was nowhere in sight.  We were left without refills for quite some time.  Dinner was finally served about 50 minutes after we ordered.  Our server was polite when we did see her, but that seemed rare.
Overall Impression: I am a resident of Hugo and had been waiting many years for a nice restaurant to move into town, so I was incredibly disappointed with my first visit to the Blue Heron because the service was so bad.  The food was good enough, but certainly didn’t outweigh the amount of time it took between ordering and eating.
Blue Heron Grill on Urbanspoon

  28 Responses to “Blue Heron Grill- Hugo, MN”

  1. We had a great experience at The Blue Heron. We had arrived during happy hour where they had nice specials and good prices. I thought the service was very friendly and fun to be around. We will be returning!

  2. We love blue heron and are regulars there. We have had bad service a time or 2. But this is a time or 2 after many visits. So that is normal with any place. Again LOVE IT:)

    • We had a terrible experience at the Blue Heron on 7/23/11. The waitress made a small mistake on one of our orders and we accepted it as it was prepared. We were having a good time as a family when shortly after the food arrived, the manager showed up and asked us how things were. We all replied that things were fine. The manager (a woman) then laid on us that we had upset her waitress and she was crying in the backroom because of our saying something about suing her !!!??? Bizarre…but the manager kept talking and not listening to anyone in our party. Finally, i told her that I was now upset and it was because of her, not the food or the server and that she could take back my plate, which I had only just started to eat. I now had a case of indigestion. So did the rest of my family as this loud, disrespectful person continued to tell us how terrible we were !!! She later slapped the check on the table and when she picked our payment up and left a receipt, she sarcastically and rudely said, “Have a Nice Day “….So much for the Blue Heron…home of the manager from hell. This woman ruined an acceptable time and turned it into the worst nightmare I have ever had in any restaurant. Do not go there. We still do not know why the waitress said what she said about our party. Too bad.
      Thanks for listening….something is going on there between the employees and the management and the customers are only in the way.

  3. I think you are all crazy. My family and I go there a couple times a week and we love it. My kids love the Blue Heron.. Its a all around fun place and I love the staff. I have gotten to know alot of the servers and they are all great people. My kids love all of them. The manager Amy is so sweet.

  4. Although this review is from over a year ago, they nailed it. FIND ANOTHER RESTRAUNT to spend your earned pay on…unless your the gambling type

  5. I have been going to the Blue Heron since the day they opened,actually quit freqeuntly! I have to share saturday evenings experience-Ordered oyster’s and the most exspensive bottle of wine on the menu to get things started,then ordered our meals, I ordered the new york srtip which I had a number of times in the past! I ordered it medium rare yummy! It came out burnt! second time came out burnt! third time!! CAME OUT BURNT ! ! ! Funny thing was the manager did not come out once,no I guess he did,he brought one of the burnt steaks out and dropped it on the table not saying a thing! The manager Michael T. Johnson is a joke! because of him I will not go back and I will tell many people in the community about my experience!

  6. The Heron is a fun place to hang out. The food is great and the staff is always good to me. They have some kind of speical every night. There happy hour rocks and they always have the games on TV. What is so bad about that?

  7. Its so fun there. The staff is great. Just chill out and have a good time.

  8. I love it there. We go there all the time and the staff is great. The food is always great. They have really came along way from when they first opened. I think you should give it another shot too. Ask for Toni or Heidi. They are both very friendly and good to us every time we go there. I know there are a few more I just don’t know all there names. Try the New Orleans pasta. Its great. I hope you all try it again I am sure you will be happy.

  9. I live in Hugo and have visited the restaurant many times. I agree that when the place first opened up the staff was not experienced enough to know what good service is. In the last year I have noticed the service is better and the food is outstanding. Their burgers are some of the best I’ve ever had. The happy hour on Thursday night is recommended. Good drink specials and good people. I don’t recommend Saturday nights. Maybe not my type of crowd but the place attracts some real jerks on Saturday nights. Overall I’m glad the Blue Heron is still around. I recommend to those who haven’t gone in awhile to give it another shot.

  10. Another Hugo resident here. Disappointing is about all I can say about the Heron. Have tried it several times on different occasions from Sunday brunch to evening apps and cocktails.
    This place tries to have an ‘upwardly mobile’ feel to it, but it falls way WAY short on service and portions for their higher price point mediocre food. Frankly the “dives” in the area serve better food, cheaper and actually have staff that know what they are doing. Last stop in was my last. Sat at the bar waiting 15 minutes for service.
    On the other hand, there are people out there who don’t care what their food or service is like, as long as they’re seen in the right place. IYKWIM. ;)
    Me ? Never again.

    • Gordy, I couldn’t agree with you more. I was only at the Blue Heron the one time and I have never wanted to go back…… and I live 5 minutes away!!! I have gotten so many negative comments on the Blue Heron that I doubt I will ever go back. I cannot figure out for the life of me why the parking lot is always packed???!!!

  11. Rude service, slow, and you’re lucky if you get what you ordered correctly the first time.

  12. Hi, I just wanted to let you know that we had really good service at the Blue Heron last night. I was expecting the worst and was pleasantly surprised. We were only there for a couple hours but our server was always there when anyone wanted another drink. We were all ordering different things at different times and she always got it right. We went for dinner and the food came out all at the same time and in a short period of time. I can’t really say how the food was because I ordered just a bowl of soup and everyone else ordered the pulled pork sandwich from the pig roast. We will probably try it again for dinner some time. The only reason we had never been there was because we had heard so much about the bad service. I am very impatient when it comes to that. I thought you might like to know that we had a good experience.

  13. I live in Hugo and i’ve been to the blue heron several times for dinner and swore that I would never go back, but against my better judgement we went again tonight. I ordered the BBQ wings and the waitress bought out buffalo, not a big deal I informed her of her error and she said she would put in a new order. When she returned with the BBQ wings I started eating them and I realized she just dipped the old buffalo wings in BBQ sauce. My girlfriend ordered a taco salad that was horrible tasting and she had one bite and didnt eat anymore, when the waitress came back she asked if we were done and she took away the full taco salad and didn’t bother to question why we didnt eat it. The service sucks and so does the food. DON’T GO HERE TO EAT! If you do, make sure you don’t get Jean N for a waitress. She was horrible both times I’ve had her.

  14. WOW, I am very shocked to hear how everyone can just talk about people this way. I love it there. Its great food. We have always had really good service. we were just there Thursday night had dinner and stayed for ladies night and the waitress was great. I don’t remember her name but, you guys should really check it out again. i really think they are all doing a really good job there and I think they will do just fine. its a fun place.

  15. I’ve tried it again. The food was good, the service was terrible. Never got my drink and trying to pay and get out of the restraunt took forever.

  16. I also tried this place since I’m a Hugo resident and was VERY excited for a nice place to open up. The first time we ate there (opening weekend), the service and food was HORRIBLE. We gave it a while to correct the mistakes, but our second experience there was even WORSE!!! I’ll NEVER set foot in that place again.

  17. I suggest that you (the critic) head back to the Blue Heron and do another review. Their menu has changed a bit and their food is only getting better. They were, and still are, a new restaurant at the time of your review. My favorites are the calamari, the pear and bleu cheese salad, the steak bites and the bacon bleu heron burger.
    I rarely eat in the restaurant but have had nothing but good experiences in the bar area. I like this bar because it’s a change of pace from the usual in the Forest Lake area, it’s very nice and clean and they have great drink specials every week.
    Try it again ~ I dare you!

  18. Don’t give this restaurant your business. I have dined there a few times. Service was usually poor. The food varied in quality from good to poor. But worse then their food is their neighborliness. I live across the highway from the restaurant. On frequent Friday and Saturday nights I have been kept awake by their overly loud sound system with annoying pounding bass. I have stopped giving them my business. When I want a good meal I drive a few miles to White Bear Lake to eat at Rudy’s Red Eye Grill, Ban Thai, and the Ingredients Cafe.


  20. After reading a few negative blogs me and my family decided to give it a shot. We were there on Saturday night and the place was pack. The staff was all dressed up in hawian gear the server told us they were having a luau. We ordered Ahi tuna and to my surprised it came out before we were able to decided on our entrees. After getting to know our sarah she recommended the Salmon special and a couple of there pasta dishes. I am glad they are heading in the right direction and we have a place to go for a good time.

  21. The service must have changed! We had a wonderful time. The service was prompt and friendly. They also were happy to accomodate some of my particular requests since I am a picky eater. I also feel like the portions were very generous and my favorite dish was the lasagna rolls. We were there on friday night and we stayed all night since they had a D.J.

  22. omg!I will never go back either!I hope they shape up. What am I suppose to do when I need to find my next date?

  23. I was just there too, during preseason football, and after the dinner rush (around 8pm). The service was horrendous! Just like you described. I won’t be going back unless something changes. And I too live Hugo and was excited when I first heard that Blue Heron Grill was arriving. What a disappointment!

  24. How disappointing. They better shape it up if they want to survive..

    • Wow! Horrible service, two of the steaks they were out of , cold food when it did arrive one hour later. What a waste of money and time. Should have gone to Culvers!

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