Feb 262011

Cuisine: American, Burgers, Steaks
Restaurant Features: Bar, Games, Happy Hour, Live Music
Location: Forest Lake, MN
Address: 131 N Lake Street, Forest Lake, Minnesota 55025 651.464.4647
Hours: Daily
Links: Forest Laker Website * Forest Laker on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: The inside of the Forest Laker is on the shabby side; one step in the place and it is obvious that the bar is the central focus, restaurant is an after-thought.  In the lower level, anyway.  There are only six booths in the small space, with about six additional bistro tables and some seating around the bar.  There is a small stage area that can acommodate live perfomances.

The upstairs of the Forest Laker is much bigger and more comfortable than the main level, with many additional tables.  I would have preferred to sit in this area but it didn’t appear as though any server was available upstairs, it was a ghost town while downstairs was slammed.

Menu: Appetizers include Chicken Wings, Garlic Toast, Chips & Salsa, Mini Tacos, Mozzarella Sticks, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Shrimp Cocktail, Potato Skins, and Deep Fried Battered Mushrooms.  Deep Fried Baskets include French Fries, Fresh Cut Fries, Popcorn Shrimp, Chicken Strips, Hand Battered Fish N Chips, and Potato Skins.

Salad options at the Forest Laker include Chophouse Wedge, Lakeside Chef, Mixed Baby Greens, Caesar, and The Lakeside.

Sandwich options include BLT, Turkey Club, Grilled Cheese, Hot Turkey or Beef, Reuben or Rachel, Prime Rib Dip, Fried Walleye, Charbroiled Chicken Breast, and Philly Prime Rib Dip.  Burger options are the Mushroom and Swiss, Patty Melt, Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, and California Burger.  All burgers and sandwiches come with chips and pickle or you can upgrade to either French Fries or Fresh Cut Fries for an additional charge.

The Forest Laker also has a selection of Southwest items featuring the Famous Giant Taco, Super Nachos, Taco Salad, Fajitas and Quesadillas.

After 5pm you can also order Steaks, including Sirloin, Bone-In Tenderloin and Prime Rib.  All served with salad and choice of potato.

Other dinner entrees include BBQ Ribs, Lobster Tails, Sirloin, Chicken Breast, Fresh Walleye, Fresh Shrimp, Cracker Crusted Walleye Filet, Steak and Shrimp, Fettuccine Alfredo, Jumbo Shrimp, Linguine in Red Sauce,  Linguine with Wild Mushroom, and Penne with Artichoke.

Price guide: Appetizers $3-9   Salads $4-9 Burgers $6-8  Sandwiches $8-10  Steaks $16-28

Happy Hour:

  • 2-6pm Daily
  • 2 for $6.95 includes Fat Tire, 1554, Ranger India Pale Ale,
  • 2 for 1 all drinks and appetizers

Weekly Specials:

  • South of the Border Saturday- Pick 2 for $7 including Giant Taco, Margarita, Cuervo Shot, Corono, Modelo, XX Tap,
  • Monday- Buck a Burger

What we ordered: I ordered the Philly Prime Rib Melt with fresh cut fries.  To my surprise there was a whole steak on the french roll that was not sliced like I had assumed it would be.  This made it impossible for me to eat without cutting it bite by bite, which I had to do anyway because it was a rather grisly steak.  The peppers and onions were sauteed and really dressed it up, as did the toasted bun.  I thought this sandwich was okay but I would not order it again.  The fresh cut fries were very good.

My companion ordered the Mushroom and Swiss Burger with regular french fries.  This burger was pretty good, it had real mushrooms and swiss on a 1/2lb seasoned juicy patty.  It came with a buttered toasted bun (although it tasted more like margarine than real butter).  The french fries were pretty standard.

Service: The Forest Laker was very busy on the Saturday afternoon that I visited, and despite the odd 4’0 clock hour, the place was packed and there was only one table available- a bistro table.  Our server was the only server in the entire bar and was completely overworked.  She mentioned that the other two servers had called in sick that day and was on her own (which is probably why the upstairs wasn’t open?).  She did great, very patient with ordering even though she was slammed with other tables.  She refilled our drinks and took care of our minor requests.
Overall Impression: I really wasn’t too impressed with the Forest Laker, the seating area is kind of shabby and it is very small.  The burger was pretty good but the steak sandwich wasn’t my cup of tea.  Maybe the food would be more impressive in a better environment?

Forest Laker on Urbanspoon

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