Eat the Menu: Creekside Supper Club – Your Relish Tray Is Shrimp Cocktailing My Old Fashioned
Creekside is one of those beloved vintage supper clubs that populate small-town Wisconsin—except this one resides in South Minneapolis, where it debuted on Chicago Avenue way back in 2021. And—let’s be clear about one thing, from the start of this story—I love it. I love it because it feels authentic, paying homage to the art form without slipping into a wink-wink parody.
Let’s start with the décor (a word, however, not regularly on the tongue of any founder of such an enterprise). Creekside hits all the right buttons, from knotty-pine walls affixed with a mishmash of memorabilia (and a plate rail, of course) to its Port-colored carpet. (Usually when renovating a building to open a club, one removes the ratty carpet. This time, they installed one.)
Captains’ chairs on casters are upholstered in classic, brass-studded burgundy. Tables are laid with those dive-bar red hurricane candleholders and water glasses that look like they came from a long-closed lunch counter. The only thing lacking, I said to my companion on our way out, is a cigarette machine.
Then we spotted it. (Chesterfields, anyone?)
What makes a supper club a supper club? The ambience. The menu. The drinks. We each ordered an Old Fashioned, as any Wisconsonite over a certain age is wont to do. Choose the state’s iconic brandy version, or cheat a little—we did—and go with the Maker’s Mark alternative. Gimlets, Gibsons, and Whiskey Sours are listed too. And if you’re into Nostalgia (it merits its own section of the Drinks menu), a glass of Mogen David red costs only $5—but that may be carrying a retreat to the Forties a little too far.
The appetizer list ($8-16) gambols from shrimp cocktail to onion rings to popovers, but hold on: Even before you order, your classic supper club appetizer arrives, compliments of the house. It’s—natch—a relish tray bouncing with crisp veggies and a sour cream dip. (But where are those saltines in cellophane?) Then choose soup or salad as the included starter for your entrée. The kitchen’s roasted-corn and potato chowder hit the spot—thick and comforting—while the perky house salad proved bounteous. If you choose the “French” dressing (what else? Olive oil had yet to leave Italy), it’s….orange. Ask for a mix-in side of blue cheese to prove you’re in the know.
Or perhaps you prefer the reliable Iceberg wedge? Go for it. Or you could order the cottage cheese. (Did anybody, ever?)
Then on to the Steaks & Chops, ranging from sirloin ($26) to ribeye ($39), from bone-in pork chops ($26) to prime rib, my choice (a Queen cut for $28): half an inch thick, shorn of excess fat, and cooked medium-rare as requested. My friend’s eye wandered to the seafood side of the list: $17 for a fish fry, $36 for crab-stuffed walleye with lemon beurre blanc and carrot and almond salad—which sounds both yummy and not at home in a place with knotty pine paneling. Instead—authenticity prevails!—he chose the beer-battered fried shrimp ($24), an overflowing stack of pleasingly plump and sweet-tasting critters lightly dressed in batter voluminous as a Minnesotan’s winter jacket.
Entrees come with one’s choice of side, and I chose the au gratins. The sizzling cubes of potato came crowned with the promised cheese (but not much of it), while my friend’s hashed browns proved winsomely grease-free and delicious.
Dessert? Our lovely server recited a few choices, but we did what every diner around us did—summoned Brandy Alexanders ($8). They came in a huge ice-cream-soda glass: Fine with me! Or choose a Grasshopper or Golden Cadillac.
Those were the days, my friend; we thought they’d never end…. And they didn’t. They’re alive and well as Creekside, praise be. It’s like coming in from the cold.
Creekside Supper Club
4820 Chicago Ave.