Wednesday, July 03, 2013

The Contented Cow - Northfield, MN

302 Division Street S
Happy Hour: 3 - 6 PM, Monday through Thursday

Northfield, Minnesota is known for its colleges, cows, and contentment. I heard that again and again while there. I didn't actually see many cows, but I did drive by both of the well-known colleges in town. Two colleges in a town of 20,000 is a pretty hefty ratio, I'll admit. But to only have two official happy hours (at least that I could find while researching where to go) was a bit disappointing. They do offer nightly specials at a few places around town and they have free popcorn (or some other salty snack) in almost every pub and bar, but they don't do happy hour like we do.

We stopped at The Contented Cow for Happy Hour during the middle of their Junebug Festival. Apparently, Summer at the Cow is full of live music and outdoor summer sun. I can't say for sure if they always have such an abundance of outdoor seating, but I did appreciate that the backdrop for the main stage is the beautiful Cannon River. The Junebug festival consists of four consecutive nights of live music. We didn't stay late enough to enjoy any of the artists but heard a little of the music on our walk back to the hotel later that night.

There aren't any food specials during Happy Hour at the Contented Cow. They have free all-you-can-eat popcorn that might have been popped fresh that afternoon, but no food specials.

We ordered a plate of the spinach dip just the same. It came served with freshly sliced bread. We had more bread than we needed, but did overhear that they are willing to bring out tortilla chips as a replacement if needed. (I might have preferred the chips to the bread, but didn't want to sound too picky.) The dip was deliciously cheesy and had the perfect amount of saltiness to it.

Drinks are discounted by a dollar during happy hour. Beer, wine, and rail drinks, to be exact. I hadn't heard the term rail before, but assumed that it must be equivalent to well drinks. I asked just to be sure and probably embarrassed myself. I ordered a gin and tonic with extra lime to start. My sister ordered a glass of wine and was able to convince me to order the same for our second round.

Service at The Contented Cow was good. Like a few places around Portland, they ask that you order at the bar. They will serve you once seated, though, so I definitely suggest leaving a tab open.

It's a bit far to go, but I know I'll be back in Northfield eventually. And when I'm there, I hope to find that they've added a few food specials to the Happy Hour menu.

Food: Meets
Drinks: Meets
Service: Meets
Ambiance: Meets
Value: Does Not Meet (unless you plan to fill up on free popcorn)


The Contented Cow Pub & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

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