For Hays Take this week we venture over to St. Paul to an old favorite: Half Time Rec. One of the most classic dive bars that has a few hidden secrets within.
Half Time Rec is located off of Front Ave in South Como, and is easily recognized by the big red building. Heading inside you’ll see the bar is surrounded on both sides by table seating, games, TVs, memorabilia, and much more. With tons of barstools and seating space, this is the place to be on the night of a big game or St. Patty’s day. They also feature live music come the weekend and more throughout the year. The real secret to Half Time is the Bocce Ball courts in the basement. One of the greatest traditions here is playing a few games of Bocce while enjoying drinks with friends. Two well worn courts are tucked in the basement that are lined with old seats taken from Xcel Energy Center. The bumps and bounces here are tricky, so beware going against someone who calls this their “Home Court.” They’ve been awarded “Best Dive Bar” and “Best Burger” by City Pages as well as nominated for “Best Fries” by Thrillist!
Speaking of their award winning food, we’ll dive into that now starting with appetizers. Half Time features all of your favorite classics with wings and fries, but our favorite is hands down the cheese curds. They come out hot and look like they’re crispy, but have the lightest crunch until the soft cheesy center takes over. Paired with their special ranch as well as marinara, you’re going to be scraping the bottom of the basket to get one more bite. On to the item that every good dive bar needs, a solid burger, and Half Time has an award winning one so we had to give it a try. The signature Paddy Shack Burger is a THICK half pound patty, slight pink inside, cheese, lettuce, onion, special Paddy Sauce (starts sweet, but has a carry over heat to it) as well as a super unique ingredient in pickled green tomatoes, all on a pretzel bun. This burger’s tastes gives you the feel of having a classic bar burger, but with a new taste to it. It doesn’t feel like any of the “fancy” or “gourmet” burgers out there with all of the crazy ingredients that try and reinvent the meal, and we can see why it’s won awards. Half Time also features some great daily specials, including Taco Tuesday, Corned Beef sandwiches, and more! As for drinks, Half Time has a full bar and has 20 beers on tap as well as tons of other local and foreign options as well.
Half Time Rec has everything you want and more in a dive bar. All of your staples in the tap beers, great food and fun atmosphere, plus great events and bocce ball in the basement, make this one a go-to for bars on the east side.
For more, check them out here: http://halftimerec.com/home/1255663
Or try for yourself at: 1013 Front Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103