Bar Abilene

Twin Cities, Minnesota


rating star

SUPER slow service. It took about 10 minutes for our waiter to even come over (and the restaurant was dead, but he was really busy standing outside talking to his friends & looking at pictures on their digital cameras...). When he finally came over, he had a snotty attitude & acted like we were bothering him.

After looking at the menu, I noticed two things: 1) Expensive (for this type of food), and 2) No bean burrito or any sort of veg entree. When our waiter dropped off our waters, he said, "Let me know if you have any questions about the menu" as he started to walk away. I said, "Actually, I'm wondering if you have a bean burrito or anything like that?" Him: "Uh, no. Are you vegetarian or something?" Me: "Yes. Well, I'm vegan." Him: "Oh, well... Uh, good luck! HAHAHA. No, I'm kidding." Then he walked away... Really?? This is a Mexican restaurant, for crying out loud! Mexican is one of the EASIEST cuisines to make filling & veg-friendly.

By the time he came back again (another 10 minutes later), I had noticed black beans & roasted vegetables on the Side Dish part of the menu. That'll do! I told our waiter I'd like those, with some salsa, and asked for no cheese to be on the beans. My two companions ordered the same thing. Our food came, and sure enough, cheese was sprinkled over the beans & there was no salsa. I really don't enjoy complaining at restaurants, so I just scraped the cheese off & ate my food--which was actually quite good. I also asked for salsa (again), which never came. But hey--he was busy chatting with friends outside again, so apparently he didn't have time.

I do have to say that when our bill came, I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see that each side (which were really big) was only $3! Based on the rest of the menu ($5 for ONE taco?! $16 for a burrito entree?! In a bar?!), I was afraid the beans & veggies would each be $7+ (no price was listed on the menu)... So, that was the one good thing about Bar Abilene & the only reason I'm not giving them 1 star.

Oh, also--our waiter forgot to charge us for our guacamole (sans anchovies),which was $10/bowl. I normally would have said something, but he was so bad that I don't feel one bit guilty about keeping that to myself...

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rating star

Bar Abilene offers a few vegan or vegan-izable options, such as black bean hummus, guacamole (make sure to request no worcestershire sauce), portobella fajitas and an option for tofu fajitas or tacos if you request them (tofu is not listed on the menu). Most of these are standard things, and most of them also require you to say, "no cheese," but that's more than what most bars in the Uptown/Calhoun Square area offer.

The drinks and food items are extremely expensive during non-happy hours, but extremely affordable if you're going for happy hour (of which they have two each day, I believe, one in the early evening and one late). I wouldn't come here for anything other than happy hour, given the steep prices otherwise.

In the end, Bar Abilene is about as vegan-friendly as an Uptown bar can be, though I wish they'd go just a bit further.

rating star

I think the portobella mushroom fajitas are absolutely delicious. The wood roasted vegetables weren't tasty though. As always, the guacamole was heavenly.

rating star

I loved the guacamole. I've been on Saturday nights and it's super fun with their dance floor and live DJ is amazing.

rating star

This place exceeded our expectations. Our server, Ben, was extremely helpful and cheerful in answering our many questions about what is or can be made vegan. He went back to the kitchen to double check at least three times because he wanted to be sure we were taken care of. The food was good, too - unique texture and flavor combinations. The presentation was great, and the atmosphere a bit more upscale than most places we go. We did end up spending $50 dollars on dinner, but that included a great tip for our fabulous waiter and a beer for my husband.

Things that can be made vegan are:

Guacamole (ask them to omit the Worcestershire sauce)
Wood Roasted Vegetables
Portabella Fajita
Grilled Tofu Fajita
One of the sandwiches can be made with portabella instead
of meat, but I can't remember which one - it was the last one listed under 'sandwiches'.

We tried all of those but the sandwich - would recommend all of them. This place doesn't have a lot of vegan options, but they are happy to accommodate vegans as much as they can and the options they do have are beautifully presented and pretty good. Our server even went to double check on their black beans and came back to let us know there was 2 ounces of butter per 5 gallons - really great service. Go here if you feel like celebrating and being pampered.

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