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Forget what you envisioned when you heard the restaurant's name--meatloaf and tater tots, sloppy Joes and Hot Pockets--the real-life Lowbrow sells...quinoa and pinto beans? The restaurant's owners, Heather Bray and Jodi Ayers, aren't interpreting the term quite so literally, and they're offering a more Kingfield-relevant, family-friendly variation, turning conscientiously produced, local ingredients into affordable bar food and helping make farm-to-table eating an everyday occurrence. (The owners have worked at the Birchwood Café, Lucia's To-Go, and the Wedge Co-op, among other places.) In contrast to the old-school corner bar, the Lowbrow is an airy room with big windows and high ceilings. There's a cool screen printers Aesthetic Apparatus, including a North Woods-themed, paint-by-number-style mural covering one wall, but otherwise the space is sparsely decorated. The Lowbrow's grass-fed beef burgers are good, especially one known as the Fire Breather that's topped with chipotle gouda, guacamole, and sautéed jalapeños. And the pulled pork sandwich is also worth ordering on a repeat visit, as it pairs tender strands of Fischer Farms pork with sassy barbecue sauce and crisp coleslaw. The Lowbrow's homemade fish sticks are the menu's best example of a modern reworking of nostalgic, unsophisticated, cheap eats, and they're quite an improvement on the ones mom used to pull from the freezer in a great blue box, which then clattered onto the baking sheet like icy Lincoln Logs. These offer a thicker cut of wild-caught Alaskan cod, covered with a coarse panko breadcrumb. Small details like the Lowbrow's neat bar top-it's plastered with baseball cards that Ayers collected during her childhood-and the Etch A Sketches for kids make for great entertainment and conversation starters. We'd love to see more such elements, please!
Things are happening in the Kingfield neighborhood. A few years ago the area was considered more residential; if you wanted to barhop your best bet...
When I first heard about a new restaurant and bar called the Lowbrow, the name conjured up all sorts of imagery. Shag carpet and wood paneling. Walls plastered with steamy Danielle Steele and Playboy covers. All in the Family reruns playing on... More »
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