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Warmer weather has arrived, and a new beer garden is just what the doctor ordered. Takoda Restaurant & Beer Garden has opened up on Florida Ave., just in time for spring. The restaurant occupies two floors, which includes a main dining room and bar, and above that, the beer garden. Visitors can get a table, or just grab a seat at the bar on either level. The beer garden is a great space, with the U shaped bar and tables surrounded by open windows and a balcony full of greenery.

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Patrons will love the 24+ draft beer menu, as well as cocktails made with innovative new ingredients like “beer syrup” instead of simple syrup. The food is the perfect fit for the venue. Chef Damian Brown has developed a menu of classic American fare, where each dish is the ideal complement to a frothy beer.

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The appetizers are great for sharing: a warm, housemade pretzel sprinkled with sea salt and served with a creamy, luscious cheese sauce, a rich spinach and artichoke dip chock full of hunks of artichoke, served with crispy tortilla chips, and popcorn tossed with chives and parmesan.

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For something on the healthier side there are salads, including a Caesar salad dotted with pretzel croutons, mixed greens with a bright lemon vinaigrette, and kale with sweet cranberries and pecans. For a main course dish try the veggie burger. I know what you are thinking. A veggie burger? That sounds does not sounds hearty enough for a beer garden. But this is no ordinary veggie burger. Its crunchy and meaty, smothered with loads of pimento cheese, and served on a thick pretzel bun. Plus, you can get mac n cheese as a side!

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The menu gets even better with dessert: delicious, cake-like cheesecake, a lava cake with a melted chocolate and burnt marshmallow topping, and a seasonal creme brulee, which is currently sweet potato. And then the pinnacle: fried oreos. Salty, golden dough enrobes America’s favorite cookie, and is then dusted in a generous amount of powdered sugar. Crazy enough, the fried oreos taste awesome with a cold beer! My prediction: Takoda, and the fried oreos, are here to stay.

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