3rd Gear

3.2
33 reviews
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$30 and under
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American
Countless Minnesotans dream of having a place on a lake. Third Gear offers guests a comfortable place to kick back and relax.
Our owner, Eric Ernst opened Ernie’s Eatery in downtown Forest Lake in early 2017. When this property on the shore of Forest Lake became avaiable he had a vision of what it could become.
We welcome guests by land or water for lunch and dinner. Our menu specializes in high-quality food that is special without being overly fussy.
Our staff is passionate about providing you a memorable and relaxing experience. Our team includes a mixologist who serves signature cocktails and a pastry chef who creates over-the-top delicious desserts to ensure your meal is outstanding from start to finish.
The best patio on Forest Lake is yours to enjoy, however we do not accept reservations for patio tables.
What 33 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
3.2based on recent ratings
3.5
food
3.2
service
3.6
ambience
3.3
value
Noise · Moderate
67% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 5

The french fries were cold. The prices were very high. We were charged for the wrong order. We did enjoy their patio seating though.

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MF
1 review
Dined on July 12, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

My fiancé and I sat on the patio and had burgers last Friday at 5:30pm. Our waitress was great, but it took a while to have our beers delivered (and the restaurant was not full at this point). While sitting outside, there was a huge bonfire where someone was burning brush. We didn't mind that until the guy sprayed the fire causing smoke and ash to infiltrate up the patio area. We had to cover our drinks so ashes didn't fall into them. Our food was good, but I would recommend having some sort of sauce (maybe aioli?) on the black and bleu burger, or putting the blue cheese crumbles on sooner so they have time to melt enough to stick to the patty. Basically, it had good flavor, but the whole burger sandwich was a bit dry and the blue cheese crumbles kept falling off. I've had better burgers at other restaurants in town. The fries were great though, and the beer selection was good.

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OT
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Disorganized, food was average at best - hamburgers were clearly frozen not fresh. Bartender service was slow and not very friendly. Unfortunate. Only place on lake to stop and eat very underwhelming.

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BK
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on July 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

The menu is rather limited and service was a little slow but OK.

This is such a nice venue. I hope they will be able to expand menu and do some advertising to make the restaurant succeed. Great location!

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MN
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2019
Overall 1food 2service 1ambience 1

Service was rude and non-attentive. 90 minutes to get food and my wife's salad was forgotten.
After 95 minutes of waiting for a SALAD, asked for a box and we get a tiny box. Seriously??
Food was meh... won't be going back.

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B
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on June 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a large group for brunch and the whole experience was outstanding! We will definitely be back!

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KR
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

45 minute wait and over 2 hours for burgers . They really need an eye opening look at their service

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W
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

We had supper there at 8 pm. Very few customers. Slow service by wait staff as well as kitchen. Food was dry, not fresh like it had been sitting all day. Mojito was the worst I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, despite living in the area will likely not return. Sad as like to go local.

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A
Minneapolis
3 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

We like the restaurant due it’s location and boat access. The food ordering to eating has been 1 and half hours twice. It’s hard to bring young children and have them sit this long even for the adults. A hour is a pretty good norm most places. We are hoping food service times pick up the pace as this restaurant finds its grove. Others in my party feel the same way. We hope to see it succeed!

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OT
New Mexico
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 3

Ribs were good. Walleye fingers were mostly breading. Server never smiled. Sometimes we thought she was jokingly straight-faced, but no, just not pleasant. Pretty table by the window with view of the lake was nice.

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OT
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great, came in off the lake. Patio was full but it’s what I expected because it was gorgeous out! Our server was quick to take care of us and we had a great time. We’ll be back for sure.

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RM
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

I would recommend if a friend was looking for a nice patio with good appetizers & drinks. The menu for dinner main dishes is very limited.

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BM
1 review
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Thought they would have worked out the kinks my now. Took forever for drinks, left before ordering food as didn't want to wait. Staff looked to be working multiple sections both inside and patio, so wasn't very efficient. Manager should have been on staff or working the room to assist servers and patrons, even though it wasn't overly busy. Will be a while before we try again.

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LR
1 review
Dined on May 25, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

We have been there twice. The food is excellent! The place is beautiful! Our first server was great! Our second server was new and a bit slow because it was her first day, but she did alright!

At both visits, we all agreed that the noise level is very loud especially when it gets busy with lots of chatter. I would recommend adding something sound-cushioning to the walls, ceiling or floors to absorb the noise.

There could also be more parking spots! I would recommend removing the valet sidewalk and the landscaping in the middle to add more parking spaces.

We will definitely be back!

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BB
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 5

Can’t go wrong with the lake view. Looking forward to the new menu!

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GK
1 review
Dined on May 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food, a little slow to come out, but worth the wait. Our server Brook was amazing.

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SP
1 review
Dined on May 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food, service and venue. Decent prices with large portions. We will be back

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KL
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our 1st visit & we loved it! We will be back - great food great service & beautiful venue

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MP
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 1ambience 2

We came here for supper as a family. Two adults and two small kids. We were seated right away and the hostess was great. The waitress was nice threw our whole visit, how ever once she took our order we didn't see her. We had empty glasses before our food came and threw our whole meal. Our son had only received half his meal so we had to flag someone down to get the rest of is food. I was also disappointing that they did not have coloring sheets for the kids. A family restaurant normally has coloring sheets for kids. I deffinatly don't think a kids meal should be more then $6, and they were. My fries were old and just warm I could tell they had been sitting under a heat lamp for a while. The price of the food seems high for what we are getting. A family of 4 with 2 cocktails is looking at a $80 dinner. The restaurant is also very loud. There was someone playing guitar but we couldn't hear him. We couldn't even have a conversation at our table because the other tables are so close together and the whole dinning room is so loud everyone is competing with each other to talk. All in all I'm sure we will be back to see if their menu change (coming in June) and being open for a while helps improve their business. As of now I would not recommend 3rd Gear and would deffinatly say No for kids.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We were excited to have another choice in Forest Lake. First disappointment was the menu. More appetizers than entrees. Second disappointment was the side salad that came dressed with 1/2 gallon of dressing. Third disappointment was one entree came out, then had to wait nearly 15 minutes for second entree. No real concern from wait staff that party of two had one entree. No attempt by management to fix the situation. In the mean time we had 5 dirty dishes on the table and no attempt to clean them up. We talked about leaving and hitting taco truck on way home. Terrible experience!!

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VJ
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

Enjoyed Mother's Day brunch with the family at 3rd Gear! The rose was an unexpected touch of class. The food was fantastic! An area of improvement would be service. We were seated quickly but ended up waiting for a long time before we were greeted and ask for drinks. Also, once we sat down to eat, the waiter did not check in until we were almost finished.

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S
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

The menu needs some work. Entree choices were 5 items. 2 sandwiches, burger, steak, and ribs. Appetizer menu was ok. Overpriced menu and kids menu. $10 for a kids cheeseburger and it did not include a drink. Service was slow and it was not that busy. Loud acoustic guitar playing.

3rd Gear
Responded on May 15, 2019

Thank you for your feedback! Our menu is currently "under construction," and will continue to be updated with additions until we roll out our permanent menu at our GRAND OPENING on June 21st. Please check back soon to try new items and please continue to provide us with your feedback. We typically will have the entertainment performing outside on the patio, but the weather had other ideas on this particular Saturday!

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GK
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

We had to wait 10 minutes before anyone acknowledged us at our table however once we were served we had Michelle and she was excellent. Waited about 25 minutes for a hamburger not bad they were out of ribs that we went there for by 7:15 PM. Will definitely go back.

3rd Gear
Responded on May 15, 2019

Thank you for your comments! I'm sorry we ran out of ribs so early when you visited! They have been very well received and the "word is out!" We're increasing production to avoid this happening again! See you soon!

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JS
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 1

The restaurant was nice, however the noise level was extremely loud!! We couldn't hear each other speak. The wait was a little longer than expected for our food.

3rd Gear
Responded on May 15, 2019

Thank you for your comments. We're working to improve the acoustics of the building to absorb some of the noise you (and many!) have referred to. We will fine tune our menu and service as well as we continue to prepare for our upcoming GRAND OPENING on June 21st! Please consider joining us again.

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h
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

We were so much looking forward to having a new option for eating out in the Forest Lake area - but sadly, this was a bust. We got there early around 5 or so on a Friday evening, and it was at first impressive for sure. Quiet, and a great view out the windows. The greeting at the door was friendly, nice people, seating was good, and a server came right away - so good start! Ordered onion rings - bad, very greasy! Stay away from them. We also ordered our food at the same time, and it took longer than we expected to arrive at the table. Of course, our wait person did not deliver the food, so you have that person standing there with an arm full of food wondering where to put which dish. The pulled pork sandwich was really good, the hamburger was TERRIBLE. How can you mess up a hamburger in the USA? The meat was not tasty, and was in fact not even appetizing to look at - it was a sad looking grey color. Now the place is getting crowded, and suddenly you can't even hear yourself talk much less hear the person you are with. Way too loud for any reasonable dining experience! Walking through the bar area to the restroom is pure deafening. Sorry, we won't be coming back to the Third Gear again. Really a shame - Forest Lake needs a go to place where you can have a decent meal in peace and with reasonable sound levels.

3rd Gear
Responded on May 15, 2019

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. Others have also mentioned the noise levels, especially during peak hours! We're taking steps to improve the acoustics of the building to improve the overall dining experience. Our staff is still "in training" as we work to fine tune areas before our GRAND OPENING on June 21st. Please consider joining us again, we want to be "the place" for eating out on the lake in Forest Lake!

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CP
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

One of the dining areas has some Poor acoustics as the noise level is very high when the area is full. That is the only complaint. Customer service was great! Food was great! More menu choices would be nice but would settle for what is, as it was very good and affordable! Cold beer! Great mixed drinks!

3rd Gear
Responded on May 8, 2019

Thank you for your observation and comments! We're working out the bugs and intend to have a fabulous GRAND OPENING on June 21st, join us then!

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A
1 review
Dined on April 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved it! Great food, friendly service! We will be back soon - looking forward to sitting on the patio!

3rd Gear
Responded on May 8, 2019

Thank you! We've been able to have the patio open a couple of days already and it won't be long before we're fully into patio season! Hope to see you soon!

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OT
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

We had a 7:00 reservation. We were seated right away, that was the only thing that went right!

We sat a table for 40 minutes before I could even get the attention of the bus boy to bring us water.
We were never acknowledged that we were there, I asked the other waitress if she could find our waitress.
She never showed up.
After 50 minutes of being ignored, we left.

3rd Gear
Responded on May 8, 2019

I'm so sorry to hear about your experience with us! I can assure you, we do NOT intend for this to be a common experience. As we are now into our 2nd month being open, we have worked out most of our "bugs," but would be honored if you would visit again, our GRAND OPENING is June 21st!

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B
Minneapolis
6 reviews
Dined on April 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great new venue. Good mix of food on the menu and solid selection of beers. Beautiful views, right on the lake.

3rd Gear
Responded on May 8, 2019

Thank you for your comments! Join us June 21st for our GRAND OPENING!

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MN
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 4

Was really excited for this place to open but very disappointed. I order the Walleye which is listed as an entree. It came as 4 small Walleye bites without any sides. I asked the waitress and she said that really everything is an appetizer except for the steak. Maybe the menu shouldn't list multiple entrees then? Bummer.

3rd Gear
Responded on May 8, 2019

Thank you for visiting and providing your feedback! We have been working on our menu and we're happy to let you know that we've added more items, including more entrees! We would love to see you at our GRAND OPENING on June 21st and have the chance to show you our improvements!

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OT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was great, will be our new go to place!

3rd Gear
Responded on May 8, 2019

Thank you! Don't forget to join us June 21st for our GRAND OPENING!

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FB
1 review
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 4

Not a fan of onion rings, tasteless.. Can't wait for more selections!

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JI
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on April 17, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Newly open. Remodeling nearly complete, fresh paint, more of a pub-style bar area, adding new bar in larger dining room. Looks great inside. Casual, warm and inviting. Very neat and clean. There is currently no set menu and chef is making different foods each day. Ribs smoked on-site were the nightly special and they were AWESOME. I hope they will offer them on the permanent menu. Various pizzas, burgers, Caesar salad, filet mignon were also offered. The chef/owner stopped by our table and shared his plans for adding more activities lake side (doubling the boat slips, more patio seating, improving the beach area, adding beach volleyball). Limited wine options at this time but sounds like a more extensive wine and cocktail menu is in the works. $8 for a small glass of red blend was my only complaint. Overall a great dining experience and a welcome dining option in the area.

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