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Twin cities day trips-road food

Does anyone have any suggestions for local, out of the way spots that would make for a good weekend day trip? I was thinking within an hour or hour and a half of the twin cities.

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  1. Hey, what a great question. I can't wait to hear the answers. I don't know any in winter, but for leaf-peeping in the Fall, here's an interesting thread:


    And, I hate to say it, but the only other "road trip" I can think of off the top of my head that I've taken is a trip to the Spam museum in Austin, MN. It is chowish, in its own way. There's a restaurant across the street from the museum that serves spamburgers, which, I have to say, is really a treat under the circumstances. (Only because it's across from the Spam museum.




    1. I do! I do. The Trempealeau Hotel in Trempealeau, Wis., about 1.5 hours down the Mississippi on 61, though I prefer to cross over in Red Wing and proceed down beautiful 13. That way, you can also hit the original Nelson Cheese Shop in Nelson, Wis., and have a homebrew (not sure if it's a brew pub, but they seem to have their own brew) at the Monarch Bar in Fountain City, Wis., (home of the Wurst Pizza, with bratwurst and cheese and onions, though I've never had one). There's also a "quaint" restaurant in an old Exxon or Mobile station in Stockholm, Wis., though it's changed hands and I can't vouch for it.

      I do this one twice a year and also need to branch out (thus will be reading the replies with interest). Heartily recommend the Tremealeau. It's kinda hippy dippy, but I have a very low tolerance for that, and I can stomach it.


      2 Replies
      1. re: jeanmt

        Jean, is that related to the Nelson Cheese Shop you can see from Snelling as you're driving over the Energy Parkway overpass (in St. Paul)?


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I think they are related. The Nelson's you're referring to is actually at Como and Snelling. They recently remodeled, and are going to be expanding the menu.

          Their sandwiches are among the best in the Twin Cities, although some are big enough for two people.

      2. It's hardly unknown or out of the way, but the Harbor View Cafe is a must. The drive down the river is beautiful, and there are lots of nice places to stop along the way. They're closed for winter, but will reopen in March.


        And I hear good things about Nosh in Wabasha, but I also hear that they're moving to Lake City soon.

        Warning: This web site has possibly the most obnoxious use of Flash ever. And there's no info on the upcoming move. For move info, see http://news.postbulletin.com/newsmana... .


        1 Reply
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          I'm going to add a link in here to a post I made about The Olde Triangle (Irish pub) in Wabasha. It makes a great day trip from the Twin Cities for eagle watching in winter and very early spring in particular--and now there's a bonafide chow stop in town!



        2. Recently some folks I know have been raving about The Norton's: http://www.thenortonsrestaurant.com/

          About an hour from the Twin Cities.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mill City Modern

            We went to The Norton's about a year ago when we headed down to Red Wing for a weekend getaway. I remember being pretty disappointed, especially since based on online reviews it seemed like the best place around Red Wing. I can't remember at this point what turned me off exactly but I do remember that the food was subpar considering the prices. The dining room is not nearly as romantic or cozy as the website makes it seem and the night we were there there was a VERY loud table celebrating someone's birthday. We ran into a couple at our B&B who were also there for dinner the previous night and the noise was really disrupting to them also.

          2. The Norske Nook in Osseo for pies! The dinner fare is nothing to write home about (Dear Mom, the food is boring. Love, Chomp Chomp) but the pies are amazing!

            1 Reply
            1. re: chompchomp

              Glad to hear that the pies are still good. I haven't been to the Norske Nook in about 10 years. I used to travel between Madison and the Twin Cities a lot and often made stops there. I've been concerned that the place may have gone down hill as they expanded.

            2. My wife and I enjoy heading out to the Creamery in Downsville, WI. (http://www.creameryrestaurant-inn.com/)

              The Red Cedar trail runs right by the Creamery, so you can spend a part of the day biking, hiking, or skiing and then grab a bite before, during, or after at the Creamery. (http://areas.wildernet.com/pages/area...


              They also have very pleasant (but not particularly fancy) rooms if you want to make a weekend of it.


              2 Replies
              1. re: bob s

                I really enjoy Kings Tap in Miesville, MN (just south of Hastings) It's a little bar/grill... But I have had the BEST Burgers there... they are outstanding. Tons of different options to choose from... they even have ones w/ peanut butter, hot dogs, sour cream... tons of choices!

                1. re: Kfren09

                  I love Kings Tap!! We like to go there after a long day of skiing at Welch. The burgers are good and SUPER cheap ($3-5).

              2. Well, this isn't on a weekend, but it's such an extraordinary spot, A to Z Produce & Bakery deserves a mention -- the most exquisite pizza baked in wood fired ovens right on the farm where ingredients were raised and harvested -- from happy pigs to the organic wheat grown sustainably + stone ground on-site. Pizza served only on Tuesdays, year round, starting @ 4:30pm (hint: arrive at 4:30 to avoid extended waits + there may be oven baked bread left to buy, take home for later - their french roast/fig bread is truly sublime.) It's a picnic so bring your own blanket or table & chairs to set-up on the expansive cool green lawn, bring your own beverages, plates + flowers and musical instruments if you're so inclined. Simply one of the most exquisite meals of the summer (be prepared to pack out your own trash.) Yes, it's a trek to get there from the Metro, but drive is stunning. For those who make the journey, your effort will be rewarded. Car pool or rent a school bus (which my work group once did.) A to Z Produce & Bakery, N2956 Anker Lane, Stockholm, WI 54769

                1. Okay .. heres the scoop

                  Harborview is a blast. the menu is on a chalboard 9has been that way doe 20 years) food is outrageously good. Always ranks in the ten best restaurants in Wisconsin accoring to trails magazine. No bar (the sell you a bottle of wine and you sit on the curb waiting for your table), no reserrvations, and the most unbelievable view of the mississippi. Ask for Judy (she is one of the principals)

                  Trempleau is really great. Was once a hotel for the river traffic. in the spring they have great concert days filled with either jazz, blues, or reggae based on that day. The place is great. Try their walnut burgers. I also had a cajun pasta made with chili pepper penne and andouille sausage that was a blast. Ask for Max he is the manager.

                  In Trempleau there is an old time supper club called Ed Sullivans. Like a trip back to the fifties. manhattans in a tub the size of your head. Really a blast if you can still carry off the beehive hairdo.