Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dining on Asphalt, Part One

With apologies to Alton Brown!

During the high school sports season, I pretty much live off of take out… of course I do that pretty much all the time! But as I continue to go to different towns, I have a tendency of finding out what places are good, which are bad, and which are downright ugly!

So if you find yourself hankering for a good meal… here are my humble suggestions. I didn’t use any scientific formula to come up with my top choices; these are simply my anecdotal experiences. You may have different opinions, feel free to contribute them!

Best Burger: Commercial Club Burgers, Cadwell Park, Mitchell, SD

These little gems are usually available only during the State Amateur baseball tournament, which is in Mitchell two out of every three years (the other year, it’s in Sioux Falls). There’s nothing fancy about these burgers, EXCEPT the buttered/sautéed/fried/grilled onions that you put on them… a grilled burger, a little ketchup, a whole butt-load of onions, and you’re in burger nirvana… Just make sure you take a breath mint before making out with your sweetheart afterwards!

Honorable mention: Nick’s in Brookings, Jersey’s in Madison

Best Pizza: George’s Pizza, Brookings, SD

Picture this… it’s been a long night of hanging out with your friends in the bars. It’s 2:00 am, you’re tired, but you want something to settle your stomach. You COULD go to one of the Big Box “family” restaurants on the edge of town, but only at the risk of being pulled over by the police. So what do you do?

You head up to the walk-up window at George’s Pizza and get a slice of the all-meat pizza. Actually, make it two… one to eat there and one to eat when you finish walking home. And man is it worth it! FRESH ingredients, HOMEMADE dough and enough toppings during regular business hours to make your eyes bug out! One suggestion, though, get the deep dish!

Honorable Mention: open to suggestions here!

Best Steak: The Old Dutch Inn, Dell Rapids, SD

Living in South Dakota, the steakhouse is as much an institution as the grain elevator. And believe me, there are a LOT of choices here in this area. And they’re all very good. BUT, I have to go with the place where you can get a VERY good steak dinner for just six bucks. And that’s the Old Dutch, back in my old stomping grounds of Dell Rapids.

So how do you get a good sirloin steak dinner for six-bucks? Very simple. Tom (the owner) hand-cuts his steaks, which keeps prices WAY low! There’s more to it, but I’m sworn to secrecy!

Honorable Mention: The Depot, Mitchell, SD; The Moonlite, Madison, SD

MORE TO COME... Keep watching!

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