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I’ve been Branded


Fri, Feb 8th, 2013
Posted in All Real Bites

Steak and lobster made for a memorable birthday celebration at The Branding Iron. Photo by Jason Sethre

For my last year in my thirties -- yes my 39th birthday -- I decided to celebrate with my family at The Branding Iron in Preston, Minn.

I’ve bragged about The Branding Iron to friends and family before, and I’ve even written about my fantastic meals at The Branding Iron in this foodie feature. But, I had never celebrated my birthday at The Branding Iron until this past month.

While my daughter and son raved about the salad bar, I had my eye on something else. I was checking out the steak and lobster, or surf and turf for those who enjoy the finer things in life.

I had never considered ordering steak and lobster until that moment, but The Branding Iron honors a half-price special for those celebrating their birthday. It was really a spur of the moment decision. After I realized my meal would be half price, I thought to myself how often this opportunity was going to present itself -- only once per year! So, I ordered the feast.

While our children were picking away at their plates of salad bar goodies, my wife and I chatted about our plans for the weekend.

And, then our server delivered hot plates of delicious food. Since this wasn’t a typical meal I’ve ordered at any restaurant, Olivia and Landon were eyeing my plate with curious smiles. One of them said, “Dad, can we have some of that?”

“You bet!”

And, so I shared a little lobster with everyone at the table. Interestingly, their response was complete rejection. The kids weren’t into it.

And, that’s OK, because the less everyone else wanted meant there was more for me. According to my taste buds, this lobster was a winner. I loved the taste and texture, especially dipped in hot butter.

It’s funny how as children we don’t like certain foods, but they grow on us as we become adults. For example, I couldn’t stand the sight or taste of tomatoes when I was a kid. Today, I can pick up nearly any type of tomato and eat it like an apple. I actually love tomatoes.

Our children don’t like tomatoes, and apparently they don’t like lobster, yet.

For the moment, I will enjoy monopolizing those delicious foods that our children don’t relish so much. However, I know some day we will be dueling with our forks for the last morsel of a tomato and maybe even lobster.

So, if you’re thinking of a great place to celebrate your birt .....
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A place for family and friends

Wed, Jan 2nd, 2013
Posted in All Real Bites

I have written about the Old Barn Resort before, but it is definitely worth revisiting for many reasons. This is one of those places that melds well with its natural surroundings. Whether golfing within the valley along the Root River and the Ro ..... 
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A Slice of Americana

Fri, Sep 28th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

As I walked into the Village Square of Fountain, I could feel the vibe of happiness. Happy people eating some good – no GREAT food! There was a full crowd with nearly every table consumed by food and conversation. I was lucky enough to nab a table ..... 
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Shawnee's serves up a slice of BBQ heaven

By Sheena Tollefson

Sun, Jul 8th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

Do you remember as a kid the long list of foods you didn't like or were unwilling to try? What about the things you didn't like but couldn't live without now as an adult? The biggest two on my list: mustard and barbecue. They're two of my favorite f ..... 
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Friends in good places at Highway 44

Sun, Jun 24th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

Life is crazy. Time flies by and before you know it, it's been 2 months since you talked to one of your best friends who, when you were in college, you didn't go one single day without talking to. I find this happening way to often in my life. At on ..... 
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Off the beaten path with the Highland Store

Sun, Jun 17th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

When I decided to take on the Highland Store as my next Real Bites column, there was one problem I discovered. Where in bluff's country is it? Having not acquainted myself very well yet with the curving, nestled in small towns of the area I had no i ..... 
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Real Bites - Rhu-berry delight!

Sun, Jun 10th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

Before heading to Rhino's Pizza and Sub Shoppe in Lanesboro last Friday night for supper, someone was telling me about a special kind of Spring Grove pop available now to go along with the Rhubarb festivities going on in Lanesboro for the weekend. A ..... 
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Real Bites - Sweet Stop and Sandwich Shoppe

Wed, May 23rd, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

It's like a Friday lunchtime ritual at the Fillmore County Journal after the newspaper goes to press. All of our employees trickle up to The Sweet Stop & Sandwich Shoppe and relax with a sandwich, soup and some dessert.

Having Joanne Szuch's ..... 
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An apple a day will make you ‘turnover’

Mon, May 14th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

I’ll never forget when I first walked into Preston Apple & Berry Farm and first met Joe Gosi -- the world famous “Pie Man.” I heard his accent and asked him where he was originally from. He said, “I am authentic Norwegian. That’s what ..... 
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