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Real Bites of the Old Barn Resort

Tue, Jan 3rd, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

During the summer of 2009, my wife and I decided to make our way down the Root River Trail on our bicycles hauling our two children in one of those two-seater bike trailers. We set our sights on cycling to Pedal Pushers for lunch, trekking 11.2 miles from Fountain to Lanesboro. From our recollection, hauling Olivia and Landon to Lanesboro was a piece of cake but the trip back up to Fountain was utterly exhausting.

Have you ever contended with two children sitting elbow-to-elbow in a confined space, wrestling with each other and yelling, "Are we there yet? How much longer?" Apparently, I can never pedal fast enough. I kept thinking, "Mush, Daddy! Mush!"

Well, our memories faded, and we decided to make a presumably less exhaustive trip to the Old Barn Resort, only about 6.5 miles from our home in Fountain. So, we hitched up the trailer and descended down the Root River Trail, consumed by the nature of Historic Bluff Country.

If you have never been to the Old Barn Resort, it's worth the journey. With a lush and scenic golf course, a campground, swimming pool, tubes for relaxing days on the Root River and big old barn restored and converted into a rustic and yet contemporary restaurant -- all intertwined with the Root River and the Root River Trail -- this is the perfect place to get away from the big city.

Upon our arrival at the Old Barn Resort, we parked our bicycles in one of those bike racks you find at most any school or park. Looking around our surroundings, we could see children playing on a large playground behind the Old Barn Restaurant. I know it caught the attention of our two children, immediately asking if they could go play for a bit. "After lunch," my wife said.

The pool was busy and tubers were stopping up at the shack to grab some transportation for the big river.

I should mention that this was one super hot and humid day, perfect for working up a sweat.

Hoping to make this a healthy day with a good diet and some exercise, I ordered the Old Barn Resort Salad. While salads can often leave you wanting more, I wasn't disappointed at all.

The heaping pile of greens were covered with sliced pork loins and a side of some Dijon Italian dressing I've never encountered in my lifetime. The dressing was awesome!

As a matter of fact, I don't know where they get their salad dressing, but I would be interested buying a bottle for use at home.

And, I had a surprise bonus round for lunch.

As it often happens, our children were not up to eating their entire meal, so guess what?

I was able to sample their batter-fried chicken tenders. OK, I've had chicken tenders before. Nothing special, right?


These were unbelievable.

OK, so I didn't exactly stick to my plan of eating one meal, but I couldn't let those chicken tenders go to waste. I wasn't brought up that way.

I'll have to admit, I probably should have held off a little on making sure everyone at our table was a member of the "clean plate club," because the bike ride home to Fountain was an uphill battle. However, my wife was my savior.

Yes, while I'd like to say I hauled that bicycle version of a station wagon back from the Old Barn Resort to Fountain, my wife made an offer I couldn't refuse. Right around the rock quarry, she asked me if she could haul Olivia and Landon behind her bike.

With no resistance, I relinquished my responsibilities. Of course, right after we made the exchange, as we approached the cemetery near Fountain, I had a clear view of my brother-in-law, Jerry Enright, and his wife, Andrea (Amanda's sister), strolling down to Lanesboro in their pick-up truck. Yes, they saw me, pedaling ahead of Amanda with her hauling the kids up the "Mountain to Fountain." I think I will hear about this at family gatherings for a long time.

I feel fortunate to live in an area where we have absolutely no corporate-owned restaurants. Every restaurant in our area is family owned and operated. Every dining establishment in the area provides something unique from the ambiance to the tasty bites that keep us coming back for more. We have a great selection of restaurants right here in our own backyard, and I plan on sharing my dining experiences from one town to the next.

Look for this feature every week in the Fillmore County Journal, along with online under the Real Bites section.

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