Had a very tasty lunch at the Levee Cafe this past Saturday. The wife and I were headed to the Alexis Bailly Vineyards for their open house and wanted to lay down a solid foundation for an afternoon of wine tasting.
The Cafe is located just off the 'old' main street, towards the river on a sidestreet. It is quite nice inside with a really attractive (if small) mirror-backed bar and old pics of Hastings on the walls.
Since we were there for a late lunch, we didn't have anything too exotic. I ordered the turkey club - my wife, the chicken salad on croissant. I was very pleased to discover that there was real turkey on my sandwich - as in, someone roasted a turkey and fresh slices of the breast were ear-marked for my sandwich! The bacon wasn't exotic but thick and cooked to the ideal middle state 'twixt greasy-spoon floppiness and bacon-bit crisp. I can't testify for the chicken salad but my wife dispatched it promptly so it must have been pretty good. Her fries were also respectable, not worth a trip on their own but a far superior replacement for my potato chips (straight from the bottom of some undistinguished bag).
Coleslaw is a particular interest of mine but the Levee's was not especially appealing. It was excessively creamy and sweet with fairly finely shredded cabbage. It was serviceable with the addition of salt and pepper. I acknowledge that coleslaw is a dish upon which reasonable people can disagree; in the interest of translation to your personal taste, compute the difference between your favorite and Cecil's coleslaw (St. Paul) which I consider to be the finest I have yet to encounter.
I'm not gushing about the Levee but when I find straight-off-the-bird turkey on my sandwich, I must take notice. I'm especially intrigued by the hot turkey sandwich on the menu - I was afraid of the usual mediocre offering but the Levee's may be cut above. If you haven't been to Hastings, it's a terribly quaint little town - at least the old downtown section along the Mississippi is. It may be worth a day trip before the snow flies.
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