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San Franciscan's first trip to Minnesota/Iowa (long)

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San Franciscan's first trip to Minnesota/Iowa (long)

Fine | Jul 12, 2004 05:58 AM

First, I just spent well over two hours perusing this board, including many tangents to newspaper articles, restaurant sites, etc.

Second, you-all had better be careful or you'll give the midwest a reputation for friendliness beyond the call! I've never read so many nonsnide, helpful, responsive posts, even though, in general,'hounds are pretty good that way.

I am fortunate to be going to Rochester for two happy events. We fly into MSP on a Thursday and drive to Rochester. Need to eat that evening. Friday and Saturday taken up with preplanned events. Sunday, plan to drive toward Decorah, Iowa, on a pilgrimage to Heritage Farm.

I found a place online called Gourmet's Garden B&B, in Harmony, MN, which claims to be an organic garden/lodging/restaurant/cooking school. I'm not a B&B type and always regret it when I succumb to a seductive come-on, but .... I am heavily into organic, sustainable, and all that jazz (I am from the left coast, remember), and dining choices on our route seem pretty limited, so far as I have been able to tell. Truth be told, I did find the menu a bit too reminiscent of a million "gourmet" spots, most of which I have found disappointing. (I'm a fan of neither cilantro nor goat cheese, both of which make me ill.) Has anyone eaten at or heard about this place, please? Any other recs along the way?

We plan to drive back through the Amish Country to Minneapolis on Monday and spend the night, probably at the Millennium. Flying home 9:30 Tuesday evening, so will probably need a bite or a bag supper beforehand, as well as a quick lunch near one or the other art museums.

Since choices seem so limited in Rochester, I'll opt for the best possible. As for Minneapolis, I'm always torn between local flavor and a not-to-be-missed place, with a slight lean toward the former.

I couldn't get message 14513, which a poster referred to.I also couldn't get Solera to show its tapas!

Here are a few of the places I jotted down: Coastal Fish (tell me more?), Bakery, Yummy, Heartland (though it may be more driving than we're up for by then), Alma, Auriga, Zander, Matt's, Cardinal, Chet's, and Jasper's in Rochester.

Any and all advice will be taken to heart.

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