If you are passing through Baudette - pronounced "B'det" by the locals - you may want to stop at the Smiling Moon Cafe right on Main Street, two doors down from the American Legion, just off Hwy 11 in the old Rex Hotel building. It's a clean, friendly place with high ceilings and decent coffee. I was looking for a place for a light lunch, our plans to do some work in International Falls temporarily stymied by the second of MN's seasons, road repair, and I was very pleased with the straight-forward hamburger, tomato and barley soup. It was well-seasoned and just right in portion sized - something between a big cup and a bowl. It came with a slice of herbed bread, whipped butter, and, somewhat disconcertingly, a tablespoon of potato salad, which looked and smelled fine,but didn't interest me.
Dessert offerings were quite varied and most, if not all, appeared to be homemade. Cheesecake was baked in a sheet cake form and presented in 3" x 3" squares in all its cheese and sour cream simplicity. There were about six kinds of cookies, cinnamon rolls and scones, no pie, but several kinds of cupcakes in different sizes (normal and huge). The chocolate ones were excellent, especially the cupcake part with a deep chocolate flavor with some coffee overtones.
You can have your coffee straight or with a number of flavored syrups - something that the locals, mostly males at 3:00 pm, seem to favor. Specialty coffee drinks were also available, though their plain ole joe worked for me. It's self-service at the big old-fashioned counter and seating is at longish tables with semi-comfortable stackable metal chairs, festooned with Early Americana-esque fabric. Connectivity is quite good there - enough of a singular event in the North Woods to warrant mention - and no one will hurry you along if you want to take in the local paper or just think.
The Smiling Moon
121 N Main Ave, Baudette, MN 56623
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