Posts Tagged ‘Chisago City’

Dive Night is a once monthly adventure undertaken by me and Husby, along with our friends Ruthie and Ray. Each couple alternates choosing a restaurant, one which must come under the category of “dive.” Our definition of dive: a neighborhood gathering spot hiding under the radar with a laid-back atmosphere and good food. We’ll find the interesting hang-outs in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.  Casual attire required. A sip of beer or wine doesn’t hurt either.

Here’s the thing about Ray:  He wants to keep us guessing for a long time where they have chosen to take us for Dive Night.  To keep us guessing that long he has to take us far, far away.  This month we took a nice drive down Highway 8 all the way to Chisago City, MN.  Husby and I are very familiar with Highway 8 as that is the route we take to attend the ever-famous Chateau St. Croix Winery Fete Des Fleurs and Fall Festival, but that’s another story.  Ruthie and Ray, after a leisurely drive in the country, pulled into the parking lot of The Chisago Roadhouse Tavern.

We were all really surprised at how small it actually was once we were inside. Like, really small compared to the size of the building. We were also greeted with stares from everyone when we walked through the door. Stares from the locals, because I’m guessing locals are pretty much the only people who stop by.

There are very few tables at The Roadhouse.  We were lucky a couple was just leaving when we arrived.  And I was under the impression The Roadhouse isn’t frequented for its food as no one there was eating.  Surprising, because the food was quite good.

We started with a combination appetizer basket.  It contained two generously-sized chicken strips, gigantic onion rings, cheese curds, and waffle fries.  It was served with a delicious ranch dip.  Plenty for four people, and nice and hot straight from the kitchen.

The Appetizer Combination Basket

Three of us had burgers, Ray had a hot dago.  He can’t resist the hot dago.  However, he was a little taken aback by The Roadhouse hot dago.  It was kind of lost in the sauce and cheese; it actually confused poor Ray.  He ate it all up though, so it must have been good.

Ruthie's Cowboy Burger with BBQ Sauce and Onion Rings

Ray's Hot Dago

Husby's Philly Burger

My Mushroom Swiss Burger

The thing I liked best about the burgers was the bun.  Nothing makes a good burger better than a good bun.  These are those light, airy buns which were grilled with real butter.  Excellent!  The burgers were done to perfection and the fries?  Yum!  Skin-on, hot, and lots of them.

I usually get a few shots of the dive ambiance when we have our monthly dive night, but this time I felt a little uncomfortable shooting pictures.  The people there knew we were from the “outside,” and I didn’t want to chance offending anyone by making them think they were part of some stranger’s photo collection.

The full-chest tattoo of the bartender/waitress was very impressive ~ I would have never taken a picture of that anyway, but she should be singled out as being very efficient, friendly, and apologetic when she thought she was running behind.  We had no problem with the service she gave us, especially considering she was serving an entire tavern full of drinkers in addition to the city slickers’ food.

I could get a picture of this neon sign because it was on the wall directly behind us, no people would accidentally get in the shot.  It’s a great sign.

Oh, forgot to mention, The Chisago Roadhouse also has a meat raffle. Another activity I was a little uncomfortable participating in. I would have felt terrible if someone at our table (not one of them) won a big hunk of meat. I was glad to participate, paying $1 a ticket to help whatever cause they were supporting, as long as I didn’t actually win. Lucked out with that one!

Great food, I’ll say that much.  If you’re into motorcycles, snowmobiles, or vintage cars check out their website for events at The Roadhouse.  In the summertime they have a ton of outdoor seating, so you won’t look like such a dork (like we did) waiting for a table.  And if you show up with a Harley I’m sure you’ll be a hit with the locals!

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