Posts Tagged ‘Dive Night’

Well, even though the Minnesota State Fair is over, its essence lives on, especially on this my humble blog.  Ruthie and Ray were in charge of finding this month’s dive.  Much to everyone’s pleasure they chose one on the State Fairgrounds.

I’ve been going to the fair since I was one year old.  I won’t tell you how many years that adds up to, but I will say it is more than ten and less than one hundred.  I’ll also say “many, many” years I’ve been going to the fair.  In all those years I never ate at this place.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Our first instructions were to go into the Food Building and get an appetizer to share with the group.  Husby and I got potato skins, Ruthie and Ray got the spiral chips.

Both were fine.  One thing I’ll say about fair food ~ there’s an abundance of liquid cheese.  Or should I say cheeze?  Plus, this was actually too much potato, even for a potato lover like me.  But we didn’t consult on the appetizers like we would in a regular restaurant, so it was a risk we took.

Then, on to the main event.  The draw to JD’s Dining Establishment is that there is “Definintely Nothin’ On A Stick.”

Admittedly I was a little nervous about eating here.  After all, it had been avoided for many years of my fair going.  Turns out I was missing out on some decent food!

Husby, Ruthie, and Ray all had chili.  It was a blustery day and quite brisk, so a hot bowl of chili sounded good to them.

Along with a bowl of chili, Ray had a hamburger and Ruthie had a fish sandwich.  Both look good and were reported to taste just fine.


I decided to pull out all the stops and get the pork dinner.  I was pleasantly surprised!

Included in the dinner was a hefty portion of pork, mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, corn, and bread and butter.  All for $7!  It was tasty and hot.  Normally I don’t eat regular food at the fair, gravitating toward the unusual and unusually unhealthy choices.  But I would totally recommend eating at JD’s Dining Establishment (located across the street from the Butterfly House and next to Choo Choo Bob’s) if you want a decent hot meal while visiting the fair.

Another really nice thing they served on that cold night (and every day and night) is coffee and hot chocolate.  Lots of people stopped by for a cup of something hot to take off the chill.

I can’t wrap up this report without mentioning that the service at JD’s was outstanding!  Yes, we were actually waited on!  And the waitress checked back with us several times to make sure our dinners were satisfactory and to see if we wanted anything more.

What a fabulous dive!  I wish I had been able to get this post out before the fair ended so you could all try JD’s great cuisine.  Please remember it for next year, just in case you don’t want to eat your food off a stick at the fair.

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Apparently Ruthie was running around the metro area not too long ago, far away from where she lives or works.  I didn’t ask why she was gallivanting around because, well, Ray was sitting right there and I didn’t want to put Ruthie on the spot.  Who knows?  She might have been on the hunt for a pair of $400 shoes or something.  It doesn’t really matter, because during her little road trip she saw this…

She figured Miller’s on Main in Lino Lakes, MN would be a good spot to share for Dive Night.  She was right.  Divey?  Yeah, kind of.

This is the skinny bar area.  It had a lot of character, compared to the eating area…
They tried to make it homey with some country-flavored prints on the walls, but basically we were surrounded by walls of beige with big TVs propped up at the ceiling at each of the four corners of the room.  TVs in restaurants are just uncouth.
No matter, here come the appetizers!
These appetizers were fabulous!  First were the stuffed mushrooms.  Mushroom Poppers, to be exact.  They were stuffed with beef and pork, had a marvelous texture and were seasoned to perfection.  Also delicious was the Artichoke Spinach Dip.  Roasted artichoke hearts, pepper cheese and spinach in a very zippy, spicy sauce.  Really cheesy and really good.  I was sad to have to share with the others.

Our entrees were delicious too.  We ordered quite a variety at our table ~ bison burger (Ray), walleye sandwich with BIG onion rings (Ruthie), spaghetti sandwich (me), and taco salad (Husby).

Husby would have preferred a corn tortilla bowl instead of flour for his salad, but that’s just a matter of taste.  Both Ruthie and Ray had nothing but good to say about their meals.  I ordered a spaghetti sandwich just to try something different.  The spaghetti and sauce were good, the meatballs were good, the bread was good, but for my taste they should not all be combined in a sandwich.  A) You can’t pick it up and eat it, and B) I’ve got a weird thing against bread with sauce on it.  But my it was good, when eaten in its little subsets.  Plus, fries with spaghetti?  Well, they came with the meal and were delicious, so I couldn’t turn them down.

Despite my quirky preferences I’d have to say the food at Miller’s on Main is superb, the service was wonderful and I’d definitely go there again.  The menu is very extensive, and if everything on it is as good as our meals were, then this place is definitely a winner.

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