Out & About

For the faithful readers of “Out and About,” you might recall last week that a promise of 35 different places to eat while “Out and About” in the Hastings and Cottage Grove area would be mentioned between last week and this week. We left off at 12 so we have LOTS to write about in a limited space. If you’re wondering what triggered the focus for a twoweek feature on places to eat… it is what triggers most things in our world today. A comment on social media about “no where to eat” in Hastings or Cottage Grove. Challenge accepted… hold our beer.

Let’s start in Historic Downtown Hastings. We already talked about The American Legion, El Mexican, and Lock and Dam Eatery last week. Downtown offers even more great options with varied menu offerings sure to fit any palate. Fireside Social House offers some great appetizers (you must try the Lettuce Wraps… delicious), salads, burgers, wraps, and tacos with a little flair on all their items. They even have Sunfish on the menu… yes… Sunnies. A couple doors down the street is The Busted Nut. Another loaded menu with things for everyone, including the “half shells” (kid’s menu), the homemade soups and secret recipe chili are great starters to go with anything from a burger, sandwich, or wrap to a pizza (including an available gluten free crust). Cross back down the street on Sibley and you just might end up at The

Onion Grille, at least, that is if you are looking for great food. The Onion offers a few more “upscaleish” menu items without being snooty, including a charcuterie plate and various other small plates, a superb Parmesan Walleye and a few great offerings for dessert including “Cookies and Mousse.” The atmosphere and service at all these great downtown spots are unique and attentive. Do you think we are done downtown… think again.

At the end of Second Street is the 2nd Street Depot Bar and Grill. The Philly Cheesesteak receives great reviews, and the Depot Pizza is “can’t miss,” but if you are looking for something a bit healthier, the dinner salad with an added chicken breast can’t be beat. The portion was anything but small. Of course, standard for a bar and grill menu are the burgers, sandwiches, and wraps, but a shout out from a friend says try the Inferno Burger if you like some heat. There are 18 burgers to choose from on the menu, so if you don’t like heat, there are options. But wait, there is one more downtown place to eat all the way back on the other end by the bridge. At The Hastings Social Tavern (there is a thing for being social downtown), you can get everything from bacon wrapped scallops to a Tavern sandwich, but the signature menu item has got to be their Pho. Pronounced “pha,” this authentic Vietnamese soup made with a beef bone broth is unbelievably tasty. If you have never had it, you need to check out 111 3rd Street East (the old Northwestern National Bank building for the longtime residents) and add some new culture to your life. You won’t regret it. We’re now up to 17… but we’re not done downtown even. How can that be?

That is because you can also get great things to eat at Froth and Cork a block up at 110 4th Street East. This is not just your standard coffee house and wine bar, oh no friends… it is an experience, and they offer great grub. There are some great breakfast items with a highly recommended “Italian Breakfast Toastie” with egg, salami, cream cheese, roasted red peppers and more; lunch type toasties including the Hammie Sammie (a personal favorite) and a couple of dessert items as well. There is a great vibe going on here with multiple rooms to sit, relax and dine. The upstairs area is nice if you are meeting a few more than one person. So, 18… that’s barely half ways to 35. Oh we will get there, if for now other reason, you are holding our beer and we want it back.

That or, we can just grab another beer with our food at Green Mill. Pizza, Wings, Pastas, and so much more, the Mill is a great goto spot before and/or after the game at Todd Field. Their Pizza and Wings special is quite popular, and the Diablo Wings with a Pepperoni and Sausage pizza is great while watching any sporting event on the television. If this fare doesn’t tickle your fancy before or after a game, The Bierstube has been the place to go for 60 years in Hastings for steaks, chicken, burgers, and of course, a REUBEN. The recipes are tried, true and do not change. German meals are a huge hit with items that cannot be found anywhere else around. Of all the places in Hastings to sit down for a meal, not a one says Hastings quite like The Stube. If you want to stay close to the stadium for the game but these two are not what you are seeking, Yuan’s Buffet offers their Japanese cuisine with additional Chinese and Mongolian flair. Just don’t eat too much (is that possible at a buffet) as you still will need to cross Highway 55 to get a seat at the game, or do you peek through the fence? We are at 21 and space is running out. That means there will just have to be a part three to this review of places to eat in Hastings and Cottage Grove. Because, you know, there is just nowhere to eat around here. Stay tuned, as we will be getting our beer back from you… provided you have not drank it already.

September 21, 2022