The folks in Burnsville, MN made a video for us!
The Fun Finders would like to give you a little background about Burnsville. It was founded in 1855 as a rural Irish farm community. The town covers 27 square miles and in 1950 had a population of 583. In 1960, the town started experiencing rapid growth from 2,000 to 60,000 today. Hwy 35 coming through is attributed for the growth. There are over 100 restaurants in the town. We visited and ate in 10 restaurants in 1 1/2 days. Yes, that’s double the number of meals for that amount of time. In 2009, 52 new businesses opened and in 2110 41 more new businesses came to Burnsville. The average household income is $57,965.
Burnsville has 2 Rotary clubs that are very active with continuous community projects. A group called 360 Communities who help the needy are having a special FOOD drive during the entire time of the Rand McNally/USA Today Road Rally. What a wonderful and creative way to collect food for the people in need of help.
They also have the largest shopping Center from Burnsville to Des Moines at a cost of $14,000,000.Wednesday we toured the beautiful Performing Arts Center building. Their current art display was 100 Years of Chinese American History. A most impressive room to us was The Black Box. The room will hold 150 people for performances and is completely empty allowing for great flexibility in the type of performances that are brought in, from dance groups to their local Community theatre.
Mayor Elizabeth Kautz has been leading Burnsville since 1994. Jim described her as a “real sparkplug”, She truly loves her town and it’s quite evident that the town people love and respect her. She traveled the town and restaurants from 8-5 and knew almost everyone. A huge undertaking for her was the Heart of the City, where she turned a blighted area into a beautiful park for social and cultural events.
Corn is a product of the area. Quality Ingredients is a local food distributor. Aquafina water, a Pepsi product, draws its water from the area. Mint is grown locally and used in many dishes and drinks locally.
Jo Jo’s Rise and Wine, After a nights rest we started out. A unique start for our first day- We arrived at the Rise and Wine to be greeted by both women owners (they tell us their men are the “silent and helpful partners.” They been in business 4 years and have a precious cafe. We were treated to a variety of their special items including the Denver sandwich (a wonderful blend of breakfast foods including egg and bacon. The mayor,Elizabeth, is a regular and and orders it “naked” (no bread) We loved it! We also tasted the egg and bacon wrap where they chop the fried egg into little squares for the wrap. Scones and cinnamon buns were also tasted and enjoyed.
They don’t have a full kitchen but oh what magic they make with their turbo oven. They were even getting a second oven that day. We toured their spotless prep area. We enjoyed being welcomed by live music(an Elvis song) by a daughter of the one owners and boyfriend. Jim had to “get in the act” by singing Blue Hawaii. The guitarist picked right up on the song and accompanied him. (Jim’s missing his Karaoke. We loved the creative name of RISE (breakfast) and WINE (dinner).
We had a tree planting ceremony in our honor. And yes, it was a CRAB APPLE tree. We were hand in hand with Mayor Elizabeth with our very own golden shovels. Will be fun to go back and visit as it grows.
Abdallah Candies is a local family owned chocolate factory that began in 1909. They hire 100 employees. We were honored to be given a tour of the entire plant. Seeing the work and the process that is necessary to produce one piece of candy gives use a new appreciation for “sweet treats.”
http://www.abdallahcandies.com/ Visit Website
We learned that the true secret to success of the candy is the cooling process. They are one of the few companies that still make divinity. A cute thing happened when Jim teased an employee working with chocolate when he told her she had chocolate on her face. She immediately reached up to wipe her face and then discovered that he was kidding. A good laugh was had by all of us.
Burger JonesA tremendous eating establishment with a really “cool” and creative menu. They gave the menu items catchy names. How about White Trash Burgers (chicken)?? The cheese curd with smoked catsup was new to us and quite tasty. I’d love to have a bottle of the catsup.The mason jar “Hillbilly Hooch”a was a real hit consisting of Jeremiah weed sweet tea vodka,lemonade and fresh mint. The mint is grown locally. We experienced 4 varieties of sliders with Lobster Jones and Lil’Gobbler being our favorites. Finding that we are Elvis fans, they sent us off with Elvis shakes (peanut butter, bananas and caramelized bacon on top. Lengthwise slices of banana lined the glass. We definitely rated it a 10.
Burger Jones had a special recipe called the Royal Mounted Bacon Pauline appearing on the food Network
BD’s Mongolian Grill, Now here’s a festive, fun restaurant with great food and an original twist. Fill a bowl with your favorite meats and veggies. Use a small bowl for a sauce of choice. Give your selection to a “griller” and watch them cook your food and entertain you with a fancy knife performance. Sound dangerous? No, but very entertaining.
Side Note: You’ve heard “life is a dance” and that you learn as you go-believe me we’re learning. Hard to dance with all this eating though.
We got a little break from the food scene after three restaurants and a candy factory by taking a pontoon ride on Crystal Lake. There was some fish talk going on. The host couple, the Enestbedt’s dressed for the occasion. Curt, an accountant and active Rotarian wore a shirt and tie to be our captain.(certainly a first for us) Their lovely home had many handcrafted black walnut, very unique wood items, including a magnificent dining room table.
Chianti Grill - We had a delightful visit to the Chianti Grill where we met Chef Carlos and had an elegant description of his selections prepared for us.The orange salmon salad was a great combination and the tenderloin medallions were cooked to perfection. The atmosphere was romantic and Elvis was playing just for us. We even had a wonderful slow dance while waiting for our food.
Roasted Pear-When asked about the real name the owner stated that his children named it in a fun brainstorming session one night. We were treated to six signature menu items. Dinner started with a Roasted Pear spinach salad. Main course were wings specially marinated for 2 days. The delicious meal was topped off with a Roasted Pear craisin crisp. Here’s a note about a very conscientious named waitress Michele. The soup of the day at the Roasted Pear changes daily and from one week to another. She personally calls her regular customers when their favorite soup is on the menu. What a girl.
Porter Creek Hardwood Grill - We enjoyed a visit to Porter Creek while dining on the patio with the appetizers and entrees being displayed on the unique waterfall table/bar.(water flowed under the glass top and was recycled continuously) Each platter was identified with a paper displaying the food description in a red,white and blue Burnsville,Mn. road sign. it was quite clever and attractive. Our favorites were Walleye with smoked pepper tartar, shrimp and applewood bacon flatbread, southwest chopped salad and banana ice cream cake. The decor was such that each dining experience could be completely different with the selection of a different room.
Morgan’s at the Nicolett Innserved us some delightful appetizers for our reception. An all time favorite of ours was the BBQ ribs. So far no restaurant has repeated entrees. What wonderfully coordinated efforts were made between restaurants.
The weather was gorgeous the entire stay . We were treated to patio dining at several restaurants.We’re starting to get full but stay posted for more reviews of the other wonderful visits in our journey through the culinary delights of Burnsville.
Day 2 in Burnsville
First Stop- A great breakfast spot called Jensen’s. We all ate in a small room labeled ” The Mayor’s Room”. We were greeted by the wonderful aroma of cinnamon buns, not just any cinnamon buns. They were so big that each one looked like a cinnamon loaf. Their apple bread was delicious. All of their breakfast items were served with a special flair. Owner, Brian actually started several Country Harvest Buffets in Clearwater, Florida. Quite the entrepreneur.
One last stop in Burnsville- Lunch at the Mediterranean CruiseA tasty lunch and some fun time learning to belly dance. After some pointers, Jim was a natural.
Remember -15 laughs a day to be healthy- we’ve had ours today
Have a wonderful day,
Jim & Bonnie Parr