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    Post #1 - October 12th, 2010, 2:14 pm
    Post #1 - October 12th, 2010, 2:14 pm Post #1 - October 12th, 2010, 2:14 pm
    *With a day trip to Wyoming and not a stop at Mt. Rushmore, Wall Drug or the damn corn palace

    After early lunch in Southwest Iowa we were back on the road headed towards South Dakota and the Black Hills which is where we would be resting. We went into Sioux Falls, SD which is in the southeast corner of the state for a stop and browse before we made the push from one side of the state to the other in a days work. It wasn't a long ride from Sioux City, IA to Sioux Falls, SD and we got into town at about 12:30p and I was pleasantly surprised with it. It was a gorgeous day and there were way more people than I thought there would be and it had way more culture than I thought. I enjoyed my couple hour visit to the point I'd go back for a night or two if the situation came up.

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    Old courthouse turned museum (Sioux Falls, SD)

    If you've been following my posts this past summer and of late you'd know I've been on a burger binge and my reason for visiting the beautiful well kept city/town of Sioux Falls was actually so I could check out another burger joint featured in Hamburger America, not to check out the historic downtown district or visit the local museum which is free admission and features ever changing displays. I wanted to get a famous egg burger at the longtime locals favorite Hamburger Inn located downtown and housed in a tiny little brick cylinder building with an old grill and seats for about 12. We rolled over a little after 12:30 and even though they stay open til 2p and it says so on the door they were closed and the grill person was just getting ready to leave, rarely do I have bad luck on the road or vacation but in this case I had a little. Oh well, maybe next time.

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    Famous for egg burgers in Sioux Falls, SD

    So after being mad for about 30 seconds I said lets go check out the museum and take a walk around town. Just to my surprise and luck, one of the exhibits featured on display was "Cruisin' Cuisine: Drive Ins of Sioux Falls" the description from their website "Cruisin' Cuisine takes a nostalgic look at several early drive-ins of Sioux Falls, including The Barrell, Bob's, The Cottage, Cutler's, Dal-Ray, Herbert's, Kirk's, Lee's, Ray's, and Rickey's. Relive times gone by with music, images, and artifacts from these city hot spots." So in we went to check it out and into my mind jumped the thought that Cathy2 would get a kick out of this.

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    If you want the pics to enlarge and read the stories, let me know I'll post them all on flickr

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    Could of been McDonalds...

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    Signs like this told the story of Drive In's of the past

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    All in all a very cool exhibit...

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    ...they also had a room on the history of underwear, interesting

    Well that Drive In exhibit had me hungry and I was still jonesin' for a burger. We decided to take a walk around downtown and take in the old buildings and walk Main street and see what else was out there and boom, luck hit me again and my good fortune continued. We walked past an old building that turned the bottom and basement into a complex that had a sitdown restaurant in the basement and a burger joint and offices on the 1st and second floors. You had to walk into the building to get to Hemmer Brothers Hamburgers which looked like a legit place despite the food court type location.

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    Hemmer Brothers Hamburgers in Sioux Falls

    I'm glad I stopped in and I never really did have any doubt. Its an old school burger place that in some ways reminded me of Edzo's here in Chicagoland, so that's a very good thing. I'm guessing its two brothers who own it and on the day I visited it was one of them, an older guy and his wife doing the days duties. I asked the old guy if the Hungry, Hungry Hemmer Burger which was a double cheese was his most popular and he told me it was actually the Squealer bacon cheeseburger which he explained was butcher made bacon that was ground in with the beef fresh that morning which is how they always do it. So I got myself one of those with American cheese (you have options) and an order of hand cut fries. Just like Edzo's they do it how it should be with fresh ground beef and hand cut perfectly fried french fries. They had a topping bar with a nice selection so you could put what you wanted on your burger. I just had mustard, onions and pickles on mine. Being a man who's had many, I would say this was a premium top notch burger and fries. The fries were as good as they get.

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    Squealer bacon cheeseburger from Hemmer Brothers in Sioux Falls

    As much as I wanted to continue on in my exploration of Sioux Falls we still had to drive 5-6 hours to the other side of the state and it was already afternoon so we got moving west after the hamburger...until we spotted Bob's Drive In Cafe on the way out of town. Who am I to just pass on by? so I had to stop in and get a taste of tradition.

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    a Sioux Falls tradition since 1956

    This was one of the spots featured at the Drive In exhibit over at the museum and it was the only spot of the ten featured that was still in operation. The building that houses Bob's was built in the early 1940's and used to be Pete's Pickle Palace where they served burgers and root beer but Pete then sold it to a guy named Ray and it became Ray's Drive Inn. In 1951 Bob started managing Ray's and soon purchased it and it became Bob's Drive In. The neon sign seen above is a local landmark and in the 50's airplane pilots used the sign to line up for their landings at the towns airport. They had carhops from the 50's thru the 70's and still have them twice a month in the summer when the old timers roll by in their classic American vehicles.

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    The tiny little spot where it rests and the grill inside

    Originally Bob's was famous for their burgers and fries but then McDonald's came to town and they started selling broasted chicken so they could have something McDonald's didn't. The chicken became one of the more popular eats in town and has been ever since. When I was there I saw the grill lady do up a burger and it was a fresh ball of beef and looked great and there were also some really tasty sounding scrambles that could of fed a family of four but we had to get some of the chicken. It took about 15 minutes and it was worth every second of the wait. I don't eat fried chicken that much for someone who really likes it so I'm not the expert, but this was excellent. Virtually greaseless yet fried to a perfect crisp exterior with a juicy interior. I wanted more as soon as I was done but we were already 50 miles out of town.

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    Bob's bodacious broasted chicken

    We had a wonderful cottage lined up and were anxious to get to the Black Hills so we drove on and got to watch a beautiful sunset and wound up getting into our destination around 8:30p.

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    Sunset in South Dakota

    I chose Deadwood as the place of stay for our three nights in SD for a few reasons. I love the old towns with a real history and historic buildings throughout our great country and this is about as historic as it gets for a town with the entire community being a National Historic Landmark. I also happen to be a huge fan of the no longer running HBO series Deadwood which depicted some of the towns most infamous residents and was as good a show as there has ever been was when it was running, if it wasn't abruptly ended it would of most likely been the best series ever. But that's a conversation to have over whiskeys at the bar. I also thought that with its gaming and Main street it would be a nice place to stay and be able to walk around and do things at night, cause this city boy aint driving thru those mountains in the pitch dark.

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    Welcome to fu#k!ng Deadwood! Classic television, it doesn't get any better

    This was a great call because since we weren't going to be around all that much during the day it was nice to come back and have some things to do. Deadwood legalized gambling (slot/poker/roulette machines and poker tables) in the late 90's in order to use some of its profits in maintaining and upkeeping the historic site that it is. In time with the gambling and then the emergence and popularity of the television series it has become a big tourist destination to stay at for a day or two. In the summertime it gets busy and then biking and hunting seasons come around in the early and late fall and they get some more people but the town is virtually dead in the winter and isn't quite the lawless madhouse it once was. The history of the town is so deep that it would take chapters to go thru which makes it worth a day stop or camp out destination if traveling thru the Black Hills or to Mt. Rushmore. Here's a little tour thru it and what I saw and ate.

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    Part of Main street as it stands today

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    Deadwood is not destination dining by any means but as long as you arent East coast snobs from Yankton you should be able to get by for the night or short time your there. You can expect alot of eats like those you would get in casinos and saloons. One interesting place I wanted to try was the Chinatown Cafe which was it's only Chinese restaurant and made dishes fresh on site. It intrigued me because there was a huge Chinese presence in Deadwood during the gold rush that there was even a Chinatown run by Mr. Wu himself, who is portrayed in the series which does a good job with keeping most of the history in its true historical content. Tours of the underground tunnels from old Chinatown and the area where it was are still available today. I didn't get to try the cafe but the menu looked interesting with the beef dishes standing out, as we were in cattle country.

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    The Buffalo Bodega Complex (Deadwood) Chicken fried steak on bottom right

    Dinner on the first night was at the Buffalo Saloon and Steakhouse. It was empty on the Tuesday night we rolled in around 9p but I was attracted by the best prime rib neon in the window. This like most other spots has gaming machines and a bar in the building next door that its connected too and a big outdoor drinking area for biking season. I went with the smallest choice of prime rib ordered medium rare and at $12.99 I was very happy with my meal. Even though it was the smallest piece, the thing wasn't small. She got the chicken fried steak and liked it as did I but I would rec. going with the prime rib as I did mention this is beef country.

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    Buffalo Bodega Saloons prime rib

    I really only got to see Deadwood at daytime on my last day there since we did alot of daytrips sp most of our time in town was spent there at night. Whenever I go on vaca I always end up finding a spot where I drink at on a few occasions and on this trip it was the Oyster Bay Saloon. Its been a fixture in Deadwood since 1877 when its original owner brought boxloads of oysters in on ice shipped from the Mississippi and it became a popular eat amongst the prospectors as well as a famous saloon. Their slogan is "shuck me, suck me, eat me raw".

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    Historic Deadwood restaurant

    The menu at Oyster Bay has many oyster options including fresh shucked, fried, and shooters which were an oyster in a shot glass with a little bloody Mary mix, hot sauce, Worcestershire and beer that you shot. The people were friendly in that wild west way and the bartender was really sweet and took good care of us and did the cooking. They also have a casino attached but do not serve hard liquor for some reason. The kitchen is open late and I liked my shooters and had a couple fried oyster sandwiches on each visit. Simple and good, just fried oysters on a cheap hamburger bun with tarter and pickles. Locals like to eat the pickled eggs which are in a jar at the end of the bar.

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    Oyster shooter and jar of pickled eggs

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    Fried oyster sandwich and clam strips from Oyster Bay

    The lower end of Main street was referred to as The Badlands and got its reputation from its abundance of saloons, brothels, theaters, gambling halls and opium dens which provided raucous entertainment for the mostly male population. With whiskey going for 50 cents an ounce as well as providing other adult entertainment and gambling, saloon owners made more money than the miners and prospectors. While its nothing like yesteryear lower Main street still seems to be the place with the best bars and casinos in Deadwood. Its nothing like it used to be but I guess there have been some crazy happenings in the town on Main street during the Sturgis rally which is just a 20 minute ride away.

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    The "Badlands" still bad today?

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    The original location of Saloon no 10 (where Wild Bill was killed) is for sale, I'd love to buy and own a piece of American history like that

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    Nowadays its just mannequins in the upstairs windows of Badlands buildings...that I know of.

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    The stories this staircase could tell...everyone that lived there said Deadwood is haunted and had personal stories

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    More from Main street

    My favorite place to gamble on Main st. was the Mineral Palace which was also a hotel and housed the Gem Steakhouse & Saloon. Anyone that watched Deadwood knows that the Gem was Al Swearangens spot where he was said to take in $10,000 a day and triple that on a busy one. When he arrived in Deadwood from Chicago he had his theater (term used loosely) built and running in a week. Today its a steakhouse that serves prime aged meat both beef and buffalo and is upstairs from the casino. I didn't have any steaks but we stopped in for the chicken fried steak seen in the neon during happy hour and it was a good choice. The steak was good but even better by the fact it was happy hour and a Seven and 7 and Vodka/soda were $3.50 total per order. Dirt cheap, I felt like I was drinking at the old Gem the way I was getting loose.

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    The Gem's chicken fried steak

    So I have many more pics from town but that was all the eating we did in Deadwood and I threw it all together into one. On Wednesday morning our first full day in the Black Hills we were up early and off to Spearfish Canyon which is a beautiful state park located in Spearfish about 20 minutes up into the Hills from Deadwood. The scenic drive is listed as one of the best in the country and during the fall its said to be at its peak. We were blessed with a temp in the lower 80's and it was as beautiful as a drive as I have taken and I've been on a few. Your surrounded by steep limestone cliffs and creeks and plenty of different tree species as you zip and wind down the roads and can hear the wonderful sound of nature at its finest all while taking in some breathtaking views.

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    Views from the Spearfish Canyon scenic drive

    One of my favorite stops on the whole trip was along the scenic drive through the canyon. Called Cheyenne Crossing its located right along the route. This little country store/cafe is the winner of many "Best Small Town Cafe" awards and has twice been featured in Midwest Living magazine's "Best Breakfast Spots in the Midwest." After skipping breakfast at its usual hour so that we could take in the scenes of the canyon we arrived hungry and ready to eat and they were happy to have us. The people there were really great and as nice as I've experienced at any place around the country. Breakfast is served all day hours vary by season.

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    Cheyenne Crossing cafe at the junction of US Hwys 14A and 385

    I'm not one to hold back and I didn't do so here. I wanted to try a few of the things they were known for and went with all of them. Nothing wrong with leftovers right? I ordered their specialties which was an Indian fry bread taco, sugared fry bread and a sourdough pancake. We also got an order of scrambled eggs and buffalo sausage with hash browns as well as some biscuits and gravy. What a great breakfast/lunch/brunch or whatever you want to call this 2p chow session.

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    View into cafe (up L) Biscuits & Gravy (Up R)
    Indian fry bread taco (low L) Buffalo sausage with egg and hash browns (low R)

    I've always been fascinated with Indian tacos and was so happy to try these but it was the most disappointing eat of the whole trip. It wasn't bad but it was basically a taco salad and they used way too much lettuce and it was the fancy stuff at that. The fry bread and ground beef/bean mixture was lost in the leaves, cheese, sour cream, olives and other ingredients typical in a taco salad. Standouts were the biscuits and gravy which had a real nice homemade sausage gravy, the sugared fry bread which was just downright addicting and the sourdough pancake that was great with the flavored locally made Black Hills bottles of honey that were at the table. The butter pecan honey was awesome on the pancake and the fry bread.

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    Cinnamon sugared fry bread

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    Sourdough pancake with locally made honey at each table

    After the excellent meal we finished the scenic route and took a ride back into the town of Lead which is a mining town that shares schools and other stuff with Deadwood, it's located about 10 minutes up into the Hills from the outskirts of Deadwood. What a great little town to walk thru for an hour or two and take it all in. I've never been to San Fran but my girl kept saying how much it was like it due to it being really hilly with streets going up and down, I couldn't imagine driving in that place in the dead of winter. It is the home to the Homestake Mine, the largest and deepest gold mine in North America which was closed in 2002. It produced over $1 billion in gold and cost countless lives while in operation. As is portrayed in the HBO series Deadwood, George Hearst was hot for this mine and his pursuit of it was Satan like. Like Deadwood, most of the town has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Despite being next door Lead never really developed the rowdiness of Deadwood. Phoebe Hearst, wife of George put alot into it including a library and free schools for the miners kids in the early 1900's and her library and some of the churches she built still stand today.

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    Lead, SD (Homestake Mine on bottom L)

    Well normally this would be a nice days work right? with seeing the canyon and then walking around Lead? Nah not for me. Lead is about 30 miles from the Wyoming border and I had never been to Wyoming so that was our next stop. I guess the weather is usually not so great in early/middle October but it was as good as it gets while we were there and so on we rode.

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    Cruisin' Country

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    Wyoming

    I've heard nothing but good things about Wyoming and Yellowstone will be visited by me one day so the plan was to just kind of ride around and see what we crept up upon. The scenes were great and it really was desolate in most parts with their being way more cows than cars and only a few towns within an hours drive. After the big brunch we weren't riding for food and I followed the signs to take us to Devils Tower which is the first ever US National Monument named so by President Teddy. Its located in the Black Hills of Wyoming in Crook County near Sundance, WY. With it being nearly 1,500 feet above ground you can spy it from miles away and it just keeps getting bigger as you get closer. This is a fun daytrip from SD and not too far at all and worth the ride since its so peaceful. Even though we weren't all that hungry I said I would stop if I saw a place that was tempting me for a buffalo burger and that's what happened on our ride to the tower.

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    Devils Tower View Campground, Gift Shop & Restaurant

    The sign seen above (notice Devils tower in the background) was telling me that this little campground/country store/cafe on the route to Devils Tower had the best buffalo burger around so I turned right and we stopped on in. It was another cute little spot with one lady working the gift shop and cafe so I asked her what the most ordered buffalo burger was and she told me the mushroom, onion and Swiss was by far the most popular so that's what I got. She went to work in the back kitchen and I popped open an ice cold beer which they sell by the bottle and case in the giftshop. It was ready in about 15 and I chose mine with the made on site chips as opposed to the fries which I suspected were just frozen. Great choice all around and better than I expected. I knew the burger would be lean and it was, but the addition of grilled onions and mushrooms made it the best buffalo burger I have had.

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    Buffalo burger in Wyoming

    After the snack we rode over to see the tower which you can just drive by and get out the car and look or enter the park for a small fee and ride around. The tower is home to an abundance of wildlife with an amazing amount of birds that live from top to bottom including American bald eagles and turkey vultures. It's also known as bears lodge and is a sacred site to American Indians. I would of liked to spend more time around this area and will get back someday.

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    Devils Tower National Monument

    On our ride back we took in the scenes and stopped in at the general store that had been around since the middle 1920's. It was in an old house and they had liquor, groceries incl. buffalo steaks and an antique section upstairs. The place squeaked and made noises with every step you took but they had some great stuff and I purchased some old time glass beer mugs from some of the spots around town back in the day along with some whiskey and other stuff for the fridge back at the cottage. I couldn't even tell you the name nor can I find this place on the 'net but it was in route from Wyoming back into SD towards Deadwood. General stores like these are still around SD and I saw quite a few.

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    Old School General store/antique house

    Wednesday night we spent out and about at the spots seen upthread in the Deadwood section. Our plan for Thursday was the scenic loop and area around Mt. Rushmore. This was my 2nd trip to SD, I came here on a road trip with my fam back in the day and saw the presidents, got my pic taken in historic costumes at the damn drug store and saw the corn palace-it was cool for 20 seconds. So I didn't need to do any of these popular tourist stops on this trip. So instead we took in the views and headed to Custer State park which is yet another absolute beauty and must do in my book. My travel companion was a keeper and the only thing she wanted to do that wasn't in my interest was this winery famous for their fruit wines so I had to stop and let her sample them and buy some for back home. No pics but it was a cool place and I wanted to try a buffalo pastrami but wasn't that hungry and didn't want to spend the $15 but it was a nice cafe with fresh made salads, sandwiches and meat and cheese plates. The name of it was Prairie Berry Winery and it is not far from Rushmore and in that general area.

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    Cruisin' to Custer State Park

    Getting to Custer is half the fun as you literally wind and turn up the hills thru small earthmade rock tunnels all the way to the top which is a ride that nobody would not want to take, even kids I imagine wouldn't get sick of being in the car for this one. There's also plenty of places to pull over and check out the scenes and explore the rocks and mountains. This park was the shit if I may say, state parks don't get any better.

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    Going thru one of many tunnels you go through to get around the park

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    Views from Custer State Park

    One of the real draws to Custer is the Wildlife loop. Its yet another classic American scenic byway that offers a wide range of views and experiences. It'll take you thru grasslands, rolling hills and forests of trees and your sure to encounter plenty of wildlife since this is the area inhabited by many of the parks wild residents. Your almost positive to see buffalo (both wild and the countries largest herd), bighorn sheep, antelope, deer, elk, coyote, prairie dogs, and numerous birds. Although the stars of the animals might be the burros which are extremely friendly and cause traffic jams since they love to approach cars and stick their heads in and say hello.

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    Wildlife Loop and the Burros along it

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    Wild and herded buffalo, deer, mountain goats and pheasants were other species we saw

    After the Wildlife loop we headed back down and back thru the rock tunnel and back into deadwood. I wanted to walk around the town with sun out and see the museums and some of its other attractions. Had a little bit of bad luck in that the Haunted Deadwood tour was weekends only and it was Thursday but later in the night the town came alive more so than it was the previous two and we enjoyed some drinks and gaming and then headed back to our cottage which was really something else. I'll leave the info with the rest of the addresses at the bottoms. Great place to stay and we got a steal at $80 night for the two bedroom Wild Bill Victorian style cottage. It sleeps four but there were only two of us so we didn't even use one room and it had a deck with chairs, hot tub, satellite, fridge and was walking distance from upper Main Street which is where all the spots are. They were well taken care of and I was sad to leave and will for sure be back. I said goodbye and we were off on our way back east. Once you leave the Black Hills SD is just like the rest of Middle America, small towns with their Main street, plenty of cornfields and farms with a few rivers flowing thru here and there.

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    Middle America South Dakota

    We didn't have to be back the next day and weren't going to take the 15 hour drive back straight thru so I jumped on 90 and rode that for an hour or two until I saw the exit for Pierre, SD which you could of stumped me, is the capitol of South Dakota. I had a plan which was to see the cap building and then ride a highway into Brookings, SD where there was a spot I needed to check out.

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    Pierre, SD and the states Capitol building

    After a really easy 4/5 hour drive (I can travel wherever with Sirius/XM) including the stop at the Capitol we were in Brookings, SD. yet again just another place I wasn't expecting what I got. It was a hopping little town on this early Friday afternoon and my destination was along Main street which was as good as any as I've seen the past year while taking this country journeys. It had it all and most every place was occupied with what looked to be generation old occupants.

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    Brookings, SD

    Well the reason for my visit was to take a visit to another Hamburger America rec'd spot and a Brookings institution. Nick's Hamburger Shop is right along Main street and they've been serving sliders from the same spot since 1929. My type of place, as I love sliders. From the looks of it seems Nick's may have been on the White Castle bandwagon with its design, it has however survived and had people coming in and out for their Nicks fix.

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    Nick's Hamburger Shop "buy 'em by the bag"

    Nicks has plenty of seats swirling around the inside making a U around the holy grail centerpiece in the middle of the shop which is the grill that's been around for a while. They have kept the charm and ambiance and its a regular stop for current and former SDSU students and anyone who's from around that way.

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    The tiny grill where burgers are made and a bag of burgers

    Surprise, surprise but I am not sick at all of hamburgers despite my recent binge and this was yet another example of why. Its such a loose term and they come in so many forms and styles that in most cases one from that place is entirely different than one from another. Its also all American and I've been hitting the roads this summer/fall and you wont find more good and tasty regional variations of anything else out there. Nick's sliders were a little different than and not exactly sliders. They were fresh balls grilled in whats seen in the pic above. They smashed them and then they are placed on local baked buns and dressed with your choice of toppings. They don't grill the onions and burgers come with mustard, ketchup, relish, onions and pickles. If you order cheese they just plop it on and don't wrap it in wax and doesn't really melt. I liked the hamburger with mustard, pickles, onions and their signature relish the best.

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    Nick's Hamburger

    So after Nick's it was back on the road where we would knock some hours off the time it took to get back to the city. Stopping in Brookings also allowed us to go through Minnesota as opposed to Iowa so we would stop for the night in Rochester, MN and then I decided from there we would go to the Mississippi near Winona, MN and take The Great River Road down thru Iowa and into the Quad Cities and back over to Chicago. So as always, stay tuned and...

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    See ya next time on "America: The Beautiful"

    Other posts can be found HERE, HERE and HERE.

    If ya like Caribbean Livin' (click HERE and HERE) some of that should be coming soon.
    ____________________________________________________

    Hamburger Inn
    111 1/2 e 10 st
    Sioux Falls, SD 57104
    (605) 332-5412

    Hemmer Brothers Hamburgers
    230 S Phillips Ave # 101
    Sioux Falls, SD 57104-6321
    (605) 334-3301

    Bob's Carry Out (Drive In)
    1312 W 12th St
    Sioux Falls, SD‎
    (605) 336-7260‎

    First Deadwood Cottages
    Website

    Buffalo Bodega Complex
    658 Main St
    Deadwood, SD 57732
    (605) 578-1162

    Oyster Bay Restaurant & Saloon
    626 Main St 57732
    Deadwood, SD
    (605) 578-3136‎

    Mineral Palace & Gem Steakhouse Saloon
    601 Main St.
    Deadwood, SD 57732
    (605) 578-2036

    Cheyenne Crossing
    At the junction of US Hwys 14A and 385
    21415 US Hwy 14A Spearfish Canyon
    Lead, SD 57754
    605-584-3510

    Devils Tower View Campground, Gift Shop & Restaurant
    476 State Highway 24
    Devils Tower, WY 82714-8703
    (307) 467-5737

    Nick's Hamburger Shop
    427 main ave
    Brookings, SD 57006
    (605) 692-4324
  • Post #2 - October 12th, 2010, 5:10 pm
    Post #2 - October 12th, 2010, 5:10 pm Post #2 - October 12th, 2010, 5:10 pm
    Very nice! It's been probably 25 years since we took that trip. High light was going to Custer State Park and driving amongst the bison. We weren't into food in those days but I do remember trying bison burger at several places. Great pictures. Thank you!
  • Post #3 - October 12th, 2010, 7:31 pm
    Post #3 - October 12th, 2010, 7:31 pm Post #3 - October 12th, 2010, 7:31 pm
    I'm curious how long it took you for this trip. What was your timeline? Late September seems like it would be a nice time to take it (or maybe in May with longer daylight). I really think I'd like to take this trip and your pictures are what really make me want to go! Thanks so much for sharing. :)
  • Post #4 - October 12th, 2010, 7:48 pm
    Post #4 - October 12th, 2010, 7:48 pm Post #4 - October 12th, 2010, 7:48 pm
    Stunning pictures, great writeup. You made me want to hop in my car right now. It's been a long time since I drove around that part of the country and you've really done it justice. And damn . . . now I'm hungry for some good prime rib and chicken fried steak.
  • Post #5 - October 12th, 2010, 9:12 pm
    Post #5 - October 12th, 2010, 9:12 pm Post #5 - October 12th, 2010, 9:12 pm
    great story--it is nice to have another perspective on a trip that we have made often--thanks
  • Post #6 - October 13th, 2010, 8:53 am
    Post #6 - October 13th, 2010, 8:53 am Post #6 - October 13th, 2010, 8:53 am
    Ram4 wrote:I'm curious how long it took you for this trip. What was your timeline?


    Glad everyone liked it, I very much enjoyed my time away from the concrete jungle of cement. We left early morning Mon. Oct. 4th and were back later in the evening Saturday the 9th. Stayed in Western Iowa Monday night and in Deadwood Tues, Wed and Thurs nights and headed back for Chi Friday morning with a stop in MN on Friday night. We had a week laid out but there was really no sense in staying Sat. night in Quad Cities, kind of a dump. Some good pizza though...
  • Post #7 - October 16th, 2010, 11:22 pm
    Post #7 - October 16th, 2010, 11:22 pm Post #7 - October 16th, 2010, 11:22 pm
    Wow! That is an amazing post! Seriously that is a killer post. I need a sack of burger's now!
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #8 - October 17th, 2010, 9:12 am
    Post #8 - October 17th, 2010, 9:12 am Post #8 - October 17th, 2010, 9:12 am
    Da Beef wrote:
    Ram4 wrote:I'm curious how long it took you for this trip. What was your timeline?


    Glad everyone liked it, I very much enjoyed my time away from the concrete jungle of cement. We left early morning Mon. Oct. 4th and were back later in the evening Saturday the 9th. Stayed in Western Iowa Monday night and in Deadwood Tues, Wed and Thurs nights and headed back for Chi Friday morning with a stop in MN on Friday night. We had a week laid out but there was really no sense in staying Sat. night in Quad Cities, kind of a dump. Some good pizza though...


    Wow! You packed a lot in such a short time!
  • Post #9 - July 14th, 2012, 3:58 pm
    Post #9 - July 14th, 2012, 3:58 pm Post #9 - July 14th, 2012, 3:58 pm
    Da Beef - thank you for posting this thread. We added Custer State Park to our list of stops while driving cross country. Since we were just driving through, we didn't get to take advantage of your food suggestions though. I wish we had time to stop at Spearfish Canyon and Devils Tower. Your pics are gorgeous.
  • Post #10 - August 30th, 2012, 2:07 pm
    Post #10 - August 30th, 2012, 2:07 pm Post #10 - August 30th, 2012, 2:07 pm
    Hi,

    My apologies, I have not read this thread in detail, yet. I will this evening.

    I am going to the South Dakota Fair in Huron, which is 60 miles north of Mitchell and maybe 70 miles wast of Brookings. I have not yet decided where to stay, though getting a reservation may dictate where.

    On my way there, I will be taking 90, which is roughly a 680 mile trip. I plan to meander back. I even think about driving up to North Dakota to touch the soil, but I think I will be there next July anyway. I have never been to the Dakotas.

    If there is anything not yet covered in the thread that you either recommend or heard of and never went, please advise. I have heard of a vinegar museum, though I don't know if it fits in my plans. I found an article where pork shashlik is all the rage in a 30-mile diameter, though nowhere else in the state. I am peaked with interest over the Hutterites from seeing a National Geographic channel program as well as talking to a leading expert on their culture.

    So much to do, so little time ... any thoughts are welcome!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - August 30th, 2012, 2:19 pm
    Post #11 - August 30th, 2012, 2:19 pm Post #11 - August 30th, 2012, 2:19 pm
    If you are taking 90, consider a short detour to Winona, MN, if you are passing by during the morning hours.

    It is the home of Bloedow's Donuts, touted by the Beefmaster in another thread. Best glazed doughnuts ever, IMO.
  • Post #12 - August 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm
    Post #12 - August 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm Post #12 - August 30th, 2012, 4:09 pm
    TomInSkokie wrote:If you are taking 90, consider a short detour to Winona, MN, if you are passing by during the morning hours.

    It is the home of Bloedow's Donuts, touted by the Beefmaster in another thread. Best glazed doughnuts ever, IMO.

    I'll check. I reason once you have made the long haul, going a little out of the way is incidental.

    Thanks!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - August 30th, 2012, 4:45 pm
    Post #13 - August 30th, 2012, 4:45 pm Post #13 - August 30th, 2012, 4:45 pm
    When I am out that way I always stop at the SDSU Art Museum in Brookings. They have the wonderful Harvey Dunn painting, "The Prairie is my Garden" it is a masterpiece and worth the time to see. The copies do not do it justice.

    http://southdakotamagazine.com/pub/phot ... Garden.JPG
  • Post #14 - August 26th, 2014, 8:38 pm
    Post #14 - August 26th, 2014, 8:38 pm Post #14 - August 26th, 2014, 8:38 pm
    Hi,

    I have friends at South Dakota magazine, which I find has some interesting food observations.

    I usually stay in Mitchell, SD in advance of going to Huron, SD for the State Fair. I pass this region where you find a number of melon stands. I read a newspaper last year advising their early melon farmers were from Iowa. South Dakota Magazine has recently uploaded an older article on their Watermelon Capital.

    One items caught my eye, "The Larsons grow the smaller King and Queen melons for area Hutterite colonies, who pickle them whole in 55-gallon barrels along with garlic, dill, salt, vinegar and water." I immediately contacted a woman who has written books on Hutterite cooking lore. She has't heard of it, either. I am guestimating it may be a fermented product.

    While looking for information on fermented or pickled watermelon, I came upon another South Dakota Magazine gem: What We Eat. How We Eat. Who We Are. in the context of South Dakota.

    There is a vinegar museum in South Dakota:

    How do you taste vinegar? Suck it off a sugar cube. You get the flavor without shutting down your taste buds. Everyone in Roslyn knows that.


    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #15 - May 13th, 2015, 5:15 pm
    Post #15 - May 13th, 2015, 5:15 pm Post #15 - May 13th, 2015, 5:15 pm
    So Cathy2 -- during those stays in Mitchell, did you find anywhere remarkable to eat? Or anything (other than the Corn Palace) that is a must see? I'll be there for a couple of days, and I will likely have a bit of time on my hands -- and do need to eat.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #16 - May 17th, 2015, 1:16 pm
    Post #16 - May 17th, 2015, 1:16 pm Post #16 - May 17th, 2015, 1:16 pm
    Hi,

    I usually arrive to Mitchell in the evening after having dined in Sioux Falls. From da Beef's post, several places in Sioux Falls have closed:

    Hamburger Inn
    111 1/2 e 10 st
    Sioux Falls, SD 57104
    (605) 332-5412

    Hemmer Brothers Hamburgers
    230 S Phillips Ave # 101
    Sioux Falls, SD 57104-6321
    (605) 334-3301

    Still going strong with an excellent fried chicken dinner is:

    Closed, July, 2017:
    Bob's Carry Out (Drive In)
    1312 W 12th St
    Sioux Falls, SD‎
    (605) 336-7260‎

    New address and name, August, 2017:
    Cluckin’ Good Chicken and BBQ
    3607 E. 10th St.
    Sioux Falls, SD‎
    (605) 336-7260

    On my second visit they had fresh Bing cherry pie, which was outstanding. They do close at 7:00 pm and start to discourage table service after 6:30 pm. Last year, I arrived early though it was closed due to their spontaneous wish to enjoy the holiday weekend. It is worth calling in advance to double check their availability.

    Reaching Bob's you will likely pass the Battleship South Dakota Memorial. As you drive past, you observe what seems to be a recreation of the battleship's upper deck.

    There are locations in town, though I always stop for some ice cream at:

    B & G Milky Way
    Address: 2410 W 12th St, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
    Phone:(605) 338-9501

    There are two Ethiopian restaurants I have never visited:

    Shalom Ethiopian Coffee and Restaurant
    1701 E. 10th St.
    Sioux Falls, SD 57103
    Phone: 605-339-2919
    Fax: 605-339-2919
    http://www.shalomethiopianrestaurant.com

    Lalibela Restaurant | Authentic Ethiopian Restaurant |
    1001 West 11th St.
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota| (605) 331 4595 | http://www.lalibelaSD.com

    At ReneG's suggestion, I have been to a Cambodian restaurant:

    Phnom Penh Restaurant Asian Restaurant
    Address: 1010 N Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
    Phone:(605) 332-3935
    http://phnompenhsiouxfalls.weebly.com/

    By the time I get to Mitchell, it is evening. I check out the Corn Palace's motif of the year, which is beautiful around sunset. I went inside once to see it was a basketball court plus a gallery of pictures of prior Corn Palace designs. I wish the interior offered more content, because once you've seen it there is no more reason to go back in.

    I do visit the grocery store to identify South Dakota foodstuffs I may not see at home. I buy Lakota popcorn. I once bought a Indian fry bread kit, which I have yet to use. From a Culinary Historians meeting earlier this year, I learned fry bread is a controversial foodstuff rooted in government food rations of the 19th century. There is a South Dakota candy bar, which is made like pemmican also made by the Lakotas.

    If you drive up to Huron, you will pass the melon region. My first visit, I skipped buying melons on my way to Huron. I estimated I would find more later. Wrong, I missed it by assuming there would more where I was going. I found a local paper who commented on these melons. Around 100 years ago, successful Iowa melon farmers took their know-how to this region. People who come to the state fair around Labor Day, make sure to get a melon, too.

    According to Rene G, Huron has the largest Burmese population per capita in the United States. I learned Karen's of Burma came initially to work in a turkey factory. The link is to a BBC clip about Huron's Burmese.

    Billings, South Dakota is due east of Huron. On their main drag, the Ag school has a dairy store. I have seen it, though it is closed Sundays and never available to me.


    My favorite resource is South Dakota Magazine:

    Piggin’ Out On Pork
    "Three years ago, Louise Albers’ father told her about a new cut of pork, prime rib, that would be a good entree for her restaurant, the Black Angus in Canton."

    Hosmer head cheese

    What's Pho lunch?

    The Chislic Circle

    Amaranth: The Once and Future Crop?

    Land of Infinitely Interesting Eateries

    Ethan needs us

    South Dakota's Best Breakfasts

    South Dakotan's flock to poultry crawl

    Menno's Open Door

    Spink, Open for Business

    In this region, there are some chains you don't see in the Chicago area. Taco John's, which serves breakfast as well as lunch/dinner, which has the potato ole (think McDonald's hashbrowns). Pizza Ranch, which seems to be a pizza buffet.

    South Dakota shares a state fish with Minnesota: walleye
    South Dakota state dessert is Kuchen, which has a cake base with fruit arranged top, then finished with a custard.

    If you see it, please stop and check it out:
    - Milk can boiled dinner.
    - BBQ fueled and scented by corncobs. I only learned about it this morning.
    - From reading the telephone book, there are diners connected to Ag auction houses.

    I hope this year to finally visit the Vinegar museum

    Have a good trip and please add to the list when you return.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #17 - May 28th, 2015, 2:35 pm
    Post #17 - May 28th, 2015, 2:35 pm Post #17 - May 28th, 2015, 2:35 pm
    Since it is rare to find a list of anything from South Dakota, I saw this on South Dakota magazines facebook page and took notes:

    It's National Burger Day! We've been asked a lot through the years where to find the best burger in South Dakota. We know about the World Famous Burger at Nick's Hamburgers in Brookings, the Buffalo Burger at Black Hills Burger & Bun Co. in Custer, the Humpty Dumpty Burger (topped with a fried egg) at JL Beers in Sioux Falls or the Kranzburger at Jeffrey's Supper Club and Lounge in Kranzburg. But tell us, dear readers, what is your favorite South Dakota burger joint?

    Nick's by far received the most props on this list.

    Jeffrey's Supper Club and Lounge
    101 W St Mary'S
    Kranzburg, South Dakota
    (605) 886-9812

    cheeseburger at the Millstone in Milbank

    Buffalo burger at the Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park. Available a short time each year, but it always tastes extra fine.

    garlic burger at the Prop, in Watertown.

    Oahe Burger at Oahe Marina Fort Pierre, SD!

    Hat Creek Grill in Edgemont

    Pizza burger at Stella's in Burke!!!

    Lewis in lead

    Cheeseburger at the only one bar and grill in lennox.

    Turtle Creek Saloon in MIller!

    The D:57471 Historic Hwy 12 Roscoe SD. Handcrafted Custom Built Burgers!
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - June 2nd, 2015, 9:40 pm
    Post #18 - June 2nd, 2015, 9:40 pm Post #18 - June 2nd, 2015, 9:40 pm
    Alas, having left at dawn on the 18th, I didn't see this until I returned.

    I found a couple of passable places in Mitchell -- The Brig, a steak place with a good, fresh, if fairly unremarkable salad bar and pretty good steaks -- as well as a for sale sign out front (which a local told me had been there for two years), and Twin Dragons, which the guy at the hotel enthusiastically remarked was "the best restaurant in SD, and probably in the whole Midwest." Well maybe if the Midwest didn't include Chicago -- but it was passable -- but don't get the hot and sour soup. Better quality than Panda Buffet, but it's not going to be your new destination. Both are in the AAA book for SD, which only list four restaurants for the town, so this may be as good as it gets in Mitchell.

    Aside from food, however, had a remarkable time in Mitchell -- so much more than just the Corn Palace, though that was quite wonderful. Also loved the Dakota Discovery Museum and the Prehistoric Indian Village (museum and archaeological site).

    Didn't' make it to Sioux Falls. Looks like it has more options. But I wasn't really in Mitchell for the food (though the popcorn being sold at the Corn Palace was mighty tasty).
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #19 - June 2nd, 2015, 9:42 pm
    Post #19 - June 2nd, 2015, 9:42 pm Post #19 - June 2nd, 2015, 9:42 pm
    All that said, I've never seen more beautiful meat for sale -- especially at the small places that did custom butchering, sausage making, and butchering. So if one had a kitchen, one could probably eat very well indeed.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #20 - June 30th, 2015, 7:46 pm
    Post #20 - June 30th, 2015, 7:46 pm Post #20 - June 30th, 2015, 7:46 pm
    South DAkota Magazine has readers discussing where to get a good hot beef in South Dakota:

    - Not between Platte and Sioux Falls, but Sissy's Cafe in Gregory has a great hot hamburger (served open-faced with gravy, like a hot beef) on the menu.

    - Stop at Al's I-90 Cafe Just off the Interstate exit 308 in Plankinton, Hot Beef OR Hot Hamburger

    - J&M Cafe, Lake Preston.

    - Wall Drug - Good Hot Beef!

    - Phillips Diner in Sioux Falls

    - Hutchs cafe Presho, SD

    - Watertown,SD The Wheel Inn.

    - Valley Cafe, Volga. On Hiway 14

    - Eat at Joe's Alexandria, SD

    - Stockman's Cafe in Watertown!

    - Leo's in Redfield

    - Kountry Kookin in Viborg

    - Yesterdays Cafe in Yankton

    - Shortys in Platte

    - Rusty Nail in Willow Lake, especially on Tuesdays

    - Stock men's Cafe at the Platte Salebarn. They are on special on Wednesday.

    - Spink cafe

    - Big Js Roadhouse, Humboldt

    - Blue Line in Newell.

    - Longbranch Restaurant in Pierre SD sells a very good hot hamburger.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #21 - September 17th, 2017, 8:29 am
    Post #21 - September 17th, 2017, 8:29 am Post #21 - September 17th, 2017, 8:29 am
    My friends at South Dakota magazine advised Bob's Chicken has closed, moved and rebranded itself. Yet, they will still have the same chicken offered at Bob's.

    End of an era: Bob's is moving, rebranding to Cluckin' Good Chicken and BBQ

    The landmark Bob’s Café on West 12th Street will close this month, and a business with a different name but the same food will open on East 10th Street.

    The last day for Bob’s Carryout and Delivery will be July 23. Cluckin’ Good Chicken and BBQ will open in August at 3607 E. 10th St., Ben Weiland, who operates the business with his son, Jona, said Friday.


    Old address:
    Bob's Carry Out (Drive In)
    1312 W 12th St
    Sioux Falls, SD‎
    (605) 336-7260‎

    New address and name:
    Cluckin’ Good Chicken and BBQ
    3607 E. 10th St.
    Sioux Falls, SD‎
    (605) 336-7260‎
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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