My red barn

The all new Red Barn

The all new Red Barn

When I pass by this place, I stop. Although this new building doesn’t quite have the class of the old, the food is still pretty darn good. They’ve added a bar, too. With the twinned highway passing by to the north of the former location, the owners had to do something to jazz it up and encourage highway travelers to pull in.

This time, I only had time for the potato soup, but it was excellent. My normal fare is eggs over easy, and that’s pretty hard to screw up, although this place in Steele, North Dakata managed that, and more, early on in my ride.

The old Red Barn

The old Red Barn

Fried pickles, no condiments for me, thanks

Fried pickle, anyone? All right, so I’m not exactly a connoisseur of fine food at every stop that I make. This time, I noticed fried pickles on the menu, and I just had to try them. Let it be known that at least once, you have to have fried pickles – even if fried, thin-sliced zucchini is on the menu.

The strawberry shake was pretty good too. It jammed up the straw on every intake.

Not to be a sourpuss, but I sorely missed the fried, thin-sliced zucchini at the DuBois Diner in DuBois, PA. I should have had both.

Oh well.

On the other hand, I did get to see an old-style Harley-Davidson® dealership in the same town. These are becoming fewer and fewer as the company forces the dealers to upgrade to the new boutiques so favored by the RUBs.

Ride to eat

I needed fuel, so obviously I had to pull into Fergus Falls on the high end. To my complete and utter surprise, right beside the gas’n’go, I discovered these two places side-by-side. After I had a date square the girl told me the brownies were to die for. She was right.

They also had a variety of fresh-baked bread sitting on the counter. Fortunately, I didn’t have a pound of butter stashed away, or I’d have been in bread heaven.

Take a look at the storefronts.

And the next time you’re passing by Fergus Falls, Minnesota, stop in at the Falls Baking Company. I’m glad I did. And before I forget, I’m going down to my saddlebag to get the final brownie.

Fergus Falls Baking Company

The Falls Baking Company


All was not lost, however.

Just after departing Jamestown I happened across a delightful place to have breakfast in the quaint little college town of Valley City. I rode past all the fast food eat’n’puke places to get to the field where the local football team had a match. I passed that, and came across this little gem right downtown.

The Broken Spoke in Valley City

Not bad.

And the sun was shining for a change.

Places to eat – Twin Butte, Alberta

Twin Butte Country Restaurant — 10 miles north of Waterton Park, Alberta on The Cowboy Trail, otherwise known as Highway 6.

Twin Butte store sign

Twin Butte Country

Given the backwoods nature of the location, one would think that Mexican food would be the farthest thing from here, but that’s not the case at all.

This little gem is a complete surprise, believe me. It’s in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by field and stream and mountain. I first stopped in last week, and was so taken with the enchiladas that I had to come back and sample them again, just to be certain that it wasn’t a fluke.

Now I can spill the beans on this place: It has the best enchiladas north of Mexico — and that’s 1,500 miles away. You can order them plain or con pollo o con carne, and believe me, any way you choose is pretty fine. The photo below doesn’t do the enchiladas justice.

The salsa is no slouch either.

The place runs on Mexican time, so if you’re in a hurry, keep right on going.

The enchilada plate

The enchilada plate - plain

If you're a hot sauce fan this is the place for you

If you're a hot sauce fan this is the place for you

The Rock is no more

The Rock Cafe sign in Stroud, Oklahoma

The Rock Cafe sign in Stroud, Oklahoma

Updated below

My informant tells me that on Tuesday evening, May 20, the venerable Rock Cafe in Stroud, Oklahoma, burned to the ground. All that remains are the outer stone walls holding up sections of a collapsing roof.

The Rock was a quaint little place in the sleepy town of Stroud, Oklahoma, where once-busy Route 66 passed through as the premiere highway for those heading west. Now, of course, 66 has been replaced by the interstate system and most of the towns once served by the old route have languished.

I ate at The Rock Cafe only once, and had the fried tomatoes and pink lemonade. The proprietor, Dawn Welch, was happy to regale me with tales of being the inspiration for the character “Sally Carrera” in the Pixar movie “Cars”.

My thanks to Coaster for the update.

Read more here.

Updated June 2009: Dawn has reopened the Rock! Here’s a link to her blog.

Circling the wagons

Montana badlands

East of Jordan, Montana 200 narrows but travels through mini-badlands for ten miles or so. The early-morning low angle of the sun forces the landscape to stand out in shadowy contrast to the blue sky. Eventually the ground flattens to grain and cattle country once more, and hawks climb high in their search for prey. Pheasants on the side and in the middle of the road like flying up into my path, and I tag a couple. Feathers predominate when I do.

At Circle, I stop for breakfast, but instead discover the Lunchbox, owned and operated by Billie for the past two years. Instead of the eggs I was planning on having, I had a chicken salad wrap and some broccoli soup – much healthier in the long run. Billie says that the place is popular with the locals, and I guess it must be, although Circle is little more than a bump in the road.

Eventually I’m on the boring 94 headed east to Fargo and making good time.

It’s another great riding day, with plenty of sunshine and blue sky.