I am a huge fan of Dakota Harvest Bakery, a local business located downtown on 3rd street. My consistency in patronage had picked up over the last year, since my love for carbs had been passed on to the younger food lovers in my home. It started out with picking up a loaf of fresh bread, onto desserts, and now it has become almost a Friday late morning ritual to cruising down to the bakery for a great lunch. Any visitor can rely on there will be other patrons at the Dakota Harvest Bakery. And if it’s lunch, a person may want to go prior to noon, otherwise expect to struggle to find a place to sit.
One particular Friday my little partner in crime and I decided to head over to DHB for lunch. To my thrill, their special of the week was Mediterranean Tuna Sandwich. I am absolutely delighted when some sort of Tuna concoction is created at an eating establishment that consists of more than mayonnaise. Not long ago I would visit Amazing Grains on a bi-weekly basis for their Tuna Niçoise Salad, which hasn’t been on the menu for quite some time unfortunately. So yes, again, I was excited about the menu choice and didn’t have to second guess my lunch selection.
So then it was onto the task of ordering at DHB. Which I have to say can be quite a challenge from time to time. Sometimes a customer has to almost chase down someone behind the counter for whatever reason, which over time I’ve noticed that it wasn’t an issue only I had. This time I did flag my arm until someone seen that my little guest and I were here and ready to place our order. Once we placed our order and paid, it was onto the daunting task of finding a table to sit at that has been cleaned. I do certainly enjoy DHB, the atmosphere is great, a person is not rushed at the establishment to eat and run. If you’d like to sit there all day sip coffee, nibble on scones, and read a book or surf the internet, you can certainly do that. I definitely don’t have an issue with bussing my own table either. Though with cleaning up after ourselves there is the misfortune which ends in a result of many dirty tables of crumbs and spills.
This particular day I remember very clearly that the several tables that were open all very dirty. So I eventually did have to settle on a dirty table and gone to the employees to ask for a clean wash rag to clean my own table. (They then did clean the table; unfortunately they didn’t clean the other tables) The lack of an employee’s effort in society in general has been a hot topic it seems, and as I sat down to eat my meal, I did once again ponder this issue of effort. With the floors that had appeared abandoned by a mop or broom for a few days and my current experience with getting a clean table, I had then started to observe what was going on in rest of the facility. It was quiet in DHB, a couple tables with people sitting and chatting, reading newspapers, or just enjoying some delicious food, so my gaze then focused on the staff… they were standing behind the counter talking. I am one for downtime, and I would certainly want my employees to get along, have friendships possibly, etcetera, however while punched in, the duties should be priority. (So that a patron can get a clean table or quick service)
The untidiness of the facility was certainly not going to interfere with the feast I had in front of me. While Ginger tea doesn’t necessarily compliment a Mediterranean Tuna Sandwich, I recall enjoying the tea. The Mediterranean Tuna Sandwich in front of me looked absolutely delicious. The Tuna sat on a Whole Wheat Oatmeal bun, which was delicious, but a little on the heavy side for myself that one healthy day, so I took the bun off, to save it as a side dish. My partner in crime had ordered a salad. (Yes who orders salad at DHB? My little partner does, she begs every time) I grabbed a few leaves of the salad and put it with the tuna salad.
The Mediterranean Tuna was pure heaven. The salad consisted of flaked tuna, Kalamata olives, capers, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, and artichoke hearts drizzled with lemon juice. All the ingredients didn’t over power one flavor to another, it was quite harmonious. DHB certainly nailed this on the head. I tried pacing myself in enjoyment. The quantity of the salad and the bread was once again more than enough to take home, so I packaged it up for dinner. It didn’t make it to dinner. I was very happy with this sandwich so of course I quickly hopped onto Facebook to recommend it, as it was the last day of this featured sandwich. I enjoy that the menu is always fresh and continually changing, but there are some items, you wish are a consistent menu item, and this is one of them.
A few weeks passed by, and a party of four strolled on over to Dakota Harvest Bakery. Walked in, and refreshingly I quickly noticed floors had been cleaned and the tables were sparkling clean. That has been certainly a wonderful change after the consistently unclean tables. Kudos for the staff on this particular day for being ready for patrons to come in to DHB by having the establishment presentable as the owners and patrons deserve to have it. We were greeted by a fresh face at the counter. Could this be the reason for the cleanliness? Whatever the reason, we hope it stays.
This particular day I wasn’t feeling like having neither a sandwich nor a salad, but I believe that was because as we entered the Dakota Harvest Bakery, there on their announcement board, was “Knoephla Soup” featured. While my family isn’t of any Scandinavian background, this was a soup that my mother mastered and on a long winter day, this was a go to soup. I never mastered the art nor inherited a recipe from anyone, so I am happy when this is a soup du jour.
Our party of four had four completely food choices, Mandarin Chicken Salad, an Almost Philly Sandwich, a cookie, and my Knoephla soup. Of course I thought, great, I get a lot to talk about today. Unfortunately the cookie and sandwich were devoured before I can even ask for a nibble. The salad was good, but I certainly prefer their Chef Salads. Now to the Knoephla Soup, I did notice it was rather bland in color, which I suppose you’d expect from a chicken dumpling soup. Normally I’m accustomed to seeing bits of carrots and celery, which I didn’t get in this particular serving. The soup was mediocre, served hot as it should be. The misfortune was that it was pure dumplings. I do have to wonder though if this was just a fluke in my dish. I don’t see how someone would make a chicken broth based soup and just toss in dumplings and think it’d be a hit. So I’m certain that perhaps the server didn’t stir up the soup and just grazed the top, and that is how this person only received broth and dumplings. On that note, the dumplings were yummy. Not chewy, undercooked nor overcooked. I didn’t have to be disappointed on this visit though, I truly was impressed with service this time, and luckily the youngest partner in crime also ordered a Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosted cupcake that was delicious! (She shared unlike the gentlemen that devoured their cookie and their Philly Sandwich)
So with that Dakota Harvest Bakery, a person is always in for a new experience each time they visit this local establishment. If you get a chance, stop in sometime, something is always new on the menu, but they have some consistent favorites, like the North Woods Porridge. The bread is always delicious; a good treat to take home to serve with dinner, and also treat one’s self to perhaps one of the unique cupcakes, cheesecakes, but my youngest partner in crime will recommend the caramel roll.