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EatBeat: A trip between out west includes stops for pie in Tower City and Kroll's in Bismarck

They let you know that you get “a little slice of heaven” when you stop at the Tower Travel Center at Tower City, N.D. It’s one of three stops that stick on the mind – as well as the ribs – when you drive across North Dakota in June. Then there’s Kroll’s diner in Bismarck. And the Farmhouse Café is a good choice in Medora for breakfast, maybe a bit off the beaten path.

Marilyn Hagerty

They let you know that you get “a little slice of heaven” when you stop at the Tower Travel Center at Tower City, N.D. It’s one of three stops that stick on the mind – as well as the ribs – when you drive across North Dakota in June. Then there’s Kroll’s diner in Bismarck. And the Farmhouse Café is a good choice in Medora for breakfast, maybe a bit off the beaten path.

So with friends we went into the Tower Travel Center – a place where they bake the pies right out in the plain view of customers. You find a place to sit although seating is limited since coronavirus took hold of the country. And even though things are getting better, there was only one server on hand.

The sour cream raisin pie won the taste test at the Tower City stop. After all, it was too late for breakfast and too early for a serious lunch. Over the years this Tower City restaurant has been a must stop between Grand Forks and Bismarck for me.

Sit down and eat

You drive west. The days are fair in June. And you get hungry by the time you hit Bismarck. This is where Kroll’s Diner remains open even though some places are closed. This is a popular restaurant serving German food.

These German cooks are serious. It says on the menu, “Sit down and eat.’’

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The restaurant is large and stays open in spite of the times. Only one section of the restaurant was open and there was only one server on duty. There are omelettes, eggs and hash browns. But in this area where there are many residents who are of German descent, there are German omelettes. They are made with three eggs with kielbasa diced red skin potatoes, sauerkraut and pepper jack cheese. They are served with hash browns and choice of pancake, French toast or biscuit and gravy. All of that for $10.99.

Kuchen is served here and described as traditional German fruit and custard filled pastry for $3.99.

Kroll’s Diner is large and pleasant. The menu is large and easy to understand. At one point, it says, “You’ll love our lumpy yellow soup.”

Breakfast in Medora can be hard to find. That is, if you are very hungry. The thing is, that everyone seems to want to get into restaurants at the same time. Driving around the little town paid off for us when we found the Farmhouse Café.

It’s a rather new, small café just serving the basics in the morning. Among the choices were Badlands Nachos – Sweet potatoes waffle fries smothered with scrambled eggs, onions, sausage, cheese and drizzled with syrup for $12.

There was a Redneck Breakfast for $12. It is described as “No bun. Just a heap of hash browns, topped with sausage patty, cheese, egg, ham.”

Like so many others, this restaurant serves up burgers with great descriptions. There’s a Hen House Burger that is topped with fried egg, bacon and American cheese for $13.

Home track

Going home the food experiences aren’t as amazing as on the way out. But we drove and drove and drove around Dickinson trying to figure out where to eat breakfast. It’s a busy place on a Sunday morning. The traffic is heavy. By then, the place to eat is one where you can find parking.

Related Topics: FOODMARILYN HAGERTY
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