Eatbeat: Hopping up north to Halma
Up north we went on Interstate 29. We took Highway 11 going east from Drayton. After we reached Kennedy, Minn., we went 7 miles north to Halma, Minn.
When we arrived just before noon on a day in late August, we found the restaurant and bar called Frog Pond.
It was well worth the drive — over and above expectations. Susie Shaft (SS) and I found the best lunch at a reasonable price and a lively, inviting décor.
Halma is just 30 miles from the Canadian border. The population is 61. That doesn't bother Tara and Tracy Brewer, proprietors of the Frog Pond. They draw customers with some of the tastiest food to be found anywhere.
All the way home from Halma, I was thinking of the chocolate pie we had for dessert. The pie was gently flavored. SS pointed out that it was excellent because of the care taken to keep it cool and fresh tasting before serving. Instead of having pie set out on a counter, the Frog Fond keeps in a glass front "Les Desserts" case. And the pie is protected with a clear wrap held up by toothpicks.
You find everything from breaded cauliflower to spinach and artichoke wontons on the complete, concise menu. There are salads, burgers and sandwiches and wraps.
The Frog Pond is large with booths and tables. There are pool tables near the front and a play area for children. There are lights all around.
The food in the Frog Pond is prepared with care from Tara's kitchen. An excellent chicken wild rice soup arrived at our table in cuplike bowls. Our server, Holly Mantei, guided us to choose an excellent chicken cashew salad.
The Frog Pond is large, rather dark and inviting with its almost wild, but fascinating décor. Right now, there are strings of orange lights. They are a harbinger of autumn and Halloween. Then before Christmas, the Frog Pond will turn into a bright red and green wonderland. There will be snowmen all around. This decorating is done with the help of Kathy Stenmark, mother of owner Tara Brewer.
My usual check of the restroom facilities turned out to be amazing. The women's lounge in The Frog Pond is beautifully decorated with a makeup area.
It is, in fact, one of the most best inviting and cheery to be found in any area restaurant.
The Frog Pond
Telephone: (218) 265-3764
Owner-operators: Tara and Tracy Brewer
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Monday.
Report card: Better than most casual salads and sandwiches served at reasonable rates in large, pleasingly decorated restaurant. Service is above average.