THE EATBEAT: Our Town more than a pit stop
Found: one more good reason to pull off Interstate 29 at Hillsboro on the way to or from Fargo. It's Our Town Bakery on Main Street where they were serving a light and luscious banana cream pie on a recent sunny day. The bakery has added interest...
Found: one more good reason to pull off Interstate 29 at Hillsboro on the way to or from Fargo.
It’s Our Town Bakery on Main Street where they were serving a light and luscious banana cream pie on a recent sunny day. The bakery has added interest to the rather quiet Main Street. And in the large kitchen you find Amanda Johnson – tall and slender with her dark hair pulled back. It says “Our Town Bakery” on the yellow bib apron she wears as she works.
Johnson is the owner and operator of the popular business. She grew up in a family that liked to cook. And she learned more about baking in culinary classes at Minneapolis Tech College.
In a way, it was fate that brought her to Hillsboro. She is married to the Rev. Joe Johnson, pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. They have two children: Charlotte, or Charlie, is 6. Wyatt is 7.
Johnson said she looks at her business as her “baby.” She has been open a year and a half. And she says it keeps getting better.
“This has always been a dream for me,” she said as she finished making a sandwich from her homemade bread dished up a cup of soup during the mid-day rush.
She is quick and efficient. She seems not to get rattled as the one assistant brings out more orders.
On the day I visited Our Town Bakery with Ann Porter (AP) and Sue Kerr (SK), we met a friend from Fargo, Darlene Peterson (DP). And we surveyed the long glass counter in Our Town Bakery. There were homemade cake donuts in small, simple and sometimes chocolate versions as well as an awesome raspberry tart. There were soup and meat pies on the menu. There were pint sized Ball mason canning jars where customers can serve themselves water.
You seat yourself. You turn in your order at the counter or wait for an assistant to come to your table. This is a very unpretentious, informal, comfortable setting.
There’s an espresso bar where you can find a latte, cappuccino, mocha and such. There are other drinks including a strawberry lime smoothie. On Fridays, there’s pizza. On Saturdays in summer, the bakery is closed because so many people go to nearby lakes.
I ordered a half sandwich and chicken wild rice soup ($8.25) and greatly enjoyed the meal. It was just right and one of the best casual lunches I can remember. AP, SK and DP chose from the day’s features of meat pie, salad, soup and cold sandwiches. And SK was generous in sharing the banana cream pie, which was truly sublime. It had that gently flavored filling in tender piecrust like grandmothers used to make.
Our Town Bakery is center with excellent food where there is special attention to allergies. There are gift items and decorative touches. And there are teeny vases with tiny roses on the corner of the tables.
The old tin ceiling is painted white. The great big kitchen has been painted light blue. There is a large restroom that rates high for cleanliness.
Gift items on shelves include bottles of vanilla that is brewed in-house.
Our Town Bakery
Owner-operator: Amanda Johnson
Summer hours: 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., 7 p.m. Fridays; closed Saturdays in summer
Report card: A unique bakery-café-coffee house enlivening main street in Hillsboro with high quality baked goods, soups, salads and sandwiches. Prices moderate, fair. Friendly ambiance.
Reach Marilyn Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 701-772-1055.