An Outdoor Weekend With The Guys
First Time Hunting Trip
It was the first time I’ve ever gone on a hunting trip. I never had the opportunity to go out in the woods as a young lad, and spend the weekend with “the guys.” Now, at forty-eight years of age, I’ve recently moved back to Minnesota where some of my brothers live. I discovered how much they enjoyed bow hunting when my oldest brother Harvey asked me to join him and John (my youngest brother) at the camp he has up near Sandstone MN.
It turns out that one of the traditions my brothers have when spending the weekend at the camp is to take in breakfast at a local Restaurant in Sandstone called Amy's Country Cafe. I thought this would be a great opportunity to take on some of the local cuisine, and see if it measures up to what I think would make for a nice start to our outing experience.
Is This Great or What?
As we jump into John’s truck and head into Sandstone, I contemplate to myself that the ideal addition to this country style, woodland experience would have to meet a few criteria. First, the environment would have to be a laid back, old country style “Mom-And-Pop” type of place; the kind of place that makes you feel like you’re part of nature. Second, the service would need to be friendly, upbeat, and wholesome enough to make you feel relaxed and welcome. Finally, the food would have to be a bountiful portion of delicious home cooking like grandma would make. Ok, nobody cooks like grandma, but you get the point.
A Charming Cafe
We arrive at the café and the first thing I noticed is the natural wood trim, and the old artifacts hanging on the walls that bring you back to the 1950’s. The sound of friendly conversations and the aroma of bacon, and maple syrup give me the feeling of being outdoors with nature. This small café has a natural charm to it that blends well with the hunters, farmers, and country folk that patronize the place. On the other hand, I couldn’t help notice that due to the small size, it was somewhat crowded with only one unisex restroom for everyone. It also tends to fill up fast, and the noise level can be a little distracting.
No sooner did we sit down at a small four sided table, when Mo, a young waitress with a spunky, cheerful disposition greeted us like she’s known us forever. She took our order and promptly dispatched it to the kitchen. While we waited for our breakfast, another waitress named Penny poured us coffee, and took a moment to chat with us about how our weekend outing was going. The service at Amy’s Country Café was nothing less than exceptional. If there was anything lacking in the service, it would be that they seemed a little spontaneously organized – acting on the spur of the moment – rather than having a clearly defined plan of operation.
A Plethora of Food
Our food was brought to the table and served on large plates with no space wasted. I ordered an omelet and bacon with rye toast, and barely finished it. John’s pancakes were almost bigger than the plate they were served on. Everything was cooked to perfection, and tasted almost as good as Grandma’s. The food was hot and plentiful just as I expected. The coffee though, left a little to be desired. Being used to making coffee with filtered water, I could tell they probably used tap water to brew their coffee.
All-in-all, we left Amy’s Country Café with our bellies full, and having a sense of well-rounded wholesome goodness that added to our outdoors experience. The environment blended right in with the hunting and camping atmosphere, the service was exceptionally friendly, and efficient, and the food – oh, the food was wonderful. Every restaurant has it’s setbacks, but I have no problem recommending Amy’s Country Café from Sandstone, MN as a place you’ve got to experience if you’re ever up that way to spend a weekend with the guys – or gals.