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Week No. 2 • The Levee cafe

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Hastings, 55033
Hastings Star Gazette
651-437-5911 customer support
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

If you like bleu cheese, I have found the burger for you.

It's at the Levee Café in downtown Hastings.

It's called the Savona cheeseburger. They take a hand-formed patty and serve it between "a mixture of shredded mozzarella, parmesan, bleu cheese, red onion and garlic." All that is sandwiched between a toasted sesame seed bun. They put some pickle relish on the side, and off you go.

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Bring a bib: the burger is essentially covered in a thick and creamy white bleu cheese sauce. It wonderfully drips and oozes all over the place.

A pickle spear is served with the burger, too. It comes with fries for $7.99, but I?added in the sweet potato fries for 99 cents. Onion rings are also an option.

Savona?

I've since found out that Savona is an Italian city on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

It's the same place that Christopher Columbus once farmed.

Don't miss

Two other burgers were the topics of much conversation among the six Star Gazetters at lunch.

The Bistro Burger looked good. It has caramelized red onions and aioli. Aioli is a sauce made of garlic and olive oil.

"Very simple, very good,"?the menu says.

The caesar salad on the crostini burger also drew a lot of attention. It's basically a burger with a caesar salad on top of it, served between buns.

Both burgers are $7.99.

The dinner menu and the lunch menu are pretty different from one another.

If you go at dinner, please be aware there's one burger on the menu. You choose from a choice of toppings.

Don't like burgers?

Since I?moved to Hastings, I've always heard good things about the Levee's meatloaf, but I've never tried it.

A lunch portion is served with mashed potatoes for $9.

I took my in-laws here not long ago and my father-in-law still raves about the salmon.

Whose place is it?

The Levee Cafe opened here in 1989.

Jeff Kasa is the current owner of the Levee.

The train

One of the long-standing attractions at the Levee is the train that circles overhead. It's definitely a hit with kids.

What Christina says

Regina Medical Center dietician Christina Gapp looked over the Levee's menu and had this to say about healthful options there:

"There is a diamond in the rough. At the Levee Cafe, right here in Hastings, you can do your heart some good. Did you know that you can order roasted salmon, rich in heart-healthy fats, from their menu?

"Sauteed vegetables and dark, leafy greens, and potato choices such as the baked potato or the sweet potato fries offer added health benefits from their vitamins and fiber.

"Fatty fish like albacore tuna, mackerel and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which research suggests may help lower the risk for blocked blood vessels, heart attacks and strokes.

"Other sources are sardines, Atlantic herring, swordfish and lake trout. They are also found in the form of alpha-linoleic acid, which converts to omega-3's in ground flax, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, canola oil and walnuts. Omega-3's may help prevent arteries from hardening, lower levels of triglycerides and modestly reduce blood pressure levels."

As always, if you have ideas, comments or suggestions about this piece, please let me know. My phone number is 437-6153 and my e-mail address is crichardson@hastingsstargazette.com.

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Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
(651) 319-4500
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