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Week No. 1 • Dan's bar and Grill

Off we go for the Hastings-area burger tour!

The first stop on my journey was last Wednesday at Dan's Bar and Grill in New Trier, population 116.

More than 10 percent of the city's population was in Dan's while we were there, including a total of six staff members from the Star Gazette who made the trip down to Dan's with me.

After weighing the weighty options, I went with the bacon cheeseburger. The 2/3 pound Varsity burger was whispering sweet nothings in my ear, but I didn't want to sleep all afternoon.

My burger was $6.95.

The menu says the burgers are made of 1/3 pound, 80 percent lean ground beef. It also says the burgers are served on fresh, baked buns.

The buns are buttered and toasted. This touch was definitely appreciated.

Burgers come with potato chips and a pickle. You can add french fries or German potato salad for $1.50.

I added the fries and didn't come close to finishing them all.

For $8.95 on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., patrons can build their own burger, including fries.

The Buddha burger

If you like lots of stuff on your burgers, consider the Buddha burger. It is: "1/3 lb. topped with american and swiss cheese, mushrooms, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayo and fried onions. $7.50."

Don't miss

Dan's menu says the St. Paul Pioneer Press proclaimed its Friday night fish fry as one of the metro area's best. The fry runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and is $10.95 for adults and $8.95 for seniors.

Don't like burgers?

Also on the menu: Lloyd's smoked pork chop. The description reads: "Named after one of Dan's favorite patrons. 8 oz. smoked pork chop, grilled and served with a healthy portion of sauerkraut, toast and salad bar. $9.75."

Where in the world is New Trier?

It's easy to get to. From Hastings, take Highway 61 south. When you come to the stop sign at the intersection of Highway 61 and Minnesota 50, head west (turn right) on 50 and go four miles.

Whose place is it?

Dan's Bar was started in 1960 by Dan and Jean Hartung. Their daughter, Danette, now operates the business.

She was at the grill on the day we were there.

Healthful options

Starting next week, Regina Medical Center dietician Christina Gapp is going to review the menu for each restaurant I visit.

She's going to look over the selections and call the restaurant to come up with the most healthful options at each restaurant.

We will then include her suggestions in this space. Thanks in advance to Christina for her help with this project.

As always, if you have ideas, comments or suggestions about this piece, please let me know. My phone number is 651-437-6153 and my e-mail address is