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Week No. 4 • The American legion

If you like a little scenery with your burger, then you'll want to be at the Hastings American Legion Post 47. The Legion's main summertime attractions are a patio overlooking the Mississippi River and, in our case, burgers!

This week's selection was the aptly named Legion Burger, a 1/3 pound patty smothered in mushrooms, fried onions, bacon, swiss and American cheese. I?added fries, of course. The bill was $8.45. Without the fries the burger is $6.95.

On the day that we stopped at the Legion, a bald eagle circled overhead and boats whizzed past on the river. The sky was bright blue.

Don't miss

The neighbors and I have made a couple trips to the Legion for their Friday night fish fry. It's all-you-can-eat for $9.95.

The Legion is also under-rated for its kid-friendliness, especially with the patio out back. You can get your little one a cheeseburger with fries and a pop for $4.95.

Don't like burgers?

Fried foods abound on the appetizer menu. Included in the selections are fries, onion rings, cheese curds, mozzarella sticks, mini corn dogs, chicken strips, buffalo chicken strips and jalapeno poppers.

For dinner, there are a couple of steak options, a shrimp dinner, spaghetti and deep fried chicken.

About the Legion

A membership is not needed to dine at the Hastings American Legion. The facility is open to the public.

Wendy Dodge is the new club manager at the Legion. The commander is Ed Riveness.

Dodge said the patio is a big draw at the club. She's in her third week at the Legion.

What Christina says

Regina Medical Center dietician Christina Gapp looked over the Legion's menu and had this to say about healthful options there: "The American Legion is the place to go to around Labor Day celebrations. My thoughts revolve around the special adult time away from minors and 'got milk' and point directly to a nice, relaxing beverage.

"Moderate drinking and health consumption of alcohol can have beneficial or harmful effects depending on individual factors such as amount consumed, age, and health status, as well as the conditions under which the alcohol is consumed.

"According to the Dietary Guidelines, 'The lowest all-cause mortality occurs at an intake of one to two drinks per day. The lowest coronary heart disease mortality also occurs at an intake of one to two drinks per day. Morbidity and mortality are highest among those drinking large amounts of alcohol.'

"Some of you might run away with this idea ... so I should note that one to two drinks per day does not mean you can drink a week's worth of alcohol over a period of a few hours or a few days. Knowing the facts of what a standard drink is helps guide responsible decisions about drinking. The following count as a drink:

• 12 fluid ounces of regular beer: 144 calories

• 5 fluid ounces of white wine, 100 calories; red wine, 105 calories

• 1.5 fluid ounces of 80 proof distilled spirits: 96 calories."

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 crichardson@hastings