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Week No. 19 • Tubby's

The Tubby Burger at Tubby's is pictured above. Tubby's is located at 412 Vermillion Street and was formerly known as River's. They open at 3 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 11 a.m. every other day of the week.1 / 2
The Tubby Burger at Tubby's in Hastings is pictured. It includes a half-pound patty, pepper jack cheese, swiss cheese, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed onions, lettuce, tomato and mayo.2 / 2

Once upon a time in downtown Hastings, there was Mosquito Fest. The festival was nothing more than an excuse to get together in the dead of winter and go bar hopping.

And it was during Mosquito Fest one year that I went into River's Bar and Grill in the 400 block of Vermillion Street. We had a drink, got our Poker Run card and off we went.

I hadn't been back since.

But after the burger I had there last week, the folks at River's (now known as Tubby's) had better get used to seeing my chubby face. I had the enormous Tubby Burger, a half pound of beef topped with everything in the kitchen, along with a basket full of fries. All of this for $8.25.

I'll be back.

Three friends from the Star Gazette came along, and all four of us had huge meals. The bill came to, get this, $25.

The burger doesn't actually come with everything from the kitchen, but it sure looked like it. The thing was tall and just about impossible to get in my mouth. It's definitely not a first-date burger.

So, what's on this thing?

Mayo. Lettuce. Tomatoes. Fried onions. Fried mushrooms. Bacon. Pepper jack cheese. Swiss cheese. And then there's the half-pound patty! It's served with a side of pickles and some delicious french fries in a little basket that is screaming "Uncle."

If it weren't for the 24-ounce coffee I picked up on my way back to the office, I'm sure I'd be sleeping right now.

There are a couple other burgers to choose from:

The Tootie Burger has pepper jack cheese, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo. There's a bacon cheeseburger, a mushroom swiss burger, a straight-up hamburger and a cheeseburger. One staff member here had the turkey club, and it was enormous. They also have a BLT.

Don't like burgers?

Tubby's is owned by the same folks who own Spiral Pizza. So, if you're in the mood for pizza, Tubby's is a good bet. You can get Spiral Pizza's well-known varieties while seated comfortably at Tubby's.

About Tubby's

Tubby's is located at 412 Vermillion Street and is formerly known as River's.

What Christina says

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

"Tubby's has been experiencing slow food times. We are all saving for Christmas and eating out less, and Tubby's is feeling the crunch in business,too. If you haven't gone to this bar and grill, consider it a way to experience Duff's Meats and an old secret hamburger recipe all in one.

"Local, fresh beef is served (80/20) 'hot' off the grill. You can save money by splitting a burger and appetizer combo, while simultaneously giving your tastebuds a new flavor.

"Have you ever tried broccoli poppers? Perhaps because the nutritional quality would not be your primary reason for coming here ... a great idea might be to try coupling a glass or two of their red wine with some broccoli appetizers. You could get some antioxidants from the wine, some protein and calcium from the poppers, and consider lower-fat meals at breakfast and lunch that day. Another nutrition-minded choice is the turkey club (minus bacon/mayo) and the coleslaw side.

"Remember, to avoid eating too much, you must eat slowly and give your stomach time to digest. Maybe your New Year's resolution will be to stop eating until you feel like you ate turkey dinner. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal satiety. Satiety is satisfaction, not fullness, and if you are getting 'full,' you've eaten too much. So, relax and take the time to enjoy the social break from your routine, and try out another place in town."

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@hastingsstar