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Week No. 21 • Karl's Red Rock Cafe

Cheese seeps through the surface of the Juicy Lucy at Karl's Red Rock Café in downtown Hastings.1 / 2
The cheese and the onions are stuffed inside a half-pound burger to make up the Juicy Lucy at Karl's Red Rock Café in downtown Hastings.2 / 2

I could sense the fear in my wife's voice. First, she agreed to meet a bunch of newspaper geeks out for lunch, then her burger at Karl's Red Rock Cafe in downtown Hastings showed up with no cheese.

Just as she was on the verge of panic, a co-worker of mine stepped up and put her at ease.

"The cheese is inside the burger," he said.

"What?" she asked.

"The cheese is inside."


She didn't believe.

Then she cut the burger in half.

And she believed.

Inside her burger were jalapenos and cheese. It was the eve of Christmas Eve, yet she already had a present delivered to her. It came with fries and was served with a Diet Coke. Best Christmas ever? Maybe.

In minutes, the burger was gone.

So tell me this doesn't sound good: a half-pound of beef, formed around a ball of onions and cheese, then cooked up and served on a bun. That's what I had. It was the Juicy Lucy at Karl's, and I ate every last piece of it. Even the stuff that oozed out didn't escape.

Karl's recently added five burgers to its menu. That brings their total to 10 different burgers.

The five new burgers are all pretty unique. They are all 1/2 pound patties, and are all stuffed. There's the Juicy Lucy with American cheese and grilled onions; there's the cajun burger with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos and cajun season; there's the corral burger with cheddar cheese, bacon and barbecue sauce; and the continental, with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese.

The specialty burgers are $7.99, including chips.

About Karl's

Karl's Red Rock Café gets its name from owner Karl Hajny, a Hastings resident.

He moved to Hastings in 1991 after buying the Domino's Pizza here.


Karl's is well known as a place to go for breakfast. One member of the Star Gazette group got biscuits and gravy for lunch and raved about them.

What Christina says

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

Karl's Kitchen is a wonderful breakfast/lunch location right downtown in Hastings. Bring an appetite for getting the metabolism turned on, because there are many choices to tempt the tastebuds in the morning.

Keep an eye out for portion sizes and remember the "doggie bag" concept, since you get a lot of food in your order. Choose sides and coffee, 100% juice, or lowfat milk and enjoy the aromas in this cozy food shop.

Breakfast is important to everyone's overall health and performance. It is an early-morning refueling stop for your body. After eight to 12 hours without a meal or a snack, your body needs to replenish its blood sugar, the main energy source for the brain. Breakfast gives children and adults the edge they need to succeed through the day. Research shows that breakfast eaters perform better in the classroom, miss fewer days of school, have better hand-eye coordination and maintain their weight better. On the flip side, those who skip breakfast often feel tired, irritable or restless in the morning. Kids who see their parents eat breakfast are more likely to eat breakfast.

When breakfast consists mostly of sugary foods, you experience a quick rise in your blood sugar, causing a surge in energy. But after about an hour, your blood sugar and energy both decline and you're hungry again, long before lunch.

Your breakfast can do more for you.

If time is an issue in your house, try some of these quick-to-prepare breakfasts:

Dry cereal mixed with plain yogurt;

Frozen waffles topped with peanut butter;

String cheese rolled into a whole wheat tortilla;

A whole-wheat pita stuffed with egg salad.

Set out cereal bowls and boxes the night before to save time in the morning.

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@