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.
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Barbecue sauce, bacon, cheese and beef. Add in a buttered and toasted bun, and you have the smokehouse burger at Dugarel's in Hastings. Not bad for the ol' Buccaneer, right? What was long ago the Buccaneer bowling alley in south Hastings is now home to this week's burger of the week, a cheesy and gooey concoction served with onion rings and a pickle for $7.99 at lunch. The half-pound version is available at dinner for $8.49, including chips, potato salad or cole slaw. You can add in french fries or waffle fries for $1.50.
Downtown Hastings was again filled with classic cars and people Saturday for the Historic Hastings Saturday Night Cruise-In. Among those who brought cars to the show were Bill and Carolyn Corson, who brought their 1959 Cadillac to the show. The car was once owned by the Grateful Dead's Jerry?Garcia and later by Boyd Coddington, star of TLC's American Hot Rod series and a well-known hot rod builder.
The Hastings Star Gazette wants to send you to a Minnesota Golden Gopher football game. All you have to do is send in a story idea. The Star Gazette has a pair of tickets to each game. We're giving away tickets for the following games: Saturday, Aug. 30, against Northern Illinois; Saturday, Sept. 13, against Montana State; Saturday, Sept. 20, against Florida Atlantic. To be entered into a drawing for the tickets, just e-mail Hastings Star Gazette editor Chad Richardson a story idea. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org . Winners will be notified via e-mail.
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. 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.
At the Hastings American Legion, diners can sit on a nice stone patio overlooking the Mississippi River. It's the only outdoor seating area here that offers a view of the river. In 2004, the Legion needed money to get the patio built. Herbert "Bud" Koch stepped to the plate. He was the first contributor, and among the most generous.
I am embarking on the culinary journey of a lifetime. I will be visiting every area restaurant that has a burger on its menu. I will order a burger. I will eat a burger. I will photograph a burger. And I will write about a burger. And you will be the lucky recipients of my research. That said, these will not be formal reviews. I have no interest in trying to rate the burgers or the service. I'm not a chef. I've never waited tables. For me to be the judge and the jury is something I'm not comfortable with. But I will do my best to tell you about the restaurant, the menu and the burger.
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.
The hill really isn't much of a hill. It's on a little curve and it leads up to Jenny Groskopf's home. It's one of those hills and one of those curves you forget about over time. You just go up it, you turn, and you're there. But Jenny Groskopf will never look at that hill, and that curve, the same way. That hill has dramatically changed her life. Forever. On a snowy April morning, Jenny drove from her home in the Meier's Crest development, just east of Prescott, into town with her kids. It was her nephew's birthday party, and promised to be a fun Saturday.
Hastings' cheapest home is still on the market. The vacant house adjacent to the former Jiffy gas station was put on the market, if you will, last week by the Linn Companies. The asking price? It's free. The only catch is that you'd have to pay to move it. Since Linn Companies announced the proposal last week, operations manager Dan King has received about 10 calls on the house. Five callers were pretty serious, he said, and they are doing their research on what it would cost to move the house. "I think there are some people out there who are serious about doing it," he said.
Mike Dahlen is the proud owner of what has to be the smallest car in Hastings. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in economy. At 45 miles per gallon, Dahlen is spending half as much money a month on gas now, compared to when he was driving his Oldsmobile Alero to work in Plymouth. He drives 90 miles round trip a day, and the new car cuts his annual fuel expense in half, from $4,000 a year to $2,000 (based on $4/gallon gas). So, what is it? It's a "smart fortwo." It's bright yellow, just 8.8 feet long and 5.1 feet tall.