Jump to content

South Dakota Small Cities and Towns


Recommended Posts

Rapid City

It was just a matter of time until the 2nd largest city in South Dakota's, the 5th least populated state, hit donrockwell.com.

Tally's Silver Spoon on 6th St is a great spot for breakfast or brunch and understandably popular. We loved the two dishes we had:

"duck duck goose": duck confit, onion, arugula, sweet potatoes, foie gras, sunny egg, gooseberries, toast

"migas": chorizo sausage, onions, peppers, potatoes, tortilla strips, scrambled eggs, green chili, white cheddar

On a related note, I'm not sure good coffee can be had in Rapid City. Alternative Fuel, Bully Blends and The Daily Grind all seem to compete for top honors so we flipped a coin and tried Daily Grind. If this is at or close to the top for Rapid City, then Rapid City isn't a coffee town yet.

Q&A:

- "Where do you get your coffee?" A: A place on the east coast.
- "Who?" A: A place in New Jersey called 'coffee bean direct'
- "Hmmm, I'm from the east coast but never heard of them. Do you do pourovers?" A: "What's a pourover?"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mitchell

By all accounts, Cafe Teresa is the best bet for lunch if in MItchell. And, the most common reasons people might be in Mitchell include 'just passing through on the way east or west" [on I-90] or "the world famous Corn Palace".

This was the only place in Mitchell we tried and it was...okay. Nothing special but food freshly made. Probably better than most other places around for at least 50 miles.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Corn Palace!!! We couldn't resist, after seeing the signs for all those miles along I-90, especially since it's free. We were disappointed that it wasn't actually made of corn, but it's a hoot and you can get your picture taken with a live or statue of Corny. It won't hold your interest for more than a short time unless you really, really like corn-shaped and -related products. The caramel corn-snack-thing that is shaped like, hmmm, a personal massager?, is soft and sickeningly sweet. Kind of gross.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Corn Palace!!! We couldn't resist, after seeing the signs for all those miles along I-90, especially since it's free. We were disappointed that it wasn't actually made of corn, but it's a hoot and you can get your picture taken with a live or statue of Corny. It won't hold your interest for more than a short time unless you really, really like corn-shaped and -related products. The caramel corn-snack-thing that is shaped like, hmmm, a personal massager?, is soft and sickeningly sweet. Kind of gross.

Ah, but for those who have yet to be entranced by the wonders of the corn palace, one correction is in order. While SitP is correct that it isn't makde of fresh corn, more specifically, it is absolutely entirely encompassed in corn with ground-to-roof murals. They're huge and, indeed, quite wondrous. Lest anyone be misled and think to pass this 8th wonder of the world candidate by when speeding west on I90 in lovely South Dakota. From the horse's mouth

The Palace is redecorated each year with naturally colored corn and other grains and native grasses to make it “the agricultural show-place of the world”. We currently use 13 different colors or shades of corn to decorate the Corn Palace: red, brown, black, blue, white, orange, calico, yellow and now we have green corn! A different theme is chosen each year, and murals are designed to reflect that theme. Ear by ear the corn is nailed to the Corn Palace to create a scene. The decorating process usually starts in late May with the removal of the rye and dock. The corn murals are stripped at the end of August and the new ones are completed by the first of October.

Any chance you stopped in at Cafe Teresa?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it is absolutely entirely encompassed in corn with ground-to-roof murals. They're huge and, indeed, quite wondrous. Lest anyone be misled and think to pass this 8th wonder of the world candidate by when speeding west on I90 in lovely South Dakota. From the horse's mouth

Any chance you stopped in at Cafe Teresa?

It's Americana kitsch at its finest, really. Stop if you can't help but be amused by such things, and/or if you need a break in traversing SD. We didn't stop at Cafe Teresa; we ate in Sioux Falls and Wall. Reports to follow!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sioux Falls

After a few days on the road, Lam's Vietnamese Restaurant was a welcome change. Could it hold it's own in NOVA? Not really, but out here in cattle country (which it smells like!!) it is a pleasant surprise. Located in what looks like the re-purposed foyer of a former church, it's a bright, clean space and has cheerful, friendly service. The menu has a lot of pictures and there are a variety of bun, pho, and rice plate options. The pho broth is light and eminently drinkable, though it does have quite a bit of msg. We had a couple of bowls of bun and were mostly pleased, though all of the individual items were a tad sweeter than we prefer. The roast pork is actually very similar to the red lacquer pork used in Chinese cooking, which was different but still tasty. The herbs and sprouts were all fresh but the shredded pork used for the spring rolls was dry and chalky. In all, we were just so happy to be there, and they to see us, that it was a very good experience. Go if you're craving something different from road food or steak.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wall

It's worth stopping. Seriously. After a >300-mile barrage (in either direction, all the way out of state) of hilarious billboards, how could you not stop in and see what the fuss over Wall Drug is all about? We certainly couldn't pass it up. An even better reason to go? The town sits right atop the Badlands.

Now food - I had some of the worst coffee and ice water of my entire life at Wall Drug. Which isn't surprising, since they are both part of its advertising gimmick. The coffee is still $0.05 as it as back in the day and the ice water is free. Both taste so...treated and generally terrible that I didn't go back for my second cup of coffee (only had a dime to slip in the on-your-honor box) and dumped out my water. The "real" coffee costs actual $, I noticed, which should have been a dead giveaway. The pancakes are quite good, large and industrial and fluffy like the best of IHOP, and the husband liked his donut just fine. Really, you're there for the kitschy Americana, like the T-Rex and the ridable jackalope in the Backyard. It's good, clean, fun - better even, though different from the Corn Palace and chock full of ridiculousness.

If you're hungry, head over to the Red Rock Restaurant. It's a homey, diner-like place with a mostly canned-and-mayonnaised salad bar, excellent, friendly service, and most importantly, broasted chicken. Why hasn't broasted chicken caught on as a fad? It's SO AMAZING. Some of the best fried chicken I've ever had - super crispy yet light-feeling crust and startlingly juicy meat. Very simple breading, probably just seasoned with salt and pepper. Also, they have tater tots. The beef-veg soup was pretty OK with good broth, though I couldn't tell if it was homemade or just very good canned soup. The pies were definitely homemade and looked tempting, but we were sadly too full to have any. The other food just looked and tasted...fine. It's really the chicken that is the star.

There aren't a lot of nice places to stay in town. We stayed at the Sunshine Inn and it was decidedly motel-meh, but probably one of the better places to stay. Don't be fooled by the Frontier Cabins - while the cabins all looked very cute, they were all lined up in a lot with only a few feet of space between them, which was not what we were expecting from the pictures. Still, find somewhere to stay because the Badlands are gorgeous both at sunset and in the morning (also, it is so much less hot in the morning - someone told us that the Badlands heat up like an oven in the summer and they weren't kidding). You'll want to take it in in all its glory because, well, how often do East Coaster city slickers hang out in South Dakota??!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hot Springs

I adore SD, you have hit most of the places we stopped on our journey from Western Md out to Yellowstone, my favorite part of Wall Drug was the big gorilla at the piano. The donuts weren't bad. The B&B we stayed at in Hot Springs was really nice, A Dakota Dream, there was a great place nearby to get fried chicken and sides as I recall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...