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Series: Dating Ideas Summer 2011: Rochester and Mantorville, Minnesota

We’re continuing our series of dating ideas this summer (2011) by featuring 2 family favorite restaurants in SE Minnesota.  Each are good enough to justify a trip on their own, but put them together for an awesome day trip.

SE Minnesota is only around 3 hours away from Central Iowa.  I grew up in the area and Mary Sue and I lived there for 6 years earlier in our marriage, so we both have fond memories of the area.  We get there because of family, but we know a couple of great places to visit that anyone can enjoy.  If you asked my wife, Mary Sue, what her favorite restaurant was in the world, she’d say the Hubbell House in Mantorville, Minnesota and if you asked me my favorite restaurant in the world, I’d say John Hardy’s Bar-B-Que in Rochester, Minnesota.  We’ve been to both this year and have attached a few pics to give you an idea for a future date for you and your spouse.

First up is John Hardy’s Bar-B-Que with three locations in Rochester, Minnesota.  John opened his first restaurant in Rochester in 1972, when I was in Junior College there.  My dad knew John Hardy personally and took me there himself and introduced me to his great cherry and apple wood smoked pulled pork sandwiches with a side of Jo-Jo’s (like hot potato chips only thicker) with medium sauce on the side.  I was hooked for life, and now whenever we make a trip to the area to visit family, we make a special trip to Hardy’s Bar-B-Que.  It’s always disappointing to eat Bar-B-Que anywhere else because Hardy’s has become the standard by which I measure all future Bar-B-Que meals.

John Hardy passed away in 1986, but his legacy lives on with 3 restaurants in the Rochester area.  The one we frequent in the one at 1940 South Broadway.  Here’s some pics to get your mouth watering:

Here’s a pic of the outside of the Frontage Road Location. This is my mom and dad on one of our recent trips.

Here we are enjoying our meal. My favorite is the smoked pork dinner plate. See the next picture and drool.

Most order their meals with the sauce on the side, but I like mine over the top. Humm.

Here’s a look at the Hubbell House in Mantorville, Minnesota (1o miles East of Rochester on Hiway 14 and 3 miles north on Hiway 57).  This is Mary Sue’s favorite restaurant and we went there with my father and mother, Fritz and Carol Wall, who were celebrating their 62nd Wedding Anniversary.  Mary Sue and I had our 36th a couple of weeks prior so celebrated both anniversaries.  Hubbell House has been visited by former presidents and other famous people over the years and is a quaint place to go for a great dinner or special occasion. It’s a destination in it’s own right.

The outside of the Hubbell House. The downtown of Mantorville has been restored and has a number of older buildings of interested to the tourist.

1854 is pretty historic in the midwest.

The sign heading towards the front entrance.

The front doors remind you, you are stepping back in time.

The walls have many reminders of times past.

The mural depicts famous Minnesotan’s painted by a Minnesota artist.

The matriarch of the Pappas family, who still own the Hubbell House, collected antique shoes from around the world. Her collection is displayed on one wall.

This is part of her collection.

Our waitress, Alaina, the granddaughter of the current owners, pictured behind her.

Mary Sue comes for the garlic bread.

And I go for the onion rings!

Fritz and Carol Wall, The newlyweds, celebrating 62 years of marriage. They married when Harry Truman was president!

Mary Sue and I celebrating our 36th Wedding Anniversary. When we married, Gerald Ford was president.

One of several cute shops in downtown Historic Mantorville.


Check out Dr. Bing’s series on dating ideas in Central Iowa 2011 by clicking here.


Dr. Bing Wall is a therapist specializing in marriage and relationships and issues facing single adults with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa.  To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473.  For more information about Dr. Wall click here.

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