Road Trip to Center City and Eichten's

As most of you know, my Saturday mornings are generally spent at Farmer's Market.  I'm totally addicted.  Well, last Saturday my 3-Day teammate wanted to do a long training walk so I missed Farmer's Market.  It was worth it to get the 3-Day training in, but I did need some "staples", one of which was my herbed Gouda cheese from Eichten's.

Eichten's only comes to the St. Paul Farmer's Market on Saturdays so we decided to make a road trip to their shop in Center City, MN so I could get my cheese.  I had no idea where Center City was.  I had visions that it was going to be a long drive, turns out it was only about an hour.
Why, you may ask, would you drive an hour for cheese.  Well, if you asked that question you haven't had this cheese.  Eichten's herbed Gouda is one of the best cheeses I've had.  I love Gouda.  Is there anything better than a good, smokey Gouda?  Maybe the herbed gouda.

I don't know what herbs they put in the cheese, I just know I like it.  They add an earthiness to the cheese.  This cheese with a couple of slices of tomato grilled up into a sandwich?  There's not much better!

We arrived at Eichten's just after 11AM.  The restaurant was packed!  Now it's a small space but there were two tables of 10 or 12 filled plus several other tables.  They have a bar and a wide variety of beers and wines and you can even get a mixed drink if you want one!

I'd checked out their website which promised "specialty sandwiches" and "bison burgers" so that's what I had on my mind.  Well, on Sundays breakfast goes until 11:30.  We decided to wait.  While we waited we split one of these amazing caramel rolls!

Dave had a beer.  I know, you're shocked.  He had a Delirium Tremens which is served in a special glass.

Yes, those are pink elephants!

Ordering lunch was difficult.  There were so many things on the menu that sounded so good!

The French Sandwich was tops on my list at first.  But the Smokey Joe sounded so good too!  And what about that Flamer Buffalo burger?!

I decided I wanted to try a bison burger so I had a plain old burger with cheddar cheese.  You have a choice of sides, my choice?  Sweet potato fries of course!

Sorry Axel's and Lucky's 13, these were the best sweet potato fries I've ever had.  They were thin but not too thin, perfectly salted and perfectly fried, crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside!

The sandwich Dave selected was amazing!  I can't remember the name of it and I didn't take a picture of it on the menu but it's made with garlic beef, herbed cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and something called Honeycup Mustard.  Dave opted for the onion rings.  Like the sweet potato fries, they didn't disappoint!

I have to talk about the mustard.  It has now become my favorite condiment!  It doesn't taste like plain old mustard, or even a coarse grainy mustard, you would swear there was horseradish in it but there isn't.  It's sweet, it's hot, it's mustardy, it's amazing!

Yes, we had to buy a jar.  It has brown sugar, cider vinegar, canola oil, mustard flour, honey, spices, salt and a couple of preservatives on the label.  Last night I made a panini with pork tenderloin left over from the day before, some of that delicious low-fat herbed Gouda and this mustard.  Heaven!

We spent quite a while in the shop.  They had a great variety of olive oils, spreads, dips, chips, crackers, cheese and bison products.

We will definitely go back.  Next time I'm going to try that French sandwich... or maybe the Smokey Joe?  Or maybe whatever that thing was Dave had!

It was well worth the trip!  If you're looking for a fun little drive, I highly recommend Center City!  Right next door to Eichten's is a shop that sells garden ornaments, antiques and other unique things.  We spent some time in there and my nephew almost got a buffalo jaw!

On our way back to the cities we stopped at the Franconia Sculpture Garden.  It was 100 degrees so we only walked around for about half and hour but on a nice day you could probably spend hours there too!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, bring the kids!  They will love the sculpture garden after a great lunch at Eichten's!

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