Small and picturesque, Pipestone sits in the southwest corner of Minnesota, near the South Dakota border. Pipestone National Monument is here and is one of those seldom-frequented gems in our country. We had heard of the Langes Cafe in a couple of venues. They are particularly known for their roast beef, gravy and mashed potatoes, but neither of us felt like something that heavy. My wife decided on pan-fried walleye, and I, as always, opted for the burger.
The menu described the burger as 1/3 pound of "fresh, never frozen" beef, topped with cheese and Langes' own bacon, and served on a homemade grilled bun. It comes with coleslaw and fries. It was a bad sign when the server didn't ask how I wanted the burger cooked. If the meat is fresh, it should be cooked to order. The coleslaw arrived first and was suitably creamy, but nothing to rave about. The burger arrived looking very well done, and with no sign of lettuce, tomatoe, pickles, onion or any other accompanying veggie that is usually customary with an American burger. I laced it with mustard (and later reached for the ketchup, horror-of-horrors) and took a bite. As suspected, the burger was dry and overcooked, albeit flavorful enough. While homemade, the bun was doughy and uninspiring. The saving grace was the bacon: thick sliced, smoky and flavorful. The fries were of the frozen variety, dry and fairly tasteless. Since I never use ketchup on potatoes, I was really wishing for some mayo to dip them in. But no luck.
Thinking there may have been a mistake in the kitchen, I asked to look at the menu again: sure enough, there was no mention of tomato, etc. on any of the burgers except for something called the "belt buster", which has 2/3 pound of ground beef (also overcooked, I'm assuming) and lists lettuce and tomato as being part of the deal.
My wife smugly informed me that her fish was rather tasty, and cooked perfectly. I may have muttered something about her ancestry. We got a piece of sour cream-raisin pie to go, as they are supposedly famous for it. Neither of us has ever had it, and it turns out that one should probably grow up with this item in order to appreciate it. And the meringue on top was a disaster.
I give the burger a 4/10 for the fresh ingredients and the bacon, but otherwise would not recommend going out of your way to get one.
<message edited by Bigfoot on Tue, 08/25/09 4:30 PM>