July 5 - Faith to Watertown SD; and an Amazing Find

US-212 through central South Dakota reminds me of driving a parkway, ala the Natchez Trace... or the Blue Ridge Parkway. Slower travel, little traffic, so peaceful... it's a very agreeable way to go. There's just not a lot of stuff to look at.

As we moved we found an old-fashioned radio station on the truck radio. KSJB 600 out of Jamestown ND. Classic country music... good driving music. Some younger readers may not know that it's possible to get free radio right off the airways on their vehicle radio, just as many people apparently don't know that free broadcast HD TV is available on your home TV as long as you've got the proper antenna pulling in the signal and you're close enough to the transmitter. This isn't anything new. It was the only way to get TV back in my childhood days during the 50s and 60s.

As we neared Watertown SD we decided to find a motel. Since leaving the PNW, this is the first time we felt a need to do so. Might have been the siren call of the endless hot water shower that beckoned. When we began this mode of travel we agreed that using motels at times would be an acceptable option. It's a not so bad trade-off in order to travel very light as we do.

Upon checking into the motel we asked the desk clerk about reasonably priced "good food" restaurants in the area, and were surprised that her first choice was the HyVee grocery store right next door. "No, you don't understand... we're looking for a restaurant... a place to sit, order, perhaps have an adult beverage, and eat in a pleasant atmosphere." And she again said HyVee, suggesting we give it a try. "You'll be surprised." she said. See this link for more.

It was amazing. I've never seen anything like it before. Sure, many upscale grocery stores have an amazing deli, offer a large selection of prepared foods, and may even have a little corner with some tables where you can sit and eat in the store. But this concept takes it much further. They call it the Market Cafe and it's a separate seating area complete with wait-staff, a menu, a bar with a proper selection of adult beverages, and all nicely set in a quiet pleasant setting. You can order off the menu and you'll be served as you would in most full service restaurants. Or, alternately, you can go out and get your own mix of food from one of the most amazing deli counters I've ever seen. There was an Italian section, a Chinese section, Sushi, Mexican, American, and more. The extensive salad bar was our first choice, but I did add a hunk of roast beef to keep my protein level up.

As I thought about it later, this phenomenon is probably a natural evolution from the deli departments of good grocery stores. They're already in the food business, have been doing more and more prepared foods, and can evolve to a full service restaurant quicker and with less new investment and personnel than a new start-up. Expect to see more of this in the future.

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Miles Today: 272 (odo 9416)
Elevation: 1700
Location: Watertown SD
Weather: Nice... sunny
Camp: The Econolodge

South Dakota humor.

... and more humor.

Our friendly and energetic server at Hy-Vee Market Cafe.

Nice place!

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