The nights have turned cold, and your windshield is likely frosted over in the morning. It’s time to get serious about consuming comfort food and, luckily, Rochester restaurants can deliver.
Whether it be tater tot hot dish, turkey, or all things cheese, local eateries have what you need to feel warm and full this fall.
If you’re a true Minnesotan, you’ll find your way to the Crooked Pint Ale House for Tater Tot Hot Dish this fall. It’s an original menu item, prices out at $12.50 and, fortunately for you, this meal is terrifically hearty so you’ll likely end up with leftovers.
“It’s your typical ideal comfort food,” says general manager Nick Beck. “It’s a traditional Minnesota Tater Tot Hot Dish that we throw a twist on with jumbo homemade tater tots, and we throw some serrano peppers on too. It’s fantastic. People love it. It’s a little spicy though, so I have to warn people about that. But the majority of people who do order it are in love with it.”
On average, the Crooked Pint serves up a dozen Tater Tot Hot Dish meals per day, averaging out by week’s end at 100. And remember, the portion sizes are huge – be prepared for a repeat meal at home.
At Forager Brewery, it’s too difficult to choose one top comfort dish. If you’re in a party of two, then each order one – The Big Cheese Pizza and the Cast Iron Mac-n-Cheese.
Oh, the cheese!
The Big Cheese features gouda, parmesan and fresh mozzarella and is paired with a heavenly marinara sauce, then baked in a wood-fired oven for, in the end, a deadly cheese ‘za. Forager serves up as many as 80 Big Cheeses per week, says General Manager Chris Pickett.
But let’s not overlook your companion’s Cast Iron Mac-n-Cheese. Grab an extra spoon and dive into this rare dish, which comes with kimchi on top and, if you like, bacon or house-smoked chicken. Ready to go all out? Add both meats for a stellar combo, Pickett says.
Then let’s talk dessert. The daily special usually wows, but let’s not forget the latest, greatest menu addition of Moroccan Sweet Potato Cheesecake. This is a brewery, so pair it with the brew dubbed Sherpa Survival Kit if you want to overwhelm your taste buds with goodness. “It’s a foodie’s dessert,” says Pickett, and we have no reason to doubt the man.
When asked about her favorite comfort meal in Rochester, Shannon Hrabak has three words: “turkey dinner, Chester’s.” Tom Spencer, Chester’s events coordinator, says of the dish, “I think people like the fact that it’s rich in flavor. It’s a stick to your ribs type of meal.”
Indeed, nothing says comfort like Thanksgiving and, happily, you can enjoy this holiday meal any day of the week at Chester’s. The Turkey Dinner will soon reappear on the downtown Rochester restaurant’s menu, but, if you cannot wait, an open-faced turkey sandwich is featured year-round on Chester’s lunch menu.
Hrabak’s coveted Turkey Dinner is served with asiago garlic mashed potatoes and with cranberry sauce on the side. If you’re devoted to indulging, you’ll hit the dessert menu next, says Spencer, opting for the restaurant’s fan favorite Banana Cream pie or else everyone else’s fave – the classic Bread Pudding. Don’t count calories because, heck, that’ll ruin the fun.