Jake and I got our first haircuts away from home on Saturday.
To be fair, my hair was often butchered in the Twin Cities when I scheduled last-minute appointments without requesting a stylist recommended by a friend or family member.
This was no exception.
A 17-year old who scheduled me as her last appointment for the weekend and couldn’t wait to go home cut my hair. I knew I was in trouble when the other stylist said their “peace-outs” and I was the last customer in the shop.
Jake had a similar experience. He knew he was in trouble when he called Saturday afternoon and was offered 10 appointment time slots. He, as well, was the sole customer at the salon he visited.
When we got home, we took one look at each other and started laughing. Jake best summarized our new do’s by comparing himself to Dolf Lundgren, circa Rocky IV and me to an Asian Raggedy Ann doll.
Perplexing haircuts in tow, we set off for Breckenridge, MN, about 45 minutes south of Fargo. We hoped we’d be less conspicuous in a less populated area. I’ll always be noticed for being Asian in the rural Midwest, but don’t want to compound any additional attention from having a strange haircut.
Jake’s coworker had recommended The Wilkin Drink & Eatery which has been locally owned and operated for over 100 years. I noticed the restaurant on my first trip to and from Graceville, MN for work. The drive is mostly dull, but I always look forward to passing through the beautiful town of Breckenridge. The Wilkin Drink & Eatery is tucked around the corner from the main drag and I found its well-groomed exterior inviting.
The Wilkin Drink & Eatery
508 Minnesota Avenue
We were seated immediately at a table set with a bowl of popcorn. Popcorn is literally one of my favorite scents in the whole world and we munched on the salted and buttery popcorn. All of the wines were about $5 and I received a huge pour. Jake’s tap beer, $5, arrived in frosty mugs.
We started with chicken wings seasoned with a dry rub.
The wings were well cooked, as the skin was rendered and crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. The wings were nicely salted, though the dry rub didn’t seem to be very strong.
As entrees, Jake ordered the fillet for about $17 and I ordered the jumbo shrimp for $18. I’ve always had stunningly delicious and large shrimp west of the Twin Cities in small towns (i.e. Deadwood, SD, Medora, ND and Livingston, MT). Given the $18 price tag, I hoped for the best.
Our server brought us fresh salads with our choices of dressings which she said were house-made, as well as a warm popover with honey butter.
The salads weren’t fancy but the lettuce was fresh. I liked the addition of onion and radish, and the tomato slice was actually ripe and juicy. Nary was a discolored lettuce leaf to be seen. I wasn’t crazy about the lime vinaigrette on its own but enjoyed it when mixed with ranch.
Popovers are a gift from God and we also considered the honey butter another thoughtful touch.
Jake enjoyed his fillet which he said was cooked to the requested medium-rare. Both our entrees came with our choice of potato cooked in numerous amount of ways. We were too full to even touch our baked potatoes.
I was distracted by my fried shrimp and forgot to steal a bite of steak.
The shrimp were indeed jumbo sized. They were fried in a light and crispy batter that reminded us of the type that shellacs Mouth Trap cheese curds at the MN State Fair. I savored the fresh, snappy meat. The shrimp were so large and succulent that they reminded me of lobster. For the first time in my life, I saw Jake eat a shrimp tail.
They were that tasty.
Our server was completely lovely and I enjoyed our dinner so much I was beaming with happiness, or possible inebriation from my giant glass of wine. It’s obvious that the owners take a lot of pride in their establishment, from the inside out, and we appreciated all of the loving details such as the frosty beer mugs, thoughtful salad, honey butter, and uber fresh shrimp. I wish more restaurants took as much pride in their operations. Despite The Wilkin’s distance from Fargo, I can’t wait to return.
Totally worth the drive.