This week I took the Owatonna-Faribault-Northfield Minne-RoadTrip.
While Jake and I are grateful to have lived in four Midwestern states within the past six years, Minnesota will always be home. We worked really hard to circle our way back home and so I’m honored to promote travel within Minnesota.
I’ve lived in the Twin Cities for much of my life and haven’t spent much time in these cities. All three are located less than an hour from Minneapolis and St. Paul. In addition to all of the food and perfect fall weather, I loved spending time with passionate historians. This trip reminded how little I actually know about my home state.
When Jake and I drove between Mason City, IA and the Twin Cities we didn’t explore the cities along I-35 because the dive was so short.
Over the next few months, I’ll share pieces of my road trip with you. Here’s part one: Everything I ate in Owatonna.
This independent coffee shop located along a main street in the downtown district is a popular community gathering spot. Right now, it’s decked out for fall.
The menu board here is fantastic. As a former barista, I love the illustrations next to each coffee and espresso drink; latte, cappuccino, americana, customers will know exactly what they are ordering. Besides traditional coffee drinks, you’ll find a large selection of seasonal and specialty beverages, plus baked goods from Perfect Day Cakes located down the street.
And then there are the waffles.
My dining companion and Owatonna guide Katie of the CVB ordered one topped with lemon curd-blueberry version. I chose a savory ham and cream cheese waffle. The waffle itself is light and fluffy. On Waffle Wednesdays, each waffle is only $5.
Upon entering Costas’, we were greeted by a woman carefully wrapping chocolates by hand in foil wrappers that glimmer like jewels. The first thing you’ll notice upon entering Costas’ is the candy counter by the register. It holds many flavors of chocolate truffles and caramels, each prepared and wrapped by hand.
Costas’ also serves as a restaurant serving a concise menu of breakfast and lunch diner foods with a few Greek specialties. The original owner George Boosalis and his family owned and operated the business for three generations before selling it to the Schultz’s. The name “Costas'” comes from the original owner’s nephew Costa who traveled from Greece to help run the business.
Sandwiches and pitas come with your choice of fries, a cup of soup, potato salad, tossed salad, or cottage cheese. I polished off a gyro dressed with yogurt sauce, crunchy onions and tomato and as many fries as I could eat. The mountain of crinkle cut fries are served hot and crispy.
I took home a couple of gift bags of chocolate truffles and caramels for my family, skimming a couple off the top.
I had the most incredible $6 feast here of a tamale filled with meltingly tender pork and pupusa filled with cheese and loroco flower. When you order a pupusa, you can hear the chef slapping the masa dough into the flat cake.
The pupusas are filled with a delightfully tangy cheese that stings as you try to try to cut bites from cake. Topped with the crunchy cabbage slaw flecked with oregano (curtido) and homemade hot sauce, it’s one of the best combinations you’ll ever find, anywhere.
There is also a milder sauce available. The hot sauce is really good and really hot.
The family in front of me ordered some shrimp dishes that caught my eye, one in a red sauce and the other, wrapped in bacon. Breakfast is served all day and menudo on Fridays and Saturdays.
Central Park Coffee
113 North Cedar Ave
Owatonna, MN 55060
Costa’s Candies & Restaurant
112 North Cedar Avenue
Owatonna, MN 55060
Pupuseria La Paz
153 W Bridge Street
Owatonna, MN 55060
Phone: (507) 214-1236