On Friday we made our new annual trek down to Hampton Hills Tree Farm to cut down a tree for the holiday season. While we took MN-3 through Northfield to get there last year, we went down US-52 this year instead. After picking out a tree ($4 more than last year; inflation, boo) and loading it into the car, we made the ~10 mile trek over to Cannon Falls for lunch. We had two places on our agenda, one was Dudley’s Pizza, recommended in the past by reader Chad, and the other was The Old Market Deli. After looking through the menus of both and noticing the Old Market Deli chose to include prices, The Wife decided on the deli over pizza.
We arrived at around noon on Friday to a fairly empty restaurant which quickly filled up within 15 minutes of our arrival. Later, the woman behind the counter noted that the morning was very slow but had obviously picked up for the lunch rush. The Wife went up and placed an order for a cheese quesadilla with fresh fruit for The Rooster, the Pot Roast Dip with chips ($10.95) for her, and the Bison Burger with sweet potato fries ($9.95) for me. While they offer Spring Grove sodas and beer, among other drinks, The Wife brought back two cans of soda and a bill for $34.52 while we waited for our orders to arrive.
It took a little bit, considering how busy they were, but the food arrived and it was beautiful. The cheese quesadilla wasn’t anything special to look at aside from the red quesadilla and the cheese inside was a little overdone but the tortillas were crispy and the cheese not your standard bagged cheddar. The Rooster loved the fresh fruit and ate nearly all of the quesadilla, a ringing endorsement from him.
The Wife’s Pot Roast Dip was a large sandwich and came with what appeared to be homemade potato chips. The chips were crunchy, thick, and quite tasty. The pot roast was super tender and full of flavor and I kept stealing little bits and pieces of it when The Wife wasn’t paying attention (heh). Sandy will be happy to hear that they note that it’s served with a “Red Wine Jus”. It comes with caramelized red onions and a horseradish cream as well. While I loved the beef, the horseradish cream didn’t taste much like horseradish to me and I honestly didn’t care for the sauce at all. I wouldn’t order this one myself based on what I had and The Wife noted that while she thought it was ok, she’d order something else in the future.
The Bison Burger is a 1/3lb patty, cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions, and a honey BBQ sauce on a Mill City Bakery bun for $9.95. The burger is an absolutely beautiful beast. While we’re not talking Nookie Supreme beast, we’re still talking a sandwich which required me to smash it to fit it in my mouth.
At first I was worried about the honey BBQ sauce overpowering the burger like so many BBQ-based burgers seem to do; however, this sauce did nothing of the sort. The soft and gooey melted cheddar really contrasted well against the crunch of the onions and the soft and chewy bun put a literal top on this sandwich. However great the accoutrements were, their collective being was no match for the eye-opening wonder of the bison patty itself. It was overcooked (I asked for medium-rare and it came out medium) but still juicy, tender, and full of flavor. I not only recommend this one, I believe it’s well worth the drive to have it and I may be coming back again soon to try.
When we do return, and we will, if I don’t get the bison burger I’ll be trying the Double Royale with Cheese ($10.95) which is a 1/2lb of Thousand Hills, cheddar, bacon, fried onions, and special sauce. I don’t care so much about anything other than the Pulp Fiction reference and the excellent experience I had with the Bison Burger. Nice touch and yum.
Overall I definitely recommend The Old Market Deli if only for the Bison Burger itself but also for the ice cream (I had something similar to an Almond Joy bar) and the locally sourced (when available) ingredients. The place is tidy, the menu is great, and the prices are right on target for what they’re offering. I’ll be making the drive again soon and I suggest you do too.
Have you ever eaten at The Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls? If so what did you think? What did you order and what would you order in the future (check out their menu on Facebook)? Do you think it’s worth the drive? What about Dudley’s across the street? Should we have chosen that restaurant instead? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Old Market Deli
331 Mill Street West
Cannon Falls, MN 55009
See all the pictures from The Old Market Deli in Cannon Falls on Flickr here.