Dive Night is a once monthly adventure undertaken by me and Husby, along with our friends Ruthie and Ray. Each couple alternates choosing a restaurant, one which must come under the category of "dive." Our definition of dive: a neighborhood gathering spot hiding under the radar. Casual atmosphere and good food. We're out to find the best food in the Minneapolis/St Paul area without having to pay a fortune or dress up. A sip of beer or wine doesn't hurt either. See a list and links to the previous dive night posts here.
Well, even though the Minnesota State Fair is over, its essence lives on, especially on this my humble blog. Ruthie and Ray were in charge of finding this month's dive. Much to everyone's pleasure they chose one on the State Fairgrounds.
I've been going to the fair since I was one year old. I won't tell you how many years that adds up to, but I will say it is more than ten and less than one hundred. I'll also say "many, many" years I've been going to the fair. In all those years I never ate at this place.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Our first instructions were to go into the Food Building and get an appetizer to share with the group. Husby and I got potato skins, Ruthie and Ray got the spiral chips.
Both were fine. One thing I'll say about fair food ~ there's an abundance of liquid cheese. Or should I say cheeze? Plus, this was actually too much potato, even for a potato lover like me. But we didn't consult on the appetizers like we would in a regular restaurant, so it was a risk we took.
Then, on to the main event. The draw to JD's Dining Establishment is that there is "Definintely Nothin' On A Stick."
Admittedly I was a little nervous about eating here. After all, it had been avoided for many years of my fair going. Turns out I was missing out on some decent food!
Husby, Ruthie, and Ray all had chili. It was a blustery day and quite brisk, so a hot bowl of chili sounded good to them.
Along with a bowl of chili, Ray had a hamburger and Ruthie had a fish sandwich. Both look good and were reported to taste just fine.
I decided to pull out all the stops and get the pork dinner. I was pleasantly surprised!
Included in the dinner was a hefty portion of pork, mashed potatoes, gravy, coleslaw, corn, and bread and butter. All for $7! It was tasty and hot. Normally I don't eat regular food at the fair, gravitating toward the unusual and unusually unhealthy choices. But I would totally recommend eating at JD's Dining Establishment (located across the street from the Butterfly House and next to Choo Choo Bob's) if you want a decent hot meal while visiting the fair.
Another really nice thing they served on that cold night (and every day and night) is coffee and hot chocolate. Lots of people stopped by for a cup of something hot to take off the chill.
I can't wrap up this report without mentioning that the service at JD's was outstanding! Yes, we were actually waited on! And the waitress checked back with us several times to make sure our dinners were satisfactory and to see if we wanted anything more.
What a fabulous dive! I wish I had been able to get this post out before the fair ended so you could all try JD's great cuisine. Please remember it for next year, just in case you don't want to eat your food off a stick at the fair.