Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Afton House Inn

Afton House Inn, little bed and breakfast in Afton, MN

During our tour of the midwest, we focused on two kinds of eateries: brew pubs for dinners, and brunch buffets on weekends. The Afton House Inn offers a delicious spread for Sunday brunch, so we talked our hosts into taking us down there (my stomach illness having run its course, apparently).

Reservations are recommended, and when you step into the dining room, it's clear why: it's very "cozy." Maybe fifty people could be seated around the central buffet island. The flip side of this is the excellent service: not only our server, but the host and another person in charge (the manager?) came over to ask how our meal was going. Along with the rustic charm of the building itself and the understated decor, simple dark woods and lightly patterned fabrics, that completed the hospitable feel of an old-style inn.

On to the food itself, where we certainly had no cause to complain. They were just swapping the pancakes out for more lunch-like items when we arrived, but we got the last of the breakfast and first of the lunch. The apple-stuffed pancakes were delicious, fluffy and thick, and they have a custom Belgian waffle station, which was very nice, but disappointing compared to the delightful mini-waffles at the Broadmoor. For the size, though, the selection of food was surprisingly large, and the quality excellent. In true midwestern style, they shone brightest in the pastry and dessert section. We loved all the cakes and cheesecakes we tried, the chocolate-dipped strawberries and the small tarts.

Fortunately, the inn is located near a lovely park for walking, because you're going to need to burn off a lot of carbs. Good food, but really the attraction here is the service and the feel of an old-style bed and breakfast in the crisp fall air. Definitely worth a trip from the Twin Cities for a nice brunch.

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