Lund’s Annual Lake And Food Review

Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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Just back from another mini vacation..or “stay-cation” as some might call it. The cell phone stays in the glove compartment and the computer remains in the case…okay, I did have it along but only fired it up once.
I’ve written here before how much Linda and I enjoy our annual summer sojourns to Watertown..me for the golf..she for the casino.
Our friends and traveling partners, Denny and Joanie accompanied us again and, as always, we consumed copious amounts of distilled and or brewed beverages as well as enough unhealthy but delicious food (with one exception)  to make an Atkins dietician faint.  
We like to get off the interstate on these trips and take the back roads through small towns often stopping to check out some of the local establishments.
One of our favorites is The Lakeview Resort on the West side of Lake Poinsett. The dining area has a terrific view of the water, which, by the way is the highest I’ve seen it in years.
But the real reason we like the resort so much is because of the breaded deep fried mozzarella sticks they serve which are the best any of us have ever tasted. We all agreed too that their onion rings are nearly as good as at Michael’s Restaurant in Sioux Falls which is saying a lot.
I’m not much of a gambler (anymore) but the others can play those dizzying video gaming devices (I refuse to call them slot machines unless they have rotating mechanical cylinders activated by pulling down on a handle) until they nearly collapse from exhaustion after sitting for hours mesmerized by the site of animated characters on the screen hoping they’ll line-up in the proper configuration….or, as is usually the case, the money runs out.
Even if you don’t win any cash, all that playing time does count for something at Dakota Sioux Casino..like cheap rooms ($25) in the very nice adjoining hotel. 
There are discounts on food too but, since I’m not a player, I had to pay full price for the Saturday night buffet which I decided to try even though I was alone and it was getting late. (8pm)
It was prime rib night..but on this evening, the chef (?) decided everybody gets theirs extra fatty and extra rare. I asked the young lady holding her serrated knife for just a little slice off the end..but the blood still squirted out like she’d hit a main artery. Seeing my face turning white, she asked if I’d like it cooked a bit more in the frying pan she had heated up.
Yes, I would.
Let’s see, what other delicacies are there to justify the 16 dollar entrance fee and squelch these hunger pangs?
My options consisted of strips of fried meat in a brown sauce (Chinese?) served over rice that was not only nearly gone but had been sitting there since the Ming dynasty.   
I decided to stick with mashed potatoes and gravy.
I pass by a couple empty pans, which judging from the remaining crumbs had once held fried chicken or fish (no sense putting out more food..we close in an hour) and come upon a soupy yellowish white mass which looked more like cream of wheat than potatoes. The canned gravy was so thick you could almost stand the dipper straight up in it.  The cooked carrots and corn had been sitting over the steam so long they’d shriveled up like your fingertips after a long swim.
I managed a bite of everything. The meat had absolutely zero flavor and rest of what I’d put on my plate was just disgusting. I can’t believe that anyone in good conscience could ever place such stuff out for human consumption.
I suppose I should have complained but I had a big dish of chocolate ice cream..which was good..and went back to the room angry and still hungry.
Sunday morning, Denny and Joanie wanted us to join them for the buffet breakfast.
Against my better judgment I said sure and, to be honest, it wasn’t half bad and only half the price of the “gourmet” glop served up the night before.
After our drive around full-to-the-brim Lake Kampeska to look at all the beautiful homes..we headed for DeSmet.
 I fancy myself to be somewhat of an authority on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and wanted to share some of the sites and stories with our friends who hadn’t read them. They found the Ingalls’ homestead site very interesting and were especially fascinated by the five cottonwood trees that still survive 130 years after they were planted by Pa Ingalls..one for each of his girls..nearly 130 years ago.The horticultural honcho at SDSU tells me these are some of the oldest cottonwoods in the stateand it’s a miracle all five have survived this long.
From there we headed on to Lake Madison for a two night stay at the lake home of Denny and Joanie’s daughter and son-in-law who treated us to a long ride in their big boat..before leaving the place to us.
Denny and I managed to get two rounds of golf in at “The Lakes” course which is only nine holes but beautifully maintained and sufficiently difficult.
Plus it’s hard to beat the adjoining bar and restaurant where the four of us thoroughly enjoyed the outdoor patio and outrageously good food..including one of my forbidden favorites, sweet potato fries.Our deck view as we prepared to go night-night at 9pm.
Expensive gas wasn’t our main motivation this time for vacationing so close to home. We’ve just come to love spending time experiencing things that are fun and familiar..be they great places or good friends.  
 
  

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