North To Alaska (Again)

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 12:49 pm
By: Doug Lund
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I’m sitting in a quiet little corner of Ponds Bakery and Café just across the street from the newly renovated Goss Opera House in Watertown. I chose this little out of the way eatery because it said free WIFI in the window. Dining in the same place is a group of elderly ladies (some kind of club I would guess and  expect the cards or mahjong tiles to appear as soon as they’ve finished dessert.)  It’s Wednesday so I chose the house special of the day; cheese burger and a cup of homemade tomato soup.  After placing my order the waitress came back to say that if I wanted lettuce, tomato and mayo on my sandwich, they’d have to charge a little extra  because their produce prices just went sky high this morning.  So this is how unrest in the Middle East filters down. Oil hits a 100 dollars a barrel..gas goes up 20 cents a gallon overnight, it costs more for vegetable growers to ship their products to grocery stores around the country including Watertown, that increase gets passed down to customers like the lady who owns Ponds Cafe and the help has to tell diners the price of a delux burger is a few cents more than what it says on the menu.  That’s okay, I said, don’t want any of that stuff anyway. The soup was out of this world and I wished I’d ordered a big bowl of it. The cheeseburger was equally delicious with a real toasted bun. There must not be a shortage of butter because she slathered lots of it on the bun before it hit the griddle. Oh, what a great taste difference when you bite into that crunchy buttery hot bun compared to that wad of dough you get at burger chains.

I’m in Watertown attending the travel shows for our upcoming Holiday Vacations return trip to Alaska in August.

alaska cruise shop

The turnout last year was so good that Kelo and Holiday thought they’d offer it again. Well, clearly a lot of Keloland viewers are still interested in going because they’ve already sold out one tour and are taking reservations for a second. When I told Linda we were heading back to Alaska she was excited for the chance but is going to have to psyche herself up again for some of the mountain crossings. She doesn’t do too well looking out the motor coach window into deep canyons and drop-offs. But, she says, the three day cruise aboard a Holland America ship makes up for her fear of heights. To find out more about the tour click on this web address:

I’m certainly hoping that the sun has worked its magic and improved the highway for my journey back to Sioux Falls. It was very that slippery..from Brookings to Watertown on the way here.  I didn’t realize how intense until I took my hands off the steering wheel after coming to a stop and thought I’d suddenly had an acute case of arthritis. Both hands looked like the letter C because I’d been gripping the wheel so tight. Anyway, there’s going to be a couple more opportunities to attend these Alaska Travel Shows. They’ll be at the hotel connected to the Arena in Sioux Falls on Thursday February 24th at 10am, 2pm and 7pm. I’ll be at the morning and afternoon shows. Hope to see you there.

Now, I’ve got to get out of here before I order another big bowl of tomato soup. Did I mention it was delicious?


  1. Per Pål P says:

    When ever we make hamburgers at home….we do it the “Norskie Way”….and that would be butter on the bun…REAL butter….then fry the hamburger on the grill (not a “grate grill” but a genuine grill or fry pan)….and put the bun on the last minute or two…. There’s just NOTHING like it…. We also have a slicer to slice onions REAL thin….Really thin…then fry them in some butter and some of the “drippings” from the hamburgers “til golden brown”….And then to add the ultimate…. (Remember Mike’s Eat Shoppe in Brookings?) Some of Mike’s “secret sauce”… and that’s some Mayo…some Ketchup…and a “touch of oregano”–all stirred together and left to “rest” just a short time…..(Remember..Mike was Greek)… plus a little salt and pepper… Ja…we like some lettuce and some sliced tomato on top too….Ja…I know many of you are “grill fans”….which in my opinion dries the heck out of the burger and they taste like gas or worse………but, once you get a real grill (not the charcoal kind of grill) or a real large fry pan and do your burgers that way…. Well… delige..smakke godt… (delicious..tastes good) Hope you try it this way…. I think this is the way God intended Burgers to be made….The Norskie Way…. Per Pål Peterson

  2. Glen says:

    Tried to print the brochure on the Alaska trip and it wasn’t in English. What’s wrong?

  3. Steve says:

    Per Pal,

    Does the term “cholesterol bomb” come to mind? Sounds good though!!

  4. Doug Lund says:

    You got me, Glen. Try going to it will bring up their page and asks for a keyword.
    The keyword is Keloland. Try printing it out from the brochure that comes up. If it too is in another language you might have something switched wrong on your printer. But I really have no idea.
    Good luck.

  5. me says:

    Glad you got to enjoy Ponds. It’s a little known secret of uptown Watertown. Great service and good food, I’m surprised you didn’t have a roll…everytime we go there we say we are just going to eat lunch and no dessert but EVERYTIME we end up having a roll because they are so good!!! Hope you enjoyed your trip to Watertown!!! Also the little old Ladies gather there every Wed for lunch…they are quite the gals. If they had seen you I bet they would have invited you over to join them!! Thanks again for the blogs..they are fun to read!!!!!

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