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Following twenty years of farmer's markets selling locally grown vegetables, native fruits, and local honey Linda created Marianne's Kitchen in Shoreview, MN, an oasis of good food, conversation and laughter in a suburban food desert. Operating from 2011-2017 the cafe offered home made soups, fresh bread baked daily, great sandwiches and treats and a complete line of gluten-free soups, pickled products, jams, jellies, salsas and locally sourced soups, honey and grains.

The Marianne's Kitchen of sharing, conversation, and learning continues with ongoing commentary, food reviews and food finds as we grow, cook and eat our food and sample local restaurants.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Bonnie's any small town cafe....only on the Green Line

Marianne's Kitchen Bonnie's
Bonnie's Cafe

As some of you know, I'm a researcher by trade.  More than 30 years of designing research studies & evaluations, developing research protocols and instruments, designing large databases, and analyzing data sets big and small.  My most current research gigs are in rural health.  So, between traveling to small communities across America and having a farm near several small communities in Minnesota, I've eaten at my share of local cafes.  Amy's in Sandstone, Nichols in Pine City, etc. plus places in Afton, WY (an arch of elk antlers greets you as you enter town), little places in Tennessee-where you can always get some sweet tea, places in IA, WI, MS, UT, ID, MT, rural CA (not quite like being in LA-the city, not the state).  But it's rare to find many local cafes with that small town feel around here (maybe the Columbia Heights Flameburger or Magnolia's in St. Paul).

So, this morning in my quest to again avoid anything close to corporate food and to give some
Marianne's Kitchen Bonnie's
support to another family business, it was off to University Avenue and Bonnie's Cafe.

Entering Bonnie's is like stepping back in time--I think it reminds me of a place in Wheaton or ???? (my pal and rural health traveling partner Jill could probably remember---we had lots of mosquitos the night we walked around town and she ran out of shampoo--oh, yeah, that town).

Green painted booths, 12 inch square floor tiles, and a beautiful row of green padded diner stools.....gotta love 'em!!!

This is the place to get a small town cafe that's what I ordered. 

Marianne's Kitchen Bonnie's
  Two eggs over easy and hash browns--but with a twist---Polish sausage, and an English muffin instead of the standard white or wheat toast (I always get the Polish at Magnolia's, too).  Yup, it was just what I imagined....except the Polish was scored on 1 side and grilled so it was crusty on the outside and juicy on this inside---an interestingly presented as 2 arches on the plate.  

The best parts of the experience were:  Mia, my server, who was cute as can be, friendly, and excellent at her job; the mix of customers was a melting pot of humanity; a small town meal on the Green LIne; and of course, I spent one more day NOT eating anything that was breaded, came from a deep-fat fryer, or was reheated by a teenager : )

This is not a meal you should have very comes mostly from the 'tan' food group....but that's all part of the small townish experience.  

Bonnie passed away 2 years ago, so one of her daughters is running the place.   It's great when a family member can pick up the torch and continue a family tradition.

If you came from a small town, haven't been back, and miss the local cafe....stop in at Bonnie's and relive your history.

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