Montana Cafe | Midwest Living

Montana Cafe

29 S. River St.
Cook  Minnesota  55723
United States
(218) 666-2074
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Midwest Living Review

Robert Lillegard
It's the only sit-down restaurant in town, and luckily this little cafe has astoundingly good food, prices and service.

When the only other restaurants in town are Subway and McDonald's, it's probably easy to let your quality go down and your prices creep up. But owner Valerie Ohotto hasn't succumbed to those temptations. After buying the restaurant 15 years ago, the former waitress has kept it classy. Her strategy? Start with basic ingredients and improve them. The tender pancakes, for example, start from a boxed mix, but secret ingredients make them taste a lot closer to homemade. The pancakes are a little small -- if you're trying to feed a family of four with one. In other words, they, like the saucer-sized sausage patties, are big. Taste-wise, they're OK. They are thin, crispy and fluffy, which is a neat trick to pull off, and they are made from good batter with a hint of malt to it. But they are a little greasy, and not in a good way. The French toast was phenomenal: eggy, thick and chewy, and large. It's all reasonably priced, with several breakfasts for less than $5. Lunch options include thick pastrami sandwiches, flavorful iced tea and other straightforward fare. Even when the cafe is packed (which is often is), the overworked servers are friendly and warm. Make sure you bring cash because they don't take credit cards, and if you come during breakfast, be prepared to wait for a table. Quality food and friendly service make this cafe worthy of the honor of being the town's only sit-down restaurant.

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