Cannon River Winery Vineyard of Cannon Falls will be open for tours and picnics starting in July. Weather permitting it will run every Sat from July 2nd to the end of September. This is a real treat. Minnesota does not have an abundance of vineyards so to have one that you can tour and picnic in is a nice change from the norm.

You need to stop by the Cannon River Winery to pick pay $5 and pick up a map. Only Cannon River Winery wine is welcome at the vineyard. You could do a lot worse then bringing a bottle or two of their award winning wine. Packing a nice picnic lunch and enjoying the feel of a true working vienyard right here in Minnesota. The vista is picturesque as you are on a hillside overlooking a sweeping valley. The arrow straight rows of grape vines transport you across the ocean to a simpler way of life in the old country.

A truly must see if you are lover of the grape.

Round Up in Hampton Minnesota celebrates its 40 year anniversary this weekend on Saturday, July the 2nd. Festivities are to go all day long with Happy Hour all day. A DJ is going to start playing at about 8 PM to help liven up the event. There will also be door prices and more.

The bar is located just 2 blocks off of 52 in the heart of Hampton, Minnesota. Expect a good small town crowd in casual dress. Be prepared to do some drinking and to have some fun. Feel free to call for more information or just show up ready to celebrate!

Roundup Bar Incorporated
23320 Main St, Hampton, MN 55031
(651) 437-7804

The Black Stallion of Hampton is a bit of the old time supper club. Prime rib is the specialty of the house with all you can seafood at times. The decor is a bit dated but over all it is a fantastic piece of Americana. This type of place is being replaced all over America with the fast food and specialty restaurant chains. If you want the same exact thing that you can get in any chain restaurant anywhere in America then you might be disappointed as this. If you want the real deal of a family owned restaurant that offers a full menu then you will be delighted.

Add in a lively bar crowd for the frequent live music and I think you have a hit for a great stop in a small town eating place. Almost every night features a different act or type of music. They have a little bit of something for everyone. Texas Holdem night is the one I would not want to miss. Come in for the food and stay for the drinks is more then just a motto.

Located right on 52 in Hampton this is one of those places that you can’t miss.

This is the latest in my ongoing quest for dinner restaurants open on
Sundays. In response to some buzz about The Black Stallion in Hampton, I
decided to check it out. Knowing this place has changed hands over the
years I decided to bring a long time Cannon Falls resident along for
historic comparison sake! We arrived to live music in the bar (remember
this was Sunday) which started about 8pm. It was not loud, and this
provided an alive feel to the place. Moreover, there is nowhere in
Cannon Falls with live music after 5pm on any night, at least to my
knowledge – so that is duly noted. I understand they have live piano
music in the dining room on weekends (and other live music later). The
baby grand sitting in the dining room supports this theory, plus it
looks nice – so, win, win! The d?cor is, well, not too bad and about
what you might expect – they do have a patio off the bar now, or maybe
it was always there, not sure – but there were people using it which I
don’t recall seeing before. However, there is a plan for a deck off the
back, and overlooking the baseball field, which is even more intriguing.
We’ll check back. In the mean time, my Cannon Falls advisor noted the
d?cor is a bit more cheery, and a bit kitschy – but better than it has
been in many years – faint hints of elegance here and there, but missing
a bronze bust of Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra. As I understand it, this
was a really great place for many years and then went into slight
disarray in recent years. But overall, we agreed it was generally
pleasant AND you can see outside. There is no fu-fu on the menu here,
this is the 1970’s supper club menu we all know, comfort food, steaks,
chicken, fish and a variety of very familiar sides. We started off with
some onion rings, which were tasty, seemingly homemade and not greasy.
Over at the bar they know how to make a martini, and they have some
decent call liquor. Nothing on tap that you don’t see advertised every
day, but they have a few good bottled beer selections – which they pour
into a glass for you (and I tell you it is the little things!) The
ribs are very good, substantial, tender, good BBQ sauce. I tried the
walleye which was broiled with herbs and served up flaky with drawn
butter and rice. Well, with whatever you want, you have a good variety
of sides from various potatoes to soup from which to choose to accompany
each entr?e. Good classic dinners for the price. And yep, the hash
browns were downright top notch, which evidently was a hallmark at one
point in their history. Totally expected, but always mystifying to me is
the bagged iceberg lettuce salad with a slice of onion and a couple
cherry tomatoes. One thing I noticed they have is good service, the
nuanced kind where you don’t notice that your plates are cleared, water
is filled, and other needs are met with no asking – further, no one is
trying to up-sell you dessert… So, place your bets – this Black Stallion
could give Wiederholdt’s a run for their money in next year’s run for
the area supper club title.

Sol De Mexico Mexican Grille in Cannon Falls is a real treat to find where it is. I am a huge fan of Mexican food and this place did more then ok. First off a good Mexican restaurant needs to have and margaritas. I also need them to big, frozen and strawberry. They offer all of this. The decor is a bit simple. Nothing fancy as is the food but it is good. The fajitas came out sizzling and were right off the grill. They had a decent helping of guacamole on the plate. I could not have been happier.

The place like I mentioned is not fancy. No need to dress up. i am surprised at how authentic the food was for being in the country. This is not a Hispanic area of Minnesota. I understand the owner has more then one and hopefully he will soon have many as I would also like one or a dozen up here in the Cities.

Try the Sol De Mexico Mexican Grille, you will not be disappointed.

Matt’s Review –

Cannon Falls has plenty of options if you are looking for a burger. You can get one at McDonald’s, The Mill Street Tavern, Chuggers, Brewsters, The Cannon Golf Club, The Dairy Inn, Dairy Queen, The VFW, Country Kitchen, and most any gathering. However, finding something made in-house that is not a burger, and doesn’t exist on the Applebee’s menu is considerably more challenging. If you also want to have a server and a full bar available – the field of restaurants gets very thin indeed. One place you can go for all this is Sol de Mexico. Ironically, this place is built in what was once a Hardees, where many a hamburger was flipped. Sol de Mexico is located just off Hwy-52 and across from the big truck stop south of town. Once inside, you will see they have done what they can to offer a festive atmosphere.

The menu has basically all the Mexican food items now household names thanks to Taco Bell, Zantigo & Taco Johns, plus some things like fajitas that are not. However, the ingredients lean more to the authentic/traditional, and overall the quality is much better. The menu does lack what you might expect in a more traditional Mexican restaurant, so don’t expect mole sauce. But, you will run across authentic Mexican cheese, fresh cilantro and corn tortillas. The free salsa & chips are great and they usually have them in front of you within seconds of sitting down. Don’t overlook the tacos as they are simple and made with nicely seasoned beef. You may enjoy them even more during happy hour, which is pretty much any time other than peak dinner or lunch hour – since you can get them and any of their tap beers for $1. I think that might beat Taco Bell prices, and no one will pour you a Fat Tire at Taco Bell. Oddly, they apparently use a mix for their frozen margaritas – so you might want to call your tequila and/or get it made on the rocks. What I have sampled from their menu has all been decent, and in most cases good. I have not found anything on the menu that hits the “rave about it” section of the food meter – but I will say the service is always spot on, and the place seems very clean. Oh! And they also have a hamburger on their menu.

We are discussing how to set up a quilting retreat with a group. The best idea seems to be that they would need to fill the whole B&B or close to it. Then we would be able to provide the common areas for their quilting. I can just imagine the whole place filled with quilters on a cold winter night. the fireplaces roaring and every having a good time. We have a large dining area with a large table that would be perfect for setting up. then we could stage a few other areas. Space and comfort for all is the idea.Not to mention, Fabrics on Fourth is within walking distance for the last minute needs. You can never have too much fabric (only quilters will get this one).

So if you are also looking for a place to do your Quilting Retreat, please keep the Quill and Quilt in mind. We could work with a smaller group in the off season. So whatever you are thinking just call or email and we will try to accommodate you.

Update – We should be able to get a discount out of the Fabirc store for large groups so certainly ask us what we can do to help.

Cannon Falls has built a new gazebo at the trail head for the Cannon Valley Trail. They are dedicating it on Thursday june, 16. This the same day as the Nature Valley Grand Prix bike race is coming through town. You have to be getting a feel for how Cannon Falls is just booming. A new library is in the works. The Mayo Clinic is picking a location for their new hospital. I know that the gazebo is not a huge thing but it shows the direction, energy and resources that the community is putting into making Cannon Falls better. Keep it up!

I finally got over there to get a photo. Very nicely done right at the trail head. Everything is well marked and kept up. A really great start to a wonderful ride.

They are looking into building a new library in Cannon Falls. The current library needs 3/4 of a million dollars in repairs so a better use of funds and land is to go new. I applaud this endeavor whole heartedly. Growing up I loved going to the library and still think of it as a fantastic source of information and a refuge.

Kids today need more access to books as the internet, tv and other distractions constantly cut down the time our children spend reading. With reading being the one activity that increases intelligence.

The new library will be built on the same site and will cost 1.4 million dollars. Donations are being accepted. If you want more information -

Cannon Falls Library
306 Mill Street West
Cannon Falls, MN 55009
(507) 263-2804

Update: as 7/4/2011 they were only 150k short of reaching their goal. Hopefully we will have the new library soon.

Gangsterland is a documentory on the criminals that ran freely in St Paul in the 1930′s. Parts of it were filmed in Hampton, Minnesota. The Barkers and John Dilinger are some of the better known gangsters who took advantage of St Paul lax police system during this era. Look for a few Hampton locals as well as backdrops for the scenes.

Movie is to be released locally soon.

 

2011 Nature Valley Gran Prix in Cannon Falls -

Mark your calendars and make plans to enjoy the 2011 Nature Valley Grand Prix when it comes to Cannon Falls on Thursday, June 16! Watch the thrilling race and cheer on the professional athletes! Racers from across the globe will be competing in this race.
The In-Town Circuit is the same route as has been used in the past. A map highlighting the in-town circuit is on page 2. For safety reasons, there will be no parking allowed on the in-town circuit and in the Expo Area on race day. The expo portion of Mill Street will be closed at approximately 1:30 to allow set up time. If your business is located in the Expo area please advise your staff and customers of this time.

Also, during the race itself there will be BRIEF closures of certain streets and
intersections. The in-town circuit will be closed to traffic just before the first
racer enters the circuit and will remain closed until the end of that race.
(approx. 45 minutes). There will be about an hour between the women’s race and the
men’s race when traffic will be allowed to move into or out of the area. The men are
expected to be on the in-town circuit at 7:00 p.m. and their race should end by 7:20 p.m.
We expect the women back in town by 8:00 p.m. with their race ending at 8:20 p.m. At
6:15 we will be having the Kid’s Fun Race that will involve a portion of the in-town
circuit near the start/finish line.