Okay, I posted this photo on Facebook a couple few weeks back, but this place needs more love. Look at that blackboard. LOOK AT IT. This is how you eat lunch, people.
The Garden of Eat’n is tucked away in the desolate wasteland known as Commerce Drive, buried behind Big Dog Sports Cafe and completely obscured from streetside view. Sure, there’s a sign in the parking lot, but it’s totally dwarfed by the garish, gargantuan ERBERT & GERBERT’S screamer that oppresses Upper North’s lunchgoers.
And that’s troubling, because the Garden of Eat’n deserves more love than it’s currently dishing out. Upper North Mankato should be a haven for businesses catering to their ample lunch crowd, as there’s a high concentration of blue-collar Borg cubes in the area. But most of us daygrinders are moth-flamed to the usual bullshit: Subway, Kwik Trip, Culver’s. They’ve claimed the “prime” real estate on Commerce, while independent establishments like New Great Wall struggle for survival in empty strip malls on the far side of the sun.
So, this is a call to action: Upper North’s factory grinders / package schleppers should unshackle from dull-ass convention and step into the Garden.
In southern Minnesota, change isn’t exactly…embraced. But fear not, all ye camo’d and Carhartted! While it humbly boasts a bakery / bistro vibe from within its minimal square footage, it’s not finely tuned; it’s much more Grandma’s Kitchen than Hipster Crunchfest. The Garden isn’t flashy, and that’s the charm.
Hey, if you want to piss away half an hour’s pay on nuclear cold cuts and roller dogs and Monster Blood Poison and rock-hard cheese curds, that’s your business. But if you want to throw down on two sloppy joes AND mac and cheese on Wednesdays for five dollars?
You know where to go.