MADE FROM SCRATCH with local meats, dairy and fresh produce (whenever possible) using recipes passed down through the generations.
Sound like your kind of food?
The Amboy Cottage Cafe, snugged into the corner opposite the old grain elevator along Amboy’s Maine Street.
This past summer, my husband and I lunched at The Amboy Cottage Cafe, a charming 1928 cottage style former gas station turned eatery tucked into a corner of Maine Street (and, yes, it’s Maine) in the farming community of Amboy.
A snippet photo of downtown Amboy, Minnesota.
I love this place as much for its uniqueness and ambiance as for the food. Opened 13 years ago by Lisa Lindberg in this town of some 535 in Blue Earth County in rural southern Minnesota, this cafe is definitely worth the drive.
Lunch at The Amboy Cottage Cafe with tables for two and tables for many.
On the other end of the cafe, more diners enjoy lunch on a July afternoon.
At lunch time on a Friday in late July, the place was packed. We invited a couple from Mankato, 20 miles distant, to sit at our table so they would have a spot to dine.
Diners feel right at home in a cafe that features a variety of table styles, mismatched china and fresh garden flowers (during the summer months).
The Cottage Cafe possesses that neighborly kind of intimate feel in a space that’s family dining room/kitchen cozy. Come here for breakfast and you can order a “For the Farmer in You” plate of two eggs (any style and these are locally-produced eggs), three slices of smoked bacon, multi-grain toast with pancake or hash browns, and orange slices.
Spaghetti with homemade meatballs and sauce.
My incredible raspberry chicken salad.
On this day, my husband ordered a platter of spaghetti and meatballs while I chose the raspberry chicken salad. We both rated our food as outstanding.
We couldn’t pass on the homemade blackberry pie.
With an approach of using fresh local ingredients, whole grains and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, this cafe offers an array of healthy foods, although you will find sweet treats like caramel rolls, pie and raspberry bread pudding among the offerings. Be assured, though, that you’ll sink your teeth into homemade breads and a pie crust made from Grandma Maria’s recipe. I’ll vouch for the pie as Randy and I shared one incredible slice of blackberry pie.
Plenty of healthy options on the menu.
From seasoned coffee-rubbed steak, wild Alaska salmon and olive chicken to burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, specials and more, you’re sure to find something on the menu that pleases your palate. I had a tough time choosing from the enticing made “from scratch—like your grandmother” selections.
Don’t expect to order fries cooked in a deep fat fryer. The cafe doesn’t own a fryer and uses real butter and canola and olive oils in cooking.
See what I mean about this place? How many kitchen restaurants ban deep fat fryers?
The day’s specials and other offerings noted on a menu board.
That all said, I’m neither a health nut nor a foodie. But I try to eat healthy and I know good food, really good food, when I taste it. And I tasted it—really good food—at The Amboy Cottage Cafe.
Another couple dining at the cafe graciously allowed me to photograph their raspberry bread pudding.
FYI: The Amboy Cottage Cafe is currently celebrating its 13th anniversary and is offering a free piece of caramel apple or raspberry bread pudding to diners this weekend. I would expect the place to be packed.
Reservations are taken.
You may want to call ahead (507-674-3123) for reservations if you’re driving from any distance. And I’d suggest that anytime, not just this weekend.
My husband, Randy, exits The Amboy Cottage Cafe on a Friday afternoon in July.
Winter cafe hours are from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sundays, from 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 6 a.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, and from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The cafe is open on Mondays only during the summer.
Click here to reach the cafe website, and here to reach the Facebook page.
Purchase a personalized homemade mug for $100 and you get free coffee every time you visit the cafe.
Catch up on the latest in Amboy via the quarterly Red Cow Gazette, funded by the Amboy Area Community Club.
Loved our waitress’ red tennies.
Flowers and garden art define the exterior.
I took time to smell, and photograph, the roses outside of the cafe.
I spotted this bottle art behind the cafe. Evening diners can bring in their favorite alcoholic beverage to have with a meal. There is no corking fee.
A final parting shot showcases the white picket fence surrounding this former gas station now turned European style eatery.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling.
All photos were taken when we dined at the cafe in July 2013. Watch for more photos from Amboy, a community with a strong arts presence and more.