Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Free beer coupon makes “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” November 9, 2012

WHY, OH, WHY didn’t I think of this? Someone submitted the L & M Bar & Grill “free beer with breakfast” coupon, the one I posted about here on October 25, to NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

The coupon was featured in Leno’s Monday night, November 5, “Headlines” monologue. You can view the piece by clicking here. Note that the Dundas bar coupon is highlighted near the end of the clip.

One of two coupons published in Rice County Coupon Connection. I’ve voided this free beer coupon.

Here’s what Leno had to say when he placed the coupon on display before the television camera:

OK, OK, this is when you know you have a drinking problem. L & M Bar & Grill. Free beer with purchase of breakfast. OK, if you’re drinking at breakfast…

So what’s the story behind that coupon and what has been the reaction to “The Tonight Show” exposure at L & M Bar in tiny Dundas, which is just south of Northfield? Well, I phoned manager Pauline Koester this morning to get some answers.

Pauline used words like “cool,” “awesome” and “way to go” to describe her reaction and that of customers to Leno’s inclusion of the coupon.

“How often do you hit national television?” she said. “That’s pretty rare.”

She was shocked to learn of the national exposure via Facebook, Pauline says, but is pleased with the advertising for the bar her father, Lyle Koester, owns. Reaction has been only positive, she added.

So how did the manager come up with this “free beer with the purchase of breakfast” idea at a place that serves breakfast only in the mornings, from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. weekdays and Saturdays and from 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Sundays?

Well, on a recent visit from her newspaper advertising rep, Pauline blurted, “Throw in a beer for breakfast.” The bar often offers a free beverage or drink “with purchase of,” she explained. And so two coupons offering “free beer with purchase of breakfast ($4.50 or more)” were printed in the Rice County Coupon Connection book distributed recently with the Faribault Daily News and the Northfield News.

The impromptu beer and breakfast coupon idea was an effort to boost breakfast sales among third shift factory and healthcare workers who like to have a beer before going to bed, Pauline said.

Thus far only a few free beer coupons have been redeemed. They expire on November 30, 2012, and on January 31, 2013.

Pauline’s curious, as are her customers, and me, about who sent the L & M Bar free beer coupon to Leno.

She’s contemplating sending a thank you—an L & M Bar & Grill coffee cup with a free beer coupon.

Now…if Leno shows up at the Dundas bar to redeem that coupon, wouldn’t that be something.

© Text copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Edited coupon from Rice County Coupon Connection


Seriously, beer for breakfast? October 25, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:16 AM
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SITTING IN THE RECLINER the other night perusing a coupon book recently inserted in my local newspaper, the Faribault Daily News, I came upon this deal from L & M Bar & Grill in downtown Dundas, just south of Northfield:

I taped the word “VOID” across this coupon so you cannot use it.

I turned to my husband, informed him of the beer deal and said something like, “Can you believe this?/They must have made a mistake./Are you kidding, beer for breakfast?”

Breakfast is served at L& M from 7 – 11 a.m. Monday – Saturday and from 8:30 – 11 a.m. on Sunday.

What’s your take on this coupon, this offer of free beer with purchase of breakfast?


Chocolate cake for breakfast March 3, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:50 AM
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“MOM, CAN I HAVE some hot fudge pudding cake for breakfast?” my 17-year-old asks.

“Sure, go ahead,” I reply. “There’s some whipped cream in the fridge too.”

Am I a bad mom for letting my teen consume a chocolate dessert before 8 a.m.?


Hot fudge pudding cake slathered with real whipped cream and topped with sprinkles.

When his sisters were that age—they’re 23 and 25 now—I never would have allowed them to eat cake for breakfast. But I’ve become a little much more relaxed in my parenting now that I’m older and tired.

Besides, I didn’t tell my boy this, but I was considering dipping into the chocolate pudding cake for breakfast too. I didn’t.

I wondered, though, as I poured cereal into a bowl, whether the cinnamon and sugar-laden squares I was about to eat were any more healthy than the homemade chocolate dessert?


The sugary cereal I ate for breakfast.

Just to clarify here, before you give me your opinion, you should know that my lanky son is over six feet tall, skinny as a toothpick, slim as a rail, etc. He can eat any amount of anything and not gain an ounce. Last night he ate a half a piece of pizza at 10:30. He does not like fruits (except for bananas and raspberries) or vegetables (except for potatoes). I did not raise him to dislike either as I could live on fruits and vegetables, OK, and chocolate.

If you would like to try hot fudge pudding cake for breakfast, or any time, here’s the recipe. It’s one of my favorite desserts, which my mom made when I was growing up, and is incredibly simple to prepare. Enjoy.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

2 Tablespoons cocoa

½ cup milk

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa. Stir in milk and vegetable oil. Spread in a 9-inch square pan.

Sprinkle with 1 cup of brown sugar and ¼ cup of cocoa that have been mixed together.

Pour 1 ¾ cups of hot water over the entire batter and bake at 350 degrees for 40 – 45 minutes. During baking, the cake mixture rises to the top and the chocolate sauce settles to the bottom. Serve warm, with whipped cream if desired.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling