Mint Madness

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🍀

Even though I’m not even a little bit Irish, I love this holiday for one primary reason: MINT! All the delicious minty treats take over this month, and I’ve done my best to find (and sample) them all this season.

Without further ado, here are all the minty treats you can try today!

Shamrock Shake

McCafe Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s: The St. Patty’s Day staple. With a cherry on top.

Chocolate Shamrock Shake from McDonald's

McCafe Chocolate Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s: You read that right! This year, McD’s introduced a full line of Shamrock goodies, including this cool half-chocolate, half-mint shake. I like to call this one the #ShamChocShake.

McCafe Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe from McDonald’s: A Shamrock Shake with caffeine! Yes on so many levels.

McCafe Shamrock Hot Chocolate

McCafe Shamrock Hot Chocolate from McDonald’s: A warm cup of cocoa with a burst of mint.

McCafe Shamrock Mocha from McDonald’s: A hot alternative to meet your caffeination needs, similar to the wintertime peppermint variety.

Arby's Mint Swirl Shake

Mint Chocolate Swirl Shake from Arby’s: Yep. It tastes just as good as it looks.

Mint Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen

Mint Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen: This Blizzard of the Month is one of my all-time favorites, second only to Christmastime’s Candy Cane Oreo. Can one EVER go wrong with a Blizzard?

Mint Shake from Culver’s: A smooth, refreshing shake without all those unnecessary bells and whistles.

Mint Chip Shake from Culver’s: A twist on the classic mint shake with a chopped Hershey bar mixed in.

Mint Concrete Mixer Made with Oreos from Culver's

Mint Concrete Mixer Made With Oreo from Culver’s: Perhaps the most decadent treat on this list, creamy custard meets crunchy Oreos and smooth minty goodness right here.

Burger King's Oreo Mint Shake

Oreo Mint Shake from Burger King: One of the most affordable – and tasty – mint desserts to be found! Dare I suggest that this may even rival the Blizzard? 😮

And an honorable mention goes to Caribou Coffee’s Mint Condition (available hot, iced, or blended). It’s available year-round but still meets our minty St. Patrick’s Day requirements. 😊

Did I miss any must-try mint treats? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to my list! 🍀 Continue reading Mint Madness

All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes at Middle Fork!

Helpful hint for the hungry: it’s Pancake Saturday!!

Grab your appetite and head on over to the Middle Fork Café this morning for a pancake feast! All-you-can-eat pancakes are served the first Saturday of every month, and this special event is quite the affair. The warm, fluffy pancakes are ready in a jiffy (no pun intended – I’m certain no boxed mixes are involved in the preparation of this gourmet breakfast!), served in a steaming stack and ready to be loaded with toppings.

All-You-Can-Eat Pancakes from Middle Fork Cafe!

There’s a full table devoted to the accompaniments for your pancakes – fruit, chocolate, maple syrup, applesauce…and of course a little bit of whipped cream.

Or a lot. Your call.

I stopped by to try the endless pancake special for myself last month, and this deal is no joke! I had myself and my stomach convinced that I could down a lot more pancakes than I actually could…but my one full plate plus toppings did it for me. Next time I’ll have to come even hungrier. 🙂

All-you-can-eat pancakes are served from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month. They cost $5.95 for adults or $3.95 for children.

Don’t miss this fun breakfast tomorrow morning! Happy May!

Where to Dine in the Willmar Area This Easter

I don’t think I can recall ever dining in a restaurant on Easter Sunday.

Usually Easters past have been spent at my grandma’s or in my mom’s kitchen, the smell of turkey permeating every nook and cranny.

Not this year!

Although I love a homemade Easter meal, this year the list of family in the area is small, so we decided to do dinner out instead.

I’ve had fun exploring all the options, and without further ado, here’s the comprehensive list of eateries hosting Easter meals tomorrow!*

Bello Cucina
Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
194 Progress Way
Spicer, MN 56288
(320) 796-0203
More info can be found on Facebook.
Reservations recommended.

Green Mill
Brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Willmar Conference Center
$17.95 per person, including beverages
($15.95 for seniors and $7.95 for children 5-12)
Regular Green Mill hours resume in the restaurant at 5:00 p.m.
2100 E Highway 12
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 231-2301
Reservations recommended.

Hillcrest Restaurant
Open from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Features: Pit Ham and Yankee Pot Roast
16451 Highway 71 NE
New London, MN 56273
(320) 354-4545

Kandi Entertainment Center
500 19th Ave NE
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-3800
Reservations recommended.

McMillan’s Family Restaurant
Buffet from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
2620 1st St S
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-7213

The Oaks at Eagle Creek
Buffet brunch served from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
$14.95 per person
($12.95 for seniors 60+ and $6.95 for children 6-10)
1000 26th Ave NE
Willmar, MN 56201
(320)-235-4448

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Hours: 12:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
2645 South Highway 71
Willmar, MN 56201
(320) 235-5957

 

*More local restaurants may offer Easter meals, but this list is limited only to the ones I could confirm.

THE Shamrock Shake

I have a confession to make.

Until last week, I had never before consumed a Shamrock Shake.

I realize this is unacceptable, which is why I finally jumped on the bandwagon and took a trip through the Willmar McDonald’s drive-thru the other day to sample one of the trademark green shakes.

And the verdict?

Yep. It’s as good as they say.

Green, minty, and smooth, with a subtle vanilla flavor and a lot of creamy texture.

I was surprised by the very vibrant shade of green. I always pictured the Shamrock Shake in a soft mint green hue, but nope! Mine practically glowed in the dark it was so bright. Clearly it was full of kale or spinach or some natural green coloring…;)

The other thing that surprised me was the flavor. The Shamrock Shake isn’t mouthwash-level mint. It’s just plain, ordinary mint!

Mint + creamy vanilla soft-serve + whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Not bad, McDonald’s. Not bad!

Rumor has it that McDonald’s sells Shamrock Shakes through the end of March (sometimes earlier if supplies run out), so if you’re a first-timer like me, snatch up a Shamrock Shake of your own soon before they’re gone!