picture of salad and mac n cheese bites


I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like to eat. Food is built into the fabric of who we are, from physical to social, and you can’t deny the integral part that it plays in our lives and communities.

Whether you are visiting St. James or have lived here your entire life, here are seven foods you need to try.

There is something here to fit every foodie mood and these hidden gems will get your taste buds humming.

If you have never tried these, please be my guest. You can thank me later.

 1. Bagels and Cream Cheese at Encore Coffee Cafe’

picture of bagel and coffeeEating here is such a treat. The decor is so fun, being in what was an old bank that has been remodeled but still has much of the character intact, even down to the old vault door. Heather and the girls do such a great job with all sorts of sandwiches, drinks and homemade goodies. Lately, I have been on a bagel binge and this is the place to go. You can choose from a huge variety of, “Black Hills Bagels”, with different flavored cream cheeses to match. These bagels have no preservatives, no cholesterol or eggs with about 12g of protein. My fave right now is the Peanut Butter Chip bagel warmed on the grill with plain cream cheese.This just melts in your mouth. I can also recommend the Strawberry bagel paired with vanilla cream cheese. Can someone say, “YUM!”?

2. Pollo Loco and Michelada at Plaza Jalisco

picture of mexican foodHunger is satisfied! No matter what mood you are in, you can come into Plaza Jalisco and enjoy a great authentic Mexican Grill. If you have not been there yet, I encourage you to just stop in and try it. I’ll even help you out with a great option off the menu, the pollo loco (to make it even better, ask for it with cheese dip drizzled on top). Enjoy a Michelada (similar to a bloody mary except with the beer of your choice) to compliment the dish and make your taste buds say, “ Yes. Please. Thank you!”.

3. Mocho Cake from Schmidt’s Bakery

picture of mocho cakeNot many words are needed for this iconic bakery. It’s Famous. When people who have moved away come back for a visit, they NEVER miss an opportunity to stop in for their favorite treat. This is a family owned business since 1923 and they make fresh homemade baked goods daily. There are so many good things to choose from. If you can’t make up your mind, try the Mocho Cake. This cake is very light and perfect for the person who loves sweet and salty mixes. Usually made on Fridays and Saturdays but if they don’t have it, they will specially make it for you if you request it.

4. Honey BBQ snack sticks at Johnson’s Meat Market

picture of meat sticksNothing cures hunger pangs like a great snack stick or jerky when you just have that craving. The BEST snack sticks that I have ever had are here at Johnson’s Meat Market. They have many to choose from and you can opt for a single stick or a whole pack. Either way, you can’t go wrong! The Honey BBQ is the perfect blend of sweetness with meaty goodness. Knowing that a fresh quality meat is within my grasp is so wonderful and so much better than a candy bar in my book .When a snack attack hits, this is the place to be.

5. Breakfast Skillet from Hometown Family Restaurant

picture of a skillet of eggs, hashbrowns , toast and orange juiceHometown is one of those places that greet you with a smile and where fresh home cooked meals are never in lack. They also serve breakfast all day long, which is a plus. I love the Breakfast Skillet (hash browns, sausage, onions, and green peppers sauteed and cooked together topped with 2 eggs prepared to your liking) which is one of the best things to eat for breakfast, lunch, or supper. Speaking of supper, you could also try the beef commercial. This is a roast beef sandwich on white bread cut in half the way your mom does, with a huge pile of mashed potatoes in the middle while the whole plate is covered in gravy.  They keep everything fresh by staying local and using the quality meat that comes from Johnson’s Meat Market while supporting our community. Much Respect!

6. Chicken Salad and Mac N Cheese Bites at the Eagles

picture of salad and mac n cheese bitesStepping into the Eagles Club makes me want to sing the theme song to Cheers, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.” You can always find someone you know that you can have a drink or food with. Speaking of food…the chicken salad is not for the lightweight. This is a serious salad that will completely satisfy that hunger. Fresh lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes with perfect croutons on top, but let us not forget the chicken. The chicken breast is fully loaded and grilled to perfection, seasoned with flawless flavor. Try pairing this over sized salad with Mac N Cheese bites to balance out all that healthiness.  Everyone knows that macaroni and cheese is comfort food but deep fried adds the extra comfort you need. Seriously, take a friend and share a meal. I promise you will enjoy it!

7. Pickle Burger from the American Legion

picture of a burger and onion ringsOne word: Pickle Burger. If you have never tried this from the Legion, you have not eaten a burger…Ever! This is a juicy burger with deep fried pickles topped off with cheddar cheese that has melted into the pickles and burger binding it together on top of a buttered lightly grilled bun. Yes, just in case you have any questions, you need this in your life.

Written by Sheenah Buck, on behalf of the St. James Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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