Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The “Spice” of Life: Comfort Food--Dakota Thyme

         We have all heard the saying, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” right?  Well, I have found an instance where this common cliché is untrue:  a visit to Dakota Thyme in Rapid City.  An old-fashioned, deli-style restaurant with comfort food, great wine, and delectable home-baked goods is totally having your cake and eating it too…literally! 

First, the atmosphere inside Dakota Thyme is so warm and inviting with great colors and a replica tin ceiling that takes me back to the really good, really old days!  I am obviously not the only one who feels this way about the ambiance of the restaurant; both times I have been there for lunch, the dining area was full! 

Next, the food, ordered deli-style from a counter and then delivered to your table, is very tasty.  My first visit, I had the crab cakes and a side of soup.  I consider myself somewhat of a crab cake connoisseur, ordering this at almost all restaurants that serve it because it is my favorite.  The crab cakes were light, well-sized, and scrumptious!  My second visit I chose a three-cheese grilled cheese and the same red pepper tomato bisque soup from my first visit—because it was good enough to order twice!  Warming me from the inside, this comfort food made my day!

Of course, Dakota Thyme wouldn’t make it on my list of businesses that promote the wine industry if there was no wine!  The by-the-glass wine list is decent; however, the by-the-bottle list is impressive for an establishment of this size.  Dakota Thyme keeps an ever-evolving selection for bottle sale—both for on-site and off-site consumption. In November, there was a Beaujolais Nouveau just a week after its release date (from my phone calls, one of only two places in Rapid to carry this wine).  For New Year’s, a wonderful selection of bubbly was in the house, including a Gruet (considered the best American sparkling), a Prosecco, and others.  Dakota Thyme even gave away a bottle of Dom Perignon in January.  I was so jealous when I found out about this contest too late!  Customers can find producers from Primal Roots to Barnett Vineyards to Sterling Vineyards (one of my favorites).  To keep this up-to-date list, Dakota Thyme also regularly puts wines on sale for as low as $9.95 a bottle!  Yes, the wine itself calls you to stop here.

However, how impressive the mood, the food, and the drinks are, they pale in comparison to the “piece de resistance”:  the home-baked goods!  The breads range from Brioche, to light rye, to dark rye, to caraway, to focaccia, to croissants.  The desserts include an array of cookies, cupcakes, tartlets, baklava, and even King cakes (for Mardi Gras).  Next time I stop I have promised myself I will not be watching calories; I WILL have a dessert! 

So whether it be for a hearty breakfast, a comforting lunch, or a fun special occasion (like beer tastings, wine tastings, or artists’ receptions that Dakota Thyme hosts) stop by soon.  Get your food, drink your wine, have your cake--and eat it too!  You will not be disappointed.  I haven’t been!