Road trips always involve food, whether that means Cheetos and gas station cappuccinos in the car or pit stopping for top secret roadside "let us never speak of this again" indulgences like a blooming onion or a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit. Reality sort of gets suspended on road trips. It's the same at airports, where you feel like you can sort of get away with eating anything you want. Cinnabons, General Tso's chicken, 70-oz. margaritas, step right up! So why not make the food the actual destination of your next road trip? Here's our Top 5 foods (and drinks) worth going the distance for in and around the Twin Cities (and if that just means crossing the Hennepin/Ramsey County border, that's cool). You can even have some Corn Nuts on the way.
1. Pie. If we've said it once, we've said it a million times. Make the drive to Stockholm for some pie. It's only an hour and a half away, along the river down a lovely Wisconsin state highway. The Stockholm Pie Company -- you won't miss it -- serves up dozens of different kinds. Remember, it's only open Fri.-Sun. though. If you're wanting your pie in a bigger city, Stockholm pies are also available in Red Wing, at the Red Wing Confectionery.
2. Pizza. Just a hop, skip, and a jump outside Stockholm, A to Z Produce and Bakery (aka Pizza Farm) serves up made-to-order wood-fired pizza on on a patch of beautiful countryside every Tuesday. Seriously, if you have not done this drive before, you will not regret it. And don't forget, it's BYOB. The only bummer? Since the farm only cooks pizza on Tuesdays, you can't score some pie on your way back.
3. Cheese. There are at least a dozen cheesemakers and cheese shops within an hour and a half of the Twin Cities. Get a Wisconsin cheese map and start crossing names off the list stat. We recommend Nelson Cheese for starters or, a little closer to home, Bass Lake Cheese Factory.
4. Wine.The Minnesota Grape Growers Association lists more than a couple dozen Minnesota wineries as open to the public. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the options, Surdyk's made us a few specific recommendations not long ago: Winehaven, Alexis Bailly, and St. Croix Vineyards. All we need now is the Minnesota wine equivalent of the Wisconsin cheese map.
5. Beer.We're of the school of thought that a road trip can mean something as ambitious as trying to reach South Padre by morning or as simple as heading out to Brooklyn Center or even St. Paul on a sunny afternoon. If it's beer you're after, we've got options both near and far here. For near, we recommend Summit or Surly. If you're wanting to schlep a bit further, head out to New Ulm. For more off-the-beaten-pathers here are a bunch more.