The NDDC will host a food crawl event on Thursday, June 15th from 5-7 pm in Downtown Northfield. The walking Downtown Northfield Taste Tour features small servings of food and drinks at 12 downtown locations. Taste Tour tickets will be sold at Bridge Square starting at 4:45 pm for $1 each and most food samples are priced at 1-4 tickets.
“We want to kick off Summer by inviting everyone to gather downtown to enjoy a taste of our local restaurants,” said Jenni Roney, Executive Director of the NDDC. Stops on the Downtown Northfield Taste Tour include: Cakewalk, Chapati, The Hideaway, Hogan Brothers, J. Grundy’s Rueb-N-Stein, Just Food Co-op, Mandarin Garden, Northfield Olive Oils & Vinegars, Quality Bakery, Smoqehouse and Tandem Bagels. The Northfield Historical Society will be offering Post Consumer Brands cereal samples in conjunction with their new Malt-o-Meal exhibit.
Those who buy samples at four or more stops on the Taste Tour can enter in a drawing to win a two-night stay at The Archer House River Inn in Downtown Northfield or The Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah, Iowa. Several retail shops will have Third Thursday specials and the Community Band will give a free concert in Bridge Square at 7 pm.
This week I went along with a welcoming delegation from the NDDC to pay a visit to Downtown Northfield’s newest dining venue, Smoqehouse. Owners Andy and Heidi Kubes opened Smoqehouse on March 15th at 212 Division St. in the Archer House River Inn and have quickly generated a steady stream of daily patrons. Smoqehouse is a fast casual eatery featuring handcrafted sandwiches with smoked pork, chicken and beef, salads and soups. The café in Northfield is the second location for Smoqehouse. Andy and Heidi located their first restaurant in Faribault, Minnesota in the fall of 2015. Foodie magazine HeavyTable.com called their porchetta sandwich “one of the best sandwiches in the state.” Smoqehouse uses ingredients from local sources like Downtown Northfield’s own Brick Oven Bakery and Northfield Olive Oils and Vinegars.
The restaurant occupies the Archer House space formerly used by Bittersweet Café. However, diners who are familiar with the previous tenant won’t recognize the space. Andy told us that they basically gutted the space and rebuilt it from a bare shell, doing much of the work themselves. They separated the kitchen and order counter from the seating areas and traffic seems to flow much more smoothly with the new floor plan. Future enhancements include craft beer and possibly wine in the coming months. Smoqehouse offers takeout catering and occasionally operates a food truck during the summer as well.
Smoqehouse is open Monday – Saturday from 11am-7pm. They’re closed on Sunday.