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Rothsay Truck Stop and Cafe uses home cooking to draw in customers

By Carol Stender

Date Modified: 08/30/2013 12:51 PM

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ROTHSAY, Minn. —Home cooking is key to the delicious meals served at The Rothsay Truck Stop and Cafe.

The mashed potatoes are homemade. The ribs are "fall off the bone" good and the broasted chicken is finger-licking good.

Rothsay Cafe's head cook, Mike Marty, uses his culinary school training and cooking talents to create dishes that range from comfort foods to wraps, sandwiches, salads and soups. The salad dressings are homemade.

While some of the menu items are traditional American restaurant fare, like hamburgers, eggs and BLTs, others offer unique twists. Try the Benedict Burger, a hand-pattied burger topped with shaved ham, one egg and hollandaise sauce, served on a homemade toasted bun for $7.99.

Another treat is the blackened prime rib melt featuring Cajun sliced beef, topped with fried onions, Swiss cheese and the cafe's Chipotle ranch. The sandwich is served on grilled sourdough for $6.79.

All burgers are half-pound patties seasoned with Rothsay Cafe's house blend and served with pickles and chips. The burger buns also are toasted.

A new offering at the cafe is skillet breakfasts. The veggie skillet has American fries topped with two eggs, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers, black olives and cheddar cheese for $7.99.

The country skillet includes American fries topped with eggs, country-fried steak onions, green peppers and sausage gravy.

All menu items are available throughout the day, including the homemade pies and cookies.

The truck stop and cafe's clientele range from farmers to Rothsay residents and truck drivers, Breck Eckley, manager, said. It has a hometown, friendly atmosphere that's prompted travelers and truck drivers to return often.

When one of the truck drivers who regularly stopped at the cafe died, several of the staff attended his funeral, he said. Truck drivers also dropped off cards to a waitress when she suffered a tragedy in her family.

"People travel, and they come through here every year," said Barb Ackberg, who has worked at the Rothsay Cafe for 30 years. "I like the people and seeing the travelers who stop."

Daily specials might include chicken alfredo or pork chops.

For lighter fare, the cafe offers salads like the buffalo chicken salad, which is lettuce topped with grilled chicken and tossed in Buffalo sauce, onion and blue cheese crumbles. The club salad is lettuce topped with bacon, turkey, tomatoes, cheese, onion and a hard-boiled egg.

Breakfast are includes omelets like the chili omelet. It's a cheese omelet covered with homemade chili or the club omelet with turkey, bacon, cheese and tomatoes covered in hollandaise sauce.