Holy moly! Who would think you could get good mexican food in northwestern Minnesota? What makes this even more surprising is that this town of Dorset is way out in the boonies and has a population of 22 (28 if the paster and his family are in town). Oh, and of course the mayor is 4 years old. This is very bizarre.
Harley Grandma and I are on our “Rolling Down the River” tour of the Mississippi. Dorset is only a few miles from the source of the Mississippi and we happened upon it the night before we were going to start our tour at Lake Itasca. Riding the bikes down highway 226 we came to the wide spot in the road called Dorset. The “town” is maybe a block long with restaurants and gift shops on either side of the road. Cars were parked well out of town on both sides of the road. We had to stop and check this out. This was a thursday evening in August, what could be the attraction?
We were in the mood for Mexican food so we headed for Campaneros. People were waiting on the boardwalk out front. We found out that it was at least a 30 minute wait to be seated. I don’t normally wait if I have other options but we were so intrigued by this town and restaurant that we put our name on the waiting list.
downtown Dorset, MN
Now we had a half hour to explore the rest of the town. Next door was a cute antique shop and stained glass gallery. Across the street was a general store / Italian restaurant. We watched several cars drive through and check the wait time at the restaurants and then continue on their way. The whole town was buzzing with people. Where did all these people come from and who works in all these places of business?
Finally our name was called on a loudspeaker that blasted names down the main street of town. This obviously is normal for this place as they have the technology to deal with waiting lists. Campaneros has a rustic interior and was much bigger inside than I would have thought possible. The servers were dressed in mexican themed outfits. One thing you notice is that most of the staff were blond haired blue eyed nordic types. How often do you go to a mexican restaurant and see that?
The food was good and the service was fast. These people are used to serving big crowds.
If you want great mexican, maybe this place is not for you, but the whole experience of visiting Dorset, MN makes the trip worthwhile. If you are lucky you might meet the mayor with his Mom at the ice cream shop.
And don’t forget to check out our interactive travel map: http://travel.livedan330.com/