265 Co. Road 92 North
Maple Plain (Lyndale)
|Hours: Kitchen open–|
|Mon thru Thurs||11:00 am to 10:00 pm|
|Fri and Sat||11:00 am to 10:30 pm|
|Sunday||11:00 am to 9:30 pm|
Dinner menu served all day on Sundays Bar open later most nights
GPS coordinates: N 44 deg 58.956 min W 93 deg 43.914 min
by Kevin Wynn
The eternal search continues. Mankind is constantly seeking food, tasty morsels to fill our hungry gullets. As motorcyclists, an interesting and tasty meal is sometimes the grand culmination to a great day’s ride, and other times it is the reason for the ride in the first place. This is my contribution to our quest. Join me in thanking Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly for making this journey of discovery possible.
West of downtown Minneapolis about 35 miles, away from much that passes for metropolitan area, is the little town of Lyndale. Here you’ll find a little gem of a joint, Ox Yoke Inn. The parking lot full of contractor’s pickup trucks at lunchtime on a weekday was the tip off.
A sunny Sunday afternoon and a borrowed, classic motorcycle were a good enough reason to go check it out, with the wandering roads around Watertown, Rockford and Corcoran as dessert after a great meal. The Ox Yoke is a family owned bar and restaurant that’s been serving locals since the early 1970’s. Owner Jim Coleman bought it from his father, and you’re likely to be served by another family member so be on your best behavior. It’s like being a guest in someone’s house.
For a little place in an out of the way location, the Ox Yoke has a surprisingly wide menu. Expected is a wide selection of tasty half-pound hamburger choices, including one called a “Luce Line Lucy”, after the snowmobile/horse/bike trail that runs through town just to the south.
This is where things get more interesting. The selection includes prime rib, steaks and chicken, but then expands to include entrees with shrimp, cod, clam strips, walleye, scallops, salmon and frog legs. And if you can’t decide on just one, there are enough “tempting dinner combinations” to make your decision easier. It’s all home style cooking, so you can’t really go wrong.
I’ve been in the mood for ribs just about constantly as of late, so I tried the St. Louis Pork Barbequed Ribs. I asked for soup to get me started, and was served with about the best veggie-beef soup I’ve had, home style with whopping chunks of beef. Then the ribs were served with a tasty, moderately spicy sauce on the side. But the smoked flavor was so good I couldn’t bear to change it by adding the sauce to the ribs, so I used some on the excellent French fries.
I talked to a couple locals, regulars, and was told that the whole menu is a winner. I’m looking forward to going back to find out for myself.
If you’re looking for a place for a group meeting, there is a second dining (35-40 people) room which can be reserved for no charge if you’re pretty much filling it up, or for a small charge if you have a smaller group.
Prices are reasonable, especially for the quality and portions.
To burn off some of my newly stoked energy, I pointed my headlight west toward Watertown. Get off the main roads and look for anything leading to, or following a river. My route took me south from the Ox Yoke Inn, into Minnetrista, and around Ox Yoke Lake, then into Watertown. I followed the Crow River on County 27, wondering what all this “urban sprawl” stuff is about. It sure isn’t a problem here. When I got to Delano I crossed the river and continued on County 17 and then County 50, following the winding road through Lake Rebecca Park Reserve to the town of Rockford. Look, just pick any side road and follow your nose and it will be a good afternoon.
If You Go: Take 394/Hwy 12 through Long Lake to County Road 6, turn left and this will turn into Watertown Road. Continue to County Road 92 in Lyndale, turn left and you should see Ox Yoke Inn about a 1/2 mile south.
Mention this MMM article for a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal on any of the 1/2 lb. Hamburger selections, Monday thru Thursday only. Jim Coleman has extended this offer to MMM readers until June 22, 2002. One such offer per two people, no holidays.
I know you’ll enjoy it. Eat well, ride well.