“Around the Community” food promotion supports local restaurants

Gracie Terrall, News Editor

Having trouble choosing what restaurant you want to eat at in Brookings? The new restaurant-style passport promotion may be able to help. 

Brookings Home Team launched their newest promotional event in mid-April called “Around the Community,” a Brookings spin on the “Around the World” beer bucket. The event is going on until July 31. 

Participants will receive a “passport” with all of the participating restaurants along with their feature menu item that people can order from and receive a 10-30% discount and a stamp on their passports. Once ten stamps from ten different locations are received, they can win a free “Around the Community” t-shirt. 

“I was looking for something to keep the restaurants on people’s minds, to get people out and about and give the opportunity for these restaurants to continue to stay in business,” Shane Andersen, team leader for Brookings Home Team powered by Century 21 Krogman & Company and “Around the Community” event coordinator, said. 

The 14 participating restaurants are: 

  • 1481 Grille 
  • The Cardinal Tap 
  • CC’s Bar and Grill 
  • Craft Chophouse and Lounge 
  • Guadalajara 
  • The Lodge 
  • Pheasant Lounge 
  • Pints & Quartz 
  • Tables Steakhouse 
  • The Valley Restaurant and Catering 
  • Whiskey Creek 
  • Wilbert’s Alehouse 
  • Wooden Legs Brewery 

Each restaurant has selected a menu item that is unique to their kitchens. 

“I wanted the restaurants to pick the item that fits their heritage,” Andersen said. “Like, Wilbert’s Alehouse has special, homemade bratwursts that are a German recipe.” 

Whiskey Creek chose their classic ribs and sides for the promotion. 

“These are something we’ve been making for a long time and we are very proud of it,” Whiskey Creek General Manager James Higgason said. “Our ribs are phenomenal and I personally feel that everyone should give them a try.” 

Some restaurants decided to branch out from their normal dishes. The Pheasant Lounge, open since 1949, is known for its savory dinner items. However, for the promotion, they chose their Nordic Waffle Brunch. 

“Our Saturday and Sunday brunch is kind of a different concept than what we serve during other hours” Michael Johnson, a third-generation manager and head chef, said. “We thought it was a way to get people who haven’t experienced it, to try our Nordic waffles and we’ve definitely seen new faces now.” 

The Pheasant partnered with Stina Aasland, bestselling cookbook author that has been dubbed the “Waffle Queen of Norway,” to create their waffles. 

In Nordic culture, there is a concept called “hygge,” which is a feeling of comfort and coziness. The Nordic Waffle, as Johnson says, is the emblem of hygge. 

“It’s what you do when you cozy up with friends typically in the afternoon,” he said. “We thought that translated well to our brunch.” 

The Pheasants Nordic waffles have a crepe-like texture, with cardamom spices to “add to the coziness factor,” Johnson said. These waffles are typically not served with syrup, but rather a variety of berries and “brunost” which is a Norwegian cheese. The Pheasant decided to incorporate more local tastes into their waffles as well. 

They make everything from the Norwegian brown cheese with lingonberry preserves and lemon sour cream to their hot beef waffle which has roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy. 

“We just took it to the next level and gave it a ‘South Dakota’ infusion, Johnson said. “It’s sort of an innovation based on both what is kind of hyper-local food culture and the influence of the Scandinavian cultures. It’s something fun, it’s wholesome and it’s very affordable.” 

These waffles, and all other Nordic waffles on their menu, are part of the “Around the Community” promotion. 

While the promotion lasts until the end of July and there are 250 passports dispersed to all of the restaurant locations, there is only a limited supply of “Around the Community” t-shirts, Andersen said. 

Both Higgason and Johnson agree that the promotion is beneficial to not only the people of Brookings but also gives the restaurants more business. 

“When our local food and hospitality industry is doing well, it’s good for all of us,” Johnson said. 

For more information regarding the “Around the Community” promotion and local restaurants visit the “In and Around Brookings, SD Food & Drinks”