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A Brainerd Visit Must Include a Trip to The Barn Restaurant

The Barn
August 22 , 2006
Mary LaPorte

While in the Brainerd Lakes Area it is a must to visit The Barn on highway 210. Most locals would prefer it be kept secret because they have by far, the best home made pies in town.

If you know anything about The Barn, you know to order your pie before your meal, they go fast. Rhubarb custard is the seasons favorite but mine has to be the Banana Cream. If that doesn’t suit you try the Coconut, Lemon, Apple, Dutch Apple, Cherry, Blueberry, Pecan or Pumpkin Pie.

The menu stays the same year around with great home style selections, the prices are written by hand on every menu. There is a lunch special for only $5.50, which is more like a full dinner meal. Baked chicken with corn and mashed potatoes is one of the best.
They are also very well known for their breakfast which is served at 5:30 am. Eggs, toast, sausage, French toast, bacon and coffee served fresh all day.

Some of the lucky travelers have found out about this joint, so business increases in the summer months. During the winter there is a loyal following, a gathering among friends. Some of the most well known business and resort owners call The Barn their “Favorite” spot to eat… and that isn’t by accident.

It really doesn’t matter what you order; burgers and fries, maid rite and soup, or just a salad, you can’t go wrong. There isn’t one thing on the menu that a Minnesotan wouldn’t love.

A table full of pies including rhubarb custard, banana cream, coconut, lemon, apple, dutch apple, cherry, blueberry, pecan and pumpkin pies.The well known waitresses will call you by name and remember you when you stop in. The atmosphere is upbeat and busy, and the locals are friendly.

Gary, the owner, sat down with me for a few minutes to tell me about the place. The Barn was opened in 1945 by a family from Iowa. It was part of the original Maid Rite franchises. In 1970 Gary’s parents bought it. For almost 20 years his Mom made the pies and helped run the business with his Dad. In 1989 Gary bought the restaurant and started making the pies himself. Gary admits that it is a hard task living up to his Mom’s pies…but I think everyone would agree he is doing a fine job.

The Barn is located on Highway 210 in Brainerd, MN – one block East of 6th Street.