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Hamline Dining Hall celebrates 120 years

Posted on 08 August 2017 by Calvin

The Hamline Church Dining Hall is celebrating 120 years at the Minnesota State Fair. The dining hall, 1667 Dan Patch Ave., is operated by Hamline Church United Methodist, 1514 Englewood Ave.

A celebration is planned for 10am, Fri., Aug. 25. The program will include guest speakers, official proclamations and a look back at the last 120 years. A dining hall history timeline will be on display during the fair.

For its anniversary the dining hall is unveiling a new menu item, the Cranberry Wild Rice Meatball. It is described as “a Swedish-style meatball with wild rice and dried cranberries simmered in a rich allspice cream sauce, served with lingonberry preserve.” Other new features include pies from Grandma’s Pie Shop and blueberry lemonade.

Hamline Church also partners with Izzy’s Ice Cream to create a new flavor each year for the fair. The 2017 flavor is S’More Fun. It has a toasted marshmallow base with chocolate, chocolate chunks, and a graham cracker swirl.

Food fans shouldn’t worry that old favorites won’t be there. The famous Hamline Ham Loaf and Ham Loaf Sliders will remain, as will the popular Hamline Egger breakfast sandwich.

The dining hall got its start in 1897. Hamline’s dining hall was started by the Ladies’ Aid Society, as a fundraiser for what was then Hamline Methodist Episcopal Church.

It is the oldest continuously operating food establishment at the fair. It dates from a time when dozens of churches ran dining halls, food stands, and even food tents. Today Hamline and Minneapolis’ Salem Lutheran Church are the only two church dining halls left out of dozens that operated over the years.