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“Wanted to love it, but....”

The Rustic Inn Cafe
Ranked #1 of 4 Dessert in Two Harbors
Certificate of Excellence
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch
Austin, Minnesota
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Wanted to love it, but....”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

We really wanted to LOVE this place, but the service was just so poor that we left after both of our visits just shaking our heads. We visited the Rustic Inn this past Friday evening for dinner, and were seated in the back, near the bar. There were two other tables with guests in that area, yet there might as well been 100. Our waitress was struggling to keep up, didn't seem to be organized at all. We were asked by another employee if we had everything we needed, and when we asked for something he never came back. I could hear and see the other tables around us having similar experiences, so I knew it wasn't just us. I ordered the wild rice meatloaf, and my wife got a fish entree...both were very good, but the food was delivered and we sat there for a few minutes trying to attract attention because we had no silverware on the table. The waitress rarely came back, so we made the best of it.

We then returned on Sunday evening for dinner and was told there would be a 20-25 minute wait. No problem, we browsed around the gift shop, chatted, etc. However, during this time I noticed two open tables in the main area completely empty, as if waiting to be bussed or set. We were finally shown to a booth and saw another booth open and empty. I have no idea why the wait. We then sat there for nearly 10 minutes, watching waitresses dash back and forth, scrambling to keep up, before I heard our waitress say to another table "I need to get over to that table (ours) before I'm yelled at..." No joke. She arrived, brought water, apologized, and returned about 10 minutes later. So now we've spent nearly 40 minutes in the place without actually ordering ANYTHING. She arrived again, apologized...again...and took our orders. The food arrived after another wait, and she ssaid to us "I'm sorry, it's just a crazy night here tonight..." I looked around, saw three other waitresses for the roughly 10 tables in the main area and couldn't help but wonder if all of this was a training issue?

As for the food, the wild rice meatloaf and the fish entree were very good, and my wife's rib dish on Sunday evening was very good as well. I ordered the baja fish tacos and was stunned to see it arrive with a massive plate of lettuce, guac, pico, 4 tortillas and exactly 2 very small pieces of fish...might as well call the dish vegetable tacos.

Now, the positive, the pie is unbelievable. Absolutely worth the visit. Honestly, even after the two poor service experiences I would go back strictly for that. It's the best on the North Shore.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Austinbri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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622 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good food and pie!”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

We had the walleye piccata, it was so good! They also had great pie. They were also very accommodating to my gluten intolerance and had a handful of pies that were baked in a meringue crust that were gluten free!

Visited May 2014
1 Thank forestcookj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great breakfast spot”
Reviewed 27 May 2014

We stopped for a late breakfast on Memorial Day. We were seated right away, and service was good. Good, hearty breakfasts...everything looked good. I've driven past a hundred times and glad I finally stopped in. I'll be back.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank blissfulidiotDotCom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Duluth, Minnesota
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“always a great meal!”
Reviewed 21 May 2014 via mobile

I eat at the Rustic quite often and always take our out of town/stats guests there too,and it has now become their choice to go there too.breakfast,lunch or dinner,the meals are a always excellent and very reasonably priced.
The Rusti definitely has the best pie on the North Shore,hands down =don't even bother going to Betty' s)

Visited October 2013
Thank mother_of_the_bride0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Superior, Wisconsin
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Awesome food!”
Reviewed 31 March 2014

Great food and great atmosphere - there were 8 of us (5 adults, 3 kids) and we didn't have to wait super long for our food and our waitress was awesome!

Visited March 2014
Thank NatAnn14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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