Progress: A night out in Glenville

Published 2:51 pm Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Laura Lunde, staff writer

Venturing outside the city limits of Albert Lea to find interesting dining experiences has been an enjoyable pastime for me. I recently planned such an outing with my two best friends, Lisa Amundson and Kristin Kyllo. Our destination of choice for this trip was Glenville.

The Office Bar & Restaurant has had its name much longer than the TV show “The Office.” — Laura Lunde

Glenville is about six miles southeast of Albert Lea and features two restaurant and bar establishments, the Glenville American Legion Club and The Office Bar & Restaurant. Both establishments are open daily to the public. After a brief consensus, we decided to try out the Office Bar & Restaurant.

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The setting inside the restaurant is updated and comfortable. There were ample tables available for patrons to dine in the bar or in a separate dining room. We chose to sit in the bar area along with several patrons who were enjoying conversation. The bar area was decorated for all tastes with Minnesota sports memorabilia as well as vintage inspired Harley-Davidson signs. The bar area features a pool table, darts, Foosball, several televisions and a jukebox.

We were quickly greeted with menus and beverages. Kyllo and Amundson selected the homemade beer-battered pepperjack cheese curds as an appetizer while I added boneless chicken wings tossed in Wild Turkey Struttin’ Sauce (a sweet whiskey glaze) to our order. These made for excellent selections.

Vance and Cyndy Mickelson, owners of The Office Bar & Restaurant, happened to be available during our visit. Cyndy shared with me that their cheese curds are cut right off the block of cheese and then dipped in homemade beer batter. In fact, their menu features a wide assortment of homemade dishes. There are many reasonably priced sandwiches and hamburger choices including the option of a side dish like french fries, homemade Office chips, tater tots, side salad, coleslaw or macaroni salad.

They have nightly specials of burger baskets, Mexican cuisine, pasta, fish fry, chicken, steak and Vance’s Specialty BBQ Ribs on Saturdays. We selected our meals from the sandwich menu and enjoyed our appetizers with a tap beer served in a Mason jar.

Cyndy visited with us about some of the recent additions and updates that they have made to the restaurant. I was very interested to learn that The Office offers full service catering with a full menu selection and full liquor service. She said this is handy for graduations, weddings, birthdays and other occasions.

Our food soon arrived and we did our best to tackle the generous portions of sandwiches and sides. We each left with a takeout box of homemade goodness and many fond memories of the friendly staff and delicious food from The Office.

On the way home, we planned our next visit to The Office — the Sunday breakfast buffet! The buffet features many homemade items, including cinnamon French toast. At $6.95 for adults, this seems like an unbeatable breakfast opportunity.

The Office will celebrate 32 years of business on March 31. It is one of the best-kept dining secrets in the area. Vance and Cyndy Mickelson have devoted themselves to making this a comfortable and enjoyable environment. They are open three meals a day, seven days a week. The homemade food is reasonably priced and delicious. If you find yourself looking for a new dining destination, put The Office in your GPS and take drive a few short minutes to Glenville.