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Wadena opens its arms to Harvest Thyme Bistro

By Carol Stender

Date Modified: 11/21/2012 1:20 PM

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Harvest Thyme Bistro

Location: 114 Jefferson Street South; Wadena, Minn.

Hours: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Customer favorite: The lunch specials. Each day a different soup, sandwich and special is featured. Some of the offerings are creamy turkey and potato, hobo stew and wild rice. The lunch meals include grilled chicken breast with warm Greek barley salad; grass-fed beef lasagna with balsamic salad and a bread stick.

Contact: (218) 632-5110 and check out on the internet plus the business' Facebook page for daily specials.

WADENA, Minn. — Locally grown food is the star at Wadena's Harvest Thyme Bistro.

Derek and Shari Olson, who opened the cafe three years ago, work with producers to get the freshest ingredients for their wide-ranging menu.

Using his culinary creativity, Derek has a way of highlighting each ingredient's flavors no matter if it's breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack.

Scrambled eggs combined with bacon, cheddar jack cheese and wild rice served with hashbrowns is the cafe's breakfast staple known as the Wadena Egg Scrambler. Try the Greek chicken salad made with grilled chicken with greens, sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives topped with a feta and greek vinaigrette.

Olson's sandwich offerings includes the Southwest-style turkey, bacon and Swiss sandwich served on sourdough or multi-grain bread with either green salad, cup of soup or chips.

He's no stranger to locally grown foods. Derek and a friend prepared food samples at a local farmers market to demonstrate various ways to prepare vegetables. It was at such an event that Derek met David Everts. Everts is executive director of Stimulating Economic Progress in Wadena. He, with several partners, purchased Wadena's old J.C. Penney building. Several local entrepreneurs have started businesses in the building. They wanted the Olsons to establish a cafe.

The couple set up shop in the back. Scenes from town were painted on the walls. Shari is the bistro's hostess and leads the staff of four.

The bistro also offers mochas, lattes and espressos.

Harvest Thyme Bistro serves breakfasts from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. Besides the Wadena Egg Scrambler, diners can choose other tasty delights from a build your own omelet to Italian frittata with spinach, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, asiago cheese and crispy polenta to fruit-filled homemade crepes.

The bistro also offers salads, sandwiches and comfort food including a grass-fed beef burger, wild rice burger, black bean burger and mac and cheese.

On Friday and Saturday the bistro is open until 8 p.m. with a dinner offering that includes an appetizer.

The Sunday brunch, served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., includes breakfast sandwiches, omelets, lasagna, roasted squash, pepperjack mac, fruit crepes and French toast.

They also offer cooking classes. Check the website for more information and to register for a class.

— Carol Stender