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Solar Real Food Blog



A Few Days Later....

It has been a couple days since we closed the restaruant.  We have been refering people to our FAQ page so everyone has the same information about why we closed. 

Here is a bit more insight...Steve started his new job on Monday and is enjoying a different pace of life.  No more getting up before the sun to make wraps, soup, slaws, rice and counting buns to make sure he has enough burgers to feed a hungry crowd.  His knees, which have taken a beating from long hours standing at the grill or the dough sheeter, are recovering as he learns the ropes at a new company.  Steve will be using his negotiation and collaboration skills to buy ingredients that eventually go in to soups and broths. 

Deanne is still around promoting local foods through the FarmerChef project and getting ready for a move to Iowa.  Once in Iowa she looks forward to learning about foods that are local to that area so she can expand the FarmerChef project to a broader audience.  Steve's parents are still here in Springfield helping to keep the restaurant space looking nice.

We hope the restuarant finds a new owner and will keep you posted once we know more. 



Ice Cream At Solar

When we set out to re-open our restaurant in April we had a lot of decisions about sourcing ingredients for our menu.

To be honest, we had our doubts about offering sugary treats at all, yet we know that customers who have been stopping in for the last 50 years expect to find ice cream.  We also know that people do have the right to make their own choice about what to eat.

So instead of doing away with ice cream, we set out to find soft serve and the toppings to have the least amount of food additives.  We finally found an ice cream product that we felt pretty good about from Cass Clay Creamery in Fargo, ND

As for the sundae toppings, we finally decided to make our own topping because we could keep the ingredients simple. For example the chocolate topping is sugar, cocoa powder, and water (with a bit of vanilla and salt).


We currently do not offer our Solar Storms, those thick ice cream treats with the candy mix ins that became so popular when Dairy Queen started selling Blizzards in 1985. For us, it is a matter of keeping things simple and keeping the ingredients real in terms of being less processed. 

Our customers have been a bit preplexed but overall supportive once they have adjusted to our new offerings.  It is pretty basic:  Soft serve ice cream and from there add homade chocolate, strawberry, or caramel sauce.  These ingredients can make shakes and sundaes. 



Burgers at Solar

Many travelling customers timidly and cautiously walk into our restaurant.  Unless someone told them to eat here they are often skeptical that the food will be good.  So they order a burger.  They figure, I guess, that you can't really mess up a burger. 

Then something special happens, they walk up to the counter afterwards and say, "That is the best burger I ever had."

We smile to ourselves when we see that transformation from skeptic to fan.  It is especially fun when they have had just a plain burger with no toppings.

We use frozen meat patties from Rochester Meats in Rochester. MN.  The product we use is branded as a Cloud. It is chopped Beef Steak with a "hand-made" appearance.

The company says, "When this soft, fluffy patty cooks, it plumps up for extra-thick goodness."

From what we understand, they freeze them immediatly after they are formed into burgers and then we take them directly from the freezer to the grill.  

What is your favorite way to eat a burger?  Plain, loaded with fried onions or mushrooms, or topped with tomatoes and lettuce?


Summer Shape Up Challenge

You may have read about it in the paper.  The Mayo Clinic Health System-Springfield is organizing a Springfield Summer Shape Up Challenge.  It is simular to the Winter Shape Up Challenge that we participated in during the month of February. 

We are again inviting those who do not have a business or organization to compose a team of at least 5 people.  So far we have 8 employees and two community members who have decided to be part of the Solar Team.  If you are a member of the class "Healthier Weigh to a Healthier You" there is no charge.  There is a seven dollar fee to participate and we need to register by May 20th.  

We will be tracking our points for each week of June.  We will earn points for exercise, calendar activities, and community events like the Grocery Store Tour, Community Walks, and the Riverside Days Fun/Run Walk. 

We hope you will participate on another team or join our team.  Let's have fun together as a community!



Filmmaking In Springfield

I've seen our lovely town in several small productions on the little screen.  Here are the ones I know about in chronilogical order.  I am sure there are more and hope people will share other films or videos that showcase the beauty and even art of our community.

One the artsy side of things I found two short films and a trailer for a movie worth mentioning:

The first one is called a Short of Shorts.  This is the first ever production by Luke Bryce.  It was filmed at the local laundromat in the summer of 2008.

The next one is a competiton film  for a tea company that Lucas Bryce did the next summer in 2009.  It didn't win any competitions but it shows off our town.

Recently, I ran accross this intriging trailer by Matt Ryan.  Watch the trailer first and then check the video of Matt speaking about the trailer.

If you know of any others, please share.