Spent the last several days in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at the South Dakota Festival of Books, a lovely city with a vibrant downtown and a spectacular waterfall that the locals kept apologizing for because the water was so low because of the drought. We ate well in town. Went with my friend Dave Cole twice to the Phillips Avenue Diner where we discovered chislic. Apparently chislic is unknown outside South Dakota and it's too bad it is. In fact, Dave's from West River, grew up in Rapid City, and had never heard of chislic. Chislic is cubes of meat, seasoned and deep-fired or grilled, and often served on a skewer. The Phillips Avenue Diner version goes the extra mile. Our waitress told us that in southeast South Dakota the preferred meat was lamb, but the Diner used beef. Theirs is marinated and lightly fried steak, served with a white cheese sause, marinated tomatoes, gorganzola, and fried onions. It was delicious. The onion were lighly battered and fried the way onion rings are cooked in New England.
The Diner also serves a sandwich we didn't have the courage to try. It's called Mom's Monte Cristo, and here is the description: "Sourdough bread stuffed with ham, turkey, Swiss and American, parmesan battered and grilled, with powdered sugar and strawberry sauce." We also passed on the more healthy hot mashed potato and fried chicken wrap.
I also has Korean chislic at Parker's Bistro, an elegant little restaurant on South Main. Chislic with kimchee--also terrific.
We had lunch with old Worcester friends Carl and Brenda Kline, who are now living in Brookings SD. Caught up on old friends and curent families. We ate at Minerva's and drank at Skelly's. Before I left the book festival, I found this book on the street.