While the first snowflakes of mid-autumn may mark the end of this year's season for fair-time eating contests, Minot's carnivorous competitors should not stow away their comfiest pants quite yet.
"We need a challenge," thought the Glenburn Cafe's new owner, Mike Clouse, after he successfully completed a local wing competition. No stranger to the kitchen himself, Clouse conferred with a fellow cook to devise the Roughneck Burger: Between two pieces of the thick house bread, the monstrous sandwich touts two 7 oz. beef patties, a trio of cheeses, hashbrowns with egg, chicken strips, and a stifling habanero sauce. Add to that a side of fries smothered in cheese and bacon, and you've a serious challenge.
"The sandwich alone is over five pounds," Clouse figured. If finished within a half hour, patrons will get a customized hat and their photo on the wall. So far the challenge has been attempted only once, but the Roughneck remains unconquered. In a less intense sort of competition, the cafe also holds a dollar-raffle for fresh pies every Sunday.
Like the pies, most everything on the Glenburn Cafe's menu is freshly made, and from scratch. In the kitchen and prepping every morning by 4:30, Clouse was pleased to note that the sauces are home-spun, the breads baked fresh, loins and steaks tenderized and breaded as they are ordered, and the burgers hand-pressed.
Originally from Indiana, Clouse began a career in cooking at age 13, helping with his mother's catering business. Now 33, he said "I'm still in shock" at already managing his own establishment. "This is my first ownership."
The cafe itself is a longstanding fixture to Glenburn, at the southeastern end of its Main Street. "It's been around for quite a while, as far as I'm aware of," said Clouse. Now a resident for 10 years, he heard through a friend that the town was looking for someone to take the cafe over and jumped on the opportunity little more than a month ago. Since the transition, Clouse said that the community has been supportive.
"The city here is really all-in to have a cafe," he explained.
Open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., the spot also makes a convenient place to lunch or breakfast at for Airmen and contractors on the base, being less than ten minutes' drive away. In addition to its set menu, the cafe also offers a number of daily specials and boasts a bottomless cup of coffee.
Also open Sundays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evenings, Clouse fires up the grill again from 5 to 8 p.m. for supper.