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Tea and so much more at Margaret’s Tea Room in Wykoff

The Bank Gift Haus and Margaret’s Tea Room

Address: 105 Gold St. Wykoff, MN 55990

Hours: Lunch is served in the tea room Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Bank Gift Haus is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Best sellers: A bowl of chicken wild rice soup, made from scratch, with salad and fresh rolls for $7.95.

Contact them at (507) 352-4205

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WYKOFF, Minn. — Margaret’s Tea Room is located in the back of The Bank Gift Haus, a historic building in downtown Wykoff that was once a bank in the 1890s. After having survived a fire and a robbery, it is now a gift shop.

Lunch in the tea room is served on tables with heritage lace tablecloths. Tea pots are kept warm with cozies and food is served on glass dishes and bowls. The details make it a special place to have dessert or just lunch with a friend. Owner Maxine Van De Walker says it’s not so fancy that customers can’t come as they are and be comfortable.

"It’s an elegant room, but a comfortable elegant," she said.

She became the owner last summer and also owns another gift shop, Three Wishes, in Lanesboro. Margaret’s Tea Room was named after a previous owner’s mother.

Customers don’t have to worry about leaving with their wallets empty and their stomachs still rumbling.

"They can eat, sit comfortably and go home well-fed," said Van De Walker.

There’s only a spoken menu. Any two-item combination of that day’s salads, soups and sandwich costs $7.95. Three-item meals cost $9.95. The meals are served with fresh, homemade rolls. There’s usually three or four types of rolls each day. Homemade desserts are $2.95.

They have a popular house salad of mixed greens, slivers of caramelized almonds, fresh fruit and a secret-recipe red raspberry poppy seed dressing. They also have a chicken salad topped with shoestring potatoes. They try to have one creamy and one broth-based soup daily. Sandwiches include a club stacker with ham and cheese, a chicken salad croissant sandwich and a reuben.

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Men usually like to order a herb pork roast sandwich or hot beef sandwich. Desserts include cakes, cupcakes and pie. They also have a homemade hot fudge sauce that goes over brownies. Tea room manager Kim Frank said it’s to die for. The place has two other employees, Judy Frank and Brigid Eickhoff, whose mother-in-law helped open the gift shop.

"I think our food is probably the best you’re gonna find and we make darn sure it stays that way," said Van De Walker. They can prepare meals for children at a discounted price. A tea room cookbook is available for $14.95. They also sell tea, items relating to tea and their own brand of coffee.

The room, which comfortably seats 32, is decorated seasonally with items all on sale, except the place settings and napkin rings. The room may be reserved for parties, it holds special events like Mother’s Day teas and fundraisers, and the staff can prepare boxed lunches for meetings and retreats.

During the general season, the tea room brings in customers from about a 50-mile radius. In summer, people come from all over as they ride on bike trails and camp at nearby Forestville State Park. Van De Walker will try adding Sunday hours this summer.

The gift shop offers fine gifts, fun gifts and home decor. There are boutique-type items, soaps and lotions and some clothing. The basement has what Van De Walker describes as "Americana folk art." The gift shop and tea room together make for two experiences in one, she said.

— Heather Thorstensen

If you have a favorite restaurant that you would like to have featured in Agri News, drop us a note. You can write us at Box 6118, Rochester, MN 55903. Or you can call us at (507) 285-7659 or e-mail wilmes@agrinews.com.

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