In the mood for some classic burgers and a short drive, 605 Publisher Alana Synder and I made the nine-mile trek to Harrisburg, home to the Tigers, the Heartland Country Corn Maze, and much more.
HARRISBURG EST. AUGUST 1, 1879
GRAVEL ROAD BLEND
It was icy and deceivingly sunny, and the bitter cold led us to our first stop. We pulled in to Gravel Road Blend, which is one part of five that make up the 518 Marketplace, a shared space of new businesses.
While Alana found us a table, I immediately started searching for the source of a surprisingly flavorful smell. I was met by owner Shanon Abrahamson, who smiled and pointed to the daily special sign: Indian Tacos. Abrahamson told me this was different from their usual homemade soup and sandwich, and that they were trying something new.
After ordering one of those and a few drinks, I ogled the Flyboy Donuts as Abrahamson told me a bit about her newest endeavor that came to fruition this past fall.
“I heard the former coffee shop wasn’t renewing their lease, and in a moment of quick decision making, I just jumped all in,” she said.
Gravel Road Blend is known for items like the Iced Caramel Macchiato, the Wildberry Smoothie, and a variety of espresso drinks.
Abrahamson also runs a small boutique within the space, and items can be seen along the wall, on either side of the fireplace.
Being in a shared space, this isn’t the usual run-of-the-mill coffee shop, which is something Abrahamson is fully embracing.
“We all get along really well, and it’s nice to have customers go from one shop to the next,” she said.
THE FIRST SCHOOL WAS BUILT IN 1894.
After snagging the macchiato and thanking Abrahamson for her barista magic, Alana and I crossed the parking lot to our next stop. We walked into the multipurpose building and up the stairs to Xtrinsic, an athleisure boutique that has been redefining comfortable clothing since last August.
Right away we started adding items to our mental shopping cart, while owner Heather Metz explained the importance of having multi-functional clothing.
“You can wear it to the coffee shop, wear it to the grocery store, or drop the kids off at school, and still be cute and comfortable,” she said.
More than leggings and tanks, Metz also offers shoes, yoga mats, hats, and fanny packs.
“People can come in for new leggings or a new headband, and we know they will leave comfortable,” she said.
THE DAKOTA SOUTHERN RAILROAD DEPOT WAS THE FIRST OFFICIAL BUILDING.
Naturally, we felt the need for burgers after leaving a store that focuses on
comfort and fitness, so we plugged Harris Burgers into Google maps to try a local favorite.
First impression? We have time traveled to the ’50s, and I needed to beat feet to the jukebox (which just so happened to be blasting Nicki Minaj).
We walked in and were met with classic red and white checkered décor and a tantalizing smell of fried goodness.
Open since June 2013, owner Nick Lund explained that he wanted Harris Burgers to be a timeless staple for South Dakota.
“We serve high quality food at a much fairer price,” he said. “We use the same ingredients in our burgers as a five-star steakhouse would, we just charge much less.”
Taking a seat, we noticed the vintage arcade games (The Addams Family pinball for the win).
Besides burgers and sandwiches, Lund says their shakes are a hot commodity. With more than 15 flavors, there’s something to please every palate.
“All of the shake flavors can be mixed, so the combinations are endless,” he said.