Food on a Stick

A progression of long, cold winters followed by short, hot summers and food on a stick forms the Minnesota we all know and love. As an end of summer ritual, food on a stick is a mainstay at the Minnesota State Fair. Why stop there? Year-round food on a stick flourishes beyond the fairgrounds.

During August, I stumbled across two non-state fair food on a stick stars. Both are frozen desserts with seasonal availability that goes well beyond the end of summer limitation of state fair options.

Sandcastle's monkey bar

Sandcastle’s monkey bar has a pinenut brittle topping.

Monkey Bar

A prime foodie destination is hidden among the frayed beach buildings, meandering network of sidewalks and deep wood forest of shade trees surrounding Lake Nokomis. Appropriately named, Sandcastle has a menu full of pleasant surprises that even include food on a stick.

The Monkey Bar takes frozen banana fame to new heights. An organic banana is dressed up with a dark chocolate coating and a lavish sprinkling of homemade pinenut brittle. Unusual as it sounds, pinenuts doused in Southern-style sweet brittle coating are a sheer delight. The pinenut-enriched candy coating crunch melded into the chocolate covers up the mushy over-ripe fruit consistency bananas acquire in the frozen state.

The Monkey Bar is the stuff that a good food memory is made of – unexpectedly, mouthwateringly delicious. How can a frozen banana dessert treat become such an elegant affair? Order a Monkey Bar and you’ll discover first-hand how Sandcastle lives up to its motto, “Eat like a King.”

Sandcastle Location and Hours

Sandcastle, 4955 West Lake Nokomis Parkway, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55417. Hours are seasonal and can depend on weather. From Labor Day Weekend through October 15 hours are 11 a.m.  – 8 p.m.

Nutty Ice Cream Bar

One Nutty Ice Cream Bar leads to another one at Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen.


Nutty Ice Cream Bars & More

Candy land dreams come true in all forms, including food on a stick treats, at Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen. The Nutty Ice Cream Bars are nothing short of perfection – generous 1/12 block sections of ice Kemps vanilla ice cream enrobed in a coating of high-quality, good enough to eat plain milk chocolate.

The gold leaf finish is an outer coating of fresh toasted coconut and crushed peanuts. The edible toppings freeze up into clusters that resemble the gnarled rocks scattered endlessly long the North Shore.  Priced at $2 each Nutty Ice Cream Bars are a steal of a deal.

Lynn dipping Nutty Ice Cream Bars-bar

The Nutty Ice Cream Bars at Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen are made by hand with a smile.


One was not enough. Maybe it was the odd weather, tropical Rain Forest hot air stifling the typically ice box frigid North Shore, I managed to eat two!

Nutty Ice Cream Bars are a favorite vacation day splurge. Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen has a profusion of other candies served on a stick, including:

  • U’ Betcha Bars – Caramels dipped in chocolate covered with walnuts
  • Caramel apples – Fresh orchard crisp apples dunked in homemade caramel with a base coating of crushed peanuts
  • Marshmallow pops – A thick, stick to your teeth, coating of homemade caramel encases and adorns a marshmallow
  • Marshmallow People – White chocolate dipped marshmallows put on a happy face with sprinkles, bows and other edible make up decorations.
  • Banana Fantastica – Fresh frozen bananas dipped in chocolate, draped in caramel with a sprinkle of crushed toffee bits
  • Popsicles – Molded from dark chocolate then frosted in white chocolate and dusted with sprinkles

Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen Location and Hours

Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen is located at 223 Scenic Drive, Knife River, Minnesota 55609, (218) 834-2121. Hours are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily during peak season.

Food on a Stick Forever

Food on a stick has a definite bias towards the sweet and indulgent. Maybe that is why food on a stick has a loyal following?

For a few sweet minutes, it’s like being a kid again. I am hooked. Long live food on a stick!

Hand-dipped caramel apples from Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen.

Hand-dipped caramel apples are a popular food on a stick treat from Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen.


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