OK, I'll say this right up front here: I'm a little biased. Well, maybe more than a little biased.

I used to go to the grocery store in Leota, Minnesota a lot when I was a little kid. Growing up just a mile away, Leota was the home of my school, my church, my friends...it was my town.

Back in those 'old days' the Leota Grocery store essentially meant two things, it's where Mom and Sophie Beckering would share news (OK, maybe gossip) by the cash register as Mom got her milk, breakfast cereal and a few other things. And, more importantly, where I got my baseball cards and pop!

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I guess I kind of thought that store was a secret known only to those of us grew up there (and by the way, there was no better place to grow up!). And then I found out that the entire state of Minnesota knows about the place!

I'm not sure how it was all done, but WCCO TV in the big Twin Towns named V&M Grocery and Locker in Leota as the home of Minnesota's best Hot Dog! Now, that doesn't surprise me, but well...it surprised me.

I'm not surprised they have the best, I'm just happy that now everyone else knows!

Check out WCCO's website and the story here.

And on a personal note the Verlyn they talk about, the owner of the store and locker along with his family? I grew up with Verlyn, we pert near graduated together (he's a year older than me). I don't know his kids, but I knew his daddy Art and the rest of his family 'back then'. And I can tell you, in addition to have a fine Dog, this is a fine family as well.

So make the short trip to Leota, Minnesota, say 'Hi' to the folks around there and enjoy the best Hot Dog you'll ever have!

Randy's Minnesota Memories

Randy McDaniel grew up on a small farm near Leota, Minnesota during the classic baby-boomer years of the 1960s and 1970s. These are his stories of growing up in the idyllic world of southwest Minnesota.

Here Are The 7 Remaining Drive-In Theaters In South Dakota

If you were born last century...you know, in the nineteen hundreds (ugh)...you may have spent a summer evening in the car watching movies. I don't mean on your phone, I mean at the drive-in movie theater!

If you were in Sioux Falls in the 1970s and '80's you may remember seeing Jaws and Indiana Jones at The East Park or the Starlite Drive-In. Both drive-ins opened just after World War 2. The East Park didn't make it out of the '70s, closing in 1978. The Starlite survived long enough to see the birth of home video, closing in 1985.


Drive-in movies had a bit of a resurgence during the pandemic. They were a way to go out and do something social without getting out of your car.

If you tried one during that time, or you remember the fun of a warm summer evening watching movies on that giant screen there are still places in South Dakota and around Sioux Falls you can do it.

South Dakota Foods You Must Try

Some foods are distinctly South Dakota. How many of these amazing South Dakota dishes have you tried?!

If you live in South Dakota chances are you've eaten many of the items on this food list.

But if you are visiting our state or if you just haven't gotten around to chowing down on these great eats, you need to get on it.

Some foods are distinctly South Dakotan. Here are the 9 South Dakota Foods You Must Try Before You Check Out …