Lake Wabegon is Garrison’s fictitious community on the edge of the prairie. It’s full of Norwegian Lutherans and colorful characters.

Here in Ely, Minnesota, we live on the edge of the wilderness with plenty of colorful characters, and some Norwegian Lutherans.

Today we’re driving south to see the live performance of Garrison’s radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, at the Fitz in St. Paul. When I’m driving south, I usually stop at SuLu’s Espresso Cafe a half hour south of Ely in Tower.  I typically order a skinny latte (fufu, I know, but SuLu’s are my favorite).

You’ll see the second drink listed on the menu behind the owner, Brenda, is the “Lutheran.”

What is the “Lutheran?”   Every Sunday after church, ladies from the Lutheran church stop by SuLu’s for coffee. But the SuLu “Coffee” is just too strong for them. They asked to cut it with a little water. And should they pay full price for a coffee that has extra water? Of course not. Thus, the “Lutheran”coffee is a nickel less.

Garrison Keillor, eat your heart out, and be sure to stop at SuLu’s on your way to Ely for a Boundary Waters canoe trip.

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