By Chris Shaffer

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The parking lot outside Carol’s restaurant in Blaine helps tell the story of what’s going on inside.

As owner Carol Brown greets her lunch guests, she seems to blur the lines between customer and friend.

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“It’s really an old fashioned mom and pop place,” Carol said. “We love our customers.”

And the customers love this “comfort food mecca,” where, like the sign says, “Everything’s Homemade.”

“We use three different kinds of chocolate in it and we serve it with a homemade marshmallow,” Carol said. “It’s a little bit of work but it’s worth it. The people that come in for it love it,” she said.

And that same homemade attention to detail comes with every recipe on the menu.

“They go back for years going back to my grandparents on the farm,” Carol said.

(credit: CBS)

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Which were then passed on to her parents, Jim and Doris.

“My dad was an excellent cook. He was a World War II veteran and also cooked in the navy,” she said.

And now it’s all starting to make sense.

“I learned how to bake the breads, make real mashed potatoes, real gravy, real roasted turkeys,” she said.

In fact, Carol’s restaurant boasts the only free-range “restaurant turkey” dinner sold in the state. And it’s all homemade — right down to the cranberry sauce.

So on these cold Minnesota days, where there seems to be a complete absence of warmth, a stop by Carol’s might be just what you need to warm your heart, and your soul.

“If someone comes in and their hurting, we’ll pray with them,” Carol said.

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And that’s homemade, too.

Chris Shaffer