A delicious stop along the journey through the Black Hills of South Dakota is at an establishment known as Dakota Thyme. Julie Smoragiewicz recently opened the deli-market-bakery in the heart of downtown Rapid City. Julie has been a food blogger, sharing her authentic recipes and passion for the prairies on her website Dakota Thyme, Adventures from a Prairie Kitchen. But now it’s time for those scrumptious words to leave the screen and meet your taste buds.

The most unique thing I found about Dakota Thyme is the attention to detail given on sourcing each ingredient. Many restaurant are turning to organic, farm to table concept these days, but here you will find everything – from the milk, sodas, cheese, deli meats, smoked salmon, wines, even the paper plates and napkins – everything is sustainable! Needless to say, the quality of every item in the store is far superior to what you will find anywhere else (unless you live on a farm and grow your own food and milk your own cows).

The ambiance at Dakota Thyme is casual and modern. You can have a sit-down lunch in the cozy patio or grab some specialties from the market and bakery to enjoy later. I decided to take a picnic basket and head over to Badlands National Park, located about 60 minutes drive from Rapid City. It’s not every day that you have so many options for outdoor scenic spots so close to the city.

In my basket was a cheese plate to die for! A flowered disk (yes, with real dried flowers) made of goat cheese from Mont Chevre of Belmont, Wisconsin, looked too good to eat. Talk about art on a plate! I also had some Buttermilk Bleu from Roth Kase of Monroe, Wisconsin and The Humbolt Fog from Cypress Grove, California and St. Andre, a triple crème raw cow’s milk brie from France, all served with olives, grapes and crackers.

You would imagine the cheese alone would be sufficient for my five-star picnic, but no I also had one of the best grilled veggie sandwich made with Dakota Thyme’s homemade focaccia bread that melted in your mouth. It complimented very well to the surroundings where I could feel one with nature. Delicious!

To wash down my fresh, organic, locally sourced, home style food were options of unique beverages such as rose lemonade and dry cucumber soda. Dakota Thyme has a large selection of beer and wine as well. My favorite was the raspberry beer from Belgium, available on tap and in bottle. It tasted nothing like beer, more like a Rose wine with spritzer. It was smooth, fun and tasty. Framboise Lambic will be my official picnic drink now on!

Julie is famous for her baking skills. She has set up an entire state of the art baking kitchen on the second floor of Dakota Thyme, where patrons can observe the chefs in action. They also offer cooking lessons and space for private events up here. After drooling over the dessert showcase for a while, I couldn’t leave without getting some.

In my pink Pandora’s box was a scrumptious coffee cupcake made with decadent chocolate cake and light coffee cream and a luscious lemon tiramisu cake that was perfectly balanced in flavor. They reminded you of being in Europe, where the desserts are not overwhelmingly sweet and all the individual components are made from scratch. Now I am wondering how I can go back and try the rest of the desserts at Dakota Thyme.

Dakota Thyme
502 Main St
Rapid City, SD 57701
Phone (605) 716-3354