A five-hour drive north of Minneapolis, about an hour south of the Canadian border, and half an episode of A Prairie Home Companion east of North Dakota, is the pinhead-size town of Euclid, Minnesota. It is home to less than 500 people, a grain elevator and a small white house that serves some of the best ribs you ever stepped off the grid to try.
The One N’ Only is—you guessed it—the one and only restaurant in this town surrounded by farmland. Chris Weiland and his wife, Melanie, bought the business from his parents 12 years ago, when it was mainly just a bar. (His parents owned it for 12 years; before that, it had been Euclid’s grocery store since the 1940s.)
Armed with an intense passion for food, Chris expanded the menu to include a special Wednesday-night brisket, legendary crab legs, and out-of-this-world award-winning ribs that go down like candy.
Marinating, boiling, chilling and baking happen over the course of two days before the tender pork ribs are lavished with just enough sauce to keep you satisfied without too much mess. Chris experimented with his recipe for months and now has it under lock and key. “I’m not saying a word,” is his quick response when asked about his special sauce.
One ingredient is crystal clear, though: sugar. True to the flavors of the area, the sauce is devoid of any heat, but makes up for it in an addicting sugary sweetness. It’s fitting, considering that many of the farms surrounding Euclid grow sugar beets. When the sauce is paired with some routine smokiness and perfectly juicy meat that pretty much falls right off the bone, these ribs are straight out of a dream.
The One N’ Only’s minimal decor keeps the emphasis on the food, and when you look out the window, you may feel like you are sitting at the complete end of the world. “Yeah, we don’t have the world’s best location,” Chris says with a laugh. But when you have a mouthful of these ribs, you’ll be happy you made the trek.