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Aug 3, 2007 11:13 AM

Outstate MN Sushi

Living in Duluth and reading the MSP sushi thread with some interest, I began to many sushi restaurants are there in Minnesota OUTSIDE of the metro?

In Duluth, there's one:

Zen House
Maple Grove Rd. & Haines Rd.

This place is located, as strange as it sounds, in the same building as an ICO gas station that previously held a drive-through gyro place (not for long though) and a burger joint (for a long time, until the owner retired IIRC). I get sushi and noodles from there quite often, and it SEEMS pretty good, though the only time I've had sushi from somewhere else was from a rather low-priced place in New York. The facility itself has a drive-through, and even though I don't like them, I figured it would be kind of cool (in a making-Duluth-look-"cosmopolitan" sort of way) if they'd use it, though the display window is currently broken and the lane itself seems to be in use as a parking spot for somebody's vehicle and package storage.

Does anybody know of any other sushi places throughout outstate Minnesota? These regions don't seem to be nearly as "cosmopolitan" in their dining preferences as the Twin Cities, being mostly rural. Most people around here seem to never have tried sushi, and many people confuse it with raw fish itself and therefore consider the idea of it disgusting.

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  1. Well, this probably doesn't count but I know the Eclectic Cafe in Brainerd had Sushi on Saturdays as part of their "Sushi, Sake, Samurai" night... they would sell o.k. Sushi and Sake and play a Samurai movie. It has recently gone through an ownership shakeup though and I am not sure if they still are doing this. The place is worth checking out though if you are in town, it is sort aimed at Brainerd's young and hip crowd and has a very good selection of craft beers, organic Peace coffee, live original music, etc. I go there when visiting my relatives - I only wish they'd have been around when I was growing up!

    Other than that I have not seen any outstate Sushi in my travels. Good question though!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jitterbug

      Does anyone know if the Zen House is still there and of good quality? We are finally going to Duluth (from Ironwood... a foodie hell!) and have never had "real sushi". Can anyone recommend a sushi place even if it is a little ways away? Or in Superior, WI.?

      How about Thai food?

      Also, I read that India Palace (?) is better than Taj India. Is this correct? Sorry if I have the names wrong, having read so much info over the past hours. : )



      1. re: foodiechik

        Just went there a few days ago, the first time in several months. Quality seems to vary greatly, or maybe it's just me. The Zen Roll is really has smoked salmon, cream cheese, and avocado (similar to a Philly roll), and is BIG, like too big to eat in one bite big. I also like their unagi maki (BBQ eel) roll.

        Don't know for sure if it's still open, but there was a small bar joint in Superior that served sushi. I think it was called "Sakana" or "Sakura" or something like that.

        As for Thai food, you're limited to the Thai Krathong in Duluth. I'm not too much a fan. Maybe it's a bit Chinese-ized? One of my professors said that (I'm not a Thai food expert).

        As for Indian restaurants....the India Palace is excellent. If you're used to Indian food spiciness, the lunch buffet they serve each day of the week will come off as very bland, but if you order one of their entrees and ask for it to be served medium or spicy you will be pleased. I definitely prefer them to Taj India, though Taj's smaller buffet actually seems to be a little bit better.

    2. Arrowwood in Alexandria (on Lake Darling) is advertising a sushi night.