msp to duluth to the canadian border..road trip recco requests
a road trip is in store..a couple of days in msp..to red wing for 2 days..then duluth..int falls and north..there must be some "must eat" places along the way...unusual, local specialties, savory and sweet..we would appreciate your reccs.....
Two things jump to mind. First, my absolute must-visit every time I'm in Duluth is Northern Waters Smokehaus in Canal Park. The smoked fish, meats and salumi they produce are consistently excellent - I'm particularly (excessively?) fond of their brown sugar smoked Lake Superior whitefish. Great place to stock your road trip cooler with some wonderful picnic fare. They make excellent sandwiches as well. http://www.NorthernWatersSmokehaus.co...
Then, it seems your Duluth-to-Int'l Falls route would likely take you through Minnesota's Iron Range and its variety of ethnic offerings, particularly those dishes from Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Italy. While I haven't done much more than pass through the area in recent years, my guess is that there is still much the same the variety of specialties to be found. Here's a link to a book excerpt (pub. date 2001) on Iron Range fare: http://books.google.com/books?id=uu0q...
You'll also likely run into plenty of places selling Minnesota hand-harvested, hand-parched wild rice. Buy some. It's worth it!
Enjoy your trip!
Northern Waters Smokehaus
394 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
Cayjohan..thank you..the Smokehaus has come up in several posts I've read, and as we love smoked food..we will hit that..thanks for the book link, I look forward to the Iron Range variety. And we will get some rice..we saw a show about Native Americans growing and harvesting in Minn recently...can't wait to try some.
We travel to Duluth every year to visit family. Lots of possibilities. There are several good threads on this website about Duluth from a few years ago. Don't wast your time or money at Hell's Kitchen. At one time it was good, but not any more. Northern Waters is a great recommendation. We are pretty picky about restaurants. The "curb appeal" is not very important to us, but the food has got to be good.
Here is a list:
The Anchor Bar in Superior, WI - The best hamburger and fries in the Upper Midwest. Google it. Don't be frightened by the exterior. This place is the real deal!
Chester Creek Cafe - www.astccc.net - Near the UM Duluth campus. Very nice little place to eat, esp. for breakfast.
Russ Kendall's in Knife River (also on the scenic, shoreline highway to Two Harbors) is famous for a local delicacy, smoked fish. This is a take out kond of place so you can make a lunch and stop along the highway and look at the view of Lake Superior.
New Scenic Cafe - www.newsceniccafe.com (north of Duluth on the scenic highway to Two Harbors) - excellent food - on the gourmet side. Food here is not cheap, but this restaurant could hold its own in Minneapolis, Chicago, NYC, etc. This is really good food!
Betty's Pies - north of Two Harbors - famous for pie, food is ok.
1633 Hwy 61, Two Harbors, MN 55616
New Scenic Cafe
5461 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804
Chester Creek Cafe
Duluth, MN, Duluth, MN
310 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802
Never been to this place, but on my list; that Tiki bar on that's been on a lot of shows: Psycho Suzi's.
-Grandma's: Yea, I know it's pretty much a chain now, but dang those onion rings are awesome (especially on the roof watching the bridge do its thing), with a frothy adult beverage.
-Fitger's Bewhouse: Never had a bad meal there.
Two Harbors area:
-Betty's pies. I have driven past and had to turn around way too many times.
-Lutsen Lodge for breakfast: The wild rice pancakes are...ummm...wildly good.
-My Sister's Place: They're darned proud that A Zimmern ate there, but; the pizza was pretty good.
Sven & Ollie's: Another pizza place, mostly slices and a long line.
I'm not getting up there this summer (darn)! Enjoy!
hamboney, Fitger's Brewhouse is a great rec! The OP might want to stock up on some growlers of Fitger's beer for the road trip! (I think they sell their root beer in growler's too; my root beer loving family tells me it's excellent, but I can't attest further.) Also: the wild rice burgers at Fitger's are among the best of any veggie-based burger I've ever had. Here's a link for the OP: http://brewhouse.net/
Oh, those Grandma's onion rings...Aren't they great? Chainish as G:ma's can seem in many ways, the onion rings are a big reason to go. And if the rings aren't enough to push all the fried food buttons for the day, there's Crabby Bill's little boat shack right across the parking lot by the lake, serving some tasty fried smelt.
alithang, I just realized you're heading south to Red Wing as well. If your route-planning is flexible, you may want to consider a visit to Faribault Dairy in Faribault, MN. The blue-veined cheeses they produce and cave-age are amazing. But: no cave tours for the public due to regs. You can also pick up the Faribault Dairy cheeses in Surdyk's Deli in Minneapolis. If you're a blue-veined fan, it's really worth a try.
Here's a link: http://www.faribaultdairy.com/index.htm
Thanks all..yes we will be in Red Wing for a few days to attend a wedding....are there any county/state fairs going on anywhere on our route during this time? Gotta get my wife some fried curds! I had the pleasure in 2007 to visit the area, got to a fair and tractor pul..but my wife, who's from Germany has never been..so of course we are looking for all those quintessential expieriances...really looking forward to the north country...i read that section about the Iron Range restaurants..hope to find some still there..
Our county fair circuit doesn't heat up until August, and builds to the State Fair for the 12 days ending on Labor Day, but within your time frame and route, there is this:
>>July 8-10, Wild Rice Festival in Deer River, Minn. Amid Chippewa National Forest north of Grand Rapids, this town celebrates the Ojibwe staple with a powwow, parade, kiddie tractor pull and fireworks.<<
Okay, just a kiddie tractor pull, but those can be wildly entertaining! And the powwow might be of interest to you if you are looking to experience the local culture.
I'll keep my eyes peeled; I've got to take a similar road trip route later this summer, and I haven't been paying enough attention to that part of the state for awhile. Thanks for jogging my memory.
Also, if you're going to spend some time around the Twin Cities, you might want to check this local food site out: http://heavytable.com/ . It's pretty solid.
I still say Nokomis or the Rustic are unappreciated spots along the North Shore near Duluth.
Depending on your route towards the range don't forget to tray a pasty (or two).
K&B drive-in on US53 just outside of Eveleth makes them most days. The owner will try and point you towards the BBQ he does there, but the pasties and my favorite the porketta sandwich are great. http://www.kandbdrivein.com/
If you get as far west as Grand Rapids, Pasties Plus on US2 is a little grimy hole in the wall that makes great pasties of several varieties is a must stop. No real sitting and depending on the tie of day they could be out of "hot" ready to eat ones. Your wife might want to try the "german" pasty, made with bratwurst.
1405 Northwest 4th Street
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Open Weekdays 9am-7pm; Sat 10am-5pm
Nokomis Restaurant & Bar
5593 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804
1405 NW 4th St, Grand Rapids, MN 55744