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Jun 1, 2011 03:48 PM

msp to duluth to the canadian border..road trip recco requests

a road trip is in store..a couple of days in red wing for 2 days..then falls and north..there must be some "must eat" places along the way...unusual, local specialties, savory and sweet..we would appreciate your reccs.....

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  1. We will be travelling July 1st through the 10th or so....

    1. Tobies in Hickley isn't a great restaurant, but they have some amazing baked goods for a quick snack along the way. They also have a little gift shop there with cute jewelry and whatnot.

      1 Reply
      1. 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.

        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:

        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

        1 Reply
        1. re: cayjohan

          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.

        2. 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 - - 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 - (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.

          Betty's Pies
          1633 Hwy 61, Two Harbors, MN 55616

          New Scenic Cafe
          5461 N Shore Dr, Duluth, MN 55804

          Chester Creek Cafe
          Duluth, MN, Duluth, MN

          Hell's Kitchen
          310 S Lake Ave, Duluth, MN 55802

          1. MSP:
            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 area:
            -Lutsen Lodge for breakfast: The wild rice pancakes are...ummm...wildly good.
            Grand Marais:
            -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!

            1 Reply
            1. re: hamboney

              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:

              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.