After a daylong bus trip in March to Duluth, Minnesota, I wanted to explore more on my own when it was nice. So I spent a long weekend in Duluth and the North Shore on Lake Superior. It was a great time to explore and sample the area, so quiet and relaxed. And if you are a faithful reader of this blog, you know I plan my trips around food and drink. This trip was no exception!
I drove up to Duluth, which I assumed was pretty much Canada (South Florida Val talking), but learned it’s less than halfway from the Twin Cities to Canada. The heeeckk??!! Still, by the time I got there, it was time to eat.
First stop, Duluth Grill. This is a diner with tons of homemade food (including condiments); has a large, creative breakfast menu; and grows a lot of food on its property in really unique locations, making the most of the space. Case in point: They are getting ready to start growing fruit-bearing trees on a mound of dirt in the parking lot! I had the vegan omelet with red flannel hash (check out the menu to find out more, it’s worth a look!), and it was really good and filling. Which was good, because I did a lot of walking that day.
Speaking of walking, I stumbled upon an old-time candy store, where I purchased some Jelly Belly’s in draft beer and Tabasco flavors. They were a little too realistic tasting. I’m not saying if that’s good or bad, that’s for you to decide. I also found a really unique T-shirt store, The Medium Control, that reminded me of Raygun in Des Moines. And after walking around Leif Ericson Park (a nice park, but too early in the season to enjoy the rose garden), I headed to Fitger’s Brewhouse for a beverage. I sampled their chili beer and, while it was possibly the best chili beer I had tasted, I wasn’t sure how a pint would feel in me, so I opted for a pale ale.
After all the exploration, I needed a filling dinner. New Scenic Cafe certainly fit the bill for that!
Another restaurant that focuses on local cuisine, the menu changes with the seasons and slants toward the Minnesota heritage. For example, I had a rugbrød appetizer, a dense Danish bread. And my main dish was phenomenal, a spring veggie ragout of seasonal veggies in beurre blanc with a latke and gnocchi. To drink, I had a Borealis Fermentary beer, a very small brewery in the area.
Before heading back, I had to get a wild rice burger, something I kept seeing on menus in the area. (When in Rome, as the saying on “Anchorman” goes.) Before hitting the road I stopped at Lighthouse at Emily’s for a burger and Castle Danger beer (my favorite beer from my first trip). It was a well-seasoned burger with a good texture. I left full and ready to hit the road, proud of the variety of food and drink I experienced in the North Shore.
Have you been to any of these places? What did you think, or what would you recommend in the area?