Posts Tagged ‘Duluth Hamburger’
This is a follow up visit, six months after opening, of the Tavern on the Hill, in a new development near the University in Duluth, MN. It’s the weekend of the annual world-famous “Grandma’s Marathon,” the foot race course that hugs the shore of Lake Superior. Runners from all over the world (and locally) love the race for its relatively flat course and ideal running temps.
Minnesota bureau chief and his posse are no different, and, after finishing their own workout were looking for a little carb replacement therapy away from the race crowds. They headed over the hill to hit the TOTH.
The restaurant has a deep menu, designed to appeal to most every taste; it includes burgers, sandwiches, artisan pizzas and flatbreads, as well as some vegetarian selections, from locally hand-culled produce….. and even sushi!
The group had two orders of wings, BBQ and with Frank’s, the latter which they preferred as use of Frank’s Buffalo sauce is not common with Duluth wings.
A small pizza was shared and enjoyed, by acclimation, the rings received a table full of applause, interestingly, as Duluth has a lot of good o-rings.
The kitchen is open late, which is a rarity in town. Next time you’re in out in the city and desire a nice meal away from the tourist centers, check out the Tavern on the Hill.
Stopped in here before, yakked about it then. May be one of Duluth’s best. Kawika, head of the Minnesota burger posse was back today for the third pound, American cheese, medium rare, and a gajillion fresh cut fries. Most excellent. Full menu online. Find ’em at the top of Piedmont Avenue. Fresh ground daily, hand made patties.
Big Daddys Review
The venerable Grandma’s Saloon and Grill in Canal Park in Duluth, Minnesota adds special items to the menu from time to time. They have a “feature” menu, a “farm to table” menu, and seasonal favorites. “Hot” on the feature menu at present is the Ghost Pepper Cheese Burger. For those of you unfamiliar with the ghost pepper it originated in India, scientific name “bhot jolokia” and is measure on the Scoville scale of heat as 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce! Grandma’s takes premium ground beef, a fresh bakery roll, pepper cheese and ghost pepper sauce to come up with a burger “not for the meek” though they don’t make you sign a release as some places do! Turns out it was perfect for one of the table’s diners, and way way way way too much for the other!
Check out other dishes at Grandma’s Saloon and Grill.
Ghost Pepper Cheeseburger Review
The venerable Fitger’s Brewery Complex, in Duluth, Minnesota, dates from the late 1800s, and when beer production ceased a few decades ago, local businessmen saved the series of buildings and turned them into a boutique inn, shops, and restaurants. The 62 room inn offers great view of Lake Superior, and easy access to downtown, as well as Canal Park, via the waterfront Lake Walk, a 7.5 mile pathway along the shore, used by walkers, joggers, bicyclists and skaters.
Within the complex are four restaurants and two nightclubs, and the Midi Restaurant and Wine Bar has a new ‘mash-up’ menu, offering Meditteranean cuisine (including small plates), local specialties, and, as a tip of the hat to the brewery’s origin, a few German plates. Food is served from 7AM until late.
Minnesota Burger Bureau Chief Kawika, accompanied by pals including local balladeer Todd Eckhart, celebrated the big man’s birthday at Midi, imbibing on the Midi Gourmet Burger, a half found of premium grind from Minnesota’s Unger Meats, adored with caramelized onions, havarti cheese, lettuce and tomato, with a side of sweet potato fries. Midi features a dozen ala carte sides, ranging from spaetzle to cous cous, and Minnesota wild rice, of course.
Dessert was a traditionally prepared but uniquely plated crepe suzette.
The party was more than satisfied with the food and attentive service, and the birthday boy pronounced the burger as completely over the top.
Menus are online.
Midi Restaurant and Wine Bar Review
On Belknap (“bell-nap”), one of the main drags in Superior, WI, two blocks west of the other main drag, Tower Avenue, you’ll run into one of the area’s largest liquor stores, the Keyport, which has an attached bar and grill of the same name. If you’re driving around looking for it, it’s in the outlot of Super One Grocery.
They frequently have live entertainment, daily specials, karaoke, and a gaggle of big screen TVs for sporting events.
The Minnesota Burger Bureau Chief was following one of his local favorite music acts, Todd Ekhart, and stopped in the other night, sampling the “Siracha Burger” from the full menu, which includes ciabatta sandwiches, wraps, salads, Mexican favorites, and pizza. The hand-formed char crust burger patty was painted with a siracha / bbq sauce mixture, topped with bacon, cheese, and onion rings. He reported that it was a fine effort, other than he and the chef had different opinions on what levels of doneness meant. (Food photo credit Kawikamedia.com; exterior shot from Google Maps).
Keyport Lounge Review
My family rarely took summer vacations; it was my dad’s “busy time” for work. Instead, we skied. A lot. We’d travel around the Upper Midwest on weekends, throw in an occasional trip out West, but our “go to” local place was/is called “Mont du Lac”, and it was at the other end of town from our house, on Minnesota highway 23, right after you left the city limits.
We were there a lot as a family, but my most vivid memory of the place was it was the scene of the only head-on car collision I have been in, thankfully at low speed, and thankfully with my brother driving, and not me. Fast forward 5 decades, and at the entrance of the ski hill is a local tavern, which even though the highway in front of the joint is in Minnesota, due to a geographic anomaly, the tavern is on a little spit of land claimed by Wisconsin.
The Wabegon (I have no idea what that means, unless it’s a pun on “Wobegon”) is open 7 days at varying hours, and serves a variety of bar favorites, including burgers and pizza. It’s been perched there since 1932.
The Minnesota Burger posse has been following around local musician Todd Eckart, as the Posse man in chief, Kawika, is shooting a little documentary on Todd.
The Wabegon had Eckart in for a night.
Wabby Burgers start off with a ½ pound of fresh ground, and combinations of all ilks are available. Kawika went with the basic cheeseburger, and said it was very enjoyable.
If you want to take the “scenic route” to Duluth from Minneapolis, hop off I-35 at Minnesota 23, and amble up this back road, stopping for a cool brew at the Wab.
One great thing about driving around rural Minnesota and Wisconsin has always been finding “undiscovered” local taverns and roadhouses, like the Kounty Quarthouse, Billy’s, or Swamp Sisters. Some are pretty new (like 50 years or so) and some date back to prohibition. While widely known and popular with a very local crowd, patrons from away often have to stumble upon these joints by accident, and it’s usually a happy accident.
One such place, just outside of Duluth, on the Jean Duluth Road, just down from where we used to go horseback riding at Springhill Dairy, and near the source of our childhood play pen, the Lester River, is the Breeze Inn, dishing up the goods since 1962.
A smallish place, long on service, with excellent taste in food, and the knowledge of how to prepare it well, our Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawika, accompanied by friend, hit the place up the other nite because of the entertainment, Todd Ekhart, a former local boy who now tours the world doing his impersonation of half of the Rat Pack as well as other musical celebrities.
In any case, the entertainment drew our crew, but they stayed and raved about the food. A special grind beef from supplier Unger Meats makes the Breeze’s versions of the Juicy Lucy (cheese stuffed burgers) (a Minneapolis invention, tho the actual source point is argued passionately), extra fine, and Kawika went with the Roasted Pepper Lucy, stuffed with pepper-jack, and topped with jalapenos, bell pepper, onion, and seasoned sour cream. Burgers are served on a grilled Kaiser, and accompanied by house made chips, fries or sweet potato fries. Our party went with the latter and declared them some of the best they had ever consumed.
So if you’re tooling around Minnesota and want a great burger, hit the Breeze Inn; if your tooling around the world and want to enjoy a show by Todd Ekhart, his schedule is here. Either experience, you’ll thoroughly enjoy.
Once upon a time in the Zenith City, the central core of the downtown strip was a vital community of merchants catering to Scandinavian immigrants. Over the years, the immigrants moved out to the extremes of the street car lines, and the downtown became less vibrant, especially the two blocks east and west of the central dividing line, Lake Avenue.
Less than ‘reputable’ merchants took up position, adult book stores, a blood donor center, small merchants.
Those days are gone, as Duluth goes through another renaissance, and new and exciting businesses are filling historical edifices along the main drag, Superior Street.
The latest pop-up is the 7 West Taphouse, with 40 craft beers on tap (even some from the craft beer capital of the US – Oregon!), and burgers and melts on the grill menu. The proprietors are vets of other area restaurants, including Grizzly’s.
Kawikamedia and the Minnesota Burger Posse were there at opening bell. They tried a variety of burgers and fries with dipping sauces. Kawika went with the signature Taphouse Burger, featuring a double up on the beer, jalapeno beer cheese, and sauteed beer onions, with a side of the vinegar and salt fries.
Good reports all around. A new bright spot in downtown Duluth.
(Photographs copyright Kawikamedia; all rights reserved).
Nearly 100 years old, but yet a “newborn”, the Pickwick (“the Wick” to locals) has always been a Minnesota favorite, and has been operated by the same family until this week. The new owners have modernized some of the infrastructure, and will be “updating” (horrors!) the menu.
First pic of the new bar area (below) shows that they have increased seating, extended the bar itself, and added more seating at the bar (formerly, it just had 8 highly coveted stools). Looks like the have lightened up the room a bit, and possibly removed the plethora of dead animals and fish that previously hung on the walls and replaced them with flat screens (horrors, again!) (Can’t we go anywhere, anymore, w/o having to watch television?).
Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawikamedia and the Minnesota Burger Posse were there for opening night and reported nothing had changed, apparently, in his usual (and favorite) Pepper Cheeseburger and onion rings. But he added an aside, that the “true test” of the burger is how it tastes after a night in the frig (like I believe the test of a pizza is how it tastes after a night on the kitchen counter!).
The Wick has retained their charcoal broiler for steaks and fish. One can only imagine they kept the various local fish entrees, featuring Walleye. Or one can hope. Word is they will be opening the 2nd floor, previously unused space, as a wine bar.
The group started with the Pepper Poppers, before launching into the burgers. Poppers were reported as “a nice addition to the menu.”
(All photos @ Kawikamedia, and cannot be reproduced w/o permission).