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Posts Tagged ‘Duluth Hamburger’

Duluth, MN – Grandma’s Ghost Pepper Cheeseburger Review

Ghost Pepper Cheeseburger ReviewThe 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 Grandma's Saloon and Grill on Urbanspoon


Ghost Pepper Cheeseburger Review

Duluth, MN – Couple of Burger Updates from the Pickwick

Just some new pix, for previous reviews, go here.  Many say the finest burger purveyor in the U.S. is Pat LaFrieda in NYC.  We have their burgers and steaks available here.

Pickwick Duluth Minnesota

Pub Burger

Pickwick Duluth Minnesota

Char Broil 1/2 Pounder

Pickwick Duluth reviews

Duluth, MN – Midi Restaurant and Wine Bar 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 Duluth Review

Midi Gourmet Burger


Midi Restaurant Duluth Review

Midi Crepe Suzette

Midi Restaurant & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

Midi Restaurant and Wine Bar Review

Superior, WI – Keyport Lounge Review

Keyport Lounge SuperiorOn 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; exterior shot from Google Maps).

Keyport  Bar Superior



Keyport Lounge on Urbanspoon






Keyport Lounge Review

Duluth, MN (sort of) – The Wabegon

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.

 The Wabegon Wabby Burger


Wabegon on Urbanspoon

Duluth, MN – Breeze Inn

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.


The Pepper Juicy Lucy

Todd Ekhart, musical impressionist

Todd Ekhart wows the crowd


Specials Menu


The Breeze Inn on Urbanspoon

Duluth, MN – 7 West Taphouse

7 West Taphouse Duluth MinnesotaOnce 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.

7 West Taphouse Duluth Minnesota

Lovely Brianna Serves Up the Taphouse Burger


7 West Taphouse Burger

7 West Taphouse Burger


7 West Taphouse Interior

7 West Taphouse Interior


(Photographs copyright Kawikamedia; all rights reserved).

7 West Taphouse on Urbanspoon

Duluth, MN – The “New” Pickwick


Pickwick Restaurant, Duluth, MN

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!).

Pickwick Pepper Cheeseburger


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).


Pepper "Poppers" at the Pickwick

Pickwick Pepper Cheeseburger & Onion Rings

Pickwick on Urbanspoon


Saginaw, MN – Swamp Sisters

Swamp Sisters

Swamp Sisters Restaurant

“The best burger I ever had,” claims Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawikamedia.   That’s a pretty lofty endorsement.

Swamp Sisters opened as a gift shop and retail outlet for the buffalo raised on the local farm, out in Sticksville, MN.  OK, really the nearby town is named Saginaw, and it’s 22.2 miles from downtown Duluth, as the Ford flies.

Serving food only from 8AM – 2PM, Fridays and Saturdays (and only in the summer), Swamp Sisters is your destination for delicious, ample, home cooked breakfasts and lunches.

Swamp Sisters interior

Swamp Sisters Interior

Kawikamedia and a downsized (for the day) Minnesota Burger Posse, had the buffaloburger, which was described as “very flavorful” and juicy.

They also sampled the Bonnie’s Skillet – an egg dish with tomatoes, hash browns, buffalo sausage, green pepper, mushrooms, onions.

Make a day of it – after your meal at Swamp Sisters, head on up to Grand Rapids, MN, birthplace of Francis Gumm!

View Larger Map

Swamp Sisters Buffalo Burger

Swamp Sisters Buffalo Burger

Swamp Sisters Skillet Breakfast

Swamp Sisters Skillet Breakfast

(All fotos by and @Kawikamedia, 2010)

Duluth, MN – GB Schneider & Company

Once upon a time, there was a “wrong side of the tracks” in Duluth, Minnesota. East and West, usually people didn’t stray too far from their part of town. Now, the burgeoning hip hop area of “West Duluth” (not to be confused with the “Friendly West End”) is taking on a life of its own, with development, shops, housing, including the newest eatery GB Schneider & Company at 46th Avenue West and Grand Avenue. Of course they are on Grand Avenue, their catchphrase, on their website and signage, is “grand eats”, and it appears they more than accomplish this promise, with a fun, diverse, American food menu.

Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawikamedia and the Friday Burger Posse hit Schneiders on Friday with a large group, and reports no missteps for this just opened foodery. Kawika went with the Howie Burger, cheese, mushrooms, and grilled onions. All of Schneider’s burgers start out as 1/3 pound of fresh grilled angus, served at medium, unless you request otherwise, and can be doubled, tripled, or as “big as you dare” for slight additional costs. (The entire party agreed the prices are inexpensive for the city).

Other plates the Posse imbibed in with strong reviews were the clam chowder, Monte Cristo, salads, sliders, veggie burger.

The Posse universally pronounced the fresh cut fries a masterpiece.

I can imagine the Posse might have had an eye (or palate) towards critical that day, as some of them were in high school w/ Mr. Schneider, and don’t we all like to call out old friends some times?

The menu offers a number of items that appeal to my own tastes which I look forward to trying next time I am that way – including, a Cuban, pulled pork, and Duluth’s homage to St. Louis with toasted ravioli – did this guy work on the Hill? And any “Italian Sausage” hoagie will get a nod from me.

GB Schneiders is open late, and has carry out. Whereas once West Duluth’s only dining options were bar pizza, and a decades old Cantonese room, the choices these days are varied and sublime.

View Larger Map

GB Schneider and Company on Urbanspoon

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