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Posts Tagged ‘Duluth Hamburger’

Saginaw, MN – Swamp Sisters

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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!


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Swamp Sisters Buffalo Burger

Swamp Sisters Buffalo Burger

Swamp Sisters Skillet Breakfast

Swamp Sisters Skillet Breakfast

(All fotos by and @Kawikamedia, 2010)

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Duluth, MN – GB Schneider & Company

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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.


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GB Schneider and Company on Urbanspoon

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Duluth, MN – Ground Round Grill & Bar

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The Ground Round was founded by Howard Johnsons in 1969 and what one time had over 300 outlets.. Now a shadow of its former self, Ground Round currently operates about 30 restaurants in 13 states, and is owned by a cooperative of former franchisees, and is based in Freeport, Maine.  Some analysts say it may be tough for a chain this small to survive long term.

G.R. may have been the innovator of eating free peanuts and tossing the shells on the floor….at least they are one of the earliest places I remember that offered that.

Duluth was pretty early in the game, and for some reason, it has survived in a market, which like most these days, is flooded with casual dining options. There are at least a half-dozen similar options within spitting distance of the Duluth outlet, including a branch of local favorite, “Grandmas,” started by the son of frozen food mogul, Jeno Paulucci (Chun King, Jeno’s Pizza, Michelina’s). (Paulucci Wikipedia bio).

Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawikamedia and his burger posse stopped in at the Ground Round today, and sampled (what else?) the Pepper Cheeseburger. He reported it was a little dry, but came with a chipotle sauce he favored. He also ordered the onion rings, which are very similar to another hometown favorite, the Pickwick.

Kawikamedia continues his quest for the best Pepper Cheeseburger in Minnesota. Maybe you have a suggestion of one he might have missed?

Kawikamedia shoots beautiful pix of food, and some of his shots are available for purchase in our online store.

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Ground Round Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

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Duluth, MN – Texas Road House

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Texas Road House has grown to over 350 locations in 46 states (missing OR, WA, AK, HI), and is on a tear to open new ones in 2010. Headquartered in Louisville, a recent add to their location roster is in Duluth, MN, in the ‘restaurant cluster’ in and around the Miller Hill Mall.

The company President, on the website, says of their mission: “We wanted to provide a place that the whole family could enjoy,” says Taylor. “Texas Roadhouse is about a hearty, good meal with service that is friendly, energetic, and enthusiastic. Life should be fun – so the workplace needs to reflect that as well – and that is why we put our employees first.”

Further, their website says “The Texas Roadhouse Story is simple. Legendary Food, Legendary Service®!!!”

The Road House offers a wide variety of “American” cuisine, including steaks, chicken, ribs, and some “Southern” fare (they call it “country”) like smothered chicken, catfish, and pulled pork.

Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawikamedia wasn’t very impressed. He ordered the “All-American Cheddar Burger” ½ lb. burger topped with cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, and onions. Burgers are served on a toasted Texas-sized bun with steak fries and a pickle spear.

His first objection was to the atmosphere, he said it was the “loudest place he had ever been in sober,” and it sounded like they had two different C&W bands at full bore simultaneously.

Waitstaff would regularly show up at tables singing some celebratory song, which increased the noise level. The party stated with potato skins which were “OK.”

Problem one arose when one of the party ordered a steak which was so salty, the diner wondered if it might have MSG on it. The manager explained that the “combination of spices they used might PRODUCE msg.” Oh, yikes. The steak was replaced with a less-seasoned one, but this version was overcooked.

Kawikamedia’s burger had been requested medium, the server said beef was ground on site, so different levels of doneness were permitted. The burger arrived overcooked, and was, in our reporter’s opinion, not nearly the claimed half-pound (precooked) unless they started with a 70/30 grind and some great portion of the burger was grilled into oblivion.

Overall the party was disappointed with the food, service, and atmosphere, and won’t be returning. There are so many choices available in the casual dining segment these days, that new establishments usually only get one chance to establish loyalty with a customer base. And in a small town like Duluth, ill-will travels faster than traffic on London Road.

If you want to check out Texas Road House, find a location online here: Each store has an individualized website and you can look at the respective menus after choosing a location.


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Texas Road House on Urbanspoon


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Duluth, MN – The Spot Sports Bar & Grill

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Nestled inside the Incline Station Bowling Center, the newly remodeled Spot Sports Bar & Grill, offers typical bar food: burgers, pizza, sandwiches, (menu below) and a host of deep-fried stuff.

Why is it called “Incline Station?” No, it’s not because you might be inclined (chortle)to go there, but rather, it sits on the space that was formerly occupied by a funicular that transported Duluthians to the top of the hills rising above Lake Superior. It was built in the 1890s and finally scrapped in 1939 as outmoded, but also to use the scrap metal for the war effort. Here’s a great photo of the incline from the Minnesota Historical Society.

Minnesota Burger Reporter Kawikamedia and his burger posse stopped in at the Incline to try the burgers today, and came away mostly satisfied.

Kawika ordered the “Original Incline” burger, 1/2 hand formed patty adorned with Canadian Bacon and cheddar. Duluthians love Canadian Bacon, since oft times they consider themselves as “Southern Canadians”  anyway (but no drawl).

He liked the fact it was “char-broiled” as was the bun, but said the meat was a little dry.  Sometimes that can come from overcooking, sometimes because the chef buys very lean beef.

Fries were more than acceptable, price of the plate, 8.75, which is probably one of the pricier burgers in the Zenith City. (BTW, Kawika is a marvelous photographer, i you like to purchase  photos of  ships, lake scenes,  or scenics of Hawaii, DM us  on twitterand we’ll hook you up).


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Spot Sports Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

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