Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket

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Inthewater
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 12:25:49 (permalink)
Missed that last bit, but I am sure there are some that don't. Just saying that a lot do.
 
Lots of N. European types around these parts, ya know.  Oh yuh.
 

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kland01s
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 12:38:53 (permalink)
Inthewater

Almost every salad bar I have been to in my life has had pickled herring on it.

In Iowa.

Not just a Minnesota thing.  :)


Wisconsin too and western parts of Illinois
#62
blizzardstormus
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 12:49:41 (permalink)
A salad bar is not a salad bar without pickled herring.
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Davydd
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 14:39:34 (permalink)
I never thought of pickled herring as a Northern Midwest thing since my wife's family, natives of Staten Island, NYC, ate pickled herring especially on New Year's Day as part of tradition. That was German heritage in this instance and I am sure Scandinavian as well.
 
What I doubt Iowans do eat is that Grilled Herring, especially fresh the same day off the docks on Lake Superior kind. Now that is a Minnesota North Shore treat often served as the catch of day alternating with Whitefish and Lake Trout in many of its restaurants.
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Inthewater
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 15:25:42 (permalink)
Nope, we sure don't. 
 
Mostly because the shores of Lake Superior are quite a ways away.
 

I'd eat the heck out of it, if we had it around, though.  Don't see cream of mushroom and wildrice soup around here much, either.
 
But then, I doubt you see as much sweet corn and pork on your menus in the summer, on the other side of that.
Anyway, great trip report, made me want to head up that way sometime.
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Davydd
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 16:10:27 (permalink)
Pork? Inthewater, You obviously haven't visited my website.
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wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 16:42:15 (permalink)
Davydd
 
I agree, pickled herring is not just a northern midwesdt thing it was all over the jewish "dairy delis" as well. However I lived in NY most of my life and never found pickled herring at a salad bar anywhere
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Inthewater
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 17:24:10 (permalink)
If I had, I have forgotten. 
 
That's some collection you have there.  Ever checked out:
 
http://des-loines.blogspot.com/
 
That is also a pretty good collection of great loins.  If you haven't, maybe it will give you some new places to check out.
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mar52
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 18:01:27 (permalink)
Maybe the salad bars sprang from the Smorgesborgs?  (I have no idea how to spell that!)
 
I've always had pickled herring from those although they all might not have it.
 
It's a Scandanavian thing.
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 18:49:25 (permalink)
Thank Heaven Costco stocks big jars of the Herring for less than $5 !!!  I love the stuff.
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 18:49:37 (permalink)
It is Smorgasbord. A Scandinavian term for an all you can eat buffet. The first time I encountered a smorgasbord was way back in the 60s in Madison, Wisconsin. I think it was a Jolly Troll if my memory serves me.
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mar52
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 19:41:38 (permalink)
Thanks, Davy.  Our Smorgasbord was something like King George or Sir George's.  I was a kid and I loved it.
 
 
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 21:22:48 (permalink)
Tuesday August 24
 
I took the 50 mile early morning drive from my motel in Silver Bay up to Grand Marais
I wasn't sure if I was going to make it the entire 50 miles without coffee. Approximately 20 miles south of Grand Marais I found a coffee house in a small strip mall on the left side of Route 61. I don't remember the name of the place, however I do remember that they had some good strong java and a computer. Since I hadn't had any internet access over the last several days I was able to catch up on my e-mail,
 
After arriving
 

 
I stopped at
 

 
The Wild Onion Cafe
located inside the Harbor Inn.
 

 
Davydd previously recommended the Venison scramble which they call "The Wild One"
on the menu.
 

 
This  hearty scramble includes venison sausage, bacon, swiss cheese, peppers, mushrooms and wild rice.  I had wondered if the venison would have a gamey taste and it surprisingly didn't. 
 
After breakfast there was just so much to see around town. I spent most of the day walking from store to store and taking advantage of the incredibly rustic beauty of Lake Superior and Grand Marais Harbor.
 

 

 
 

 
 
I walked into one of the shops and wouldn't ya know- look what I find in the book section!
 

 
I was wondering what the last word on Lefse really is?
 

 
and this looks like a really interesting clash of two cultures. I was wondering if they were catering to tourists like myself but when I went outside and saw that just about all of the cars had Minnesota license plates I figured...."naahh, maybe not!"
 
I continued to explore and came across
 

 
"World's best Donuts" since I had breakfast not that long ago, I guess I'll never find out..
 
However on further exploration I couldn't turn this down..
 

 
Sydney's Frozen Custard
 
Like I've said many times before, whenever I'm in the Great Lakes area, I can never turn down a good frozen custard stand...
 
I got the chocolate frozen custard in a waffle cone...
 

 
 
As far as frozen custard goes it didn't blow me away....It seemed to lack the intense creamy richness that makes good frozen custard so special.
 
After my late morning snack (I think it was actually approaching noon by this time) I notice these amazing rock formations leading to Grand Marais Light Station
 
I'm assuming this area inspires many artists hence the name
 

 

 

 

 
As I approached the Light Station
 

 
I was able to climb it and caught a great view of this passing boat
 

 
As I walked back towards town I passed Davydd's favorite place
 

 
Which reminded me it was now time for lunch. And the perfect place to stop at was
 

 
Dockside Fish Market
 
When Davydd included this place in one of his trip reports a year or two ago, I decided that stopping here was a must
 
The Dockside, basically a fish market,  offers some  indoor seating
 

 
as well as outdoor seating in the back overlooking Grand Marais Harbor and seating out in front.
I ordered my meal at the counter and then was given a number and found seating outdoors in front  of the market.
I began with the smoked trout chowder
 

 
which contained hunks of delicately smoked trout...
 
However for the second time of the trip (and thankfully the last time) they got my order wrong. The waiter approached and said "herring and chips" as he put my meal down. I explained that I ordered Whitefish and chips as I showed him my receipt. He quickly apologized and eventually came back with the right order.
 

 
Although the fries were so-so, I enjoyed my meal. The fish was perfectly fried the crispy
coating encompassing the flaky white meat.
 
Walking around town again, I notice this great directional sign.
 

 
And frankly...
 

 
I don't know where to go with this! " />
I could think of so many things on so many different levels- but this is a family friendly website- so I'll simply stop here!
 
Speaking of stopping, I did go here
 

 
The Cook County Historical Museum housed in the former Keeper's Cottage of the Grand Marais Light Station where I ran into this couple..
 

 
Besides depicting the keeper's quarters
 

 

 
The Museum also had several displays regarding the history of Grand Marais.
 
It was now time

 
for another late afternoon pie break at The Pie Place. Located few miles outside of town, I had to drive to get here..
 

 
I decided to go with their daily special
 

 
and today it was Lemon Crumb Custard. This was another fine slice of pie- creamy with lots of "big lemony flavor"
 
On the way back into town I stopped at a couple of antique shops  and when I made my way back into town I just decided to stop and smell the roses- sit down at one of the benches and admire the harbor scenery...
 
I found the perfect opportunity to take a photo this guy too.
 

 
As evening was approaching, my final stop in Grand Marais was
 

 
The Angry Trout Cafe
 
The Angry Trout has no formal menu. They serve whatever is fresh that day. And their theme is "sustainability"
 

 
Although they have outdoor seating overlooking the harbor, it was starting to get quite windy so I sat indoors
 

 
I ordered the Lake Trout served with wild rice and fresh from garden veggies.

 
This meal was nothing short of perfect.  The trout had a profound very distinctive taste and the vegetables literally sang to me as I was eating them they were so full of flavor. Not only was this probably one of best meals of the trip but of the year. I'm amazed that The Angry Trout has not been reviewed here on Roadfood
 
After dinner I drove the 50 miles back to my motel in Silver bay. I was finally leaving the state of Minnesota the next day (and won't be back for another 12 days at the tail end of my trip)
 
I'll probably continue on some time next week...
 
in the interim I have a day trip that I took this past sunday that I wan't to do a trip report on since it will probably be my last trip for a long long long time...Hopefully I'll complete that at the latter part of the weekend.
post edited by wanderingjew - 2010/09/16 21:30:45
#73
Davydd
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/16 21:46:06 (permalink)
Great photos wj.
 
The Beaver House is a live bait and tackle shop if anyone is interested.
 
The sailing ship in the harbor is the Hordjis owned by the North House Folk School. It is used for sailing excursions for tourists and classes.
 
The Dockside Fish Market is the fish supplier to most all the restaurants in town. That's one reason why The Angry Trout, The Crooked Spoon and Chez Jude usually vary their menu with the catch of the day which may be either herring, whitefish or lake trout.  You can also buy smoked fish at the Dockside.
 
If you check back I have reported on The Angry Trout numerous times in the forums here since I have eaten there maybe a dozen times over the years. I guess I am remiss not writing any reviews other than reporting in the forums.

#74
Nancypalooza
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/17 10:04:22 (permalink)
I've eaten at the Angry Trout too, although I haven't reported on it before.  It is very good.  I'm giggling a little at the saddest little half-ear of sweet corn I've ever seen on that plate, although I'm sure it tasted good.
#75
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/17 19:19:42 (permalink)
WJ
 
You are killing me! I haven't eaten yet today and those pictures make me want to eat the screen.  This trip looks like a wonderful adventure so far.
I am green with envy... or is that hunger?
 
(pie count @ 7)
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/20 20:25:58 (permalink)
 
Back to where I left off
 
Wednesday August 25

I would be primarily traveling this day.... Heading south,  my last stop on the Northshore
would be breakfast at
 

 
The Vanilla Bean Cafe in Two Harbors MN
 
When I first glanced at their website, I couldn't determine if they were more "coffeehouse" or "small town cafe"
Judging by their interior
 

 
and their really bad coffee, they're obviously a small town cafe...
 
I couldn't leave Minnesota without some Swedish Pancakes
 

 
And The Vanilla Bean obviously knows how to do them right-
Served  with sweet-tart Lingonberries and syrup, these light and airy crepe style pancakes was an excellent start to  my morning- however it would have been perfect if these crepe style pancakes were filled with real whipped cream too- oh well I guess I can't have everything...
 
Afterwards I stopped a couple of miles down the road at what I thought was going to be a real coffee house so I could get some "real coffee" at the Mocha Moose - as it turns out this was the nastiest tasteless coffee house coffee I had on the entire trip- I'm convinced that was Maxwell House or Folgers they had brewing in that pot!
 
I knew where I was going to be stopping halfway through my trip, however I realized I had no planned lunch stops.....
 
I made it to Bemidji MN which over looks a really beautiful lake 

 
and apparently is also home to....
 
 

 
Paul Bunyon and "Babe the Big Blue Ox" - ya, sure you betcha!
For lunch I went over to the visitors center near the lake and asked the lady there for some recommendations. I explained that I'm looking for something light and a place with some character...She recommended  this place
 

 
The Cabin Coffeehouse and Cafe
Located right in downtown Bemidji.
 
However I explained I was looking for something more than just coffee and a pastry, she said, it's more than just a coffee house..
 
When I entered inside I can see what she meant..
 

 

 

 

Not only does it retain that Northwood lake cabin atmosphere but they also serve hot lunches-  not just any old hot lunch but.......
 

 
You guessed it- Tater Tot Hotdish!
 
I couldn't believe it- If you recall, after my first experience with Tater Tot Hotdish at Bev's Cafe, I indicated that I liked it but wouldn't go out of my way to find it, well, it looks like it found me. The other hot meal option was "sloppy joes" obviously I couldn't pass this up. I asked the two girls behind the counter about this- and they told me they have a revolving Hotdish everyday for lunch, in fact I just missed their "Hotdish Extravaganza" that they had the day before- a choice of multiple varietoies of Hotdish. The meal comes with rolls and a small apple crisp. It was fine but I actually thought the Tater Tot Hotdish at Bev's Cafe had a more distinctive flavor..
 
The Cabin also had several choices of "bars" there was one that looked really decadent but I knew I was going to have a big dinner so I went with
 

 
The Special K bar.  It was better than the Lingonberry bar I had a few days earlier at
Cafe Finspang in Minneapolis...
 
While checking out Bemidji's downtown, I came across the interesting fellow
 

 
 
After Lunch I contined on to my final destination for the evening....
And checked into my hotel in Fargo ND.
 
Downtown Fargo was only about 3 miles from my hotel. I had some time to head down there and look around. Downtown really didn't seem to change all that much in the 12 years since I was last there. Sadly though the brew pub I went to when I was last there "The Old Broadway" is now just a sports bar cum meat market....
 
A big "thank you" goes out to roadfood poster jokadrma for my dinner stop...
After reviewing jokadrma's previous thread about fargo suggestions, I made some phone calls and selected
 

 
TNT's Diner in West Fargo

 
 
First of all I can't think of enough nice things to say about the owners- husband and wife team Tim and Tammy (hence the name TNT's Diner)  as well as their staff...
Anyway let's get to the food..
 

 
Here are the dinner specials (I'm sure you can guess what I'm going to have!)
 
I started out with a cup of thick creamy beer cheese soup
 

 
On par with the beer cheese soup I enjoyed at the now defunct Grainary Restaurant over at Fargo's West Acre's mall a decade ago. It was absolutely intoxicating but didn't leave me intoxicated...
 
For my main course I had the Scandinavian- Northern Midwest specialty, potato klub
 

Straight out Norske comfort food- ideal after a day of hard work during those frigid winter months.
Dense n' hearty potato dumplings served with melted butter and thick cuts of salty ham. The combination of the dumplings, ham and melted butter is a triple threat to tantalize the taste buds.
 
And although I looked at the dessert specials
 

 
and peeked at the pie case
 

 
I ordered some of the best sour cream raisin pie I've ever had
 

 
Two days in a row- dinner was nothing short of perfect. One of my favorite meals of the trip...
 
TNT's Diner will be in the running for a top 10 list of 2010
 
After my amazing dinner, I headed back to Fargo. I haven't been to a ballgame since the Twins game 4 days earlier...
 
I headed to
 

 
Newman Outdoor Field, home of the independent unaffiliated Fargo Moorhead Redhawks.
The ballpark is actually located not too far from Fargo's Airport....
 

 
 

 
 

 
 

 
Now I'll admit I'm not a big fan of unaffiliated ball, in fact before this, the last unaffiliated ballgame I went to was the Bridgeport Blue Fish in Connecticut back in 2002, so it's been awhile.
 
However the Redhawks must be doing something right
 

 
Because they had a sellout crowd- on a Wednesday night! However I didn't find out until the end of the game that this was their last home game of the season.
 

 
Even their mascot was a big hit!
 
The Redhawks hosted the Lake County Captains that evening..
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
And although I don't remember the exact score, I do remember that the Red Hawks did shut out the Lake County Captains..
 
After the game although I was tempted to check out downtown Fargo's exciting nightlife I decided to return to my hotel and call it a night...
 
more tomorrow...
 

post edited by wanderingjew - 2010/09/20 20:42:53
#77
ChiTownDiner
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/20 20:42:04 (permalink)
wanderingjew -
 
The loon omelet looked incredible...
 
Glad you doubled up the walleye fillets after that tea sandwich show for lunch!
 
#78
wanderingjew
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 07:31:13 (permalink)
ChiTownDiner

wanderingjew -

The loon omelet looked incredible...

Glad you doubled up the walleye fillets after that tea sandwich show for lunch!



Hey, don't undermine those Tea Sandwiches, apparently the Vikings managed to rape, plunder and pillage with that diet!
#79
ayersian
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 09:19:34 (permalink)
wanderingjew
I'm amazed that The Angry Trout has not been reviewed here on Roadfood

Dale, since you won't be going on any trips "for a long, long, long time" [by this, do you mean until next summer?], why not review this yourself?  Your photos are perfect, and your commentary is spot-on.  Please?    Chris
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 09:41:48 (permalink)
wanderingjew

ChiTownDiner

wanderingjew -

The loon omelet looked incredible...

Glad you doubled up the walleye fillets after that tea sandwich show for lunch!



Hey, don't undermine those Tea Sandwiches, apparently the Vikings managed to rape, plunder and pillage with that diet!



Okay...I'm IN!!!
#81
Nancypalooza
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 10:11:35 (permalink)
The Special K bar was also my introduction to Minnesota bars (pronounced 'baaaaaars') and my sister in law still makes a panful every time she comes to visit.  If it's the one I know, you warm peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) with a little Karo syrup, mix in the cereal, spread in a shallow sided pan, top with unmelted chocolate chips, and cover so the chocolate will melt.  Delicious.
 
I have never heard of the klub thing though.
#82
buffetbuster
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 10:43:38 (permalink)
Make no mistake, I am very, VERY jealous of all the sour cream raisin pie you are eating.
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Davydd
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 11:25:51 (permalink)
There is now a Bars Bakery in St. Paul.
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 15:34:17 (permalink)
Pie Count Stands @ 8!!!!
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mar52
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 16:16:48 (permalink)
Potato dumplings.  *THUD*
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 16:22:12 (permalink)
By the way, baseball legend Roger Maris is from Fargo.
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 18:23:52 (permalink)
Chris

Between $$ and trying to keep myself grounded locally and specifically the kitchen renovations I plan to start next year, I just have one definitive Roadtrip planned- in addition, t I was just asked to be an usher in my friend's wedding next summer, so I do have to plan around that as well. If I can hold off on new appliances till 2012 (which will make my renovations look temporarily "funny" ) then I'm hoping to squeeze in one other trip next spring.

Besides The Angry Trout there are at least half a dozen other restaurants I visited that deserve reviews.  I thought I "retired" from doing formal reviews, but perhaps if Davydd is willing to help me with this particular review, I might consider it.
 
Donald
I'm going to include a highlighted note to you in my next except since you're keeping the pie count- you'll see what I mean when I get to it!
 
Jim
 
12 years ago, during my previous visit to Fargo, I visited the Roger Maris Museum. It was actually just a wall display located at West Acres Shopping Mall.


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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 18:35:29 (permalink)
I've eaten at the Angry Trout now countless times over the years as I mentioned probably ever since it first opened. I know at least four times this year alone and it is only open from May to October. Last night one of our local Twin Cities TV stations did a feature on it. How timely.
 
Finding Minnesota:The Angry Trout Cafe
post edited by Davydd - 2010/09/21 18:37:30
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Re:Heartlanding Through the Breadbasket 2010/09/21 18:42:57 (permalink)
mr chips

By the way, baseball legend Roger Maris is from Fargo.


If anyone deserves to be in baseball's Hall of Fame it is Roger Maris in light of the steroid frauds Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds since. All the more reason now to honor his remarkable achievement of 61 home runs.
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