Minnesota North Shore, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail & Brick Ovens - A Culinary Odyssey

Page: < 1234 > Showing page 2 of 4
Author
mar52
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 8112
  • Joined: 2005/04/17 18:50:00
  • Location: Marina del Rey, CA
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/06 13:54:30 (permalink)
OOutstanding report.

I am in awe of your trips, stops, photos, challenges, everything!

What a great way to enjoy our country.

Keep it up!

That lesson in brick oven building was great.  I may print it out for when my customers ask me about doing it themselves.  I didn't have a clue!
#31
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 18691
  • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/06 16:15:31 (permalink)
I'm curious. I've not been to the Grand Marais area in over 20 years. When I was there back then, on the way into the BWCA, there weren't many places to eat, and certainly none like the ones you're reported on that I can recall. As a matter of fact, my wife and I remarked back then on how much better the restaurant choices were in Ely, at the other end of the BWCA. Did we just not notice, or did these terrific places come along later?
#32
Shara
Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 123
  • Joined: 2003/08/25 18:58:00
  • Location: Asheville, NC
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/06 16:23:50 (permalink)
What a wonderful trip report, Davydd. Spectacular photos and entertaining narrative. I couldn't stop reading till I digested it all (that's what we do with Roadtrip reports, right? Digest them...)

I'm not a huge fan of smoked fish, but everything looks delish. And I'd love to see the Naniboujou Lodge for myself. Just gorgeous architecture and design.
#33
Davydd
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 6398
  • Joined: 2005/04/24 12:15:00
  • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/06 18:35:17 (permalink)
Michael, I believe most of the Grand Marais restaurants are newer than 20 years old. I was in Ely two years ago and did not notice as many as Grand Marais at least in the calibre I presented. It kind of feeds on itself and success breeds success. When one good restaurant opens up then the others notch up their game. I think too, Grand Marais may have an advantage over Ely in being a bit more multi-dimensional in activities.
#34
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Joined: 2004/06/17 14:39:00
  • Location: Columbia, SC
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/07 13:59:11 (permalink)
Michael, I would say even newer than that; when I first visited GM in 2001, there were maybe 2/3, half the places there are today--the Angry Trout, the Wild Onion, Blue Water, Sven & Ole's (of course), the smokehouse, My Sister's Place--those were there.  I think they're filling in.
#35
wanderingjew
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 7920
  • Joined: 2001/01/18 18:49:00
  • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/07 21:26:45 (permalink)
Davydd

You're right. You definitely outdid yourself on this one. I just finally had the chance to sit down and read the entire report.  As you know I'll be heading up towards Grand Marais next year but probably won't have a chance to spend more than a day or two. The Bison Burger , Whitefish and Chips and Rhubarb Cherry Pie have my name written all over it......

The Angry Trout was one of the restaurants I thought about visiting (I can't believe I'm thinking about a trip that's a year off already!) along with The Northern Lights of Course.

Again, outstanding, your photos truly bring everything to life!
#36
ScreamingChicken
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 5165
  • Joined: 2004/11/05 14:36:00
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/08 09:39:37 (permalink)
Fantastic!

How much does one of those completed ovens weigh?  I don't *think* I saw that statistic mentioned but I certainly could've missed it.

You're planning on building one at home?

Brad
#37
ChrisOC
Double Chili Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 1024
  • Joined: 2008/07/09 16:19:00
  • Location: Ocean City, NJ
  • Status: online
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/08 09:50:37 (permalink)
Amazing report!  Wonderful photography!

Thank you
#38
Davydd
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 6398
  • Joined: 2005/04/24 12:15:00
  • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/08 11:34:21 (permalink)
Brad_Olson

Fantastic!

How much does one of those completed ovens weigh?  I don't *think* I saw that statistic mentioned but I certainly could've missed it.

You're planning on building one at home?

Brad


Hopefully I will build a wood-fired oven in my yard. Last year I took a course at Gale Woods Regional Park near my home to build an earthen oven of clay and sand found in the southwest and most all of Central and South America based on the principles described in a book by Kiko Denzer, Build Your Own Earth Oven. This brick oven we built at North House is of commercial capacity. So, I will be designing my own with the knowledge I gained. Interestingly, the height of the door opening to the height of the dome for both is 63%. That's the one major thing you need to know I think in designing an oven to get proper firing and combustion. The second important thing is containing and holding the heat with thermal mass adequately insulated under the hearth and over the dome or arch. Both types of designs adhere to those principles.

The weight of the oven we built at North House is somewhere between 3,200-3,500 lbs. It was built on a temporary wood timber foundation. What you see in wood timbers would normally be a masonry foundation and base in a permanent location although the completed oven at the school built circa 2003 is still on the temporary timber foundation. They lifted a timber frame structure from another class and put it over the oven and it remains that way to this day.

They have two classes each year. They will have another class this October that will have an extra day to learn how to back artisan bread combined with building the oven. The ovens are sold and shipped by fork lifting them off the temporary foundation and loading them onto a flatbed truck. Last year they shipped one to southern Minnesota for $600. They said they usually sell them in auction or cost of materials plus 25% depending on the circumstances if one of the participants wants to buy it. I talked to the owner of the Pie Place and she said she wanted a wood-fired oven like the ones built at North House. The North House, to answer Michael Hoffman's earlier question more, is probably having an effect on the food and restaurant scene in Grand Marais. The school started in 1997.

BTW, here is the earth oven I participated in building over three weeks time also built on a temporary structure - a trailer in this case to move it around the park and in and out of a barn. I take no credit for the design. The school brought in a ringer, a sculptor, to lead the final finishing design.




#39
MSPD
Hamburger
  • Total Posts : 79
  • Joined: 2004/09/02 15:01:00
  • Location: Burnsville, MN
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/08 12:20:41 (permalink)
Beautiful Davydd.

I hope you don't mind me adding this:  For any couples (or solos) from out of the area reading along and looking for a quiet, lakeside launching point to experience Grand Marais, my wife and I recommend Sweetgrass Cove.  www.sweetgrasscove.com

It's about 10 miles past Naniboujou Lodge and accommodates only one couple at a time.  Rick is a wonderful host and is always helpful in finding hiking trails or other local goings on.

#40
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 18691
  • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/08 13:06:26 (permalink)
Davydd

Michael, I believe most of the Grand Marais restaurants are newer than 20 years old. I was in Ely two years ago and did not notice as many as Grand Marais at least in the calibre I presented. It kind of feeds on itself and success breeds success. When one good restaurant opens up then the others notch up their game. I think too, Grand Marais may have an advantage over Ely in being a bit more multi-dimensional in activities.

When I said we thought there were better restaurant choices in Ely than Grand Marais, I didn't mean to imply that there were any great places in Ely. It was just that there wasn't much at all in Grand Marais back then.
 
In Ely, I really used to love breakfasts at a place called Britton's. And while it wasn't great, the food and service were pretty good at Vertin's, where they always placed a small bowl of pickled herring on the table when you sat down. (But I also remember that they didn't know what tonic was when my wife ordered her usual vodka and tonic.) There was also a really nice steak and chop house just down Sheridan from Canadian Waters. I can't remember the name of the place, but it was a basement venue, and the pork chops were huge.


#41
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 18691
  • Joined: 2000/07/01 08:52:00
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/08 13:07:46 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

Michael, I would say even newer than that; when I first visited GM in 2001, there were maybe 2/3, half the places there are today--the Angry Trout, the Wild Onion, Blue Water, Sven & Ole's (of course), the smokehouse, My Sister's Place--those were there.  I think they're filling in.

Amazing. I may just have to go back up there.


#42
ennajean
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 6
  • Joined: 2007/12/01 15:45:00
  • Location: Manitowoc, WI
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/08 16:09:51 (permalink)
What a great report.    Will put the Grand Marais area on our list of places to visit in the near future.     
Anne
#43
agnesrob
Double Chili Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 1790
  • Joined: 2006/06/04 17:27:00
  • Location: Park Ridge, NJ
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/09 08:07:40 (permalink)
A really enjoyable report! Thank you for taking the time to post  it!
#44
Davydd
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 6398
  • Joined: 2005/04/24 12:15:00
  • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/17 22:45:06 (permalink)
This is a postscript to my trip report. Two publications just this past week came out with articles on the North Shore covering a lot of different places than I covered in my report. For anyone contemplating a trip they will be helpful as well.

Star Tribune's Up North -- new & improved
http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/taste/48255852.html?elr=KArks7PYDiaK7DUqEiaDUiD3aPc%3A_Yyc%3AaULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUr

Minnesota Monthly's Secrets of Superior
http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media/Minnesota-Monthly/June-2009/Secrets-of-Superior/
#45
kland01s
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2835
  • Joined: 2003/03/14 07:01:00
  • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/18 09:43:02 (permalink)
I  found this online guide to be most useful. I checked back in my travel journals and found that our first trip to Grand Marais was in 1980, we weren't in to food back then so I didn't record where we ate but I do remember Blue Water, South of the Border and Birch Terrace being there. Last trip up 5 years ago we stayed at Thomsonite Beach Inn, just south of Grand Marais and ate mostly in Lutsen. Of course we had to go to Naniboujou for lunch one day!

http://www.northshoreguide.com/
#46
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
  • Total Posts : 10445
  • Joined: 2002/05/09 13:42:00
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/24 09:49:29 (permalink)
Yeah, this is late, but this was the first chance I had to check this thread out.

Davydd-
As always, excellent report and gorgeous photos.  You are definitely one of Roadfood's very best photographers.

Of course, I was disappointed in no pie photo from The Pie Place, but you more than made up for it with your visit to Naniboujou Lodge.  My favorite art deco book has plenty of photos from this place and it has always intrigued me. 
#47
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Joined: 2004/06/17 14:39:00
  • Location: Columbia, SC
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/24 10:19:05 (permalink)
Can I ask a dissenting type question?  I didn't think the food at Naniboujou was all that good (this would have been in 2001 or so).  I remember it being kind of oversauced and overcooked, although I do think we had great desserts.   Now it's way made up for by the decor, so it's definitely still worth a trip.  Those of you who've eaten there, what did you think?
#48
wheregreggeats.com
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 4615
  • Joined: 2003/07/13 22:24:00
  • Location: Northampton, MA
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/24 13:01:23 (permalink)
Superb report.
#49
kland01s
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2835
  • Joined: 2003/03/14 07:01:00
  • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/24 13:07:04 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

Can I ask a dissenting type question?  I didn't think the food at Naniboujou was all that good (this would have been in 2001 or so).  I remember it being kind of oversauced and overcooked, although I do think we had great desserts.   Now it's way made up for by the decor, so it's definitely still worth a trip.  Those of you who've eaten there, what did you think?


The first time we ate at Naniboujou was maybe 20 years ago and I remember it then as quite good. Our last visit I felt that it had really gone downhill but I don't remember what we had either time. I am part Cree so I enjoyed the artwork in the dining area, that's the draw for me. We also like sitting on their beach. It's just a neat place with an interesting history but I never felt compelled to stay at the Lodge.
#50
Davydd
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 6398
  • Joined: 2005/04/24 12:15:00
  • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/24 14:05:54 (permalink)
buffetbuster

Yeah, this is late, but this was the first chance I had to check this thread out.

Davydd-
As always, excellent report and gorgeous photos.  You are definitely one of Roadfood's very best photographers.

Of course, I was disappointed in no pie photo from The Pie Place, but you more than made up for it with your visit to Naniboujou Lodge.  My favorite art deco book has plenty of photos from this place and it has always intrigued me. 



BB, If you dig into the two trip reports I referenced in the opening message you will find I reported on several pies of the North Shore including the Pie Place. I went beyond the call of duty having that Fruits of the Forest pie after a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich at Trail Center on the Gunflint Trail. I only had you in mind tackling that one and knew a trip report would not be complete without at least one. The Maple Pecan pie at the Angry Trout just slipped by me and at the time I thought I had it made for photo opportunities with three dining companions to rely on. Normally, with my wife along, we may order a pie and share it. I had to beg off at the Crooked Spoon on dessert but did get the waitress to give me a photo opportunity.

I have another pie place in mind for my next trip up the shore. It is Satellites Country Inn in Schroeder.
#51
Davydd
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 6398
  • Joined: 2005/04/24 12:15:00
  • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/24 14:19:40 (permalink)
We have stayed at Naniboujou Lodge numerous times and during all seasons. My favorite time is winter when they are open only on weekends and the breakfasts and dinners are part of the package. I think then the staff may be a bit more stable and experienced and the menu planning more fine tuned since they primarily serve just the guests at one designated time with few walk-ins. During those times I found the food excellent, regional in flavor and interesting in that it was not just standard fare.

I think during all seasons they have a very good breakfast buffet.

They have a Naniboujou Cookbook with their recipes that you can buy from them online or in the bookstores in Grand Marais, MN. Oddly not on Amazon.com on just checking.

http://naniboujou.com/giftshop/index.shtml

On this trip all I did was step in for photos and didn't even have a cup of coffee. I had old film print photos from my past trips but nothing digital.

Now that we have our camper van we probably would not stay there again unless it is in the winter and that would have to wait because I am sure our next winter trip will be at the Gunflint Lodge.
#52
TnTinCT
Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 493
  • Joined: 2008/07/24 16:52:00
  • Location: East Granby, CT
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2009/06/25 11:19:37 (permalink)
What a lovely report - a great travel narrative, an interesting project, and fabulous photography.  Thanks for making it come alive for us.
#53
Davydd
Sirloin
  • Total Posts : 6398
  • Joined: 2005/04/24 12:15:00
  • Location: Tonka Bay, MN
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2010/05/10 09:37:53 (permalink)
Since this report we made two additional off-season trips north. The first was in February with a stay at the Gunflint Lodge on the Gunflint Trail and another stay last week at the Grand Marais Municipal Campground where we were preparing for an upcoming Class B RV rally and social this coming September. The best photos both scenery and culinary from all our various trips to the North Shore are now in my MobileMe Photo Gallery:

Minnesota North Shore Foods and Scenery

Best of all, we finally saw a moose on the Sawbill Trail.


#54
kland01s
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 2835
  • Joined: 2003/03/14 07:01:00
  • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2010/05/10 10:24:59 (permalink)
Great photo gallery! I really need to go north again, it's been 5 or 6 years. There was a time we went to Grand Marais every fall after checking out the hawk migration in Duluth. We weren't that interested in food in those early years so it would be fun to go to the places seen here.
#55
Nancypalooza
Filet Mignon
  • Total Posts : 3778
  • Joined: 2004/06/17 14:39:00
  • Location: Columbia, SC
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2010/05/10 17:29:20 (permalink)
NICE MOOSE!

Davydd, GM is on the short list for our August trip this year and you might have just tipped the scales.  Lovely!
#56
leslie638
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 26
  • Joined: 2007/12/29 00:12:00
  • Location: pittsburgh, PA
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2010/05/11 14:57:11 (permalink)
Thank you for the great mind vacation!  It was a wonderful review.  Although, I have never considered that area for a trip,  I can now say I will.  Again, thanks.
#57
tedlovesdogs
Hamburger
  • Total Posts : 64
  • Joined: 2009/07/09 07:29:00
  • Location: Western, NY
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2010/06/06 17:56:01 (permalink)
WoW! What a fantastic report and a great learning experience (building the oven)! Thanks for keeping this alive and taking the time to provide such thorough insight to the area! Like leslie, this is not an area I was familiar with at all, but now I'll definitely keep it on my 'lifelist' of places to visit! Thank You!
#58
irisarbor
Double Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 610
  • Joined: 2006/03/08 14:32:00
  • Location: Deerfield, IL
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2010/06/15 17:35:01 (permalink)
This is the first time I have caught this thread!
Amazing trip report, Davydd!
Thank you for the little armchair vacation this afternoon!
What a treat-
#59
SassyGritsAL
Double Chili Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 1089
  • Joined: 2005/10/27 11:52:00
  • Location: Huntsville, AL
  • Status: offline
Re:Building the Brick Bread Oven in Grand Marais and the Gunflint Trail - A Culinary Odyss 2010/06/17 16:39:12 (permalink)
Reading your report and seeing your beautiful pictures was like taking a vacation online. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I like your humor and banter!
#60
Page: < 1234 > Showing page 2 of 4
Jump to:
© 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1