Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My culinary weekend up north

Time to catch up on my weekend. Let us start with the food first...

The weekend started with good food, and the trend continued throughout. On my way up to Mom and Dad’s, I stopped at Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet for a bacon cheeseburger. Gordy’s is the best, and in fact, it should be recognized as a national landmark. Fantastic burgers, and quite inexpensive, too. It is always worth a little extra driving off of the interstate for this treat!

The bacon cheeseburger at Gordy’s Hi-Hat

Of course, Mom and Dad fed me extremely well. Dad’s home smoked BBQ ribs, grilled salmon with a maple glaze, shrimp scampi, a double-smoked ham from a Duluth meat market...wow. They pull out all the stops when I come home. Needless to say, I was sent back to the Cities with many leftovers for my weekday lunches!

Dad's ribs - one of many excellent meals at Mom and Dad’s

We even went out to eat as well! On Friday, Mom and I had lunch at Chez Jude in Grand Marais. Excellent food and an intriguing menu can be found at this slightly upscale dining establishment. As if my Gordy’s burger on Thursday wasn’t enough, I had a burger again. I couldn’t pass it up. Chopped sirloin with a wild rice & gouda cheese; are you kidding me? How could I turn that down? And their "frites" (not pictured because they are served in the elevated iron stand on the plate) were exceptional.

My burger at Chez Jude

The family also went to Naniboujou Lodge on Sunday for brunch. This lodge has an interesting history dating back to the 1920’s, and the dining room is decorated rather ornately. The brunch was nothing to sneeze at, either. Wild rice and blueberry sausages, quiche, and even cedar-planked salmon? Oh, yes!

The colorful dining room at Naniboujou

But that is not all! I even got to snack when I was out in the woods.

The wild raspberries are wonderfully ripe now, so I spent a good deal of time raiding the raspberry patches both during hikes and after runs (a fantastic post-run snack, I might add!). They are absolutely delicious, sweet, and in no way compare to the domestic raspberry in terms of sweetness. I also stumbled across the occasional dwarf raspberry, wild strawberry, and some of the best thimbleberries I have ever tasted (a vastly underrated fruit). Nature sure can produce some tasty products.

Needless to say, I still feel full. What a tasty weekend it was!
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