Posts from the ‘Duluth/North Shore’ Category

Russ Kendall’s Smoke House (Duluth/Knife River)

I’m going to cheat a little and point you to Heavy Table’s listing for Russ Kendall’s.  If you’re this far up north, you should try some smoked fish.  And I hit Russ Kendall’s every time I’m up on the North Shore for some King Salmon.  Fine, fine stuff.

There’s something about it being right across the street from Lake Superior, too.  Always quiet when I’ve been.  Never busy (even though Andrew Zimmern apparently made it popular, as the HT post tells you).  Just a simple store, a display case full of fish, some odds and ends in coolers and on shelves, plus some cheese from around the area.

I just like standing in the parking lot eating what I’ve just bought right out of the paper wrapping with my fingers.  Smell the smoke.  Listen to the wind, the shore.  Especially good in a day with a light mist falling on everything.

They tell me the Whitefish is good.  Maybe I’ll try it.  For me, it’s the salmon that calls me back.  Best I’ve ever had.


New Scenic Cafe (outside Duluth, North Shore)

I actually didn’t eat at New Scenic Cafe.  I tried to, but they were real jerks to me and my dining companion.  First, there was no one there to greet us except some chef who wandered in, looked at the handful of people waiting for tables, and then wandered off again.  It took a while to get a table (in a mostly empty restaurant.  For lunch).  And once there, it took a longer while for a server to come over, give us menus and water, and say that she was really busy.

If she was, we didn’t see it.  She disappeared for at least twenty minutes.  She didn’t approach any of the other tables where there were diners.

So we had had it.  The menu was tiny, mostly sandwiches, and pricey.  And we were being ignored.  So we got up to leave.

And that’s when the server showed up and said, nastily, to our backs, “I told you I’d get to you.”

And I said, loudly, “You should’ve done it fifteen minutes ago.”

So whatever their food tastes like (and the local rags tell me it’s wonderful if you like expensive frou-frou shit), I could give a fuck.

Betty’s Pies (Two Harbors, MN)

The first time I tried to eat at Betty’s Pies, I didn’t.  I gave up.  There were too many people waiting outside.  And this was in the Fall, not the busy summer tourist season.

But I tried again the next time I was up around those parts, and I wasn’t disappointed.  The thing feels like a greasy diner from an old episode of Peter Gunn.  I had a burger and fries.  Good burger, good fries.

And then I had a piece of pie that should’ve been illegal.  Not because it was bad, but actually because it was kind of like a good drug.  Addictive.  Too rich.  Why oh why?  I loved it.  It was THE BUTTERFINGER PIE. And it made me want to have sex.

The first time I went to Betty’s Pies, it was nice outside and close to lunch.  Thus, a crowd.  But when I got in the next time, it was rainy, cold, and in the middle of the afternoon.  I liked the joint best like that.  Nearly abandoned, frozen in time.  Smelled like grease and chocolate and a cold a/c.

I didn’t have my camera with me, but here are a couple of pics off their website:

I sat in one of those blue booths on the right.

I want more of Betty’s Pies.  I’ll be back.  I’ll wait until it rains.