Pompeii Pizzeria


Food & Drink

If you are a fan of Neapolitan-style pizza, I have a recommendation. Go out of your way to check out Pompeii Pizzeria in Elk River. A downtown walk-up storefront just above Diamond City Bread, Pompeii is THE neighborhood-style pizza parlor in the area. Celebrating their 9th anniversary, Pompeii offers a whole host of reasons why you […]

November 14, 2019

Pine Tree Apple Orchard


Food & Drink

Fall is the perfect time to go check out the local apple orchards. Fresh Honeycrisp, apple pie, caramel apples, apple cider, hayrides, corn mazes… you name it, I’m for it. To that end, I give you, Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake. Known just as well for their strawberries, Pine Tree Apple Orchard […]

October 22, 2019

Steve’s Pizza


Food & Drink

Steve’s Pizza is an airy, straightforward, open-late pizza joint in downtown Austin. A menu filled with a plethora of Italian options like lasagna, alfredo, linguine, and their magnum opus, pizza. Of course, there are the fan favorites like a Mama Mia with pepperoni and sausage; a Mighty Meat pizza with pepperoni, sausage, beef, salami, and […]

October 16, 2019

Coffee House on Main


Food & Drink

I am in Austin, Minnesota for the Minnesota Governors Pheasant Hunting Opener. Whenever I go somewhere new, I instinctively look for things that start with “C”. “Candy,” “cupcakes,” “cookies,” you get the idea. Today is no different, “coffee” is on the docket. Coffee House on Main fits the bill. Cozy, check. Homey with a touch […]

October 11, 2019

Lake Ave Restaurant and Bar 


Food & Drink

For me, fall means landscape changes and comfortable spaces. On days like today, all I want is homey, lived-in, cozy places that I can hide from the summers-end crowds. Don’t get me wrong – I love basking in the beauty of any touristy place, I just like to bask from afar, with food. In short, […]

September 15, 2019

Muskie Water’s Co.


Food & Drink

Muskie Waters Co. is one of those favorite stops you can’t wait to make when you are in the Northwoods. Located just off the Heartland bike trail in Nevis, on Highway 34, between Walker and Park Rapids, it is well worth the stop and I’ll tell you why. Coffee and ‪‎espresso cafe, ‪check. Candy store, check. Apparel ‪boutique and ‪‎ice cream shop, check and […]

September 9, 2019

The PortLand Malt Shoppe


Food & Drink

In the heat of the summer, there is nothing better than going in on a massive, sugar-rich dairy treat. Enter, the PortLand Malt Shoppe. Located in Duluth, off Superior Street on the edge of Lake Superior, the freestanding location was originally built in 1921 as a gas station for Northwestern Oil Company. The neighborhood it […]

August 24, 2019

World’s Best Donuts


Food & Drink

If you are a purveyor of things that land in the “world’s best” category, I have a suggestion. World’s Best Donuts near the waterfront in Grand Marais is a longtime family-operated bakery specializing in a wide variety of classic donuts and pastries. World Famous, did you say? Why, yes, yes I did! The walls of […]

August 16, 2019

Brewed Awakenings Coffeehouse


Food & Drink

Brewed Awakenings is a busy, quirky, colorful coffee shop and eatery, specializing in organic, farm-to-plate foods, and Fair Trade coffee. Initially launched as a small coffee cart located in a cooperative grocery store in 1996, they are now in a brick-and-mortar location off 4th street in Grand Rapids. Think comfortable, relaxed atmosphere with an artsy […]

August 11, 2019

Big Winnie Cafe


Food & Drink

I am all for small-town haunts and standard breakfast fare. This is where Big Winnie Cafe off County Road 8 in Bena comes in. I was passing through Leech Lake Reservation recently and came upon an unsuspecting brown building with a tiny, white, plastic hanging sign that simply said Big Winnie Cafe. Warm, a little […]

July 26, 2019

Cascade River State Park


Food & Drink

Cascade River State Park is one of the lesser-known state parks of the North Shore. Located in Lutsen it is connected to the Superior Hiking Trail and the North Shore State Trail, near the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The site was originally named Cascade River State Wayside and developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in […]

July 20, 2019

Hai Hai


Food & Drink

If you haven’t been introduced to Hai Hai, the newest venture from the creators of Hola Arepa, allow me. Since its opening off University in NE Minneapolis, Hai Hai has become THE hot spot. The name Hai Hai is Vietnamese for “two two,” as in, the Double Deuce. It’s a homage to the buildings former […]

July 14, 2019

Gordy’s Hi-Hat


Food & Drink

Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet is an up north, must-stop kind of place. Family-run since it opened, Gordy’s has become the go-to for gingham paper-wrapped burgers and festive, perfectly balanced malts and shakes. Step right up to the raised counter to place your order for fresh hamburgers, home-made onion rings, and fresh hand-dipped fish. Open seasonally […]

July 9, 2019

Small Town American Parade


Events, Food & Drink

For the 4th of July this year, I decided to head to Brookston. Brookston is located on the northern edge of the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation and is about 17 miles from Cloquet. The town is roughly a half a mile, with only a handful of businesses; a post office, Houle’igans Saloon, Larry’s Country […]

July 4, 2019

Tendermaid Hamburgers


Food & Drink

Have you heard of Tendermaid? It’s an infamous loose-meat, secret-recipe burger joint with roots dating back to 1930s. Let me tell you all about it. Mildred and Jerry Thatcher loved to frequent one of the more popular eateries in Marshalltown during the early 1930s, the Taylor’s Maid-Rite. The Thatcher’s ate there so often they decided […]

June 26, 2019

Betty’s Pies


Food & Drink

No road trip along the North Shore is complete without stopping at Betty’s pies to curb my sweetness-craving. Located in Two Harbors, along Highway 61 across from Lake Superior. With a line out the door, it comes as no surprise that Betty’s touts the “World famous” moniker. Beginning as a fish-shack her father Aleck opened […]

June 22, 2019

Chop n Pops Bakery


Food & Drink

Whenever I head back home, I always make it a point to stop at Chop n Pop’s Bakery in downtown Nevis. Since my sister and I planned to be in the area for the weekend before she moves to Missouri to work for the Chiefs (I know, right? So proud!), I knew we would have […]

June 16, 2019

Hazel’s Northeast


Food & Drink

Days like today require homey, comfort foods and a warm atmosphere because let’s face it, Mondays are hard but they become significantly easier with a larger-than-average dose of maple syrup. Enter Hazel’s Northeast.  This mainstay has become a total hot spot on the corner of Johnson Street and 29th and let me just say, in […]

June 10, 2019

Blue Water Cafe


Food & Drink

If you are in the Grand Marais area or plan to be, go out of your way to check out the Blue Water Cafe.  Located downtown near the harbor, Blue Water is a straightforward, hometown diner that features meat-and-potato classics.  Swedish pancakes, biscuits and gravy, buttermilk pancakes, patty melts, beef pot roast, broasted chicken, deep […]

June 6, 2019