Betcha never thought I’d leave Northfield. Well, here’s the deal: I did. And it was painful to say goodbye to Lynn, but I made it through this vacation and thought of her all the while and how much we like to eat food together.
Day one of break:
Connor and Cian really only wanted to go to Lion’s Tap, which is a restaurant in Eden Prairie that only sells burgers and fries and beers. This was a troubling prospect to me as a newly minted almost-vegetarian. I thought, “Hey, maybe, just maybe, they’ll have a veggie burger and I can swing it.” Nope, they didn’t. Cian desperately wanted to try this restaurant and so I did the supportive big sister thing and went to the restaurant and ate a burger. It knocked me out of vegetarian world but it was worth it to sing along to Drake songs and travel the suburban/rural roads with my brothers. Plus, I didn’t have to make any of this food on my own, which was a plus. (++!)
The trip to Duluth commences. A family unit of 5 drives 3 hours to get to this northern town and makes a pit stop on the way to climb some rocks and see some running water. We later leave said rocks and water to reach different rocks and water: Lake Superior. Which is the coolest lake. Hands-down. Reach them down and feel that cool cool water which is the nicest water you will ever feel.
Leave the waterfront to head to Fitger’s, a one-stop shop for trail/hiking gear, kitchen supplies, clogs, and food. (Mabel and Maya, if you’re reading this, I got clogs. They were on sale and I’m really excited to wear them but I don’t know what socks to get so if you have any recommendations, let me know!)
This meal was a chance to redeem myself as a vegetarian wannabe. I ordered a wild rice burger. Which, wow, was not a cow’s meat! It was rice! In a circular shape! Fun! With sprouts, tomato, garlic mayo, and a side of sweet potato fries, this meal could not be beat.
The only minus: Seen below, the beer-cheese dip we got with pretzel appetizers. Gross! Thumbs-down!
Let’s not let the beer cheese dip distract from the main win of the night.
We’re in a rainy summer haven aka Duluth in August. We walk around in the rain, and I’m glad I brought my raincoat and rain boots! This girl loves to step in puddles. Our lunch is a stop at Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe. We wait a long time for a table to open up and I’m glaring at all the people parked at their tables who don’t show signs of moving but are clearly done eating. I get it, the rain is gross, but I’d like to sit to eat my TLT! Which is a tempeh-lettuce-tomato sandwich if you wanted to know. It was served on a cranberry walnut store-baked bread if I remember correctly? Yum! Tempeh: good. Vegetarian status: secure. Protein: consumed.
Dinner is a whole other story. We geared up to go to Burrito Union, which, if you’re from Duluth, can you let me know what the marketing strategy is? Is it playing with the idea of socialism/capitalism? Or is it focused on 1930s football? Unclear.
Aside from the confusion, the food was delicious. I ordered a shrimp salad, which involved shrimp (duh!), lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion (ew), and some secret spicy sauce I was unsure of where to locate. It was great, and I liked the shrimp; does this make me a pescetarian?
We went to a malt shop/ice cream shop that I didn’t mention earlier but this was our second night going there and the second night I got a peanut butter cup ice cream with hot fudge, which was a great decision.
Garret’s Birthday! He’s 17! How and when did this happen, that all of my siblings and myself are entering late teens/young adulthood?
To celebrate, we went to brunch at Amazing Grace Bakery and Cafe. Yup, again. It is amazing! It’s in the name, and name’s don’t lie! I got a plate with veggies, scrambled eggs, sourdough toast (Mabel, I learned to rekindle my love for sourdough through you fyi) and home-made jam. The plates all around looked great, and I’m glad to say I was able to steal from everyone’s, except for Garret’s. You don’t have to share food on your b-day.
Then we went on our big adventure day up to Split Rock Lighthouse, Gooseberry Falls, and Betty’s Pies for a b-day dinner. Deirdre and I split a spinach-tomato-pesto-cheese grilled cheese and a blueberry salad. As Lynn would say, mwah! *kisses fingers and flicks them out to share the delicious-ness with the world*
The pies: Smore’s, bumble berry (which I always thought was just one berry that I’d never seen, but is actually just a blend of all the berries), and Deirdre and I shared again. Thanks for sharing, Mom!
Continental breakfast with the brothers! Oatmeal is on deck. Don’t forget eggs and lemon poppyseed muffin on the side. Don’t forget that check out is at 11! Don’t forget anything in the room!
We didn’t forget anything! We went out to a beach where you can swim in Lake Superior on our way out of town, and that was when I fell truly in love with the lake water. So good. We wistfully drove back to Chanhassen/Minnetonka, made it home, and I went through stressful mail before driving my mom to return the rental car and get back on the road to Nofo and to Lynn and the lovely meal she had prepared for me.
That’s all! What a break from the kitchen! Thanks for all the food, Mom!