Saturday, October 28, 2006

Restaurants - The 5-8 Club Tavern & Grill

Minneapolis, MN

The ”Jucy Lucy” is an original south Minneapolis concoction; two hamburger patties pressed together with cheese in the center. Most say this was invented at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis. However, the 5-8 Club Tavern & Grill also claims this as their own. With a history dating back to 1928, the 5-8 Club got its start as a “speakeasy” during Prohibition. Today, they are known for serving up fantastic burgers and sandwiches, especially their version of the "Juicy Lucy."

Friday, October 27, 2006

Restaurants - Sawatdee

St. Paul, MN

Sawatdee is a pioneering restaurant of sorts. Opening in St. Paul in 1983, they were one of the first Thai restaurants in Minnesota. According to their web site, they were also one of the first in the entire five-state area! Their popularity has allowed for growth and expansion, and Sawatdee continues to serve their deliciously exotic and spicy cuisine in seven different locations in and around the Twin Cities and St. Cloud.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Restaurants - Lions Tap

Eden Prairie, MN

What originally started out in this location in 1933 as a vegetable stand that began serving beer, today the Lions Tap in Eden Prairie serves some of the best hamburgers in the Twin Cities. This modest restaurant along Flying Cloud Drive has received numerous awards and accolades for their burgers, both locally and nationally. Their slogan, simply put, is “Famous Hamburgers.” And they are darn good.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Places - Faribault

Faribault, MN

Located south of the Twin Cities on Interstate 35, Faribault is a city of roughly 20,000 people. It was established in 1852 by Alexander Faribault, a fur trader and entrepeneur. Faribault has an astonishing number of buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Place (more than 40), and they have a beautiful downtown area where cars still park diagonally. And remember that “Tilt-A-Whirl” ride from the summer carnivals? It was built here by a company called Sellner Manufacturing.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Quirky Stuff - Burko the Buffalo

Duluth, MN

On the east side of Interstate 35 as you head towards Duluth, you will see a large statue of "Burko" the buffalo. He has been standing there for decades guarding the entrance to the Buffalo House. Opened in 1972 in what is now referred to as the "Valley of the Buffalo," the Buffalo House has continually grown and expanded over the years. Under the watchful eye of Burko, it now features a restaurant, bar, campground, and even a sports complex.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Quirky Stuff - The Leaping Deer

Deerwood, MN

While driving through the city of Deerwood on Minnesota Highway 210, you cannot help but notice this majestic, leaping deer. Deerwood is the oldest town on the Cuyuna Range, and this statue is located in Elmer Park on the site of Deerwood’s original railroad depot.

Landmarks and History - Lutsen Resort

Lutsen, MN

Started in 1885 by Swedish immigrant, Charles Axel Nelson, Lutsen Resort is located right on the shore of Lake Superior at the mouth of the Poplar River. Some things have changed and modernized over the years, however Lutsen Resort still retains its rustic, north woods, and Swedish charm. It is known as Minnesota’s oldest resort.

Food - Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse

Knife River, MN

Scenic Highway 61 between Duluth and Two Harbors offers not only spectacular views of Lake Superior, but also some darn good smoked fish from Russ Kendall’s Smokehouse. A fixture on the North Shore for more than 80 years, this tiny little fish shop in the town of Knife River does all their own smoking and features a variety of fish and smoked meat products to choose from. Their specialties are the sugar-cured salmon and trout.

Quirky Stuff - The Crosby Sea Serpent

Crosby, MN

If you go to the Iron Range town of Crosby in north-central Minnesota, you might notice a rather sinister looking sea creature lurking the city park. No, it is not the Loch Ness Monster! In 1977, Crosby erected this large, colorful statue of a sea serpent along the shores of, appropriately enough, Serpent Lake.