Astonishingly our 5:59pm LGA departure pushed back early and took off quickly after a short taxi and even shorter wait. I felt like we set a new world record for Friday afternoon departures out of the crowded New York airspace. I had booked this flight using my companion pass from the former Barclays US Airways card. It made the relatively expensive flight to Minneapolis much more reasonable saving over $300 in the process.
After an easy connection in Charlotte, we arrived in MSP and spent the night at the Hyatt Place Airport South. The next morning we returned to the airport to pick up a rental car from National. With my Emerald Club membership I walked right past the counter and browsed all the cars on the aisle. My Citi Prestige provides Executive Status with Emerald Club so I looked up and down both aisles at the SUVs, sedans and even a pick-up truck that were available. When I walked back towards the front of the Executive Aisle I found Nancy already in the passenger seat of a nicely appointed Passat. I guess we had chosen a car!
Duluth is just over two hours from the Twin Cities. We had a relaxing drive up and stopped at Tobie’s in Hinkley to get one of their famous Cinnamon Rolls and a Caramel Roll. This would be the first of many treats in Minnesota that would make my clothes just a little tighter before my departure.
Duluth is a cute city with some very good food. This isn’t an exhaustive list or an in-depth review of any of the places listed, but I just wanted to mention a few good eats in case you’re looking for something when you’re next in Duluth. We visited:
Pickwick Restaurant & Pub
508 E Superior St
Duluth, MN 55802
A Duluth tradition, the Pickwick has been serving comfort food for over a century. While they have outdoor seating we opted to eat in the dining room overlooking Lake Superior both times we visited. We started with the walleye fingers which were light, crispy and delicious. I hadn’t had walleye before and I found it to be very delicate tasting without a lot of fishy-ness. It certainly wasn’t the fishy fried haddock I grew up on in upstate New York.
Then I indulged in the prime rib. It’s one of my favorite dishes if done right, but so many places do it badly. Luckily the Pickwick got it all right. It was a delicious piece with lots and lots of flavor.
We returned again another night and tried the deep fried hamburger and the walleye sandwich. The walleye was again excellent. Light, crispy and flavorsome. The deep fried hamburger, was novel, but not my cup of tea. The onion rings were tasty and salad a nice compliment to the heavier dishes.
At Sara’s Table – Chester Creek Cafe
1902 E. 8th Street
Duluth, MN 55812
Sara’s Table provides great comfort food. I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I had the walleye. I really enjoyed the light flavor and the simple breading both restaurants applied. Sara’s one up-ed their dish by providing a delicious wild rice risotto. (The photo doesn’t do the dish justice.)
New London Cafe
4721 E Superior St
Duluth, MN 55804
We popped in for a quick bite with the locals at this smaller diner. Breakfast was the usual staples of eggs, bacon and the like with a few twists thrown in like their cinnamon fritter french toast. I kept things simple and was pleased that my hash browns were actually browned. I’m not sure why it’s so hard to cook hashed-brown potatoes so they are crispy in all right places. New London Cafe prepared them perfectly.
While Duluth is probably off the beaten path for many of you, it’s a beautiful city with some great restaurants if you’re in the neighborhood.