Assemble The Best Northland Restaurant Meal Of All Time

Any Attic post involving restaurants inevitably spurs stories of long-lamented menu items that readers wish they could taste just one more time – stuff like, say, the onion rings at King Leo’s or the London Inn.

So, I’d like to devote this post to those memories of favorite foods from restaurants past and present in Duluth, Superior and elsewhere in the region. If you could assemble a perfect meal from those establishments, what would it be?

Mix and match – pick an appetizer from one place, an entree from another and dessert from a third restaurant. Combine stuff from a restaurant still open with food from one closed for 40 years. Or just pick one item – whatever you want.

Think it over, and then share your choices by posting a comment. And if seeing others’ food selections jogs your memory, by all means post again. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

48 Responses

  1. Paul

    Sid’s Kosher Delicatessen at 1830 East 8th Street in Duluth that I used to go to as a kid. I always got a hot corned beef sandwich on pumpernickel, a pickle, chips, and a coke. Sid’s corned beef, c1960s – 1970s was probably not the healthiest kind of meat; it was a little greasy and the meat had some kind of orange tinge to it at the edges, probably a spice, but his were the best corned beef sandwiches I have had, without exception. Sometimes, I would give almost anything to have one of those sandwiches. The man was a maestro.

    Another place that I remember fondly was Jocks Eat Shoppe on 4th Street, where I would go with my dad every Saturday to get a burger, fries, a pickle and a coke, but the burgers were phenomenal, and the fries were made with fresh cut potatoes (though in those days, pre-made french fries probably didn’t exist).

  2. Jim Trushenski

    Henny Penny chicken and Cole slaw from Mars Drive In on Belknap in Superior. Oh don’t forget a frosty mug of Root Beer.
    Nicks Charburgers and Onion Rings
    If not Sammy pizza Shamrock or Mr Franks

  3. First, the drinks at the bar, then House of Donuts (624 East 4th Street) for Subs or the huge soft shell tacos topped with a bear claw or chocolate butterbar (and maybe coffee). That place was tops back when Ron and Michele Carter owned it. Ahhhh. the memories 🙂

  4. Thomas Mccann

    My earliest memory from the early 50s is of a place on N. Tower called The Milwaukee. They had Roast Beef sandwiches that were huge and tasty.
    Later on was the Hi Spot with their Conny Island dogs. And The Krow bar with their BBQ beef sandwiches.

  5. David P.

    Anyone remember J. Noreen & Co on 21st and London? Seems to me they had a real good sour dough sandwich (the Frisco melt??) back in the 80’s..

  6. Butch

    Dinner at Johnny Ray’s Pizza home of the $5 pizza
    $.25 taps at The Warehouse to cleanse the pallet
    Dessert – bear claws at HOD

  7. jill

    First…a PizzaBurger from Bernie’s Pilot House….a side of Onion Rings from King Leo’s….a Root Beer Float from the London Road A & W, and for dessert…anything from the Patty Cake Bakery.

  8. Ed

    As a transplanted ‘Maine-iac’, born in Bangor, Maine, I tend to be pretty critical of the quality, recipes and presentation of how seafood is done. My experiences with the midwest’s attempts to offer scallops, shrimp, lobster and crab has been rarely memorable, if not awful. The one exceptional experience was with the Jolly Fisher’s ‘Lobster Thermidor’ in the late 1970’s. It was done to near perfection, with no discernable typical shortcuts. In the name of speed and less food costs, many Chef’s overcook the delicate lobster with too high heat, use a cheap cooking sherry, instead of correctly using a high quality Congac, skip the egg yolks and use some awful off the shelf bottled mustard, instead of fresh powdered mustard (the best is from India). I enjoyed it for about a year and a half, with the note perfect version of this dish transporting me back to a family friends restaurant, “The Cove Cafe” in Bar Harbor.
    Alas, though, the accomplished chef must have moved on, as it disappeared from the menu and I have yet to taste a contender from any local eatery (sigh).

    1. Nancy o

      Yes – the Happy Jolly was superb when Inez Harris was chef. Think she passed sometime in the early 70’s.

  9. John

    I loved “Blueberry Island” flavor of ice cream from Bridgeman’s in the summer of about 1965 or 1966 when I visited my aunts in the Duluth/Superior area.

  10. Smart lady

    Egg foo yung and the egg rolls from the Chinese Lantern
    Shrimp from the Jolly Fisher
    Burgers at Anton’s in the West End

  11. kathy

    Is there anyone that remembers the Fluffy Creamy Cheesecake from F.W.Woolworths lunch counter ( downtown next to Three Sisters.) Best in town and I have the recipe!!! The portion was 3″ tall 4×4 square graham cracker crust garnished with crumbled graham crackers and it was the most light, creamy fluffy cheesecake ever made. I do not remember what the cost was………do you?
    Another favorite: best omelets in town at the Sunshine cafe on Grand Ave in West Duluth!!!!

  12. Susan

    The deep fried shrimp at Joe Huie’s on Lake Ave. Any Chinese dish from Joe Huie’s. Back in the 60’s the line to get in at night went all of the way to Superior St and there was always a Cop at the door.
    Mash potatoes and gravy from the 63rd St Diner back in the 50’s and 60’s.
    Chili and french fries from Bridgemans on Superior St. and the hot fudge sundays.
    Burgers from Nick’s in the West End in the 60’s.
    A tuna melt from a cafe on 1st St by Pasek’s Pharmacy.
    Lobster and crab legs from the Dreamland Supper Club.
    Stuffed shrimp from the Hammond Steak House or Eddie’s Supper Club.
    The Caesar Salad from the Bellows or Porters.

  13. Steve Miller

    Another post jogged my memory about HOD on 4th street- the Bear Claws were outstanding. However, my bias is to my grandpa’s bakery- Richard’s Bake Shop on 1st street where Jersey City is now, he made the best bismarks and long john’s around. The date cookies were phenominal as well. He was an old school scratch baker. The bakery fell on hard times with the development of the Miller Mall and all the big department stores began to leave downtown.

  14. Jumbo deep fried shrimp – Joe Huie’s
    Potato Puffs – King Leo’s/Canal Park Drive In
    Boston Cream Pie – Patty Cake Shop

    Roast Beef sandwich – Kro Bar (superior)
    Onion Rings – London Inn
    Raised glazed or sugared donut – Ideal Bakery

    Chef Salad – Mr. Pete’s
    Cheese Cake – Glass Block Coffee shop

    Prime rib dinner – Highland Supper Club
    Strawberry rhubarb pie – Gustafson’s Bakery (Downtown)

    1. michele bleskan

      Thank you for reminding me of the Patty Cake Shop. I was trying to describe to friends of a place in Duluth with the best pies. As teenagers in the 60’s we would drive from Superior to Duluth and feed our sweet tooth. If memory serves me all the cream pies were delicious.

      Where was the Patty Cake Shop located? I have been gone from the area for 25 years and can’t quite recall.

      Thanks, Michele

  15. Julie

    Shrimp burger and onion rings at Guppy’s in Pike Lake was my favorite.
    Donuts at Connelly’s Bakery in Superior.
    Shrimp of any kind at the Jolly Fisher.
    Anchors Inn was great too.

  16. Kristiane

    jumbo shrimp from the Jolly Fisher
    subgum wanton from the Chinese Lantern
    Canal Park Inn onion rings
    Chi-Chi’s fresh salsa

  17. I really think if one of the very numerous burger shops in Duluth would or could bring back the potato puffs from the old Canal Park Inn with the same seasoning, it would be a GREAT hit! Also the restaurant in Mount Royal area ,Somebody’s House could be a big hit with U.M.D.

    1. michele bleskan

      Somebody’s House rings a bell. Where was this located? Did they serve great desserts also?

      Thanks, Michele

      1. Kris (Nelson) Marko

        Somebody’s House was near the Mount Royal shopping center and they had great desserts…fresh made pecan, banana cream, mince meat and pumpkin pies along with crepes and cream puffs…of course the hamburgers were great too!!! And if was a fun place to work!

  18. Dave Karges

    Margaritas, chips and salsa on the deck at Chi-Chi’s in Fitger’s.
    Salad with French & blue cheese dressing from the Pickwick.
    Garlic cheese biscuits from Red Lobster.
    Charcoal-grilled shrimp from the Pickwick.
    Dessert from Stephanie’s in Fitger’s.

  19. Tom

    The monte cristo sandwich from Ridgeview Country Club. My mom always liked the Black Russian sandwich from Mr. Steak.

  20. Cheryl Campbell

    Creamy steak and mushroom soup from current Fosters Sports Bar & Restaurant
    Oriental chicken salad from current Applebees Restaurant
    Steak Cheese French sandwich from current Grandma’s Restuarant
    Cheesecake from current Timberlodge Restaurant

  21. Be Gold

    Onion rings from Mr. Nick’s, a B.L.T. on white from Jock’s Eat Shop, and strawberry pie from the Plush Pippin!

  22. Dave

    Fong Wong Chicken at the Chinese Lantern! My wife and I dined there on New Years Eve 1993. A few days later the restaurant was gone. To this day we still miss the Chinese Lantern and it still comes up in conversation surprisingly often.


      Spent our first wedding anniversary at the Chinese Lantern. I remember when there was Chinese Lantern 1 and 2. Fong Wong Chicken was my favorite. Can anyone remember the restaurant on Superior St downtown that offered the two T-Bones and bottle of wine with all the trimmings for 20 bucks ???? We miss Duluth Minnesota!

  23. John Broman

    Salad and bread sticks from the current Olive Garden.
    Croissant from the Library on Tower Ave in Superior.
    Prime Rib at the old Chinese Lantern on 5th Ave west and Superior Street.
    Oven Brown potatoes from the old Cascade restaurant near Grand Marais.
    Fresh Strawberry Pie from Betty’s on the North Shore.
    Coffee from the current Olive Garden.

    1. Christy Nielsen

      I don’t know if Frank’s Pizza is still around or not but, man!, they had the best pizza in the world in the early 70’s.

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