We had pretty good luck with food on last weekend's trip to Marquette, MI. I went with my mother and my husband, Mr. Tastebud. And I love Duluth, so I insisted on an overnight stop on our way back. Here's where we ate.
- Jilbert's Dairy: Creamy, rich, yummy ice cream made at a working dairy. Great flavor selections, like Sneekers, Moosetracks, and Rainbow. My favorites were Mint Mackinaw Island Fudge and Amaretto Cherry Mackinaw Island Fudge. (OK, so I went there twice.) If you're in the area and you like good ice cream, you simply HAVE to go to Jilbert's. Look for a cow on the top of a silo, next to the red barn (near Hwy 41 and Washington Ave.).
- Tu Kaluthia Caffenia: Tiny counter in the library's basement with coffee, soup, and sandwiches. We had some WONDERFUL lentil soup - we could smell it as soon as we walked in the front doors. We also liked the feta-veggie sandwiches on focaccia. And the library itself is definitely worth a visit for the art galleries, the gift shop, and, of course, the books.
- Sweetwater Cafe: Organic and partly vegetarian food in a "multicultural" restaurant. Our breakfast was very good, although my french toast was dry in the middle. But I didn't complain because it was great whole-grain bread and was served with local maple syrup. And my mom's spinach-feta omelette was fabulous. Mr. Tastebud liked the fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice.
- Nordic Bay Lodge: We stayed here (nice place!) with breakfast included, which was fine. Even better was our dinner of soup and appetizers. My French Onion Soup was a bit too salty, and the bread in the bread basket was white and spongy. But the soup du jour (Potato Parmesan) was amazing. And I swooned over the Mussels in Beer with Roasted Red Peppers - delicious and large enough for an entree for only $8; I would drive back to Marquette just for this dish. Mr. Tastebud liked his Thai grilled chicken skewers with peanut sauce - I thought the spicing was too mild, but he was happy.
- Tommy's Restaurant - Traditional American food in a place that seems popular with the "value dining for seniors" set (Mom wanted to go here for a quick dinner before her concert). We all had whitefish dinners with super-salty baked potatoes, salad from-a-bag with plastic tomatoes (mixed lettuces, though), and tasty grilled vegetables. The food was fine - it's loaded with salt and fat, so it tasted pretty good. And the service is very quick and very, very nice. At least it's not a chain - it's independently owned by the friendly Tommy and family. I would return for, under similar circumstances, for a quick and tasty whitefish dinner.
- Jean-Kay's for pasties. My mom says they're the best pasties in town. I'm not a pasty fan, so I can't really tell the difference between good pasty and a so-so pasty. (At least I can tell when a pasty is really bad.) But the crust was quite nice. We passed up a Thai restaurant on our way here; I've no idea how the food is, but it looks nice - it's in a small house on Presque Isle Ave., and it looks like a mom-and-pop kinda place.
Note to galleygirl: I couldn't find any taquerias or puperias in the phone book. (In fact, I didn't see any non-Caucasians while I was there, which is disconcerting for this city girl). So the ethnic food scene, other than pasties and ice cream, is pretty weak.
For more restaurant info, see the link below.
- Lake Avenue Cafe: Very nice, as always. Yummy Eggplant and Goat Cheese Pizza, scrumptious Eggplant Parmesan (we were in an eggplant mood). Good wine, nice server, inexplicably no crowds - they were probably all eating mediocre food at Grandma's mega-plex.
- Chester Creek Cafe (also known as "At Sara's Table"?!?): Hard to find - the outside says Taran's Marketplace - but it's worth the hunt. Great breakfasts, fun place. Organic, vegetarian food. Mr.Tastebud says they had the best oatmeal of the trip, and wouldn't share his Berry Smoothie. Mom liked "Mary Ann's Egg Thing", and I loved my Huevos Rancheros. More information is available at http://www.taransmarketplace.com/home....
- Northwoods Smokehouse: Wow! The best smoked salmon-cream cheese bagel I've ever had (actually, it was Mr.Tastebud's, but I got to sample it). I had yummy Cajun-spiced smoked salmon with pepperoncini and scallion cream cheese on a roll. And I got some buffalo pastrami (aka "corned buffalo") to go. Mom doesn't liked smoked fish or meat, so she got a huge turkey sandwich and some delish tomato soup from the Amazing Grace Bakery & Café. (Both in the Dewitt-Seitz Marketplace in Canal Park.)