In search of Sirloin
In a recent Sunday edition of The Duluth News Tribune, writer Jana Hollingsworth toured local restaurants and located deals on meals to help beat the recession. Hey Jana, the recession is OVER. I'm goin' out for a steak!...
In a recent Sunday edition of The Duluth News Tribune, writer Jana Hollingsworth toured local restaurants and located deals on meals to help beat the recession. Hey Jana, the recession is OVER. I'm goin' out for a steak!
In keeping with The Meat 'n' Potato Man tradition, I bring to your attention three locations for your consideration. I scoured the Living North area to find venues that you may have not considered to bring you my opinion based upon my anonymous experience.
This month I decided to travel to the other side of the cheddar curtain, into Wisconsin, to seek out new restaurants and new eateries, to boldly go where you, the reader, may not have gone before. Besides, driving the roads in Duluth is too costly with front end repairs from potholes.
My first stop, on a Saturday night, was the Twin Gables Restaurant in Brule, Wis. It is a lovely drive across Highway 2. Unfortunately, and worse than pot-holes, I was compelled to bring the future ex-Mrs. Meat 'n' Potato Man with me. We arrived to an empty dining room, giving us the opportunity to select a table overlooking the outside dining deck. Our waitress arrived promptly and proudly announced that tonight was her first night waitressing and Twin Gables.
My favorite steak is a top sirloin. This was missing from the menu. However, the New York strip seemed inviting. Along with a baked potato and French onion soup, I expected to be satiated. The future ex ordered the same. (No imagination, that woman.) With beverages served, I was able to glance over the menu that was very well balanced and complete with appetizers, eight dinner offerings, a variety of pasta, 20 sandwiches, a kids menu, and full bar service. I also had the opportunity to view the black and white photo reproductions that hung on the rustic walls, touting the history of Brule and showcasing fishing visits by President Coolidge and J. Edgar Hoover.
Eleven minutes after ordering we were informed that New York strips were not available so we changed our order to ribeyes. Three minutes later the owner came to our table and told us that we could be served the strips, and we chose them.
We enjoyed the French onion soup that was homemade. It was a bit deceiving at first because the bread and cheese was at the bottom of the bowl. It was there and it was delicious. Our meals were served. The steak I ordered medium was just about right. Perhaps a bit over-cooked, but as thin as it was, it was probably correct. What's-Her-Name stated her steak, medium-well, was prepared correctly. Importantly, I noted that the baked potato was thoroughly cooked. The meal, simply put, was very good.
During our meal, one of the owners stopped by to chat and check up on us. We learned that the dessert bakery case goods were all homemade. That information caused a stirring within the Future Ex-Mrs. Meat 'n' Potato Man and she ordered a slice of rhubarb pie to go. Later I learned that what she received was strawberry-rhubarb pie, even though rhubarb was available. Serves her right! We spent a bit over an hour at Twin Gables and escaped for just over 40 bucks. Not a bad start for my quest for steak.
My next stop was at Dreamland Supper Club in South Range. For this evening's dining I solicited the assistance of a long-time friend and his lovely wife to help ease the burden of bringing the future ex along. I chose a window table and noted a hummingbird feeder attached to the window. When you go to Dreamland, get a window seat - the hummingbirds are fun to watch. My guests arrived and so did the waitress, offering beverages, including a full bar. I really did want to have a splash of gin but decided my untainted evaluation for you, the reader, was more important than my own personal pleasure. After placing our orders, New York strip for comparison, a delightful relish tray was brought to the table along with a bread basket. Readers, there are few places that offer such an elegant touch. Our soup was served, chicken dumpling for The Meat 'n' Potato Man. Then, our salad came.
Our entrees were served with efficiency and grace by the server. My New York Strip was cooked to perfection. It was large and tasty and thick. My baked potato was also appropriately cooked and sour cream and butter was available. Bill chose a porterhouse steak which he rated a three-plus out of five and Sandy enjoyed grilled shrimp which she proclaimed to be "tasty." The future ex dined on the deep fried turkey. I will comment that it was delicious because I stole some from her.
Dreamland Supper Club, open four nights a week or by special arrangement did not disappoint any of us. I got out the door, well-fed and satisfied for about twenty dollars! (Made What's-Her-Name pay for herself).
My last stop of the dining month was the Covered Wagon restaurant, located at the intersection of Highway 53 and County Road B, in Douglas County.
Entering the restaurant, we (the future ex and I) were not greeted by the lone waitress and wandered to a window table. Menus were brought and beverage order taken. No cordiality, just get away from the table as quickly as possible. I think that was because of the future ex. My thoughts on that subject changed when our dinner orders were taken. Again, no sign of pleasantness. It appeared that the waitress could not get away from our table fast enough. I did note that she had time to kibitz with the cook who was wearing no head covering while preparing the meals.
My chicken rice soup, complete with a choking sized bone was served by the waitress without comment. Then, unceremoniously, platters of meat were dropped off at the table. My New York, and pork chops for the future ex. Then, without warning or comment, the server returned bearing additional plates with our baked potato and breads.
My potato was not thoroughly cooked and I chose not to eat it. My steak appeared to have been fried on a flat grill. The future ex proclaimed that her pork chops were dry.
When our elusive waitress arrived with the bill I asked if the potatoes were microwaved. She replied that she didn't know, and left the bill. My ratings for these establishments:
Dreamland - Number one.
Twin Gables - Definitely worth the trip
Covered Wagon Not such a good experience.
Contact the Meat 'n' Potato Man at email@example.com .
Editor's Note: Dear Mr Meat 'n' Potato Man, It's OK to order the gin.
And give the Covered Wagon another chance. They have the best broasted chicken around and the owner really is quite nice.