Our Favorite Restaurant

During our trip to the boundary waters, we were in a very remote area. We were a solid 30 miles outside of Grand Marais proper, and we had no phone service, no internet, and – as it turned out – no options for dining. Well, there was one option. The Trail Center Lodge Creek quickly became our favorite restaurant. Admittedly, I did really enjoy the food, but there also wasn’t much competition given that it was the only place to go.

After busy days of hiking and canoeing, we didn’t feel like a long car ride, so it was to the Trail Center Lodge that we headed three consecutive nights.

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Since there wasn’t much around the area (am I repeating myself?!), the Trail Center Lodge functioned as a one-stop shop. Of sorts.

There was gas…

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There were groceries*…
*don’t let this word fool you into expecting a wide selection

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There was the saddest produce section I have ever seen…

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Fun fact: there were more types of mayo on sale here than vegetables. Oh yeah, and don’t bring your pets:

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I am assuming that other boundary waters adventurers had the same thinking we did in terms of not wanting to drive anywhere, because the wait time to get a table was about 45-70 minutes every night. The food was good though! There was a fairly extensive menu with burgers, steaks, salads, and sandwiches. Fresh bread came to the table at the start of every meal:

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And all entrees came with a salad:

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The first night, I got a salmon salad:

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Others ordered the blue cheese filet with pasta, mussels, and a regular filet with baked yams:

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The portions were all very generous and everyone enjoyed the meal.

The second night we went was Friday, and Friday at the Trail Center Lodge means ALL YOU CAN EAT FISH FRY. woop woop. I didn’t get the fish, but others did.

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No one at our table could even finish the regular serving of fish and chips, much less take advantage of the all-you-can-eat option. That is a lot of food!

The exciting thing for me the second night was the discovery of the Trail Center Lodge malts:

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be still my heart

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blended ice cream, I love you. I ordered a chocolate pumpkin malt, and the last night I tried pumpkin peanut butter.

Other food around the table included chocolate milk, fried chicken with fries, chili burger with fries, and another filet.

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There’s no question that the food at the Trail Center Lodge was pretty heavy, but for a few days on vacation it really hit the spot. If you are in the Poplar Creek area, definitely go here. But, then again, if you’re dining out in the Poplar Creek area, you won’t really have a choice. 🙂

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Wilde Roast Cafe

HOLD THE PHONE! There is a new restaurant to add to my ring of favorites in Minneapolis. Yessss, Wilde Roast Cafe made the cut.

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Previously located in Northeast, Wilde Roast now has primetime location on the riverfront right next to St. Anthony Main Theatre. This place has been on my (long) list of restaurants-to-try for ages, and now that I’ve been, I’m bummed that I never went there before now. The food was delicious. Selecting what to order was a challenge since I wanted approximately everything.

We finally settled on the Night Out Appetizer:

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This was honeyed goat cheese with roasted garlic, mixed olives, candied nuts, and toasted baguette. Delicious! For our entrees, I ordered a steak salad and Noah had filet mignon.

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The mignon came with mashed potatoes, gravy, and sauteed vegetables. We also had a side of tater tots:

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Everything was fabulous, and definitely want to come here again! They have happy hour during the week from 4-6 with half priced appetizers. A few appetizers shared between a couple people would certainly be enough for a meal, and I’m hoping to go back in the next couple weeks to do just that.

Shoes Shopping and Mill Valley Kitchen

Shoes are a big problem for me. From running shoes to just regular sneakers, it’s always a struggle for me to find shoes that will 1) fit my orthotics, 2) give me enough support outside of the orthotics, and 3) meet my high standards for comfort. I’ve had several attempted and failed shopping trips to try to find a nicer looking shoe that meets all of my requirements. Currently, whenever I go somewhere that calls for a nicer pair of shoes I either wear my Ugg boots, suffer miserably wearing uncomfortable shoes, or give up altogether and just wear my sneakers. On the recommendation of someone at my office, I decided to check out Schuler Shoes in St. Louis Park.

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I was told that Schuler’s had a wide selection comfort shoes and staff members who would help you find what you were looking for. The selection of shoes available was pretty impressive. They had an impressive selection of pretty much every comfort brand I’ve heard of.

Keen and Choco:
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Dansko:
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Naot (an Israeli brand!):

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I tried on a couple Naots and a pair of Danskos. The Naot shoes were a little too narrow for my orthotics to fit quite right. The Danskos were a little wider and felt pretty comfortable. My heel did seem to come out a little when I walked, but the salesperson told me that is standard with Danskos since they have the hard rocker sole. The Dansko model were called Arden Black Nappa:

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I’m wearing them today, and so far things are going pretty well. I started the day without socks, but that was a little uncomfortable and I felt like they were rubbing. Once I put socks on, I’ve been feeling a lot better. The only issue now is might need some non-white socks.

For lunch yesterday, we went to Mill Valley Kitchen. It’s in St. Louis Park, and they boast healthy and well-proportioned meals. I’ve wanted to try it for a while, and – given that it’s my own personal restaurant week – this was the perfect opportunity.

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The inside was very classy! I was expecting a cafe of sorts, but it was a lot more formal.

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From their bathrooms, I could also tell they are into the environment and all that good stuff. Telltale sign: REAL TOWELS!

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My dad and I both got salads for lunch. I got a butter leaf salad with asparagus, new potatoes, and skirt steak:

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My dad got a house salad with chicken, and we shared some house made pita bread:

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The lunch didn’t quite fill me up (there was very little meat on the salad). If I went back, I would definitely order something else, but I’m not desperate to return soon. I wasn’t too impressed and would go back to a lot of other places before I go back here.