Saturday, July 25, 2009

Walleye Alley/Minnesota

About time I get back to work.
Bemidji MN is in North Central Minnesota and is a town of about 12,000 full time inhabitants. It is also the home of Bemidji State University and equally important a medal winning curling team in the last winter Olympics.( Medals and clippings in "Dave's Pizza)
We spent Thursday and Friday there visiting our Granddaughter who is a sailing instructor at a girls camp in Cass Lake MN. Our Hampton Inn was on the shore of Lake Bemidji and is a very pleasant 5 story hotel with many amenities.
The first night Marilyn and I dined alone, our Granddaughter was working, at "Tutto Bene" 300 Beltami Ave. Bemidji -218-751-1100. We had eaten at "Tutto Bene" once before, on another camp visit. It seems to have slip slightly but is still above the norm for a small town Italian restaurant. Marilyn had "Pasta Lemonee", a mixture of fresh tomatoes, chicken and summer veggies in a lemon butter sauce. I had Pasta with spicy sausage which was just as the name implied with a bit of cheese added. Both meals came from the kitchen slightly cooler that we might have wished so mine was returned for some extra physical heat. Pasta, salad, bread and olive oil or butter plus our drinks (beer) came to $25 each including tip. The atmosphere and service are both more that acceptable.
The next day our Granddaughter join us and after a first stop at the Laundromat, to clean 2 weeks of her cloths we went to the "Green Mill" a Minnesota chain whose Bemidji property is physically connected to the Hampton Inn. We sat on the terrace, overlooking the lake and received wonderful service from a "trainer" and her charge. We all selected salad, all a full sized meals, but the biggest surprise was an order of "Walleye Sliders" a new menu item. The three, 3 bite sandwiches contained a 2"x2" piece of grilled fresh Walleye on a soft bun. The bun had a light portion of shredded lettuce and each piece of fish was topped with a round slice of half-dill pickle. A spicy garlic mayo was served on the side along with several large pieces of fresh lemon, for those who desired. As you can tell I was enthralled. Now to get someone locally to copy this dish.
After an afternoon of shopping, what else do you do with a teen age girl and her Grandmother we relaxed before driving to Walker MN, about 30 miles, for an outstanding and surprising dinner at the "Boulders" 8363 Lake Land Trail, Walker MN 56484. Phone-218-547-1006.
The "Boulders" is in a beautiful free standing "A" frame structure with a large glass window and deck along the front wall. It is staffed by a very competent chef and the service personnel are all well trained and above the age of High School, as is sometime the case in resort areas.
We started with drinks and a shared platter of homemade chips cover with Blue Cheese, then had salads followed by main courses of Walleye, Marilyn, Paella, Granddaughter and Lamb Chops in a wine reduction for me. Proper garnishes or sides came with each. A shared fresh Red Raspberry Bread pudding and Marilyn's de-caf finished a wonderful evening. With a good sized tip the evening came to about $40 each.
Next morning we drove thru the beautiful lake region an on thru the Twin cities to Eau Claire WI. That comes next.

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