Tag Archives: American

Four Points Bar and Grill, Bemidji, MN

Four Points Bar and Grill, 1813 Paul Bunyan Dr NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

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Right next to the Super 8 Hotel is a restaurant called Four Points Bar and Grill.  You get a 10% discount with your key card from the hotel.  They serve American food.

Overall their prices are pretty average for a nice restaurant.  The feel inside is very rustic.

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We tried their signature burger and fries.  Let’s just say it was very messy.  The onion marmalade basically slid off the burger.  The coleslaw was not the greatest.  The fries were pretty great.  Overall it was decent.  The patty was preformed.  They cooked it alright.  The flavor combination was very good.  It was a bit difficult to eat.  The patty was some ridiculous amount of beef.  It was super thick and just made it difficult to take a full bite of the burger and I believe lead to the loss of the toppings.  I wish these places would give me a smaller burger of better quality so that I can actually enjoy eating it.

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That being said I think most people I know would have liked the burger.  It was mostly just difficult, not bad.  The fries were really good.

If you are in the area and want a nicer meal this is the place you want to go.  It isn’t cheap, but it is at the price point of a better meal.

They also have pasta and fish and steak to choose from if you do not want a burger.  Their Scott selection was also respectable.

UPDATE:  Based on everything I can find online this restaurant has closed.  Unfortunate!

Douglas Lodge, Itasca State Park, Park Rapids, MN

Douglas Lodge, 36750 Main Park Drive, Park Rapids, MN 56470

Douglas Lodge is located inside of Itasca State Park.  It is closest to the east entrance of the park, but easily accessible from the south, or if you want a little drive from the north entrance.

While I did not stay at the lodge and cannot comment on the rooms the location is great.  You have easy access to many hiking trails, the Aiton Heights Fire Tower, the bike trails, and the Chester Charles II boat tour.  The lodge has WiFi access and it is pretty good inside the lodge.

The reason we went to the lodge was to eat lunch on two separate days.  The lodge is fairly busy, but the wait is generally not more than half an hour.

Douglas Lodge Itasca State Park 077

Since Minnesota is known for their wild rice which grows right on the lake we had to try their wild rice soup and hot dish (it’s a casserole).  Needless to say both dishes are very Minnesotan in their lack of spices.  They were a bit bland.  I also tried the walleye which was really good.  One note when ordering the wild rice soup.  If you want your soup creamy you need to specifically ask for it that way.  If you do not then you will get the broth wild rice soup.  That worked out well for me, but maybe rather disappointing for most people.

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We also tried one of their desserts which was really good.  We had the sweet potato maple cheesecake.  It was delicious.

If you are a Minnesotan you will probably like the food.  It was cooked as well as can be expected.  The walleye was very good and I recommend it.  I liked the soup too, but it was very simple.  The hot dish wasn’t bad, but again not very exciting.

I would say overall this was pretty good, but not great.  I would eat here again.  I did wait half an hour twice just to eat here, but the only other place to eat is near the northern entrance.  The food is made right.  The service is decent.  If you are considering eating there I would say do it.

Betty’s Pies, Two Harbors, MN

Betty’s Pies, 1633 Minnesota 61, Two Harbors, MN 55616

As you are driving along 61 and you are passing through Two Harbors you will see a large building and a sign that says Betty’s Pies.  You will then pull off the road and order one of her famous pies.

June 2016 452 Betty's Pies

But wait there’s more.  Betty’s Pies isn’t just a pie shop.  It is a fall cafe and restaurant.  We waited half an hour for a table.  Not sure if this is normal, but it was pretty full with people waiting inside and outside to get their names called.  We ended up at the counter which was fine with me.

June 2016 450 Betty's Pies

I ordered the potato soup and tuna melt which came with a slice of pie.  I had the cherry pie.  I wish a had ordered a different pie because I have had the most incredible cherry pie before and no other cherry pie has ever stood up to it.  This cherry pie was as good as any normal cherry pie could be.  It is served cold and not hot which is a little disappointing, but not surprising.

June 2016 447 Betty's Pies

I have it on good authority that the veggie burger is pretty amazing here and that is from a non-vegetarian who ordered it not knowing it did not contain meat.  Basically it is just rice and cheese which really does sound amazing.

On our second pass through Betty’s Pies we bought a whole apple pie which was amazing.

If you are passing by you really do have to stop in and buy at least a slice of pie.  If nothing else just to say you have tries Betty’s Pies.

Hungry Jack Lodge, Grand Marais, MN

Hungry Jack Lodge, 372 Hungry Jack Rd, Grand Marais, MN 55604

A man who once lived in California returns home to run his father’s lodge, Hungry Jack Lodge.  The boy isn’t necessarily the most outgoing, but I do like his influence on the menu.

Let’s start with the restaurant in the lodge.  It is downstairs.  They have pizza.  They are more famous for their burger and fries, particularly their fries.  I agree that they are very good.  Our waitress was new and inexperienced, but the food was good so who cares.  You can get drinks at the bar or the tables.  You can even eat outside is you wish.

June 2016 063 Hungry Jack Lodge

The cabins are great.  They are right on the lake.  You get your own private dock.  They come with all of the items you need for cooking in the tiny kitchen area.  It has a little kitchen, a bed and fireplace, and a really nice bathroom.  You have deck to hang out on and enjoy the evening sunset or morning sunrise.  They are pretty close to the lodge so you can pop out to get a bite to eat.

June 2016 039 Hungry Jack Lodge

June 2016 027 Hungry Jack Lodge

One thing about being this far north, in the summer for sure, is the northern lights.  It never gets dark.  It hardly gets darker inside at night than it is during the day.  Oh, you can hear the loons at night.

You can fish off the dock or rent a boat.  We caught a couple of small fish, but honestly we needed to be out just a little bit further than we could manage to cast.

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Near the lodge there is some playground equipment if you have children.  The swimming area is straight out from the lodge.

June 2016 048 Hungry Jack Lodge

The have many campsites that you can rent.  The sites look pretty nice.  You can even get a shower if you rent a campsite.  The single shower is really nice, better than the one in my cabin.

June 2016 169 Hungry Jack Lodge

June 2016 277 Hungry Jack Lodge

The best part of this particular lodge is the distance to the nearest trail.  Just a little bit down the road you can walk up to a lookout that allows you to see Hungry Jack Lake.

June 2016 118 Caribou Rock Trail

Walk past this and you will find Caribou Rock Trail and Moss Lake Trail.  Caribou Rock Trail is where it is at between the two, but even if you only get to the lookout point you will enjoy the view.

Hungry Jack Lodge is actually a ways past Grand Marias.  If you are looking for a great place to stay I would say this is possibly the place.


Urbana Craeft Kitchen & Market, Bloomington, MN

Urbana Craeft Kitchen & Market, 3200 W 81st St, Bloomington, MN 55425

Urbana is a trendy urban restaurant located in the new Hyatt Regency hotel.  There is an outdoor dining area, a little market area, and tons of tables.

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I have eaten there twice.  Once for lunch and once for dinner.  The meals are all a bit strange so pay attention to what going into your food.  Some of the people I ate with ordered an item they love only to find out that it had an ingredient that they did not.

The market offers snacks, juice, and Star Bucks coffee.  You can pop in, get what you need and go back to your hotel or head out into the city for the day.

I had a pita for lunch.  The one I chose was pretty good.  It had turkey and other items in it.  Overall I was pleased with this selection.  Those in the party that ordered a burger seemed happy for the most part.  One of their burgers has fontina cheese which is one of my favorite cheeses.  The sauce they give you for your fries is homemade and is a bit like sriracha, but not quite.  It seemed a bit bold for Minnesota and frankly I think most people would have preferred a normal ketchup.

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The dinner meal I ordered a crusted filet with baby potatoes and asparagus.  It was the perfect amount of food for me.  If you were hungry, well, if you want a lot of food don’t order a filet.  It wasn’t the best filet that I have ever had.  It was just okay.  The potatoes were perfect with a great seasoning.  The asparagus wasn’t too big.

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Overall the prices are high, but no higher than I would expect in a hotel.  If you are staying at the Hyatt then by all means take a meal here.

I wasn’t impressed, but it isn’t bad.  It just isn’t great and I was expecting more.  Most food out there is worse, but if I am going out to dinner this restaurant isn’t on my list.  I wouldn’t say no if someone suggested it.

It is a place with different flavors.  If you are looking for a change try it and perhaps with luck you will find a flavor you enjoy.

Our Place, Cody, WY

Our Place, 148 Yellowstone Ave, Cody, WY 82414

Our Place is a breakfast and lunch place that opens early at 6 and closes at 2.  We stopped in for breakfast.

The first thing I noticed was the smell of something burning.  It worried me a bit.  The second thing I noticed was the free WiFi which I desperately needed.

Despite the initial worrisome smell the food was amazing.  The portions were huge, too big to eat really.  Everything was cooked perfectly and it all tasted really good.  I went on the wild side and tried the Mexican eggs on the menu, can’t remember what they were called, but they were good.  I am not a fan of green sauce, but that wasn’t an issue, it tasted good anyway.  I was told that the biscuits and gravy were good as well.

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The decorations on the walls were really cool and grouped accordingly.  Lots of windmills and badges.

Our Place, Cody, WY May 2016 136

I would highly recommend eating at Our Place.  You will walk away full and happy.

Little America, Little America, WY

Little America, I-80, Little America, WY 82929

The greatest place on Earth, or in America, or maybe I was really tired at this point in the drive.  We were driving to SLC from Cody, WY and along I-80 we kept seeing these signs for Little America.  The big draw was the really cheap cones for the family traveler and everything you could possibly want for the truck driver.  We pulled off to get out of the road construction and because the signs really made it seem like Little America was a magical place.

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The “town” Little America seems to consist of a hotel, a gas station, and fuel center with a repair shop.  It was clearly built with a comprehension idea in mind.  If you are in a car you go left.  If you are in a truck you go right.

We went inside to eat at the restaurant/convenience store.  They have burgers and fries and corn dogs and of course cones.  They cook the burgers all of the way through.  I didn’t think the food was the best, but it was okay.  I heard the corn dog was good.  Everyone who stopped in to get a cone looked overjoyed.

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The rest of the convenience store is amazing.  There are souvenirs like shirts and hats.  There are things like pickled quail eggs.  It really did seem like a magical place.

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Little America WY May 2016 081

The bathrooms where incredible.  I literally almost walked back out to make sure I was still in a convenience store.  You walk in and there is an upscale sitting area where you can wait for whoever else went in with you.  Each stall is its own little room.  Everything about it was really nice.

There are hotels that you can stay in at Little America.  You get a discount if you eat at the convenience store and get a room.  It is really a travel paradise, not a destination, but a great place to stay or stop along the way.

The entire design was beautiful.

Hill City Cafe, Hill City, SD

Hill City Cafe, 209 Main St, Hill City, SD 57745

This little cafe on the main street of Hill City seems to be a local favorite.  The staff is friendly and very happy.  They seem genuinely happy.

We stopped in here to get a decent breakfast and the food was good.  It is just basic cafe food.  No surprises, but everything is Western themed.  Check out the menu.  If you want a good breakfast this is the place.

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Hill City Cafe, SD May 2016 207

Hill City Cafe is just a nice cafe to eat normal food in.

Dairy Twist, Hill City, SD

Dairy Twist, 12647 US-16, Hill City, SD 57745

Yes, go here and eat.  The food is good old fashioned drive inn food and you will love every bite.

I had the burger and cheese curds which were amazing.  You can get other items as well like shakes and cones and fries and chicken strips and chili dogs.  It may have been the best place that we ate during this particular trip.  Be careful showing up late, sometimes they just close a bit early.

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You can eat both inside and outside.  There is a picnic area just outside of the indoor eating area.

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Dairy Twist, Hill City, SD May 2016 194

It is the interesting part about the Dairy Twist.  There are agates, arrowheads, and skulls in a display case in the eating area.  I think they were real dinosaur bones.

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Dairy Twist, Hill City, SD May 2016 189

If you are in Hill City, SD you must eat at the Dairy Twist.  They time that they are open is limited so if it is open grab your food while you can.

Monks Bar & Grill, Wisconsin Dells, WI

Monks Bar & Grill, 220 Broadway, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

Monks Bar & Grill is basically a large sports bar with really amazing food.  I was so glad we ate at this restaurant and I got a new shirt.

The cheese curds were amazing.  Three people could barely finish them.  The sandwiches were excellent.  I had a pretty basic burger and fries.  OK, it had jalapenos on it.  What can I say I love jalapenos.  The burger was done perfectly and the fries had a really good seasoning on them.  They even toasted the bun.

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My dinner companions also enjoyed their food.  They each ordered something odd in the menu and both ate every bite.  One had beans on it and and other one had something that looked very messy to eat.  I cannot find the items on the regular menu.

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If you are looking for some typical burgers or something a little more than that try Monks.  They know how to cook good food and how to put together great combinations.  When you read the descriptions the toppings sound really good, not odd and experimental.  You get the felling someone has made this before even if you have never heard about it.

Go to Monks, eat, and enjoy!