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Jump into August with more Duluth Surprises (Part 3)

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Jump into August with more Duluth Surprises (Part 3)

Time sure flies when you’re having fun, and with the flip of a calendar page, we suddenly find ourselves plunged into August. How did that happen?

But, let’s be serious. There’s still a solid month of summer fun left to be hand, and if there’s something on your Summer Bucket List waiting still to be crossed off, now’s the time to do it. Is a trip up the North Shore a part of those plans? Maybe you’ll be gracing the UMD’s grounds for a tour with a son, daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, or sibling (because with August comes a rush of Back to School fever!) Whatever your plans, there’s plenty to do in this great city on a great lake.

What are you waiting for? Surge ahead into August!

Wanna Do Brunch?
The newish owners at the Lake Avenue Restaurant & Bar have made plenty of admirable improvements since buying the place in 2009. At the top of that lise is reinvigorated bar, where micro-distillery spirits and liqueurs, house-made infusions and fresh juices are the rule, and creative craft cocktail-making happens on a daily basis. By Twin Cities standards, the wine prices will seem positively happy hour-esque. Another tip: Weekend brunch is a first-rate affair, best enjoyed with the bar’s robust Bloody Mary’s and tart grapefruit Mimosas.

lake-ave-outside-u3975

Cross the Bridge for Superior Pizza
Nothing against Pizza Luce, which has a major downtown Duluth presence, but that’s an experience that can be had in the Twin Cities. Instead, set your GPS to Superior and Thirsty Pagan Brewing, where the house specialty — alongside well-crafted beers — is an excellent sort-of deep-dish pizza. Baked in a high-rimmed, oven-scarred round pans, the crust falls into a category all its own, with a crispy and study outer shell that yields t a soft, bready interior. It’s fabulous, and owns Susan and Steve Knauss don’t skimp on the toppings, either. The funky and highly convivial setting — and the staff’s we’re-thrilled-you’re-here enthusiasm — adds to the appeal.

thirsty pagan

A Coffee-Lover Must-Stop
Yes, fans of Starbucks, Caribou and Dunn Bros., your caffeinators maintain Duluth outposts. But the chains can’t touch the lattes, cappuccinos, espressos and brewed-to-order cups made at the quality-obsessed Duluth Coffee Company. Every step of the process is scrutinized by owner Eric Faust (also a UMD alumnus!), from his relationships with small coffee producers to his skill at the roaster. The stylish downtown storefront is warm and inviting — the turntable and record collection are nice touches — and the neighboring How Sweet It Is bakery keeps the place stocked with croissants, pain au chocolat and other pastries. Pick up one of the shop’s coffee-infused chocolate bars for the road.

coffee co

Out-Of-The-Way Breakfast
“We’re not the ‘P’ word” — meaning Perkins — said the staffer behind the knotty-pine counter at the New London Cafe. She was right. This funky Lakeside neighborhood gem has a true where-the-locals eat feel, right down to the all-you-can-eat Friday night fish fry. At breakfast, plate-sized, nutty-brown blueberry pancakes rise high off the griddle, and a gigantic slab of crisp-edged hash browns compete for attention with eggs Benedict; lunch is a long list of burgers, sandwiches and salads, all moderately priced and served in a flash.

new-london-cafe-sign

Be sure to check out Duluth Surprises Part 1 and Part 2 for other must-stop locations around the city.

(Content provided by Rick Nelson, “Destination Duluth: Where to eat right now” in the July 12, 2013 issue of the StarTribune)

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