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Duluth Grill on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

Duluth Grill was featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives program on Nov. 26, 2010. The segment can be viewed at foodnetwork.com. Host Guy Fieri samples the grass-fed bison pot roast that made the West End famous.

Duluth Grill - Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

19 Comments

DECk37

about 6 years ago

That is heavily edited. There was a lot more to the segment, another dish, (the banana cream pie), and they talked to a lot more people.

Dorkus

about 6 years ago

Is that Gary Doty near the end?

DECk37

about 6 years ago

@Dorkus Yes it is, he has a bit more screen time on the episode itself, making comments to the camera about the Duluth Grill, but he's never named, nor directly talked to by Guy.

Ramos

about 6 years ago

With the seemingly 100 percent positive press that the Duluth Grill gets, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned their high prices. I went there with my family last week. Three of us ordered Diet Pepsis. We got three cans of Diet Pepsi and three cups. No refills. Price per can--$2.50!

One of my kids ordered a Sliders Kid's Meal. He got a small bowl of fruit and two really tiny hamburgers for $8. Fries not included! And drink not included! Whoever heard of a kid's meal that didn't include fries and a drink? Is that even a meal? How can you charge $8 for it and still keep your self-respect?

I normally spend $50-60 on a family restaurant tab. At the Duluth Grill it was $80, and we were still hungry.

Parking lot vegetables are cute, but I'm a frugal West Ender. I can't afford them. The giant framed poster of Guy Fieri in the entryway irritates me, too. So do all the tables jammed in the place. You're constantly bumping into strangers' chairs when you try to walk anywhere.

All right, that's all. Thank you.

[email protected]

about 6 years ago

Ramos,

I tolerate the Grill as the place of choice of friends every time I am there, and have learned (a) to always order water, (b) the salads are huge, and (c) if you order breakfast, ask for the to-go box rightaway and just map what you think you can eat tomorrow;  two meals makes it feel less like robbery.

That said, I stare wistfully at the Real Ketchup I imagine is at the BK next door.

Barrett Chase

about 6 years ago

Ramos, a Kid's Classic Cheeseburger with Coke from Perkins weighs in at 1,130 calories, with 17g of saturated fat and 1350mg of sodium. Paying less for large portions of lesser-quality food is not necessarily a smart choice, even if it is a popular choice among Americans. 

And yes, fruit is a side. A healthy one.

Ramos

about 6 years ago

And what are the health stats on the Duluth Grill's food? I know my chorizo sandwich with cheese was salty and fatty, though I'm sure it was local salt and fat.

My point wasn't to diss fruit. My kids all liked the fruit. My point was how little you get for the price, and, further, how nobody, that I am aware of, ever mentions the Duluth Grill's prices. 

Show me another restaurant that charges $2.50 for a can of pop, and doesn't give you a refill. I won't soon forget that.

I mean, I know it's organic, parking-lot-grown Diet Pepsi, but still...

Ramos

about 6 years ago

And, not to nitpick, but the table and wall behind us were sticky.

toyota200x

about 6 years ago

Going out to the Grill is a rare occurrence for me so I accept the higher prices [it is a treat]. They try and keep things sustainable and I commend them for that. There is really no comparing them to a chain restaurant, their food is so much tastier. 

My personal favorite for sustainable unique eats is At Sara's Table. Similar prices and wonderful food.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Not that Barrett and I are experts in the field or anything, but we did compose the Breakfast in Duluth post, so ... well, fuck it, we're experts.

The price of soda is ridiculous at every restaurant and even more so at Duluth Grill, but marking up soda and desserts is how restaurants make money.

The reason whole-foodsy, locally sourced joints charge a lot more isn't just that its a hip trendy thing to cash in on. There is a tremendous amount of labor involved in all the little things that go into running such an establishment. If your lettuce comes on a truck from Dole, you pretty much rinse it and toss it on a plate. If it comes from a farmer in Wrenshall you spend literally hours every single day getting the dirt out of it.

The Duluth Grill has been very successful and consistently draws a crowd, so it doesn't need to charge as much as it does, but because it is so successful there is no incentive to charge less. When you have a packed restaurant, why would you cut prices? The only reason would be to silence your one online critic, who is also complaining that the place has too many tables crammed into it. The high prices do keep some people away, but there isn't enough space to seat them anyway.

So, while John's criticisms are absolutely valid and correct from his perspective -- and many people will agree with him -- those criticisms still make no sense from the restaurant's perspective.

I second Rhetoric Guy's advice about the to-go box at Duluth Grill. When you are asked what side you want, pick the giant cinnamon roll because it keeps the best, and have the waitress bring it in a box. You'll love it a few hours later, but at the table you'll stare at it and feel like your stomach will explode if you take a single bite.

Barrett Chase

about 6 years ago

Ramos, I wasn't addressing the idea that $2.50 is a lot for a can of Diet Pepsi. I was, however, expressing the opinion that large portions + low prices does not necessarily equal a good meal or a quality restaurant experience, and in fact, usually means the opposite. In my opinion.

Ramos

about 6 years ago

If I made two identical dishes, one using mass-produced, industrial food and one using locally-grown, organic food, I'm pretty sure most people wouldn't be able to tell the difference, taste-wise. But no matter. If people want to go to the Duluth Grill, that's fine with me. I just wanted to point out an obvious fact about the place--their high prices--that never seems to get mentioned.

On the plus side, just think how much sales tax and tourism tax the Duluth Grill generates. My $80 tab had $8 tacked onto it for the DECC, Spirit Mountain, the Aquarium, and the city's general fund, among other things. You can't beat that!

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

The tourism tax expired in 2012. There is an effort to revive it, but right now there is no special food, beverage and visitor-lodging tax. It's not clear whether Ramos was referring to that specifically, but I enjoy butting in with informational tidbits. It makes me feel useful to society.

Ramos

about 6 years ago

Excuse me, Paul. Here are the tourism taxes in effect today, along with the year they were enacted.

3% hotel-motel tax (1969): funds Visit Duluth and DECC operations.

1% hotel-motel tax (1977): funds "recreational, cultural, or civic projects."

1% food and beverage tax (enacted in 1977, permanently extended in 1991): funds "activities...which promote tourism in the City of Duluth.

1% hotel-motel tax (1980): funds "tourist-related public improvements."

1% hotel-motel tax (1990): funds "tourist-related public improvements."

0.75% food and beverage tax (2008): funds DECC expansion.

Under consideration today (and guaranteed to pass by a cheering city council) are an additional 0.5% hotel-motel tax and an additional 0.5% food and beverage tax, which are intended to fund projects at Spirit Mountain, Wade Stadium, the zoo and still-unspecific river and parks projects in West Duluth.

Citations available upon request.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Although I perhaps stand a bit corrected, none of the above are a "special food, beverage and visitor-lodging tax," except for the last one, which, as I mentioned, has expired.

But I'm trying to get off on a technicality because several of them relate to one or two, but not all three, of those things.

So, yes, we are taxed a lot. But what I'm saying is that the most famous of those taxes expired in 2012.

Ramos

about 6 years ago

I don't get it. They're all special food and beverage or visitor-lodging taxes. There's never been one tax that affected all three things at once. When we talk about the tourism taxes, these are what we're talking about. 

The half-and-half taxes under consideration today did "expire" in 2012. Five years ago, I predicted that city leaders would never allow them to expire, so I was wrong there. They expired for a year and a half. Now they're back.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

I've seen the tax that expired in 2012 referred to many, many times as affecting "local food, beverage and visitor-lodging revenue." My assumption, based on that phrasing, is that all three are part of it. If it was only food and beverage, then I'm in a line of people wrong about it, I guess.

But anyway, all I'm trying to point out is that one expired. We might need to establish a Total Tax Bullshit Index in another post to avoid getting too far off topic here.

Ramos

about 6 years ago

Well, there are lines of people wrong about lots of things in this town, so you're in good company.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

Perhaps there is a subtle difference where I'm counting two taxes as one. The most Googlable citation would be from MinnPost, which in turn cites the Duluth News Tribune.

Two local sales taxes in Duluth expired in November, making it slightly cheaper to eat, drink and stay in hotels there. The Duluth News Tribune says the taxes were 0.5 percent tax on food and beverage sales and a separate 0.5 percent tax on lodging. Last year, they brought in about $970,000 and $283,000, respectively, according to Peg Spehar, Duluth's chief financial officer.

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