David Beard Posts

Game Night at Collector’s Connection

Collector’s Connection used to be cramped, a place to stall while my wife wandered the mall. No longer! It’s become a destination. Last night, my wife and I played two games with a charming young couple of students and the Host, who did an excellent job of teaching us how to lose gracefully. The evening was free, though I bought a comic on the way out!

Slumber party report needed

Action at Yarn Harbor -- Not Slumber Party

Action at Yarn Harbor -- Not Slumber Party

Did anyone attend the “Slumber Party” at Yarn Harbor?

The next one will be May 13th. More info about Yarn Harbor is here.

Duluth Sub Sandwich Shops

Charley’s Subs is opened in the Mall. I always appreciate a new business, even if it’s a franchise. Where is the best sub sandwich in town?


What’s the word among PDD’ers about the Duluth Playhouse’s production of Chicago?

Brewhouse Prix Fixe

I always feel odd enjoying the Fitger’s Brewhouse. Nearly everyone under 30 I’ve ever known in Duluth, and some older, has worked for the Brewhouse empire. And empire is not a carelessly chosen word; the success of the Brewhouse, Red Star, Burrito Union and the new expansion into City Hall may be local in origin, but functions in much the same way Wal-Mart does: by grinding through an ample supply of tourism-economy low-wage no-benefit employees. I feel good about eating local; I wish that I felt better about the economic impact of that particular local choice.

That said, there’s a newspaper circulating in the free racks around town talking about how the Brewhouse supports local agriculture, and so I thought I’d give them a chance, again, in prix fixe, as part of the Greater Downtown Council’s Eat Downtown event. I was not disappointed.

The burger was hearty and filling, the fries and onion rings are almost a meal to themselves, and the German chocolate stout cupcake will bring Kate and me back in the future.

Really, really awesome. Whoever designed this Prix Fixe (and gave me a window into the local agriculure connection at the Brewhouse in that newspaper) has brought me back to their table.

Now, if I could buy that cake to bring to work …

R.I.P., Le Bistro

Le Bistro restaurant in the former City/County Complex in Superior will close April 16, a victim of the sluggish economy.

The [Food] Game is Fixed

You have one more week to enjoy Eat Downtown! The Greater Downtown Council-sponsored event, with 19 participating restaurants, is back this year.

The DNT describes the program here.

Kate and I at ate J J Astor — an amazing dinner, including blackberry salad, for me a pressed chicken, for her walleye with grapefruit and bleu cheese salad, for me a chocolate pudding for dessert, for her an orange olive oil cake. Amazing. Also of note: the happy-hour specials at the Astor are at least competitive with other local happy hours. We had never seen the bar added in the remodel before; it (and the whole space) is awesome.

Bellisio’s was awesome both for the company (M., S., and L.) as for the very filling mix of a caprese salad (the highlight of my meal), various pasta dishes, and tasty gelato.

Being a tourist in your own town is sometimes one of the best ways to rediscover your love for it. Try a local restaurant today. And note: some of the restaurants with more modest aims have a “two for twenty” menu in the evenings.


It’s Saturday. My wife has a cold, and I get “the look” when I suggest that I might go out and leave her shivering under blankets.

So I’m not at the bout between the Harbor City Rollerdames and whomever they are playing tonight. [It doesn’t matter whom — they will be crushed.]

If you have results, please post here. Go Rollerdames!

Wildwoods Rehabilitation

Drum roll!!! Trumpets!!! Wildwoods Rehabilitation is now an official nonprofit organization!!! (Applause!)

About Wildwoods
Wildwoods, a Minnesota nonprofit, is a group of wildlife rehabilitators and volunteers in Duluth. We work to help injured and orphaned animals return to their natural lives. Though we are currently based out of the homes of our individual wildlife rehabilitators, we plan to open a free-standing center in the Duluth area in the next 6-12 months.

We invite you to browse the pictures and stories of the wild animals on YouTube on pffarr’s channel. We are very fortunate to live in such a wild, wonderful corner of the world. Enjoy!

* duluthrehabber @ yahoo.com

* http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100001386579814

Tower/Soudan mine appears to be on fire

The retired mine and active tourist site & research lab at the Tower/Soudan mine appears to be on fire, about a half mile beneath the surface.

Minnesota Brown collects the story.

The DNR has a release here:

“Fire underway in mine shaft at Soudan Underground Mine State Park (Released March 18, 2011)

“Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Minnesota Interagency Fire Center (MIFC) are responding to a fire that has been detected inside the mine shaft at Soudan Underground Mine State Park near Tower, Minn. There have been no injuries or loss of life due to the fire. It does not pose a risk to nearby communities or the environment.

NerdNite VIII

You don’t need a GPS to find coolness. You do need it to try GeoCaching, one of the awesome events discussed at NerdNite VIII.

We loved all the talks, and we loved learning about a local creative resource. Kudos to all who planned it, and looking forward to the next one! I’d love to know about NerdNite as a movement — I learned a little at nerdnite.com, but want to learn more!

Annual Requests: Mountain Dew Throwback and Paczki in Duluth

Fat Tuesday is coming … and yesterday, at Mt. Royal, I found my annual fave, Mountain Dew Throwback.

So, where have you seen the made-with-sugar, not-corn-syrup delight called “Mountain Dew Throwback?” And what other sugar-soda delights are available in Duluth? Last year, I discovered the Mexican Coke at Cub via this thread. I’m open to other, maybe even local? sodas.

And: last year, I discovered that not all Super Ones are the same. The Paczki delights vary from location to location. Last year, the Lakeside Super One was awesomest — best in taste and appearance. But where will I find them this year?

Previous Posts on the Subject:
Annual Food Queries: Throwback; Paczki
Shopping Advice…

Harbor City RollerDames

See you at the next bout?

2-19-2011 HCRD Hearbreaker’s Brawl (Intraleague) World of Wheels, Superior
From: harborcityrollerdames.com

Harbor City Roller Dames is the Twin Ports’ and Northern Minnesota’s origingal women’s flat-track roller derby league! HCRD provides an opportunity for all women ages 19+ to learn and play the sport of flat track roller derby and participate in the skater-run business aspects of the organization. HCRD strives to maintain a presence of athletic entertainment in the Northland while using the efforts of the league to give back to the local community.

Lillian’s of Duluth

My wife and I went to Lillian’s on First Street this week. I just recently noticed that something went into the old New Moon location when passing it on the bus, though apparently, they’ve been here since August.

Happy Tet!

A good time was had by all at Saigon Cafe for Vietnamese New Year!

The dinner was served at long tables (a break from the norm), creating a long space in the middle of the restaurant and creating the opportunity to meet new people. And people had come from as far away as Hibbing and Grand Rapids for the feast. Dinner consisted of a wonderful shrimp dish made with fruit, a mixed seafood dish, a beef in a curry sauce, and one of the staples of Vietnamese food, a seasoned meatball (often made of shrimp and pork). Two tasty soups and a salad and a fruit rounded out an excellent buffet-style dinner.

Youngsters played Vietnamese games in the back, and a dragon dance in that newly created space in the middle of the restaurant.

I can’t imagine more fun, and I have a newfound respect for what this small, locally owned business does for our community.

Saigon Cafe Vietnamese Restaurant
114 W. First St.
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 727-3987