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Restaurants Posts

Perfect Iron Range Restaurant: Vi’s Pizza

Competition was stiff in the Perfect Iron Range Restaurant poll. After a 36-hour, tie-breaking vote we can officially declare Vi’s Pizza in Biwabik the champion.

In the final poll, Vi’s Pizza had 70 percent of the vote, while BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill in Eveleth had 30 percent.

Clearly, no ordinary pizza joint could beat the likes of top contenders like BoomTown and Gilbert’s famous Jamaican restaurant, the Whistling Bird. But Vi’s Pizza is a veritable Iron Range institution.

The original pizza recipe was handed down from owner Kim Mattson’s Italian grandmother. Viola “Vi” and her husband Frank Urick started selling takeout pizzas out of the back of their Biwabik home in 1959.

Tie-breaking Poll for Perfect Iron Range Restaurant

The initial competition for Perfect Iron Range Restaurant was hot! The poll started with 25 nominees. With the help of your votes, we whittled it down to three contenders: BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill (Eveleth), Vi’s Pizza and the Whistling Bird.

BoomTown and Vi’s tied with 36 percent of the popular vote, while Whistling Bird was close behind at 28 percent.

Which brings us to the final poll to decide the winner.

This poll is now closed. The results were:

Vi’s Pizza, Biwabik – 70 percent
BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill, Eveleth – 30 percent

Poll: Perfect Iron Range-area Restaurant

We developed a list of contenders for the Perfect Iron Range-area Restaurant poll by using a carefully crafted methodology — we asked people to nominate their favorites.

We started with 25 nominees and whittled it down to the top three.

The poll is now closed. The results were:

BoomTown Woodfire Bar & Grill, Eveleth | 36 percent
Vi’s Pizza, Biwabik | 36 percent
The Whistling Bird, Gilbert | 28 percent

By virtue of the tie, there will be a new poll between BoomTown and Vi’s to determine a winner.

Nominees for Perfect Iron Range-area Restaurant Poll

Left: Photo by Sheldon Schwartz. Right: Google map manipulated by PDD.

It’s time the Iron Range got some credit. Summertime up north is spectacular. The abundant forests, lakes and trails offer the quintessential “up north” Minnesota experience. In past polls we’ve named the Perfect Duluth Restaurant, Perfect North Shore Restaurant and Perfect South Shore-area Restaurant. Now it’s time to look to the northwest and give some props to eateries in and around Minnesota’s Iron Range.

Beleaguered Sound restaurant closed, but could reopen soon

Sound, the not-quite six-month-old restaurant occupying the ground floor of the former Duluth City Hall building at 132 E. Superior St., closed on Friday. Dennis Kempton, a public relations professional connected to the restaurant, announced on Facebook today that owner Alison Underthun has backed out of the project. A new group of partners will relaunch the business soon, according to Kempton.

Thirsty Pagan hires new brewer

Kathleen Culhane - Photo by Lissa Maki

Kathleen Culhane – Photo by Lissa Maki

Thirsty Pagan Brewing in Superior welcomes a new brewer this week. Kathleen Culhane is relocating from the Twin Cities to the Twin Ports for the gig. Her official start date is June 25.

Lakewalk Galley in Canal Park officially opens Friday

Crabby Ol’ Bill’s is no longer crabby … or Bill’s. The landlocked food boat in Canal Park will officially reopen Friday, June 22, under new ownership and with a new name. Justin Steinbach of Vista Fleet is the new owner and Derek Snyder of Lake Ave Restaurant is running it. They have renamed the establishment Lakewalk Galley by Lake Ave Restaurant.

Man vs. Duluth Food: Casey Webb was here; show airs July 9

Casey Webb, host of the Travel Channel program Man v. Food, was in Duluth and neighboring communities in April. He visited Northern Waters Smokehaus in Canal Park, Breeze Inn in Lakewood Township and Betty’s Pies in Silver Creek Township. The travel channel has announced the episode will air on July 9 at 8 p.m. and repeat on July 10 at 11 a.m. and July 14 at 12:30 p.m.

The show summary:

Casey Webb heads to Duluth, Minnesota, where he tastes the city’s best fish fry, visits a specialty sandwich shop and attempts to finish a three-pound platter of pie and ice cream in 20 minutes or less.

Toppers Pizza open in Duluth’s East Hillside

Toppers Pizza - Photo by Lissa Maki

Toppers Pizza – Photo by Lissa Maki

Duluth’s East Hillside just got a bit cheesier. Toppers Pizza is holding a soft opening today and tomorrow. At the shop’s grand opening on Saturday it will give 50 people free pizza for a year.

Duluth’s Best Bread opening breakfast cafe at Endion Station

Robert Lilligard’s research trip to France.

Duluth’s Best Bread will open a European style bakery-cafe on July 7 at Endion Station Public House in Canal Park. The cafe will operate from 7:30 to 11 a.m. Fridays through Sundays, before Endion Station’s typical business hours.

Duluth’s Best Bread at Endion Station will serve sweet pastries including French-style croissants, monster cinnamon and caramel pecan rolls, and homemade Pop Tarts. It will also serve new savory items, including a classic quiche with bacon and ham.

Corktown Deli & Brews and Love Creamery will open June 13

Two new eateries, next door to each other at 1906 and 1908 W. Superior St. in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, will officially open full hours on Wednesday, June 13.

Pak’s Green Corner in Superior opens June 1

Pak Williams - Photo by Lissa Maki

Pak Williams – Photo by Lissa Maki

The wait is nearly over for Twin Ports Thai food fanatics. After a three-year hiatus from the restaurant business, Kamolpak (Pak) Williams will reopen Pak’s Green Corner in a new Superior location on June 1.

Morgan Park coffee shop will return June 9 as Letica’s Iron Mug

Morgan Park’s only restaurant and beverage purveyor closed on May 25 after nearly four years in business. On June 9 it will reopen under new ownership. The Duluth News Tribune reports Mike Letica is the new proprietor of the Iron Mug. Johnny Northfield will manage the business. Building owner Paul Johnson, who founded the coffee shop, is a silent partner.

The DNT notes Letica plans to steer away from the Iron Mug’s previous food focus, pizza, and is instead planning inexpensive options like Taco Tuesday and 99-cent ice cream cones.

Yu and J’s in the Miller Hill Mall — already gone?

I loved Yu and J’s Grilled Subs in the Miller Hill Mall. I loved that is was independently owned. I loved the tang of the bulgogi sauce (and wish we had more Asian alternatives in Duluth.)

but the lights are out …  I hope those tasty recipes will appear in a summer festival cart or a food truck or some other wonderful venue. Please let me know.

Crabby Ol’ Bill’s is now Lakewalk Galley

Fox 21 News reports the new operator of Crabby Ol’ Bill’s is Vista Fleet owner Justin Steinbach. The retired fishing vessel turned snack shack in Canal Park has been renamed Lakewalk Galley and will feature a menu of items from the nearby Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar.