Recommendations Posts

Price Check: Ice Melt

watch-out-for-iceAre the freezing and thawing temperature shifts keeping you down? Literally, keeping you down on the ground because it’s so slippery outside?

Do not fear; ice melt price check is here.

It can be hard to decide what kind of ice melt to purchase. Do you really need a 50 lb. bag to get you through the winter? Do you have dogs so you need to be conscious of pet-safe ice melt? Are you grabbing a quick 10 lb. bag to get your car tires unstuck down the block?

Because everyone’s needs vary, we compared four different kinds of ice melt: Road Runner, Morton Safe-T-Salt, Safe Step Pet Friendly and Safe Step Dual Blend. Whether you are snagging a bag at the closest convenience store or stocking up for the winter at a big chain retailer, these price comparisons can will keep you informed.

The Lifespan of the Herring on My Sandwich

I had guests in from Ontario, from the part of Canada that is south by a long drive from Duluth. We talk often about that oddity, about how strange it feels to drive north to the United States from Waterloo.

They wanted to know what eateries had opened in Duluth since their last visit. I took them to Northern Waters Restaurant in the Mount Royal Shopping Center, where we enjoyed a two-hour lunch.

There are two joys about eating at Northern Waters. One is the unique pricing. Tax and tip are rolled in, so I never worry about whether my companions tip well enough, or whether I tip well enough. That is a greater relief than I expected.

The more substantive dimension is the food, of course. I had the sandwich with the catch of the day. It was a herring sandwich, and I ordered it with a sense of adventure. My whole life, my only experience of herring was pickled, typically stabbed with a toothpick and put on a cracker. I giggled nervously as I ordered it. It was so very tasty.

The Most Read Saturday Essays of 2016

Saturday Essay logo genericPerfect Duluth Day launched its “Saturday Essay” series at the beginning of 2016 and it quickly became the most popular recurring feature on the website. With the first set of 50 essays now complete, it’s time to take a look back at which pieces have been the most read of the bunch so far, according to the folks at Google Analytics.

Before we get all Casey Kasem, a few notes about how the “Saturday Essay” feature works: Yours truly, Paul Lundgren, is the editor. A small group of writers are featured somewhat regularly, but anyone is welcome and encouraged to submit a piece for consideration. Shoot an email to paul @ to inquire.

And now, the countdown …

Price Check: Poinsettia


While some may still be recovering from food comatose, the rest of us must prepare for rounds two and three: food on Christmas Eve and presents on Christmas Day.

What if you cannot think of what to bring for Grandma’s Christmas Dinner? Bring her a poinsettia. It is the appropriate response to both a table decoration near the ham and a gift to warm her heart.

As I explained this price check to a coworker and she said, “my grandma puts like 20 of those around her house for Christmas.” I laughed because it happened to be my exact memory of poinsettias.

The red and green foliage is perfect for Christmas display. These plants can be found in all types of sizes, but for the purposes of this price check, the prices below reflect 6-inch or 6.5-inch poinsettias.

PDD Gift Guide 2016

Sleigh bells and cash registers are ringing. The season of religious ceremony and competitive consumerism is upon us. As usual, Perfect Duluth Day has compiled a list of gift ideas with a Twin Ports connection, so we can put those North Pole elves out of work and keep our local businesses and crafters fat and jolly. Featured here are 15 items produced by the hands and brains of your neighbors. If you have more ideas or are a business with a local offering, please add it in the comments and expand our virtual catalog.

Price Check: Thanksgiving Turkey


Shopping for the annual thankfulness feast can involve a whole gamut of traditional offerings — mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce — but the age-old staple is turkey. What will that bird cost ya? Well, we’ve chased down prices at a variety of Duluth-area grocery stores for this report.

Listed first are three variations of brand-name mass-marketed turkey: frozen Jennie-O Grade A, premium fresh Jennie-O and premium frozen Butterball. Our fourth comparison is of turkeys purported to be a bit more naturally produced.

Here lies the eleventh feature for PDD’s Price Check series where we compare the cost of goods and services in Duluth and Superior. The amounts below reflect the per-pound price each establishment charges. Minnesota and Wisconsin classify unprepared foods and food ingredients as exempt from tax.

DTA Passenger Entrance Music

dta12While riding a Duluth Transit Authority bus last night and listening to my head phones, I came up with a very simple way of amusing myself. Whenever the bus stopped to pick up a new passenger, I clicked my mp3 player forward to the next random track and imagined it was the chosen entrance music or “theme song” for that person. Try it out sometime. It’s my gift to you.

Latin Dance in Duluth

My girlfriend is new to Duluth and loves to dance. Are there any places that offer Latin Dance lessons or Latin Dance nights? Your suggestions are appreciated!

Twin Ports Best Kept Dining Secret


One of the best kept secrets of the Twin Ports is Sclavi’s Italian Restaurant at 1106 Tower Ave. in Superior. I am amazed that more people do not know about it. We live in Minneapolis and it is better Italian food than anything we can think of in the Twin Cities. But as the best things in Suptown are, it is quirky.

Winter Driving in Duluth

Hello from Chicago-ish. We (my wife and I, 50s, no kids, two dogs, one cat) will be moving to Duluth in December, just in time for winter. I’ll be working near the airport, and my wife works from home. We intend to live in Duluth, not Hermantown, Esko, Proctor or Superior.

I have been up there once, scouting the lay of the land and looking at a few houses. I’ve read every word on this site about neighborhoods, “safe” vs. “unsafe” areas, etc. What I really need to know is this: when the roads are bad, is it easier to drive to the airport from, for example, Denfeld than from, for example, Chester Park/UMD? Or vice versa?


Cheap Wedding Venue in Duluth

So, I’m getting married on Nov. 11. My plan was just to elope at the courthouse until I realized that Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. I decided to get the license and an officiant, but now I’m realizing that even though it’s just a handful of us its gonna be too cold to go outside somewhere semi-scenic. But with it being only 43 days away, I’m on a very limited budget. According to Farmers Almanac last year was about 35 degrees and 2014 was 18 degrees so I don’t really wanna chance it outside. Does anyone know somewhere semi-romantic and cheap, possibly with a view, for a very limited amount of people?

Rural Recording Studio Suggestions?

Tweet from @ZOLAJESUS looking for rural studio

Musical artist Zola Jesus made this request on Twitter today. Any suggestions? Tweet back to @ZOLAJESUS.

I replied with Sacred Heart but there must be more.

Price Check: Ames 26-inch Poly Leaf Rake

AmesRakeIt’s that time of year again when T-shirts become long sleeves, cups of coffee become pumpkin spice lattes, and the emerald and sage colored leaves become sandstone orange and rosewood red.

Breathe in the crisp morning air, take pictures of the vibrant Midwestern colors, and maybe toss a puppy or a child into that pile of dead leaves. After you have finished having your fall fun, those leaves will not rake themselves.

An Ames 26-inch Poly Leaf Rake could be the tool that helps you through the dreaded yearly task. The handle has a cushion grip to deter blisters and all the tines touch the ground simultaneously.

Whether you are a first-rake, first-home buyer or a second mortgage home remodeler, this product could liven up your yard again.

Here lies the tenth feature for the Price Check series where we compare prices of products and services in Duluth. The prices below reflect the rate the establishment charges with tax included. The combined tax in Duluth is 8.375 percent. This is the summation of Minnesota sales tax (6.875 percent), St. Louis County transit sales/use tax (0.5 percent) and Duluth general sales tax (1.0 percent). Hermantown’s general sales tax is the same as Duluth, and the same state and county taxes apply.

Reporting Burnt Out Streetlights in Duluth


Is there a website or phone number for Duluth where one can report burnt out street lights? There are three burnt out in a row on the eastern end of Pittsburg Avenue, making it very dark at night and I know of many more, too. Would it be through Minnesota Power or the city of Duluth itself?

Thank you.

Duluth Mountain Biking for Beginners and Kids

Lester ParkA friend asked me last week where beginners should go for a good first-time mountain biking experience in Duluth.

“I want good views — not afraid of some hills — but nothing crazy where I would have to be an expert,” she said.

I don’t mountain bike, so I can’t answer the question … or maybe that makes me the perfect guinea pig for an experiment. Anyway, a quick search of the internet seems to suggest Lester Park has a good “easiest” trail. Is there a middle-aged klutz out there who can endorse the Lester experience as a good trail for a first-time mountain biker? Or is there somewhere better suited to persons of limited balance?

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