Maren Webb

As someone who enjoys restaurants and loves to cook, Maren Webb brings culinary wisdom to her monthly column North Shore Dish.

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Maren Webb's Blog

Recent Articles by Maren Webb

Hometown Eats: Two Harbors Edition
posted on Tuesday, Mar 28, 2017
The Two Harbors Dairy Queen has long been part of the community and a frequent stop for visitors and residents alike. | SUBMITTED A maybe little known fact to readers: while I’ve made my home in Cook County, I’m a Two Harbors-ite at heart. I was born and raised in Two Harbors, back when babies were born in the little hospital and we weren’t allowed to cross 7th Avenue to Dairy Queen on our own (cue the begging of parents for ice cream cones). During my childhood, the number of…

Finding Flavor with Herbs and Spices
posted on Monday, Feb 27, 2017
Herbs and spices are at the heart of any good recipe and meal. They allow us to transform basic ingredients into everything from an exotic Thai dish to a hearty American staple. So often, we let those little containers sit in our cabinets, aging away and losing flavor. Thankfully, several businesses are striving to get fresh spices and herbs into your kitchen, to add that extra oomph to your cooking. And for those busy nights or for those more complicated flavor profiles, they are also creating spice mixes to make…

Raven Rock Grill at Skyport Lodge
posted on Thursday, Feb 02, 2017
Located just outside of Grand Marais, Skyport Lodge and Raven Rock Grill opened this past December, bringing new life to the former Devil Track Resort. This new family-run business is welcoming neighbors and visitors alike to try their menu and enjoy the beautiful views of Devil Track Lake. Local residents Cory and Rachelle Christianson dreamed of one day running a lodge up the Gunflint Trail. Instead, a great opportunity presented itself to them on Devil Track Lake. This local family has long-time connections to the area, as well as in…

New North Shore Coffee Shops
posted on Friday, Dec 23, 2016
For many of us, coffee is the fuel that powers our days. North shore coffee shops offer not only a way to satisfy that caffeine fix, they also offer an experience, from a social interaction to a quiet escape. The Northern Wilds area is fortunate to have many locally owned north shore coffee shops, including several that have opened this past year in Two Harbors, Lutsen and Thunder Bay. All are serving up coffee, each with their own special touches. Cedar Coffee Company is aptly named as it is nestled…

Holiday Sweets and Treats
posted on Monday, Nov 28, 2016
The holiday season is now upon us, with more wintery weather, holiday cheer, and tasty treats. No matter what the holiday is, food always seems to be a mainstay of celebrations. Sweet treats are especially important this time of year and many are tied to long held traditions. For many of us, part of the tradition is making cookies and other baked items as a family or with friends. For others, knowing which bakery or restaurant sells the best cookies and breads makes the season a little less stressful. My…

Venison: from the Exotic to Classic Sausage Making
posted on Friday, Oct 21, 2016
The start of November signifies a number of things on the North Shore: The start of the Lake Superior storms/gales season, the transition from fall to winter, and firearm deer hunting season in Minnesota. While not all of us participate in this annual tradition of deer hunting, many North Shore residents and visitors spend their weekends and spare time in deer stands or blinds, doing their best to bag the deer of their dreams (or any deer). Whether you are one of these successful hunters or someone who received some…

Enjoying the Fall Colors and Local Dining
posted on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2016
Autumn is a beautiful time on the North Shore, with the star attraction being the fall colors. The leaves of the maple, birch, and aspen start their annual show each September, reaching full peak with a vibrant mix of reds, yellows, and oranges, often by early October. The seasonal colors can be enjoyed from a variety of modes, from a leisurely drive, a gondola ride, on a hike, or even from a treetop zipline canopy tour. Any outing wouldn’t be complete without a stop for a meal, so I’ve paired…

Tasty Treats from Mom and Pop Operations
posted on Monday, Aug 29, 2016
Mom-and-Pop and family businesses have been a mainstay on the North Shore for generations. These homegrown operations take different forms, but families rallying together to provide excellent service and products is a common thread. Many of these family operations produce unique edible items, from pure maple syrup to handmade chocolates and candy, to smoked Gouda cheese. Just a few miles off Highway 61 in Lutsen you will find Caribou Cream, a maple syrup operation and shop run by Herb Wills. After growing up on a farm family, Herb made his…

Sink your teeth into Ribfest
posted on Monday, Aug 01, 2016
From August 26-28, Thunder Bay will transform into a locale for finger-licking ribs, live tunes, and even a car and bike/motorcycle show during Ribfest 2016. In its fifth year, this event will bring four “ribbers” from Southern Ontario to battle it out in the rib contest, providing the opportunity to try the best of Ontario ribs. While those south of the border may think Americans lay claim to the barbecue genre, Canadians have a long history with barbecue that includes dozens of rib contests across the province of Ontario. Whether…

Cooking with Fire: Wood-Fired Ovens
posted on Monday, Jun 27, 2016
Some say that cooking with fire is in our DNA. It’s not too far from the truth, as for thousands and thousands of years cooking over an open fire was the only way to cook your meal. Eventually, our ancestors started to build fire rings and eventually hearths, transforming the way food was cooked. Spring forward to the present day and we’re embracing our roots by cooking with fire. Whether for the delicious meals it can help create or for the fun of cooking in a different way, wood-fired and…

A New Restaurant in Canoe Country
posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016
By Maren Webb During the summertime, the Gunflint Trail is the place to be for some rest and relaxation or an adventure. With over a dozen Boundary Waters entry points, a day paddle or an extended canoe trip is a family favorite. Not to mention the many hikes, from Caribou Rock Trail to Magnetic Lake Trail and many others. Join The Dancing Bear Café for one of their special event dinners, or stop in for a meal Thursday-Sunday. | THE DANCING BEAR CAFÉ If you venture up the Gunflint Trail…

Bringing Together History and Dining
posted on Friday, Apr 29, 2016
By Maren Webb This time of year brings fish and fishing to mind. Between the mid-May fishing opener and the re-opening of local restaurants serving fish, we’re either looking to catch fish or eat them (or both!). This isn’t surprising with our fishing heritage. From being an important food source for the indigenous people native to the region, to the commercial fishing industry that supported many that emigrated here, fish have been part of our culture, history and connection to this land and water. Today, there are fewer commercial fisherman,…

Soup and Chili: More than a Side Dish
posted on Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016
After a fun day of skiing or a winter adventure with your canine companion, a bowl of hot soup or chili hits the spot. And while soup may be thought of as a starter or side dish, many of our local restaurants make wonderful homemade soups that are the star of any meal. As a volunteer of the annual Empty Bowls fundraiser in Grand Marais, I’m happy to say that our local restaurants are very generous with donating soup and our community has been able to sample soup from across…