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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Recent Articles by Maren Webb

Family and Kid-Friendly Dining
posted on Thursday, Aug 02, 2018
When I was growing up on the North Shore, eating out at a restaurant was a rarity, other than maybe the smelt fry at the local VFW. Today, dining outside the home has become more the norm in our country and region. Whether a quick bite on the run or a leisurely meal together, restaurants have recognized that families are part of their clientele. Some have gone above and beyond, creating experiences that are enjoyed by the kids and parents. While as a parent, I do enjoy a child-free meal…

Food Truck Season is Here in the North
posted on Wednesday, Jun 27, 2018
Summer is in full swing in the Northern Wilds. The must see and do lists are long this time of year, from outdoor adventures to dining outings. One that you shouldn’t miss is a visit to one or many of our region’s food trucks. The food truck phenomenon originally started on the coasts and has found its way across the United States and Canada. Despite having a shorter season in our northern climate, food trucks and trailers are growing in number and variety from Duluth all the way to Schreiber,…

Going Fresh with Italian Pastas
posted on Wednesday, Mar 28, 2018
As regular readers can attest, I’m a fan of herbs in cooking. Last year, I wrote a column about herbs and spices. Very often, though, herbs are considered garnishes or a nicety for a meal. Thankfully, some cultures and cooks have long recognized the delicious role fresh and dried herbs can play. In this herbs and plants edition of Northern Wilds, the North Shore Dish is spotlighting herbs in Italian cooking and how you can become a little more herb savvy in your own kitchen. Kim Pizzolato and Ashlyn Ransome…

Local Treats for your Furry Friends
posted on Monday, Feb 26, 2018
While the North Shore Dish typically focuses on food and drink for humans, in this pet-focused edition of Northern Wilds, I thought it only fitting to look at local delicacies available for our furry friends. These shops and treat-makers offer a wide range of items, from beef jerky to cakes, all for those on four legs. While many of us are pet owners, you’ll want to keep reading even if you are not. Guaranteed that someone is your life has a dog or cat that would enjoy a special treat.…

Sweet Stuff this February
posted on Monday, Jan 29, 2018
Thanks to a certain holiday, February is well associated with chocolate, even celebrated as Chocolate Lovers’ Month. The connections between Valentine’s Day and chocolate dates back to the mid-1800s, when Richard Cadbury, son of the Cadbury founder, started creating special boxes of chocolates to increase sales. In 1868, he debuted a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day, dubbed a “Fancy Box,” well adorned in the Victorian fashion. Whether you are seeking out a Valentine’s Day gift or simply some scrumptious chocolate, take a look at one of these local…

Family-run Restaurants Share Traditions
posted on Thursday, Dec 21, 2017
Food is a tangible expression of culture and traditions, whether it stems from a specific geography or even an individual family. It is often one of the ways we can easily share our own history and traditions and learn about others, without hopping on an airplane. We build community and connections through food. In a globalizing society, food traditions from the other side of the world may not seem as foreign as they used to, with more availability of items, recipes and restaurants. As humans continue to migrate, our food…

A Holiday Gift Guide
posted on Monday, Nov 27, 2017
The holiday season has arrived, after an early start to winter in the Northern Wilds. Food is the center of many holiday traditions and often how we celebrate together. But, it is also an inspiration when it comes to holiday gift giving. Whether your holiday gift list includes a true foodie or a busy parent that needs ideas on how to get weeknight meals on the table, don’t overlook food-related gifts this year. Think beyond the average kitchen gadget and discover some unique gift ideas. The Instant Pot, or an…

Meal Kit Delivery in the Northern Wilds
posted on Friday, Oct 27, 2017
Over the past few years, subscription boxes have taken off in North America. Thousands of companies now offer a monthly service where a catered box of goodies is shipped directly to your home. One of the more popular options in this new industry is for meal kit delivery. Think of it as this middle option between going out to dinner and cooking at home where you had to pick a recipe, shop for ingredients, and prepare it. Meal delivery services, like HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, and others, take out…

Fall Food, Fun and other Adventures
posted on Friday, Sep 22, 2017
The crisp morning chill of fall, has returned to the air; each day is to be enjoyed while it lasts. October offers many fun activities, from a visit to the pumpkin patch, hikes with colorful leaves, Moose Madness scavenger hunts, and trick-or-treating. This fall, don’t miss out on the fun autumn has to offer in the Northern Wilds. For those looking to get fall food, fun, and adventure all in one visit, Pumpkinfest at Gammondale Farm is your one stop shop. Located outside of Thunder Bay at the base of…

Putting Local Food on the Menu
posted on Monday, Aug 28, 2017
This is the season of bountiful harvests here in the Northern Wilds. Our short growing season can be challenging, but when September arrives, gardens, farms and kitchens are often overflowing with fresh, local produce. For those of us that don’t seem to have that green thumb, look no farther than these farmers markets and other local food sources for fresh, delicious, and, dare I say, healthy food to enjoy before the seasons change. Buying local produce and products is not only great for taste, it also supports the local economy…

Waterfront Dining: More than Just a Great View
posted on Tuesday, Jul 25, 2017
Bluefin Grille offers delicious food with amazing views of Lake Superior. | BLUEFIN GRILLE Lake Superior is a magnificent sight, whether standing on her shores or seen from afar. The lake often serves as a muse for artists and even inspiration for chefs and restaurants that perch on her edge. For the diner and artist alike, proximity to this Great Lake allows one to experience all her moods, from the calm, mirror-like days to the raucous, turbulent waves on a blustery day. These waterfront restaurants each feature views and menus…

Surprise Spots for Frozen Treats
posted on Wednesday, Jun 28, 2017
MaTaya Fairbanks and Andrew Hallberg enjoy an ice cream cone from Java Moose. | JAVA MOOSE Summer has arrived on the North Shore. While many of us may be willing to indulge in frozen desserts year round, July is prime time for enjoying ice cream and its counterparts. The local ice cream shop is almost always a known entity, but there are also restaurants and cafes serving up frozen treats that may have flown under the radar. These establishments offer more than dessert and often have more than the typical…

Reader’s Choice Restaurant Awards: Date Night
posted on Friday, May 26, 2017
Each year, Northern Wilds asks you, our readers, about your favorite restaurants and places to eat. From kid-friendly to fine dining, many of you voted for your top choices online or via mail. I am always interested to see which restaurants rise to the top. Who has stayed the classic favorite? Where is the new “it” place? And most of all, what have I missed out on? This month, I looked to you for inspiration on where to spend the next date night out. With friends or a significant other,…

Don't Eat Meat? You Have Options
posted on Monday, May 01, 2017
The Growing Season’s Garden Grill Sandwich uses zucchini, onions, roasted red peppers and feta. |GROWING SEASON When I came back from my first year of college a vegetarian, I quickly realized the North Shore was not a very friendly dining scene for those not eating meat. I remember one server trying to reassure me saying, “We have lots of options with chicken.” Luckily for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, in recent years many local restaurants have expanded their menus to include delicious vegetarian options. Whether you don’t eat meat, are looking…

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…