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Weekend of Gluttony

I left for Duluth with J on New Year's Eve morning. The weather was cold and windy, and the farther north we drove, the more snow there was on the ground. We arrived just after noon and had lunch at a great place called the Lake Ave. Cafe. There was a really weird couple in the booth next to us, a young woman and an old man, and we spent the whole time trying to figure out their relationship to each other. They were creepy. The food was great, but at the moment I'm drawing a total blank on what we ordered.

After lunch, we found our B&B and drove around a bit since it wasn't check-in time yet. We spent some time at Big Lake Books & Records, which was a crazy place with homemade wooden shelves all at different angles. We didn't check out the adult section. Snow was starting to fall when we headed back to the B&B and settled in. The lady who runs the place (innkeeper? proprietress? hostess?) was a bit eccentric, but very nice. We had a room with a view of The Lake. I ordered a bottle of sweet white Romanian table wine from the cellar and we drank a couple of glasses, then we piled on blankets and took a nap for an hour or two.

Dinner was at Fitger's Brewhouse Brewery & Grille (or just "the Brewery"). While we waited for a table, I explored a local wine shop. Found a bottle of NZ Cloudy Bay Chardonnay for $28, but didn't shell out for it. They had a good selection of Argyle wines as well. Nice place. Fitger's was a really cool establishment with a great vegetarian menu. J got a big, delicious rice burger, and I ordered the fish & chips along with a beer sampler platter. Seven little beers for five dollars--awesome deal. We were stuffed.

We had the B&B all to ourselves when we got back, so we played cards by the fire and then went back up to our room for more wine. The original plan was to return to Fitger's at 9:30 for a jazz show, but we didn't feel like going back into the cold and we were getting sleepy anyway, so instead we just curled up and went to sleep around 10:00. On New Year's Day, we slept in and coffee and orange juice were brought up to our door. We had breakfast at 9:00; bread pudding, grapefruit, eggs, and some sort of tomato thing.

There was time to kill before lunch, but not much was open that day, so we took a scenic drive with great views of Duluth and Lake Superior. There was just an inch or two of snow on the ground and everything was powdered white and pretty. The roads were just a bit slick, but not too bad. Our big going-home lunch was at Bellisio's, where our waitress assured us they had the largest wine list of any restaurant in the entire Midwest. Nice. It came in this huge book that I could have looked through all day. In a quick perusal I did find one bottle for just shy of $1,000, but I settled for something more in my price range, a flight of four Super Tuscan wines for $12.

It was the best lunch I'd had in a while. We were there for about an hour and a half, and I wanted to stay forever, walk around and see all the wines (displayed in gorgeous floor-to-ceiling racks along the walls). I told J that this might be my only chance to touch a $1,000 bottle of wine, you know, maybe just stick it down my pants for a second. But J was getting antsy to go, so she went to warm up the car while I used the little boys' room. There was ice in all of the urinals. After a minute of being fascinated by this, I realized that I was probably too satiated and lazy to operate a motor vehicle, so J drove while I took a happy wine nap.

Yesterday she said to me, "I feel like all we did this weekend was eat." Yeah, it was a great weekend.

Categories: wine, travel

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I once had lunch with an old professor of mine. He kept saying I wasn't drinking my alcohol fast enough. I did learn how to say "Bottoms Up" in Chinese though.
Fish is not a vegetable.