Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Up North Minnesota

So this is not exactly a restaurant review it's sort of a festival, vacation spot sorta review with a restaurant review with in!

Winters are long you have to get out when you can and enjoy the great outdoors or you will just go mad, so thats what we did loaded up the truck with winter gear and headed "up north" to the EelPout Festival in Walker, MN!

The craziest ideas usually are the best ideas and this festival has been going on over over 30 years!

All sorts of events packed into a 3 day festival on Leech Lake fish races, polar plunges, helicopter rides, lots to eat and drink just to name a few.
There are hundreds of ice fishing house lined up on Leech Lake, tents, snowmobile, sleigh rides and all sorts of hooptyrides.  It's just one big party!

It has been a long long time since I walked on a frozen lake but I did not chicken out, it was way too much fun to pass up on.

We have been doing a lot of weekend trips lately and I tell you the more north you go in the state the friendlier the people are, I love it "Minnesota Nice" is still alive!

Food wise we had their jalapeno cheese curds out of a food truck they were AMAZING!  I would not have called this a curd because the cheese was melted, usually cheese curds are more solid or stringy. We also tried the mini donuts, really good well the couple that I pried away from my son.
We wanted to try some eelpout nuggets but could not find them.  (next year!)

We had to stay in a neighboring town of Park Rapids because, Walker's hotels were booked up and I'm sure they had been for a while.

My neighbor used to live in Park Rapids and still has lots of family & friends there.  I asked her where is the best place to get a burger she suggested the Royal Bar, we totally walked by it a couple times because the outside of the building did not look like a bar.
Do you remember the old Pannekoeken Restaurants?  Swedish themed white & blue, thats what the exterior looks like.

The Royal Bar gives you that small town vibe where "everyone knows your name" sorta place.
We had worked up an appetite doing all that walking on the lake.

To start we ordered the battered mushrooms served with ranch, SO good!

The kiddo ordered the mini corn dogs, and gobbled them right up.
We ordered Royal California Burger, basically it's a california burger.  Marc added jalapenos too his burger.  We got a basket of fri's to share, the food was really good!! Really nice staff and fun people watching.  Oh bring cash, no debit or credit here.

Before dinner we stopped at a few shops, I picked up a few fun things for the home. Everything was so reasonably priced too.
All the shop owners and workers were so friendly the last store we went into was a hoot!
It was a couple that owned it they were hilarious!  I swear they wanted us to come visit their home to see the all the deer they have on their property!  This shops name is Whatnot.

The Tin Ceiling was a shop we visited, everything in the store is donated and proceeded go to the disabled.  I picked up a beautiful bedspread there for $19!!!  In mint condition I may add.

The last shop I stopped in was named Rust to Roses, beautiful store, It screamed Pintrest Ideas!

In the summer there are so many activities to do in Park Rapids and Walker too, I go to Walker every summer it's a hoppin place.

On our way home we stopped at one of two family owned butcher shops.  Theilen Meats, such a great selection and prices you can not beat!  And the flavor - awesome!!!

Alaskan White Fish, Jalapeno Meat Stick, Beef & Turkey Jerky & Thick Cut Smoked Bacon

So hope you visit the area some day and experience some Minnesota nice!

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