Many of Duluth’s restaurants are intentional in their menu selection. From seasonal offerings to locally sourced ingredients, Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar is doing just that: providing Duluthians eclectic meals with local flare. The cool restaurant, tucked inside the Dewitt Seitz Marketplace, is celebrating 25 years in 2016, so we stopped by on sunny afternoon for lunch to try the Lake Ave Burger.
[The Bun 7/10]
A centered skewer held the gently-toasted bun atop the burger as it was placed before me. Bun, burger, bun. Soft and sweet, the bun held together nicely throughout the meal, absorbing the juices running from the beef.
[The Meat 8/10]
This beef burger was exactly what I had hoped. So juicy, in fact, that each savory bite was promptly followed by a wipe with my napkin. The thick burger was ever so lightly charred to provide an additional layer of flavor.
The creative toppings to this burger make the Lake Ave Burger a culinary experience. A significant portion of melted muenster and smoked cheddar cheese oozed down the sides of the beef while simultaneously gluing the bun top to the burger. Extremely creamy, and delicious. The house pickles packed a gentle punch of spice. These thin pickle chips were slightly sweet and maintained a crunch for textural contrast to the rest of the burger. And we can’t forget the Bent Black tomato jam, Lake Avenue’s high-five to Duluth’s local brewery Bent Paddle. No ketchup here: the jam was smoky with a hint of sweetness, topping the burger with a dollop of sophistication.
With a few options of accoutrements before me, I took a new direction and selected fruit. I was pleased with the results: grapes and pineapple that complemented the grilled burger quite well. Together, it was as if the pair was nodding to the approaching (hopefully soon) summer season.
Cleverly constructed in an old mattress warehouse, Lake Avenue Restaurant’s best attribute is offering equally innovative meals while incorporating so many of Duluth’s best products and seasonal ingredients. This burger did its namesake justice. Each bite of the Lake Ave Burger was like tasting a summer day in Duluth, a refreshing escape from a chilly March afternoon. Did we mention the restaurant has an outdoor patio?