The anticipation has been building behind the opening of the new Northern Waters Restaurant on Woodland Avenue. Finally, it happened. The soft opening allowed us to venture to the Mount Royal complex and experience the undeniable quality of food that Northern Waters Smokehaus has offered for years in its original Canal Park location. And let me tell you, they did not disappoint. Ordering at the register I chose The Club Med sandwich, then sat at a long family-style table admiring the cool decor as I awaited the arrival of my meal.
[The Bread 9/10] The menu identifies this sandwich bread as stirato. Unfamiliar with the name, I was thrilled when the sandwich was placed before me served atop a thick, golden bread. Similar to a ciabatta bread, stirato was an excellent choice for the Club Med. Chewy on the inside and a golden crust outside provided a perfectly rustic cocoon. The many air pockets in the bread indicates an attentive baker but also provided additional surface area to capture the haus mayo.
[The Meat 9/10] Together, the Club Med boasted a great marriage of meat. Sage and maple smoked turkey, beautifully smoked bacon. The flavor not overpowering, but wonderfully subtle and sophisticated. The high quality of the turkey meat took well to the smoking process without drying out. Many accolades to Northern Waters for finding a balance between smokey, sweet, moist and flavorful turkey. The bacon was the cherry on the cake – thick, crispy, smokey.
[The Toppings 9/10] Oh, the toppings. The complimentary flavors of the smoked turkey and bacon paired well without the need for over-complicated sandwich toppings. Cheddar cheese, bibb lettuce, red tomatoes, and haus mayo. Classic and simple, as to not overpower the quality of the star ingredients – the meat. The haus mayo gave a touch of sweetness and tang to the sandwich as well as provided additional moisture for your palate. Yum.
[Accouterments 9/10] Down to the very last detail, Northern Waters ensures you enjoy every crumb of your basket. The house-made potato chips are incredible. I call them “authentic potato” because these are not your ordinary chips, they taste like real potato (a quality that most potato chips lack, unfortunately). These are not at all greasy. They are crispy, crunchy, salty. It’s a respect for the potato I have not encountered in a chip as of yet. I could eat these things all day. In addition, the pickles served in the basket were also house made. I’d call them bread and butter pickles, a sweet and tangy acidic compliment for the dish. I recommend placing these on your sandwich for ultimate enjoyment.
Northern Waters knows just how to do it. Every single ingredient has been carefully calculated to build not-an-ordinary sandwich. The quality of their products is unmatched, as demonstrated by the success of their parent company Northern Waters Smokehaus in Canal Park. They buy local, smoke products here in Duluth, and focus their efforts on providing each consumer a journey of flavor without sacrifice. Lucky for us, the new restaurant will be officially open tomorrow – Tuesday, February 9.
1608 Woodland Avenue
phone: (218) 249-1957