Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Lost Lake Lodge
Even though I love SW Minneapolis, I do feel the need to go exploring beyond the city both in search of an escape and just as importantly, in search of new and unique dining experiences. I just so happened to stumble on a real charmer up north at my girlfriend's cabin in Nisswa. We had overheard her neighbors talking about how spectacular the breakfasts were at a little place called Lost Lake Lodge. Needles to say, I was intrigued. It took us several visits to Jessi's cabin to finally make it over there, but I soon found that this quaint little lodge was well worth the wait. Lost Lake Lodge is a full service resort, and most meals are included in their packages, but the restaurant is also open to the public.
A few weeks ago Jess, her parents and I finally worked up the motivation to hop on the bikes for the 45 minute pedal over to this cute-as-heck little resort to take in their much lauded breakfast. It's a pretty good ride, so by the time we showed we were ready to eat! The breakfast service at the lodge is actually quite nice. Take your classic northwoods setting - think knotty pine, conifers galore, a sweet little lake and throw in one hell of a breakfast deal - you get the picture. The service starts with coffee and orange juice, and soon after your server shows up with a delicious selection of pastries that are crafted in-house with flour ground at Lost Lake Lodge's private grist mill (who still has their own grist mill?). I was disappointed they didn't have any scones on this particular morning as they are famous around the area, but I was over that as soon as I sunk my teeth into their soft, buttery and incredibly decadent caramel roll. Honestly, this perfect little roll was worth the ride on its own.
I soon found that the caramel roll was just the beginning. I was actually really impressed with the depth of the offerings on this little lodge's menu. Of course they had the traditional pancakes, waffles, eggs and just about everything else you'd expect from a lodge in Northern MN, but they also had a few things that caught me off guard. The Bordeaux omelet featuring brie and spinach was a bit surprising and I wrestled with that before I eventually gave into the huevos rancheros. Two perfectly over easy eggs were nestled on top of earthy and robust beans and a really nice gritty house-made corn tortilla. Of course the dish was covered in a zipply little salsa verde that had heat, sweetness and a little spice to make the flavors sing. Mix in a bit of the egg yolk and queso fresco with the spice and you had a nice fulfilling dish. You can always tell when the kitchen cares if the hash browns turn out and the crispy little piles of pure potato that they serve with every breakfast showed that the preparation is taken seriously here.
I loved my little dish, but I did manage to steal a bite of the smoked salmon eggs benedict with citrus hollandaise that Jessi's mom ordered and I was instantly hit with a serious dose of jealousy. I hope to pedal my way back over for one last trip this weekend as the lodge closes down in early October. If you ever find yourself in the area I highly suggest you make it over. All of the breakfasts include pastries, coffee, juice and your entree for only $12. It may seem like a good sum for breakfast, but the quality of this meal is first rate, and I left struggling to balance my bike for the first mile due to my newly found top heaviness.