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The Cajun Finn Scavenger Hunt

We’ve been selling smoked fish, meats, salumi, and sandwiches out of our little DeWitt Seitz location for so long that some regulars call us an institution (thanks, y’all). However, our company was actually founded in 1998 on separate banks of Lake Superior almost single-handedly by co-owner Eric Goerdt.

For the month of July we will be doing a Duluth-wide (within our delivery range) Scavenger Hunt.
Every week in July we will be giving out 5 CLUES (for a total of 20 clues). Each clue will guide you to a CAJUN FINN magnet. You will be able to redeem the Cajun Finn magnet for a FREE Cajun Finn sandwich in-store (or another sandwich of your choice).

FIRST WEEK: Outdoor Adventure

Day 1: To cross I-35 on foot or bike, or to find your ticket to a free Smokehaus Sandwich, follow this path, nearby the harbor and some rail road tracks.  Found by Brian.

SECOND WEEK: Tourist Trap!

THIRD WEEK: Friends of the Smokehaus

FOURTH WEEK: Canal Park

 

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5 Things- Summer lives in Duluth!

Orange is the new “AAAACK”! 

This past week was a pretty interesting one- we survived Grandma’s marathon and then our city was visited  by a man known as Commander-in-Chief. We also managed to smoke meat and fish, dry-cure salumi and make sandwiches for the hungry masses, so we had that going for us, which is nice. I could tell you the tales of about a million things from this week, but I will just start with 5 things.

1.The President of the United States of America was in Duluth.  That’s right, the POTUS was in town to hold a rally. Someone from Rolling Stone Magazine wrote a rather infamous (at least by Duluth standards) article about the rally, which was beautifully rebutted by our Mayor Emily Larson here. 

 

2. All the Hoopla that you can handle. Our pals over at Hoops Brewing here in Canal Park are already celebrating their 1 year Anniversary! It’s hard to believe, but it is not hard to believe that Hoops has become a brewing institution in our fair city, because Head Brewer and proprieter Dave Hoops is truly at the top of his game. Beer fans from around the region are flocking to Hoops not only because of  the quality of their product, but also the sheer variety that they offer. Hoops has done a great job showing dedication to the classic styles that can be so tricky to nail, but also lots of fun and innovative brews that keep rabid Beerheads coming back for more. Hoop-La is the aptly named event this weekend to celebrate this momentous anniversary. Look for great food, music,  games, and also just a lot of fun to be had. Hoops has been a great partner to Northern Waters Smokehaus for even longer than Hoops Brewing has existed, and we couldn’t be happier for their success. We also really like drinking Keller Pils there after work. Get there!

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3. Lake Avenue Live features tons of Smokehausers. Our neighbors across the hall here in the Dewitt Seitz building, Lake Avenue Cafe, hold a really fun event each year during Grandma’s Marathon known as Lake Avenue Live. They rent a tent, get great live music, and throw a party for those revelers that are not particularly interested in seeing Smashmouth, Sugar Ray or any of the other  improbable acts that grace the multitude of other events that happen here in Canal Park over the course of Marathon Weekend. Ned, Jeremy, Brian and Amy from the Smokehaus were all part of musical acts featured at the event. Even former Smokehaus employee from a million years ago and current ingenue Haley was in on the action with her band Gramma’s Boyfriend. It was fun as hell, and everyone enjoyed a few drinks and some great music. Hopefully this event continues on into infinity.

 

 

4. Smokehaus got Pride. June is National Pride Month, and we at the Smokehaus wanted to do something in recognition of this special yearly event. NWS has decided to launch a fundraising program starting the first week of July and continuing on until Duluth’s Pride event in August. We contacted our friends at Lutheran Social Services to help us decide where this money could be best utilized. LSS clued us in to the excellent Together for Youth program. The purpose of Together for Youth is to affirm the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, allied  and intersectional youth, and to assist them in navigating their way through a world in which their lives are often negated or denigrated. This program really speaks to a growing need in our community, and we are so happy to be contributing to the solution. Our mode of fundraising for this is selling a really cool sticker (see below), designed in-house by our creative team. We love the sticker (we have plans to make a poster of it for our shop as well), and many of us here at the Smokehaus are going to buy one for not only the great cause, but just because it looks so cool. NWS has been an official partner to our local Pride event for many years, but since this year is our 20th anniversary, we thought it would be neat to throw even more support to the GLBTQAI community. We know it’s the right thing to do, and it feels really good to do it.

5. “Now I will believe that there are unicorns…” Remember how we were talking up our new hippie leanings a few weeks ago? We began smoking tempeh and tofu in earnest, changing up recipes, figuring out the best holding methods, and so on. It’s been a really important journey for us in terms of being able to serve a previously under served demographic here at the Smokehaus- Vegans. We had a few fits and starts, ended up scrapping the smoked tempeh idea, but ultimately came out with a smoked tofu product that we are excited about. And what’s more, exciting products lead us to the inspiration for exciting new sandwiches! In the spirit of that, let me introduce to you The Tempest: an absolutely delicious vegan sandwich that features our smoked tofu, house made romesco, tomato, cucumber, basil and cilantro; all housed on a stirato roll. This sandwich has a really nice cheesy texture and flavor from the tofu, and a delicious savory quality from the romesco, while the fresh herbs and veg really punch up the flavor on this instant classic of a sandwich. Vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike are losing their fool minds about The Tempest. I personally think that it’s one of the best sandwiches we’ve invented in quite some time.

 

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HOLD ON!!!! BONUS THING!!!!!! That’s right! This is technically a 6th Thing! Free of charge!  I would be remiss if I did not add that The Smokehaus’ Cajun Finn Scavenger Hunt is starting next week on Monday, July 2nd. Find the secret magnet location, grab the magnet, and win a sandwich! Since it’s our 20th anniversary this year, we’re giving away 20 sandwiches in 20 different locations all throughout the month of July. It will be a rollicking good time, and you might get fed FOR FREE.

Learn more about this really fun event here. 

 

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5 Things- Summer Madness!

Summer officially begins on June 21st, but here at the Smokehaus, it effectively starts Memorial Day Weekend. As the weather warms up, tourists and locals alike naturally gravitate towards Lake Superior, Canal Park and Park Point (along with all of the other incredibly beautiful outdoor spaces in Duluth) to soak up that precious surf and sun.  Memorial day weekend is usually when we start to notice that the lines extend a little further down the hallway at our lunch rush, the summertime SECONDARY lunch rush starts in earnest, and that we have a generally hard time getting in and out of our beloved workplace. Right about now you’ll start to notice that our 5 Things blogs will get away from talking about plans, product development and visioning our business, and will probably shift more towards the nuts and bolts of what we will do in earnest for the next 4 months; sling sandwiches.  We have a minute, though, to talk about some other stuff. Let’s get into it!

 

 

What’s ‘On Deck’?  Great question! The answer is more creature comforts. We’ve had a really nice deck right outside our door for the entire time we’ve existed here at The Dewitt Seitz building, and through the years we’ve added more tables and chairs to accommodate our growing number of patrons. Since we don’t have a ton of space in our actual deli, the deck really becomes our dining room for a lot of people. We’ve had it in our minds for a while to put a some of our personality outside of our shop, and the deck offers the perfect canvas. Our amazing team here at The Smokehaus brought the vision to life by buying umbrellas, planters, flowers and furniture, along with creating custom decals to decorate some of the furniture. Our customers have absolutely loved the small but cozy touches that we’ve added, and we’ve even heard rave reviews from our staff. Having a beautiful outdoor space that matches what we do inside the building is just another small step along the way for us in crafting a customer experience that is both memorable and comfortable.

 

 

The Smokehaus just keeps popping up! The businesses that we partner with are extremely important to us. We are so incredibly lucky to have a business partner right here in Canal Park that we not only respect as a business, but is also comprised of our good friends.  Our old pal Dave Hoops has a pretty great (and important in the world of Duluth beer) brewery just about a block away from our Deli. Hoops Brewing also loves great partnerships, which is why they are allowing Northern Waters Smokehaus to curate a pop up restaurant in their taproom on the first Friday of each and every month. We love to draw inspiration for these pop ups from the incredible beers brewed at Hoops, and we’ve done everything from ribs and kimchi to Bison Buddies snack sticks to good old fashioned bratwurst and polish sausage. One thing that we haven’t done much (until the last couple Fridays) was tacos… which seems crazy, right? Our homie TK brought the prerequisite brawursts and accouterments to the party, along with our famous Smokehaus Canrne Adovada tacos. Lo and behold, the tacos were were a huge hit and the first thing to sell out ( pairing brilliantly with Hoops’ Keller Pils ). Catch us each and every month at Hoops for more exciting snacks and, probably, tacos. Speaking of…

Taco Tuesday is maaaaaybe just a little played out. As a concept! Not as a way of life, obviously. But, we recognize that many many places do a riff on Taco Tuesday (including us) and that many of them ripped the concept off from a rather large taco corporation with an inexplicably Anglo-Saxon name purported as their leader (including us). But that doesn’t mean that Taco Tuesday can’t be special, and here at The Smokehaus we do our utmost to make it the best of the best. The aforementioned Carne Adovada tacos from the Hoops popup have always been a staple of our Tuesday special, but we’ve recently really expanded our taco horizons even further. This past Tuesday brought Gringo Tacos. More John than Juan, the Gringo Taco is just like Mom used to make: ground beef (except we grind the beef ourselves), cheddar cheese, iceburg lettuce, tomatoes and salsa (house made). We know that most people get the crispy taco shells that  you toast in the oven, but we weren’t prepared to go quite that far in the name of kitsch, so we decided to offer house-made corn tortillas and soft flour tortillas. Other awesome and even fusion-like flavors of tacos we’ve slung have included Green Curry (a nod to the cuisine of Indian food guru Madhur Jaffrey) and just a plain old (not at all plain OR old) pulled pork taco with simple accompaniments of onion, cilantro and salsa. Got a hankering for a Tuesday taco flavor? Hit us up! We’re trying to change the taco game each week, and we will take any help or suggestions that you have to offer. We feel as though there is always room for collaboration. And tacos. Always tacos.

So Fresh, So Clean- In the past few years, we’ve taken a lot of care in sprucing up and ramping up the functionality of our tiny deli and storefront. Think about it; we had the television show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives show up 8 long years ago, and ever since have been reacting to the astounding amount of business that it has brought our way. Our deli was definitely going through some growing pains trying to accommodate the droves of hungry food tourists beating down our door, but we did it. And we think that we did it pretty well. With all of the big changes that have happened, you often don’t have a moment to contemplate the significance of the small changes. This week, our property manager decided that we were next on the list for a refresh of paint, so we jumped at it! It’s still a work in progress, but we feel that the color scheme that we picked really goes a long way in making the space inviting and calming for not only patrons but our staff as well.  Check out the beginnings here, and come see the final result in person. We think you’ll approve!

Scavenger Hunt- 2018 is the year that we celebrate 20 years of Northern Waters Smokehaus. Knowing what a milestone this is for any business, we decided that we should take the time leading up to our actual anniversary (September) to do some fun stuff for the community that we live in, which coincidentally is the community that supports us so beautifully. Maybe it’s not such a coincidence, but one thing is for certain; we wanted to let Duluth know how much it means to us. More is in the works in the next few months (I won’t get into it here), but we figured we’d start hyping what we think will be a really fun part of our summer- A Scavenger Hunt! In the month of July, we’ll be releasing clues via our social media outlets for a giveaway of 20 (see what we did?) Cajun Finn sandwiches. We chose the Finn because it is not only our most popular sandwich, but we feel our most iconic. Check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for clues starting July 2nd and win some lunch! Why wouldn’t you?

 

 

Get here in the Summer! Also, get here in the rest of the year. Duluth is beautiful, and it makes us really happy to share it with the people who appreciate it. See you soon!