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5 Things: October 25th, 2019

October has, thus far, been a whirlwind of activity in Duluth and the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace. The first three weeks of the month held several conventions and conferences—including the Catalyst Content Festival and Duluth’s first-ever cosplay/comic-convention, DuluCon—which brought new and enthusiastic crowds of out-of-towners to our deli each week.

This week we got our reprieve. The lunch rushes were slower, and there was an abundance of time to deep clean the deli.

A cookbook photo shoot.

Smoked fish was on the menu at this shoot, which included smoked salmon and whitefish, green curry lake trout, lake trout chowder, king salmon candy confit, several smoked fish spreads, and more, beautifully plated on colorful kids plates.

You may already be familiar with our photographic style through our various social media platforms, our blog, and our catalog, but we still have a few tricks up our sleeves, and we’re excited for you to see them.

Who’d have guessed(?)—inclement weather.

Goodbye, Lakewalk

It’s roughly that time of year, when Canal Park, and furthermore the DeWitt-Seitz Marketplace, locks horns once again with the Big Lake. Canal Park all but closed down, any attempts to repair the destroyed Lakewalk were undone, and a handful of our staff, alongside the ever hardworking Oneida crew, fought the ceaseless tide in our basement with brooms and squeegies.

After last year’s flooding, we took a long, hard look at our drainage systems, and last year’s long, hard look paid off, as the drains in our kitchen put in work as well. One day, Nature will reclaim it all, but until then, we’re grateful for the folks in the trenches.

The Early Bird Sale began on our website.

October 24th through November 14th, you’ll receive 15% off every cart before shipping costs are applied. Yes, that is 15% off of virtually everything we sell online, all for the low, low cost of typing earlybird19 into the coupon code box. The offer cannot be combined with other coupons, but the code is reusable for the duration of the sale.

Patricia made smoked molasses cookies!

Since she began working with us, Patricia has been talking about making smoked molasses cookies, and it has finally come to fruition. After one very controversial batch, which some deemed delicious, and others far too smoky—it broke your blogger’s heart to criticize Patricia’s work for the first time—she has locked in that perfect balance of rich sweetness and smokiness in her latest batch. They’re available in our deli for $2 per cookie, and are an option for your box lunches.

When she’s not hard at work supplying all of our cookies—chocolate chip, ginger, coconut macaroons, carrot cake & cream cheese sandwiches, and now smoked molasses—Patricia still knocks out just shy of a dozen pasties each week, toasty cheddar crackers, and the occasional experiment. What a gem!

We held it down at Duluth Pack’s Ladies Night.

Flo prepared a grip of All-Season fillet platters for the 6th Annual Ladies Night event, and Jacob covered the event, which featured Wild State Cider, a raffle, and plenty of interaction with locals who had somehow never known our deli was right next door. All-in-all, Jacob deemed it one heck of a party and a success for our business.

In conclusion if you have been holding out on a trip to NWS because of the long lines and chaos, there’s no time like the present to stop in. Things should be calm until mid-November, when the holiday fun starts. This is also the last weekend to try the G.O.A.T., our first smoked andouille sandwich, and final 2019 Sandwich Lab special, which leaves our menu November 1st.

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5 Ways NWS Can Help You Win the Holidays

First of all, welcome back to 5 Things™, returning on an atypical day after an atypical absence. We’re right on the cusp of my favorite holiday, Halloween, so I’m feeling festive. This week’s edition is a special one, focused on our upcoming holiday mail order season, and the many ways in which Northern Waters Smokehaus can help you “win” the holidays.

It’s an audacious claim to make, but I’m somewhat certain that by the end of this article, you’ll have a clear advantage over your holiday competition. No longer will your guests be “saving room” for more exciting meals to come, leaving you with an abundance of leftovers to deal with in the following weeks, and if they do, hey, you’ve got Smokehaus leftovers.

Here we go, in no particular order:

1. Roast a whole hunk of meat.

We’ve got options: our smoked Berkshire ham, smoke-roasted porketta, maple-sage smoked Ferndale Market turkey breast, and smoked pastrami are all guaranteed to launch your guests’ taste buds right into the stratosphere, and preparation is simple enough: braise alongside some choice seasonal vegetables, allow to cool, carve to perfection, profit.

Here’s a handful of ideas to get the brain moving:

While corned beef and bison are not currently available via mail order, our pastrami would make a great substitution in this recipe.

2. Catch “The Worm” with our Early Bird sale.

Oof. That’s a gross one, but, low-hanging fruit that it was, I had to go for it. Would it have been better if I’d said, “The Proverbial Worm?” Perhaps.

More about our actual Early Bird sale follows:

October 24th through November 14th, you can take 15% off your cart when ordering online, by entering the coupon code earlybird19 before checkout.

15% off everything is nothing at which to shake a stick, unless you’re shaking that stick with joy. Here are the sales’s details:

  • You can use the code on as many transactions as you like, within the timeframe of the sale.
  • The 15% discount applies on everything except items already affected by another sale, and is applied before shipping costs.
  • The discount cannot be combined with other coupons.
  • As long as you finalize the transaction within the sale’s timeframe, you can have your items shipped whenever you like. Perfect for planning your holidays ahead of schedule.

3. Read some of our previous blog posts about NWS and the holidays.

While I’ve got some great ideas for improving the proverbial wheel, now isn’t the time to re-invent it.

Here’s a handful of links to previous years’ writings about NWS Mail Order and the holiday season.

4. Memorize these cutoff dates (or bookmark this page).

For those who prefer to wait until the last minute, whether it’s waiting for that holiday bonus to clear, or simply living on the edge, these are the hard-and-fast cutoff dates you ought to remember:

Tuesday, November 19th – Last day to order to receive before Thanksgiving. Wednesday, November 20th for Minnesota
residential shipping addresses.

Tuesday, December 17th – Last day to order to receive before Christmas. Wednesday, December 18th for Minnesota
residential shipping addresses.
Wednesday, December 18th – Last Day of Shipping before Christmas AND New Year’s Eve


Tuesday, December 24th through Sunday, January 5th 2020 – NO SHIPPING! Mail Order Office closed for the holidays.
Monday, January 6th 2020 – Normal shipping schedule resumes.

Keep these dates in mind and you’ll have your favorite NWS goodies on hand, on time

5. Don’t forget about these upcoming holiday deals:

Pigs in Space is our special Cyber Monday deal. From 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. (00:00:01 – 23:59:59) on Monday, December 2nd, Minnesota and Midwest orders will have free shipping, and continental shipping will be half-price.

Holiday Gift Card Frenzy is the working title I’m giving to our annual gift card sale. For every $100 of gift cards purchased—whether $10×10, $20×5, $50×2, $100×1, or some combination of the like—you’ll receive a bonus $20 gift card, and there’s no known limit on how many bonus gift cards you can accumulate. 20% back for yourself, or to spread the gifting a little further, is pretty great. Offer available in-store only (whether you wait in line, or order in-advance for pickup), online gift cards do not apply.

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How to Score Salmon

So, you’ve got yourself a beautiful fillet of smoked salmon, and your guests are scheduled to arrive soon. What next? Time to score that salmon! Here’s a simple way to get the perfect bite-sized portions.

With a serrated knife, cut horizontally along the side of the salmon fillet.

With a serrated knife, cut vertically from top to bottom of the fillet.

Garnish salmon fillet with herb, citrus, & crackers.

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A Small Change in Our Shipping Department

All flat-rate continental shipping outside the Midwest is now $58. The secret is out—nationwide, people have recognized the excellent quality of our smoked fish and meats. For as long as we have been able to, we’ve offered the lowest possible flat-rate shipping prices we could—often less than the true cost of shipping the packages. The reality is, we’re not a large corporation, with shipping centers nationwide; we’re a small, family-owned company in the Midwest. In order to keep shipping our products coast to coast, we’ve adjusted our shipping rates to reflect the distance and means by which they must travel. As of October 14th, 2019 our flat-rate shipping rates are as follows:

Minnesota $18

‘Midwest’ $24

Continental $58

Hawaii, and Alaska $65

Non-perishable items $16

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5 Things: October 4th, 2019

This week has been one of triumph, of heartbreak, of new beginnings.

To get the heartbreak out of the way, I misinformed our readers last week, this Monday was not the return of D&D to the Smokehaus. I know you are all super invested in this, so I’m sorry for playing with your emotions like that.

Please accept this photo of assorted battle miniatures as an apology—

And some ketchup exploded in our dry storage. It fell, for unknown reasons, although there is some speculation that our former General Manager Mary’s visit—which eerily coincided with the fall and resulting explosion of the ketchup—dredged up feelings of abandonment from the DeWitt-Seitz ghost.

Messy as it was, it wasn’t an entirely bad occurrence—it inspired a deep clean of the affected area, which was probably due. A good deep-clean is rarely a bad idea.

Now on to the triumph and new beginnings!

We’ve come to the last leg of our 2019 Sandwich Lab Journey! The G.O.A.T. debuted on Wednesday, October 2nd. We’ve sold a grip of them already. For more words on this, check out the announcement post.

We also launched our Fall Wine List. Read more about our new wine offerings here. As someone who most often buys bottles of wine based on the aesthetic value of their labels, I would probably buy at least three of these. In the flavor category, however, these are all winners. TK is dedicated to bringing a unique selection of fine natural wines to the Smokehaus each season, so dedicated grapeheads (that’s what they’re called, right?) should take note.

Who made this salad? Whose salad is this?

Next Monday (10/7), we officially launch our New & Improved Happy Hour. Monday through Friday, from 4-7pm, we’re offering $2 Pabst Blue Ribbons and $1-off any craft brews, ciders, and adult-seltzers. Technically, you can grab a happy hour drink at those prices today, we’re just waiting until Monday, October 7th to go crazy on the cross-platform promotion.

Patricia made spicy cheddar crackers using Gochugaru chile flakes, a component of our kimchi recipe that offers a warm spice with fruity and smoky tones—The Smoky Tones is also the name of our in-Haus vocal jazz group, coming eventually to an orchestra hall near you. The heat of these crackers has a slow onset, with a lingering mild burn on the back of the tongue. Patricia is still cranking out plain cheddar crackers for our Study Buddy gift box, but has also been experimenting with bacon cheddar crackers, and now these. If you haven’t yet, give our haus-baked crackers a taste. As long as they keep flying off the shelves, we’ll presumably get more variations on the classic recipe.

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New Wine List 10/2/2019

Pay no attention to the byline. This primer to our new seasonal selection of natural wines is the work of TK, our wine guy, unfiltered, with no added sulfites.

La Patience, Blanc is a blend of grenache blanc, chardonnay, and vermentino grapes (all white grapes). It comes from the Rhone River Valley in the south of France, close to the Mediterranean Sea. This wine is certified organic in its farm and cellar practices. 2018 Vin de France.

Tasting notes of golden raisins, ripe pear, and honeysuckle, medium acidity.

Great with the Great Summer Caper, Saucisson Sec, Whitefish & Herring, Pork Lion, Big Dipper, Spring Roll, Comté cheese, Hidden Falls cheese, Prairie Breeze cheddar.

Served chilled. $7 BTG / $30 BTB—750 mL bottle

Pullus is made from 100% pinot gris grape and is a dry wine. Pullus is a skin-contact white wine, meaning that during maceration (the crushing of the grapes while the juices start to ferment) the skin of the grapes are left in with the juice for up to 72 hours, giving the wine a hue ranging from copper to hay. This process is characteristic of central Europe and over the past few years has seen a resurgence in the natural wine world. Pullus is produced in the oldest winery in Slovenia, Ptujska Klet winery, in the city of Ptuj. Wine produced in this region dates back to the Romans. 2018 vintage.

Tasting notes of crisp citrus, pear, dry minerality and complexity coming from the extended skin contact of the grapes.  

Great with the Cold Turkey, Clubhaus, NWS Salad, Fuzzy Bunny, Gorilla, any of our dry cured salumi, Whitefish & Herring, dill salmon, Bent River Camembert, Sogn Tomme.

Serve chilled. $6.5 BTG / $28 BTB—750 mL bottle

La Boutanche Gamay. You may be familiar withLa Boutanche from the Trollinger, a wine we carried from August into the early Fall. Welcome—from the Beaujolais region in the Rhone River Valley of west central France (just north of Lyon)—La Boutanche’s Gamay . This is a 100% gamay grape and very much an all-day drinker (glou glou). Each winemaker from the La Boutanche collective has their own animal “deity” as their labels. The Hawaiian shirt wearing-sweaty pig belongs to French winemaker Olivier Minot. 2018.

Tasting notes that are light to medium bodied, tart fruit forward cherries, while soft tannins of black tea round out this delicious gem.  

Pairs excellently with the Sitka Sushi, Spring Roll, Fuzzy Bunny, Slammin’ Gordon, Bahn Faux Mi, Big Dipper, and the Hedonist. Also fantastic with all of our salumi, especially the pepperoni and chorizo. As for cheese, goes great with our Blue Earth Brie, Hidden Falls, Friesago, Camembert, Comté. 

$7 BTG / $43 BTB—1 L Bottle

Tamí is 100% Nero d’Avola, an idigenous grape from Sicily, Italy. 2017. Where to start with this one? Arianna Occhipinti made her first vintage in 2006 at age 24. She debuted at a wine expo in Italy and blew everyone away. Super long and great story short, she graduated from university then went back to study viticulture and found herself arguing against all her professors. At this time in the early 2000’s, it was very common practice to use pesticides and non-indigenous grapes in the wine world. Rewind a few years back, her uncle had been making wine the natural way for his whole life and when she was 16 she helped him during harvest and since then, she understood that growing grapes naturally and being in-sync with nature, the grapes would produce the most reflective terroir possible. 

Arianna has become a prominent figure for a new generation of winemakers in Sicily and furthermore globally.

Tasting notes of juicy, cooked black cherry and berries with a little bit of woodsiness. Refreshing and medium bodied with nice acidity, salinity, and soft but prominent tannins.

Pairs extremely well with the Big Dipper, Italianesk, salamini & all dry cured meats, Black Pepper and Coriander salmon, Great Summer Caper, Pastrami Mommy, Purple Range, King candy. Cheeses it would complement include Sogn Tome, Camembert, and Friesago. 

  $7.5 BTG / $34 BTB—750 ml bottle

Looking for natural wine in liquor stores in Duluth? Check the bottles for one of these three importers: Selection Massale, Jenny & Francois, & Louis/Dressner. 

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SANDWICH LAB: The G.O.A.T.

IN THE DELICATESSEN SCENE, NEVER SHAKING UP YOUR SANDWICH MENU IS CONSIDERED ESPECIALLY HEINOUS. AT NORTHERN WATERS SMOKEHAUS, THE DEDICATED DELI EMPLOYEES WHO INNOVATE ON THE SANDWICH MENU ARE MEMBERS OF AN ELITE SQUAD KNOWN AS THE SANDWICH LAB. THESE ARE THEIR STORIES:


The greatest season has arrived, and we’ve got a great Fall sandwich for you: creamy chèvre, smoky and peppery toasted andouille sausage, crispy local apple slices, and lettuce, on a toasted Lake Superior Bakehouse bagel.

Pitched at the Sandwich Lab without a name, it first became known as the Perfect Fall Sandwich. Realizing that was a mouthful to say for a sandwich that should be enjoyed in small, thoughtful, well-chewed bites, it evolved into the G.O.A.T. (the Greatest of All Time. At what? Try it and tell us!). One grandiose name for another, this time a cheesy pun.

This final installment in the 2019 Sandwich Lab series comes to you courtesy of its creator: uh…me! I could go on about the sandwich’s origin story, weaving an epic tale of my frequent lunch-break searches for the Fruit of Knowledge itself (thank you, Canal Park Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, for your un-dipped apples), describing the culinary ballet of this food parcel’s individual components, but I don’t want anyone to overthink it.

To say it’s a good Fall sandwich would be an understatement.

Try it today (10/2) through the end of the month in our deli, via pickup, or delivered for $9.50+tax, and earn an extra punch on your Sandwich Lover Extraordinaire card.

This concludes the 2019 cycle of Sandwich Lab Specials.


WHAT IS SANDWICH LAB?
AT NORTHERN WATERS SMOKEHAUS, OUR WORK IS PLAYING WITH FOOD. THAT MEANS SOMETIMES, IN THE LINE OF DUTY, WE STUMBLE UPON AN AMAZING COMBINATION OF INGREDIENTS THAT EVOLVES OVER SEVERAL SHIFT-MEALS INTO A NOTEWORTHY NEW SANDWICH. OTHER TIMES WE UNCOVER A MORE EFFICIENT WAY TO BUILD A SANDWICH, OR WE SWAP AN INGREDIENT ON A CURRENT MENU ITEM.SANDWICH LAB IS AN ANNUAL GATHERING OF OUR STAFF TO REFINE OUR SANDWICH-LINE SKILLS, TO COME TO AGREEMENT ON ANY CONTROVERSIES, AND—THE BEST PART—TO INTRODUCE OUR PET SANDWICHES TO THE GREATER SMOKEHAUS COMMUNITY.
NOTABLE SANDWICH LAB FINDINGS FROM PREVIOUS YEARS INCLUDE THE CEDARS’S SECRET, THE PURPLE RANGE, THE PHOEBE, AND THE PORK LION.LAST YEAR’S SANDWICH LAB HAD SO MANY GOOD SANDWICHES THAT WE COULDN’T DECIDE ON JUST ONE OR TWO TO ADD TO THE MENU, SO WE DECIDED TO GIVE THEM ALL A CHANCE TO SHINE, AS MONTH-LONG SPECIALS.