#1. Smokehaus Party takes place. Smokehausers do like a party. Food and drinks are in abundance, and people laugh and sing and frolic into the wee hours. It’s good for camaraderie, it’s a good release this time of year, and the we count the clock until next time.
#2. We started to release recipe cards in our mail order boxes! These little beauties feature our products and we’ll be making more and more as the months carry on. Look for one in your next shipment from us!
#3. Our website gets a few tweaks. In preparation for brand new photography, we’ve altered the look of our mail order section to showcase our new photos. Release date is very soon, so keep your eyes peeled. These new shots will knock your socks off!
#4. We slice 59 # of Smoked Berkshire Bacon, and add it to our growing stash for the holiday season. Take a look at some fun facts compiled by Mental Floss last year.
#5. We gear up for none-other-than, Cyber Monday! It’s our first go at the cyber-space madness online shopping day. We think we’ve got a cute little offer, and we hope our amazing customers will take advantage. Cyber space immediately equated to Pigs in Space for us. And so our cute little campaign was born.
We are nearing the end of the year, we are dusting off our ugly Christmas sweaters and we are making spare room for all of the seconds, thirds and fourths we will be having at our family gatherings. But before we reach that magical time of the year, we’re keeping our dancing shoes on and we will continue to party and enjoy the amazing camaraderie that exists and the Smokehaus.
So with that said, let’s cue the Adventure Time theme song (it’s okay if you don’t know it you can sing along). “Adventure Time, C’mon grab your friends, We’re going to very distant lands. With Jake [the smoker] and Finn [the sandwich], The fun will never end, It’s Adventure Time!”
At 6:30AM on Friday our basement started flooding. Water was flowing in from every crack it could find but our wonderful crew hiked up there pants, changed their plans and grabbed a squeegee. Friday felt like the scene in Hercules where he cuts the dragon’s head off and three heads grow back. Shouts to our wonderful team for stepping in and helping us stay afloat!
This week was also full of spoooooky tiiiimess:
2-Rocky Horror Red Mountain ft Chelsy from Vikre!
Our friend Steve Sola is letting us use this video that he took of a local favorite band in Duluth, Red Mountain. Our delivery-daredevil and basement-badass Jeremy Ehlert SLAYS guitar in this band. You can’t see him but you can hear him shred. (We love you, Jeremy!)
Not pictured but also important to mention: Ned’s band Alamode & Jacob’s band the Social Disaster also played on Halloween night at the Rex Bar. Did we mention they were all born on October 11st!?
Have you hugged a carnivore this week? 3- Halloween in the shop
Harrison Cross is the man of many costumes. He’s known for killer dance moves, exceptional puns, and going all out on Holiday extravaganza. This year he really raised the bar on his costume game and expressed his carnivore lifestyle more visually and larger than life. We also had a visitor from the New Yorker giving us advice on what kind of beans to purchase for our Chemex (Thanks, Cam)!
This week was full of cute liver caskets!
4- Are you a be-liver?
Extra! Extra! Find these in the Grab-n-Go in our Deli soon! We will be packaging these cuties up and selling them 1/3 lb for your party convenience. Country Paté lovers unite!
And every week we’re all about Awesome Burgers
5- Can you say onion rings?
The Restaurant does burger Mondays and this weeks special burger looked like a dang good time. Stop in next Monday to see what chef James cooked up for ya!
We hope you’re also listening to Werewolf Bar Mitzvah over and over again. If not… maybe you should start??
5 Things: Here We Go
1- It’s test time!
We sent out several of our Delivery, Catering and Mail Order and Deli manager(s) to get their Serve Safe Certification on Monday, October 23rd. Here are some highlights from Dungeon-Master and Iron Man, Harry-boi.
Food Safety Class Hour One: Things I’ve Learned: -Jeff, our instructor, could shoot a wing off a jet in an A-10 Warthog. -Allergies are more common now because we’re “…not eating enough boogers”. -Scrapbooking is for “gals”.
Hmmm… We do not suggest boogers as a source of protein. But to each their own? (read: ew).
Mamma Kath is teaching Deli Manager TK how to be the master of inventory. Every week we receive orders from many local and regional vendors. It takes a great finesse and extraordinary organizational skills to keep all departments orders on track. Orders come in, they are put away, laughs are shared with our great delivery drivers and snacks are had.
Shout out to Jodi from Classic Provisions for being the kindest delivery driver ever.
3- Mail Order Meat Madness
Once the Holidays season begins it’s pretty hard to stay ahead of the game without feeling a little frantic. So we start getting ready earlier in the year in order to be able to send out our 2,000 boxes around Thanksgiving and Christmas season. This week we sliced 63 lb of Turkey, 49 lb of Andouille, 46 lb of Pancetta and 74 lb of Pork Loin!!!!
4- NEW STICKERS!!!
After probably 10+ years of having our oval stickers we upgraded to these sharp circle cuties! Thanks, Stephen!
5- LOOK MORTY
While our oval stickers where in absence, we used a lot of different stickers to keep your fish, meats, salumi and sandwiches from escaping the butcher paper. It was a busy and confusing summer. Cajun Finns were getting marked “German Brats”, “Italian Style” and/or “Whitefish Sausage” and many other items were also (for a bit) mislabeled. So after dealing with weeks and weeks of back and forth emailing with our sticker vendor, we ordered some “just in case” green circles from Uline.
Oh the fun that has been had with these simple and amazing vessels for creativity. Let’s just say someone around the Smokehaus has been drawing Ricks (from the Adult Swim Show Rick & Morty) all over the place. We hope some of you enjoy the “LOOK MORTY I TURNED MYSELF INTO A DOOR”.
What a week! Only 5 things? JUST 5 things? Ok. Have it your way. Here we go:
1 / Local Food Fare
Stephen and I went to The College of Saint Scholastica last Friday for their first ever Local Food Day representing Northern Waters Restaurant. It was THE BEST time! We hit ’em with some S.W.A.G. (Stuff We All Get), served maple sambal ribs with kimchi and an assortment of sandwich samples while those ravenous collegians lost their damn minds! We made sure to collect some email addresses to offer them further deals in the future before they went completely bonkers. Thanks to our pal Jordon Moses for setting the event up!
2 / Meat & Greet
Smokehausers Flo and TK are the principals at Prove Gallery in Duluth; a fantastic and inclusive pillar of the arts community here, and 10/18 brought their annual Meat Raffle Fundraiser! Not familiar with the Meat Raffle concept? Buy one of 12 chances for a cut of meat and wait for the wheel to land on your number. If it does, you get meated handsomely! Prove managed to get Pete and Sam from NW Restaurant to emcee and sell tickets respectively, while Ned from the Smokehaus DJ’d. Plenty of our coworkers from both the restaurant and the Smokehaus got in on the gamble for meat as well as a pretty great silent auction. The whole event was a huge success and also just a lot of fun.
3 / Photo Frenzy
Stephen and Flo continue to work on photographing our many products in preparation for mail order season, and the composition of these photos has really been coming together beautifully. So beautifully, in fact, that it drives our thoughts towards doing a cookbook. Seriously, wouldn’t that be fantastic?
4 / Pop Up Restaurant at Hoops!
At Northern Waters Restaurant, we always try to keep it poppin’; the beautiful plates we send out, our chic decor, actual delicious soda pop… It’s a thing for us, ok? So how excited are we that our pals at Hoops Brewing have invited us to come and do a pop up restaurant at their place? Pretty dang excited to say the least. We haven’t firmed up a date yet, but look for that coming soon. Pop in and say hi! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
5 / Listen Up!
Jams! Not the kind you eat with your mouth, but the kind you eat with your ears! It’s called ‘listening’! Up at the restaurant, we begin our days by sweeping, mopping and kicking out the sweetest jams possible. Afrobeat, DJ Earl and Steely Dan have been in heavy rotation recently, but it’s really anyone’s guess as to what will get heavy play next. We think that this whole ‘eareating’ thing is going to catch on big-time.
Here’s some stuff that occurred this past week at The Smokehaus. In chronological order this time:
#1. Sunday night Staff Meeting! We crammed ourselves into the common area of our small office. We ran down the agenda, we chatted and laughed. No shortage of laughter in this place. Then the newbies got their height marked on the wall. It’s tradition. And it’s a mirror into the past of all the beautiful humans that have made their mark (hehe) on the Smokehaus in years past.
#2. Order Up! So…. There’s been some confusion. When sandwiches are shouted out to shop patrons they are set under a sign that once read “Pickup.” This was, however, not where one would pick up an order they called in to our Pickup department. Pickup patrons can conveniently skip the line and our Pickup staff will bring your order right out to you in the alley way on the North side of the building. That all makes sense, right?! ☺ So, we think our new signage might help alleviate some of the confusion… what do you think? More custom lettering by the one and only Flo.
#3. The titan among sandwiches is released on the nation. It’s been a long time coming, but as we dipped our toes into the trending world of Sandwich Kits it was only natural that our best-selling sandwich be one of the competitors. You can read more about how this sandwich came into being in this post. If you ever find yourself staring longingly in the direction of the Smokehaus, you know how to bring it home now. Get ‘yer Cajun Finns sent to your doorstep.
#4. PIXIES! A favorite band for at least 2 Smokehausers (Mary and Nick C), the Pixies were in St Paul this week and Steve-man, Mary, Greg, and Jeremy all went down to see them. They were awesome! They played everything from Caribou to Motorway to Roswell. After the show, we headed to a bar around the corner and were utterly amazed to see Black Francis and Joey Santiago in the next booth over. Magic!
#5. Birthdays and a tweet. A few fine folks celebrated birthdays this week including Eric, Jeremy, Jacob, and Ned. If you’re a local you probably know and love them. Plus extra love from the fine peeps behind the Homegrown twitter handle. Well that was nice! Thanks @dhgmf
Hi people of the internet. Here’s 5 things that happened at the Smokehaus and our beloved Restaurant this week.
We perfected the new Wednesday special up on Woodland Ave (Northern Waters Restaurant). Our new fried chicken sammy is to die for! Things that may or may not be featured on this special: buttermilk brined, hays-tenderized chicken breast, Franks hot sauce, cracker breading, local brioche buns from Lake Superior Bakehouse, Smokehaus bacon, avocado, top secret spice blend and/or a rotating mix of toppings for new and delicious creations every week. Every Wednesday!
#2. Fall Decor
Our shop is pretty cute, but there’s always room for more cuteness! Hannah brought in a few gourds to decorate the shop and help us feel ok about summer being over. Hopefully she brings in a snowman when winter hits… (did you know the record low for December in Duluth is -27 degrees?)
#3. Is anyone missing a pair of hockey skates?
A random box showed up the other day. Its labeling was pretty unclear, it was addressed to us, but it had multiple labels and we were a little hesitant to open it. But our curiosity always gets the better of us. Turns out it was hockey skates, belonging to someone who has really small feet and no connection to the Smokehaus. Weeeeiiiird. Needless to say, we had to discuss this event and all its infinite possibilities for several minutes that day….
#4. Holiday Season looms over us like a wall of boxes (literally).
October means we’re gearing up for Mail Order’s peak Holiday Season which happens every December. For three glorious and also insane weeks our Mail Order elves work nearly round the clock to make food, package food, and ship food to thousands of customers around the country. Fun fact: after Minnesota, California is where we sent the most boxes to last year. Hello West Coast! So… this week a new seasonal employee started in our Mail Order dept – welcome Zac! He’s the first of many elves who will be joining the team to pack, pack, pack their little hearts out. During peak time, it’s one person’s job just to make boxes – not kidding.
#5. The perks of being an employee of the Smokehaus.
When there’s leftover food, employee’s enjoy. This week folks in the shop spread layers and layers of Mary’s dreamy gooseberry jam on our Hausmade rye. Mary’s recipe uses five-spice. You know how she does.
1 / A Really Fishy Photo! We took this photo of our traditional smoked salmon and we think it’s pretty neat! Mmmmm…Hold up while we break for a snack…
2 / Catering Extravaganzas 1: Sue is the owner of the Hemlock Preserve in Esko and we catered her daughters wedding last Saturday. It was crazy humid in the barn but we managed to work fast and pull through for a feast of epic proportions. Photo recap!
2: On Sunday we went to the Oldenberg House in Carlton for a wedding showcase. Food was served, food was eaten and we all had a blast! This historic building is right on the edge of Jay Cooke State Park and is lined with an abundance of rock formations, greenery and other natural goodies to take your breath away. Check them out for bed and breakfast services, special events, jazz dinners, live music, and much more. Thanks for having us!
1. We are running an Heirloom tomato and chèvre salad special with fruits from the tomato growing experts over at Hammarlund. I overheard them talking to Eric (The Owner) about the different varieties of tomatoes and the flavor differences. The green striped ones are the all around favorite, the yellow ones are fruitier + sweeter and the dark red ones are kind of like a roma, but with more flavor. We running this with honey-dressed Boucheron chèvre, a balsamic reduction, and Maldon salt flake. Stop in and try one before it’s gone!
2. We have a new side! This couscous salad is delicious and beautiful.
4 / Basement Anthems The delivery and prep department needs music to stay sane. The work they do is incredibly fast paced, super detailed, and downright chaotic. They add to this insanity by BLASTING their music at full volume with no remorse for any nearby ears. In fact, they recently upgraded their stereo system by pooling tips because the old one wasn’t loud enough. Kudos on the teamwork y’all! This week it just so happened that Propagandhi’s new album dropped and it has been on repeat ever since. I asked Jeremy for a few words about it and his response was “Can I say it’s f***ing rippin’?”
5 / Insider Tip! There were three employee wedding anniversaries this week! On the 27th, Stephen and Robin celebrated their 3 year and Woody and Kiah celebrated their 1 year. On the 28th Mary and Greg celebrated their 7 year! Many more to come, but don’t worry, we won’t post about them next year….. <3
#1 / Boot in the Barn was a success! The folks came, The cooks cooked and the staff worked really hard. We are really proud of everyone involved!
#2 / Beer in hand – Sandwich in Mouth The Cedar lounge is one of our favorites places to catch a drink and relax. Starting this week you will find ultra fancy, co-branded menus throughout the establishment! That’s right, you can order a sandwich straight to your bar stool at the Cedar Lounge. We think you’ll love the way our sandwiches taste with a cold one.
#3 / The Future Holds New… Photographs! Our creative crew (Stephen & Flo) took a trip to Mary’s (GM) house to scout locations for our new product photos. The abundance of trinkets, textures and materials was inspiring and we can’t wait to get cracking on this dream project.
#4 / Happy Mistakes Our restaurant (Northern Waters Restaurant) makes ice cream from scratch. But what do you get when you burn the base for this sweet treat? Cream Brûlée ice cream! It’s quickly becoming one of our favorite flavors, although the curry is pretty dang tasty…. Nothing like a good happy mistake!
#5 / Our Bread’s First Voyage Our BakerJerry has been cranking out loaf after loaf of his delicious rye bread for our deli and we are loving it! Although the loaves are living the good life in Canal Park I could tell they were feeling a little antsy and longed for a bigger taste of the world. Low and behold they took the grand voyage to Woodland Ave. and became a permanent addition to our restaurant’s Reuben (The Thursday and sometimes Friday special). This sandwich is truly a legend in the making and now it’s one step closer.
The backpack kids are back in town. School is back in session and with a new season comes its ups and downs.
Our co-workers have less time for us! Some of our really hilarious and youthful souls are back in the world of academia. Study hard: Cedar, Asher, Keira, Jake, Cy, Cal, Ian, Kjell, Lucy and Thomas. On a very, very exciting note- Penti (our summer spunky basement daredevil) is studying abroad in India and we wish him all the luck and encouragement on his grand adventure overseas.
Pictured above is the Mr. Deli Manager TK — not going back to school — who’s been keeping his nose in books while researching more and more about fermentation but that’s for another 5 things.
2. We have been joined by a local jean-vest-wearing-rockstar Jacob. When he’s not slaying sandwiches, Jacob’s a multi-media working artist in Duluth. He makes short films, shoots video and plays in several bands in town. Welcome to the island of food weirdos!
Ok… So if you add the look, the knife and the t-shirt… You might get the wrong impression of him. He’s actually an incredible sweetheart. We just wanted him to be fierce for the internet.
3. Earlier this summer our assistant manager JT (read: Coach) took a leap of faith and moved across the country to Montana. We were heartbroken to lose him as he brought in a stellar sense of humor to the workplace, but we knew that he had a different scenery calling his name. So since we’re in the middle of testing our new sandwich kit, we sent JT the first four person Cajun Finn Kit! Reports say it arrived safely and made for a sentimental meal with a piece of home. We miss you, JT!!!
This could be you. Stay tuned as we will announce the Cajun Finn Kit this fall!!
Barn dinner. Barn dinner. Barn dinner. Those two words have been on everyone’s mind for the last month here at the Smokehaus! So we are happy that tomorrow is finally the day that we will be sharing and making a wonderful experience with 50 guests and co-workers. Eric Goerdt sure knows how to throw a damn party!
4. Stephen and Mary made Mozzarella from scratch for our antipasto platters that we are serving at “Boot in the Barn” this Saturday at Hemlock Preserve. To make Mozzarella you have to bring up your curd mixture to 105 F. There was talk about double gloves, hot hands and other phrases that confirms that love and labor went into the making of the Mozzarella.
5. Three large Porchettas will be smoked, roasted and fire licked as the main event for our “Boot in the Barn” dinner. This week Eric and TK rolled Berkshire pork loin and bellies together. Each Porchetta was massaged and slathered with white wine, lemon, rosemary, sage, garlic and olive oil and will be cooked until tender-perfection. Each Porchetta weighs about 20 lbs!!!! That’s a lot of mouth-watering Berkshire pork.
Excuse our raw image, processing isn’t always glamorous but the outcomes are worth the mess.
It’s the last official Friday of the summer! We’ve been honking right along, despite the competition (or welcome reprieve) of the State Fair, with catering, special events, and delivery.
We cranked out 67 BEAUTIFUL raviolo for our Boot in the Barn Feast on September 9th. Eric’s special pasta recipe is stuffed with Bayfield sheep’s milk ricotta, Parmigiano Reggiano, Minnesota sweet corn, leeks, and love.
Stephen finished the Cedar Lounge menu – making this cozy Superior watering hole even more unique: it’s the only place in Superior we will be providing regular delivery!
Northern Waters Restaurant has been offering a Burbot Po’ Boy sandwich – based on the New Orleans original but adapted for the Northwoods, it’s a must-try!
Ken Hammerlund, mystical vegetable genius (aka our tomato guy), appeared with his own blend hot sauce. We’ve been working on our own recipe, and his zesty, veggie-infused concoction is a great inspiration.
Woody’s brand new baby boy has robbed him from our basement! Jeremy has been holding down the prep room nonetheless, even as the sandwich cooler has been on the fritz, employees have called in sick, and delivery has exploded! Thanks, Jerbaby Boi.
BONUS: Boot in the Barn planning is revving up. We’ve selected a remarkable amount of crystal, travertine, bronze, and silver to make a Medici marvel. Ci vediamo li!