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In Remembrance of 5 Things Past; or, Searching for Lost Things

Happy Friday, everyone (and Happy Birthday, Eric Goerdt!), though I’m writing this on a Wednesday, since tomorrow/yesterday is/was my birthday, and I’m really trying to take some time for myself, for once.

Mother Superior is angry.

I’m here, in the past of your current present, at Amazing Grace Bakery and Café, at 7am, sipping on dark roasted coffee, slowly picking apart a chocolate espresso muffin which we’ll call my birthday cake (I don’t particularly enjoy cake–hold your pitchforks, please! Preferences are allowed), watching a red-tailed black shark bully or maybe just play tag with the rest of the aquarium; and you’re existing sometime in my new future, reading this blog post, thinking where is Ned going with this, is this setting of the scene really necessary for a blog post about five things that happened this week at Northern Waters Smokehaus; though you might have had a realization like I have, on occasion, that often some of these five things of which I write happened on another week, or are happening over a span of time that includes previous weeks, this selfsame moment, and will continue on into the future weeks, and furthermore that reading a piece of written language often involves a detachment of oneself from the standard temporal flow in which we have entrenched ourselves; and that, in reality, every week we have found ourselves in this wibbly-wobbly, time-wimey ebb-and-flow of thoughts expressed and received.

(I realize in this moment, after having written that sentence, that I must go back and change a number of those commas to semicolons.)

Folks, it’s my birthday week, so I’m not holding back. You’re going to get the trains of thought that I normally reserve for the quiet aloneness of floating downward from the waking world into the valley of dreams—yes, for me, it’s a valley; and last night there was a robin hatchling for whom I tried and failed to find some seed, dice that I mistook for my own that belonged to my very disappointed therapist, and thousands of resplendently beautiful and terrifying spiders in that valley—and in some ways, you already have.

What was I going on about? Oh, yes—
Here are the five things we came up with to share with you. Hopefully nothing too noteworthy or exciting has happened, because it is out of my hands.

  1. Birthdays! October is a birthday-heavy month for us. I’m sure to miss one, in addition to me and Eric, we also have Nic, Jeremy, and Jacob finishing their lap around the Sun this month. What else is there to say? A birthday is really just like any other day, except certain people might treat you a little differently if you’re friends on electronic social media and they happen to notice your name next to a birthday cake icon. For a fun time, try wishing everyone you encounter at the Smokehaus this month a happy belated birthday. You can wish someone a belated happy birthday all but one day of the year and be right on the money. Them’s good odds.
  2. We’re going to The Wedding Fair! This year, we have refocused no insignificant sum of our energy into the catering side of our business. From weddings upon weddings, to the Glensheen gala, to Best of the Wurst, and so many pop-ups—not to mention (but hey, here I am mentioning it) our 20th Anniversary Party—we have had a heck of a year outside the charming confines of our deli storefront. The Wedding Fair, this Sunday (October 14th) at the Minneapolis Convention Center, is an exciting opportunity for us, since it will put us face-to-face with a large audience that potentially isn’t already following our business, and perhaps has never heard of us. We’re bringing a modest sampling of what we can offer—ham and pimiento bites, salmon and scallion cream cheese bites, a sweet brochure whipped up by our design team—and preparing ourselves to discuss virtually anything anybody wants to talk about (related to our food and catering services). Those who have experienced events we’ve catered know that our culinary skills extend far beyond what we offer in the deli.
  3. We got a new power outlet! Another installment in the Series of Capital Improvements. We needed more power, and we got it. Bonus Thing™: We’ve cleared out the design/mail order office in preparation for what I believe is our final reflooring of the capital improvements season. Perhaps whomever I can convince to edit this post post-reflooring will supply a photo of the new floor, and if they don’t, this is a fun and awkward sentence for you to have read.

    Check out that new outlet on the left!
  4. We smoked chickens! This past weekend, we catered Hoops Brewing’s Okoberfest celebration, and as Eric just informed me is traditional for Oktoberfest, we served smoked chicken alongside our brats and sauerkraut. If you’re bummed that you missed out on this opportunity, don’t worry: The chicken was evidently so good that we’re working to bring it onto our menu in the near future, as a half-chicken basket special for two.
  5. Hummus! Our prep team made eight quarts of smoked poblano and ancho hummus, just to see how it would turn out. We had an extensive tasting session at our weekly Dungeons & Dragons gathering, and I can say that the hummus turned out quite well. It has a very gentle bite and rich, smoky undertones, and pairs extremely well with fragments of hot naan, and a cold pilsner lager. There is still some room for perfecting the recipe, but soon enough it will be available from our grab-and-go case and might make its way onto our sandwich line—perhaps as a vegan substitute for the cream cheese on our Fuzzy Bunny sandwich.

That’s all for this week. This has been a wild Wednesday, which you’re reading about on Friday, with high-speed winds, a murderous Lake Superior battering the shore and flooding large segments of our basement and forcing our delivery/prep department home, and somehow still a steady stream of customers—who must love to suffer in the cold wetness of it all—gracing our shop with their presence. I’ll catch you, dear reader, next week as I pull a similar write-early-in-the-week-so-I-can-take-Friday-off stunt. Hopefully—and totally within my control—with fewer trips through my self-created wormhole, because I have re-read this piece a dozen times, and am still not sure where or when I have ended up.

#imaginecanalparkunderwater
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5 Things That Are Happening At Or Around NWS

Welcome back, dear reader. August has been an exciting month for us here at Northern Waters Smokehaus. We have added fresh faces to our team, said goodbye (see you later? During mail order season? Please, help) to some old friends, sold a whole bunch of tote bags, and generally embraced the end-of-Summer fatigue as a way of life. Here’s some insights into what’s on our minds this week:

  1. Option 1 has commenced!
    For the month of September, Bunchanan St. will be closed to vehicle traffic and used as a public seating area. This is part of Imagine Duluth 2035‘s Imagine Canal Park initiative. This initiative also includes a pop-up park at the Lighthouse Lot at the end of Canal Park Drive, and has been implemented to reinvest in Canal Park and it’s ability to host “uniquely crafted community-oriented spaces.” For more information, check out the press release.
     
  2. Nighttime delivery is coming to a temporary end.
    The season is coming to a close: Days are getting shorter, the lunch rush is getting (marginally) slower, and the students—most of our delivery team—are heading back to school. As a result, we’ll be cutting our delivery hours back to 10am-5pm, with a cutoff for new orders at 4:30pm daily. We look forward to seeing you down in our deli during the Autumn evenings, and our evening delivery drivers will see you again next Summer.
  3. We signed up for Best of the Wurst!
    We’re pleased to be taking part in this year’s Best of the Wurst at Sociable Ciderworks. The event promises “all the sausage you can eat” and benefits non-profit Fair Vote MN. We’ll be serving up some NWS charcuterie classics, as well as some new, exciting recipes currently in development. Tickets are available here.
  4. We announced our 20th Anniversary party and afterparty.
    This just in: NWS’s 20th anniversary celebration will be taking place on September 29th at Hoops Brewing. The afterparty, featuring a roster of NWS employee bands, will happen at the Rex Bar in Fitger’s. Our community has done so much for our business, and we are very excited to give back with what should be a very memorable day of proper NWS revelry. We’ll be closing our deli early that day so everyone can get in on the fun. More information can be found on the Facebook event page.
  5. NWS got their first standing desk.
    This one speaks for itself. A signature NWS innovation.
    Thanks for tuning in, friends. See you next week.
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5 Things- Partners in Crime

We don’t actually commit crimes, so cool it! Unless you consider the delicious products that we produce out of our tiny space here in Canal Park’s Dewitt Seitz building to be criminally good? Understandable! But I would posit that it would be a crime NOT to enjoy our amazing, hand-made delicacies and to nourish your loved ones with them. Perhaps it is YOU who is skirting legality? Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with us. If you can live with what you’ve done, so be it.

So, now that we’ve established that it’s completely legal for us to delight your palate with smoky and savory treats. But what happens when we partner with other fantastic businesses to bring you new ways to enjoy our products? Could this possibly be legal? Is it even ethical to bring this much pleasure and happiness to people in our community? Do we have any sense of propriety at all? We don’t know. But if you want to dive into this ethical quandary yourself, here’s a list of a few of our partners in the community who are not only doing wonderful things on their own, but also doing wonderful things with our products. We’re incredibly lucky to live in a community in which people take immense pride in the work that they do, and we feel honored that they think highly enough of us to include us in their schemes.

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The New Scenic Cafe– Owner and Executive Chef Scott Graden took over operations at this by now legendary North Shore restaurant in 1999. Graden and crew quickly garnered a reputation for doing upscale food that was approachable, but undeniably elevated. The region really had never really seen a restaurant that combined The New Scenic’s funky and bohemian space with food that was far-thinking and forward-reaching. Nestled just North of Duluth on Highway 61, the Scenic offers breathtaking views of Lake Superior, as well as carefully appointed outdoor spaces for special events or just to relax with a drink. They even have a yurt! Graden and our own Eric Goerdt have been friends for years, and their mutual admiration/friendly rivalry have taken food at both of our establishments to new heights. The New Scenic has featured several of the Smokehaus’ production items, from our German-style bratwurst to smoked whitefish- and whatever Graden does with our outstanding products elevates them considerably. The menu at The New Scenic is ever changing and seasonally geared, but there are some items so good that they make the menu year-round. One of my personal favorites, the Tuna Sashimi Taco, has been on the menu for several years, but still seems fresh and innovative. The New Scenic is at the head of the pack for a Duluth fine dining experience, and is not to be missed.

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Lake Superior Beach Club– This is the newest venture dreamed up by the staff at Duluth’s Glensheen Mansion. Lake Superior Beach Club will be just east of the existing pier, and this area will have lawn games, board games on picnic tables, menus for food delivery (hint hint) and a cash bar with beer and wine. Glensheen is partnering with Northern Waters Smokehaus for a special event this summer (can’t reveal too many details just yet) and hopefully continuing on into the infinite future. Whether you are meeting new friends at the long community table, enjoying a bonfire (the only place that you can have a fire on the beach in Duluth), or walking the estate to take in the gardens- this pristine spot right on the shores of Lake Superior is not to be missed. If the spectacular sunset that I saw there last night is any indication, this spot will soon be jumpin’ for the rest of the summer.

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Zeitgeist Arts Cafe– Here’s an insider tip: Chef Taylor Peterson, Head Chef at Zeitgeist, used to be the chef at the Smokehaus’ short-lived Northern Waters Restaurant. Taylor also spent several years in the heart of the Smokehaus’ production crew, cranking out the delicious sundries that fuel our sandwich empire. Chef Taylor specializes in classic fare with a twist, but never denigrates his menus into the played-out ‘modern comfort food’ trap. Taylor is a master at execution who demands top-quality ingredients, and his time here at the Smokehaus is credited with informing his palate, along with bringing his culinary creativity to new heights.  You can find a smattering of Smokehaus products throughout Zeitgeist’s menu (a few of which may have migrated from Northern Waters Restaurant’s menu), but the place that they really shine is in their weekend brunch menu. Smokehaus Mexican Chorizo really sings in the sublime Chorizo and Eggs; with pickled red onion, cilantro, crispy tortilla and beans & rice. With a full and carefully appointed bar at your disposal and a menu of  forward-thinking yet classic dishes, you can really make brunch a worthy occasion. But, no matter the time of day you dine at  Zeitgeist, the order of the day is always great ingredients prepared simply.

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Grassroots Gourmet- Located in Minneapolis’ Midtown Neighborhood (and right inside of the Midtown Global Market (!), a deep discussion topic for another time), Grassroots Gourmet has the distinction of being the first place in the Twin Cities Metro area that offered Smokehaus products to our rabid (and rapidly growing) fan base there. Grassroots Gourmet is a locally sourced grocery store and deli with grab and go lunch items, ranging from fresh produce to preserved items. I can tell you from experience that the selection in their cases is a revelation in local cheese- and what a locality to draw from!  The quantity (and quality) of Minnesotan, Wisconsin and Iowan cheese in the last 5 years has absolutely exploded, and Grass Roots patrons definitely benefit from this. We have been humbled by the amount of people in the Twin Cities that have let us know how happy they are to buy our smoked salmon so close to their home. It feels great to know that people a couple of hours south can enjoy a taste of the North Shore whenever they want to. Even if you’re not getting Smokehaus salmon at the market, you will be sure to find something locally sourced and loved with which to make any meal truly special.

Brew Dogs– Is there anyplace in the US that is experiencing a bigger explosion of local breweries than Minnesota? Not only is there a new place opening up seemingly every month, but the quality of the beer being produced is really second to none. Duluth is no exception, with the amazing Hoops and Earth Rider (technically across the bridge in WI, but whatever) opening just within the last year, along with market powerhouses Bent Paddle and Castle Danger, the niche-and-loving-it Blacklist Brewing downtown and the far flung Lake Superior Brewing simultaneously holding court in West End while also holding down the distinction of being Minnesota’s oldest microbrewery. I’m a beer loving man through and through, tried and true, so you can imagine what a paradise this is for someone like me. But what could make sucking down cold suds even better? Snacks! NWS is at the forefront of delivering smoked fish, charcuterie, cheese, sandwiches… whatever you would like, to select breweries. The only criteria is that they have to be close enough to make delivery feasible AND they have to make delicious beer. All of these breweries currently make delicious beer, but proximity-wise Lake Superior Brewing, Hoops Brewing, Bent Paddle, Earth Rider and Blacklist make the cut. Beer heads from all over are raving about these breweries, so if you’re in Duluth and are hungry and thirsty, you could be completely dialed with a one stop shop.

 

 

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5 Things- Vol. 11

HAPPY ALMOST HALLOWEEN!

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).

2-Purchasing

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”. 

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5 Things – Volume 7

Keeping the fire alive – Volume 7!

 

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!

3 / Restaurant Bits & Bites 

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

 

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5 Things Volume 5

Volume 5 – Les Sgo!

#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 Baker Jerry 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.

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Special Delivery – Coming to a Brewery Near You

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Northern Waters Smokehaus is teaming up with local breweries and bars to offer their one-of-a-kind sandwiches and catering  delivery to foodless businesses throughout the Twin Ports.

 

Starting with the 250-seat Hoops Brewery in Canal Park, the Smokehaus delivery mobile and fleet of bikes will deliver Cajun Finns, Pastrami Mommys, and Sitka Sushis all over town to feed hungry bar patrons some classic Duluth cuisine. The small deli and sandwich shop can get pretty congested, so customers hoping to avoid lines and the hustle and bustle of “the shop” can simply hop on their phones, scroll through the full menu online, and be eating a Cold Turkey with extra Crayo and a Jean Jacket (that’s cilantro and Sriracha, FYI) in 45 minutes via delivery.

 

Smokehaus food, painstakingly developed in the basement of the Dewitt Seitz Building for nearly 20 years, is ideal for beer sipping. Rich, slightly smoky, touched with salt, and eminently snackable, Smoked Salmon with Black Pepper and Coriander, Berkshire Pork Loin, Bison Buddies, and Curried Leg of Lamb can all stand up to a generous IPA – both beer and the Smokehaus’s recipes have a rich (mostly) European legacy. With such a delightful crop of talented brewmeisters in the Twin Ports and a delivery department full of energetic Smokehausers, it seems a supreme match for the food-brew-curious and longstanding culinary intelligentsia alike. Smokehaus delivery has been bringing the goods to Duluthians since 2015.

 

First offered through brand-spanking-new Hoops Brewing but soon to hit the bar at The Cedar Lounge and others to be announced.

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Expanded Delivery & Catering Services

We at the island of food weirdos love any excuse to get together and eat good food. Creativity has its ways of blossoming relationships and inspiring co-workers to entice both themselves and customers. Late nights lead to planning other late nights. In this case, we kept it not-so-late, but we did combine a lot of our favorite things in one place.
We are excited to invite our fellow food lovers and Smokehaus friends to our “Delivery Debut & Catering Cotillion” (for the love of alliteration) at the Red Herring Lounge.
This is your opportunity (YES!) to come and sample some bites of our slow fast food. We can’t sample our whole *brand* new catering menu, but we can sample the cult-classics and party pleasers.
What can you expect?
A showcase of our talented, creative catering and delivery crew. They’re food lovers, musicians and entertainers. Our talented Seym0ur, Ned Netzel, will set the mood as you can delight yourself with small bites and participate in our raffle that includes tons of Smokehaus $wag. Our raffle has a small price ($1 per raffle tickets) and all of the funds that are raised will be donated to the Damiano Center located in Duluth.
What kind of $wag?
Anything from our classic Rick Allen Tees that are loved by Duluthians and transplants to free All Season Platters and sandwiches.

Here’s the low-down:
When? July 7th, 2016.
Where? 208 E 1st Street
Time? 7-9pm
Cost? Free. $1 Raffle tickets.

We can’t wait to share our love for food with you!

xoxo-
Team Smokehaus

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Graduation Special

Spring is here for the season and we are excited to share our winter secrets. In the deep freeze, ideas come to us as we plan how to creatively share the delights of our snacks, sandwiches and proteins. We have had years of experience with our Deli in Canal Park and our Catering Department, throwing parties in the height of summer, supplying platters for gatherings and bringing sandwiches to the hungry office workers.
On May 2nd and on, we are looking forward to supply snacks, sandwiches and platters for any occasion regardless of size.
We are saying YES!
Yes, we will deliver you a sandwich in the middle of the week.
Yes, we will deliver you groceries.
Yes, you can finally enjoy some deck-side pick-up on your way to the beach.
Are you ready?

And with this new expansion of our Catering and Delivery Department, we are happy to announce new platters, a new upcoming Catering Menu, and new specials.
Our NEW Catering Menu, will be available starting on May 2nd. So, we just wanted to tease you a little. Just like Spring.

But before Summer warms the sand and the patios, we have to honor and congratulate all of the hardworking students. So for all those years of late nights, early mornings, and sleepless weekends, we are offering a Graduation Special. This Graduation Special includes a little bit of what we are the most proud of.
A delightful party-pleaser All Season Fillet Platter, rolled-up  decadent Smoked Berkshire Pork Loin, and creamy, herby Hausmade Boursin Cheese platter with a cracker basket.

Our Graduation Special can be picked up in our Canal Park Store or delivered to a home or party near you. Give us a 24 hour notice and we will create some stellar delights!
Give us a call (218) 724-7307 or place an order via catering@nwsmokehaus.com, Miss Fuhs will be delighted to help you!