Jake’s one of those people to whom strangers spontaneously share their life stories. I don’t know if it’s his energy or open face. On the other hand, strangers never unload their life’s stories on me I’m kind of OK with that. As a woman, I’ve had enough creepy encounters just trying to go about my day-to-day business. Therefore, I try to employ an effective “fork off face” running errands or walking through the skyways (expressed in the style of Eleanor Shellstrop).
At Hoops Brewing, we learned that once Jake gets a few drinks in him, he becomes extremely passionate about the sport of ice dancing. Jake waxed and waned about his thoughts on the sport and theories about how the judges were dishing out scores as we watched the Olympics on the televisions above the bar.
The man sitting next to him didn’t find it as fascinating (or, maybe he simply didn’t like him). When the man’s friends arrived at the bar, Jake offered to switch seats with the man so they could all sit together. His offer was met with such a disdainful, snarky response, that he was stunned. Finally, he was finally out of words. About ice dancing, at least. . . for the next 10 minutes.
We were preparing to grab dinner anyway, so it seemed like a good segue to leave.
Sure, we could have eaten at another local hot spot or classic Duluth restaurant in Canal Park like Fitgers. In the end, we decided that Chinese food just sounded really, really good.
Jake led the way to a Chinese restaurant he pulled up on his phone. We hustled across i-35 in sub-zero temperatures to a nondescript restaurant on Superior Street called Chinese Dragon.
First, ignore the Yelp reviews. We all know Yelp reviews are mostly bullshirt, anyway.
Arriving an hour before closing, we were some of the only diners. We listened as the phone rang and rang and watched the hostess/server and delivery driver complete a flurry of last-minute delivery orders.
We ordered kung pao beef (extra spicy) and cream cheese wontons to share. Soon, plump wontons arrived hot from the fryer with a big bowl of sweet and sour sauce. And then came a steaming platter of beef stir-fried with peanuts, vegetables, and a savory brown sauce with a decent kick. Everything tasted delicious. We dug in with gusto.
Olympic ice dancing played on a small television near the register. Jake and the woman operating the front-of-the-house engaged in a lively conversation about the sport.
And when all was said and done, she wished us well and said she hoped we’d come back again on our next trip to Duluth.
Jake shared his thoughts on ice dancing with our Lyft driver whose reaction ranged somewhere between that guy at the brewery and the woman at Chinese Dragon.
Sometimes you have to follow your stomachs and determine where your next good place is going to be.
108 E Superior St
Duluth, MN 55802
325 S Lake Ave
Duluth, MN 55802
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