Artists’ Point and Angry Trout: Grand Marais

Artists’ Point is located near the downtown area by the coast guard station.

Going left entails navigating along the rocky coast. Going right takes you along along the narrow concrete breakwall to the lighthouse. One person could carefully walk past another, single file.

As we began walking down the breakwall, a middle-aged couple heading towards us nicely asked if we could back up to the entrance so the woman could pass. Of course we obliged as they explained she suffered from vertigo.

The couple suggested that we walk in the opposite direction along the rocks, raving about the view.

Jake and I are relatively agile; however, we felt apprehensive climbing around the rocks. There were spots where we had to jump over and straddle puddles, grab trees, and watch our footing. I’m not sure how the woman experiencing vertigo navigated to the end of the rocks.

You can usually spot the North House Folk School’s ship, the Hjørdis, somewhere along the horizon.

Right as Jake reached the very edge of the peninsula and outstretched his arms, we felt some drops. Surely, it was just spray from the lake.

No, it was rain.

We panicked at the thought of climbing back along the smooth rocks in the rain. I wondered if the waves would crawl farther towards us.

So we hustled back as quick as we could, jumping and climbing over the puddles and dips. I slammed my foot against a rock. Maybe our reaction was overblown, but I wasn’t about to find out.

The rain petered out as we walked to dinner at Angry Trout Cafe arriving just slightly wet. 

When you mention Grand Marais, people recommend the Angry Trout Cafe as frequently as the World’s Best Doughnuts.

In a very Minnesotan way their website explains, “Of course we aren’t angry and neither is our cafe.”

We assumed the restaurant would be slower on a Monday. As we approached the entrance, we passed by a small group chuckling about the long wait. They headed across the street to Harbor House Grille instead. This restaurant building looks like a home with an inviting front porch. Our wait was only about 15 minutes for a table for two. We watched more people inquire about the wait and then head across the street. I imagine Harbor House gets a lot of Angry Trout traffic.

On nice days, the restaurant can seat more parties outside on their deck overlooking the harbor.

I’m not able to find the year when Angry Trout opened, but from what I can gather, at least 20 years. The restaurant owners value sustainability efforts and source local foods like fresh Lake Superior fish.

The lunch menu offering more affordable options like sandwiches and fish/chicken baskets is offered all day. Dinner entrees run about $25-33 and include bread with butter (upon request), veggie packed salad with your choice of homemade dressings, and a side.

Our entrees also included fresh fruit and a dollop of creamy mashed squash.

The salad vegetables couldn’t have been fresher. Homemade dressings arrive in bottles so you can pour, mix, and match as you please. You’ll also receive a squirt bottle of dill sauce for the fish.

Jake ordered the grilled trout. I chose the fried lake whitefish. Both fishes were exceptionally cooked; the trout, moist and flavorful and the whitefish, crisp, clean, and oil-free.

Sides are also notable. The waffle fries looked pretty standard so we shared the wild rice pilaf (peas, wild mushrooms, cranberries &  toasted hazelnuts) and fettuccine with garlic, parsley, toasted hazelnuts and olive oil.

If I had to choose one side I’d lean towards the fettuccine. Even with fried fish. The chewy, silky pasta strands have the texture and chew of homemade pasta.

Everything meshed together well on the big, round plate.

We saved no room for dessert. I remember there was pie. This is the kind of meal I would eat often, if I could.

I turned around to snap a photo as we walked towards our hotel.

This is a Grand Marais blog now.

Things to Know:

  • If you have children, be careful climbing around Artists’ Point as you are on your own without supervision.
  • Angry Trout is open lunch & dinner, May-October
  • You can not make reservations, but can call ahead 15 minutes to ask them to add you to their waiting list.

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4 Comments

  1. I always think it’s a sign of a great eatery if the side dishes are prepared with as much care and thought as the entree.

  2. let me know when we build the coven in grand Marais.

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