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“Good food, friendly environment.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Trail Center Lodge

Trail Center Lodge
Ranked #4 of 34 Restaurants in Grand Marais
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $20
Cuisines: American, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Kids, Families with children, Special occasions, Large groups, Local cuisine, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Northfield, Minnesota
Level Contributor
57 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Good food, friendly environment.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

This is a rustic full service bar about 30 miles in from Grand Marais on the Gunflint Trail. The food is very good, the staff incredibly friendly despite being quite busy. The atmosphere is what I liked best--relaxed, efficient and companionable.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank ChelvisGeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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318 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    246
    56
    15
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great Food, Friendly Service”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 18, 2012

My fiance and I visited Trail Center Lodge about a week ago for dinner. We bellied up to the bar on stools carved from the trunks of trees and immediately had smiles on our faces. The interior of the place has a very "log cabin" feel to it and we both appreciated the Northwoods decor. It was Saturday night and we both decided to go with the special which was a Jack Daniels porterhouse (+ salad + potato). We used the mantra that "when in Rome, go with the special," but the menu was good sized so it wasn't an easy decision. The steaks were cooked perfectly to our respective temps of medium and medium rare and the glaze was a tasteful addition to the steak--not over powering but enough to give it a boost of flavor. We both have a love affair with Caesar salads as well, so prior to the meal we got 2 of them and they were fantastic. Paired with warm bread and butter, and a nice Great Lakes Pale Ale, the entire meal was more than we expected and therefore we were extremely pleased. The day before, we went to Trail Center and enjoyed a few beers after a long hike and an appetizer of mini tacos. The tacos were tasty and artfully presented. I give the chef props for taking a standard deep fried appetizer and presenting to look like more than that. As best I can tell, this may be 1 of 2 or 3 places on the Gunflint Trail you can actually sit down in a bar-like atmosphere on a lazy afternoon and rub elbows with the locals. An additional note is that the Lodge is also somewhat of specialty food and knick-knack store. They sell all kinds of local fare such as jellies, jams, and dried "camp" soups, veggies, etc. They've also got a pretty wide selection of souvenirs if you're into that kind of thing. The bottom line is that we will return, even if it takes us a couple of years to get back to the area. For the record, I am only giving it 4-stars because we've only had one dinner experience here and true to the star rating description, it was "very good." I would recommend Trail Center because of it's laid back Northwoods feel, its friendly staff, and its great food.

    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jonathon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
37 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Good steaks and malts”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2012

This is a Gunflint Trail must. First- my husband had a burger and fries with a malt and I had a steak dinner. Both were fabulous and both were smothered in grilled onions (by choice). Second- the ambiance is fabulous. Will try to attach a photo (if possible). Really- if you're on Gunflint Trail- you've GOT to eat here. The all you can eat fish and chips on Friday nights is a local favorite.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Marsha E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“One seasons end is another's beginning”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

My friend and I took a motorcycle trip to the Gun Flint the last weekend of September for the fall colors, and found a gold mine as far as food and conversation go. We spent only 2 1/2 days on the trail but ate every meal there. Its not in my penny pinching character to buy the nightly special for an average of $19 but when in rome... , and it was so worth it. I needed a wheel barrel to get back on the bike. Don't get me started on the morning coffee and gigantic Pancakes. On top of the meals some how they ordered up a round of Northern Lights for desert which were spectacular! Hope to make the trip again next year. Thanks Ladies

    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Stadiumpizza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
64 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Nice!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2012

Great food and atmosphere! My husband had a huge cheeseburger and fries. I had a huge salad with chicken strips on top. Really good and a lot of food, we couldn't eat it all. Prices were reasonable.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
Thank Valorie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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