Grizzly’s is a twelve-location Minnesota restaurant chain – a few of them can be found in the neighboring states of Wisconsin and North Dakota. Even with its small size, they have the soul of a national chain, which is to say no soul at all. This location in Duluth’s Canal Park would seem to be ideal for them – Canal Park is well-dotted with restaurant chains as well as hotels filled with travelers who love to eat and drink at them. The evening we were there, however, did not bode well for them. Having walked over from packed and bustling Canal Park Brewing, we found Grizzly’s to be subdued and mostly empty.
Grizzly’s is subtitled Wood-Fired Grill, and that’s their self-claim to fame, particularly for what they call their Famous Wood-Roasted Chicken, which is cooked on rotisseries. Truth is, it’s pretty good chicken, at least with the original dry rub (it also comes in a “sweet & smoky BBQ” version). The chicken is very smoky, almost as if it’s been long-cooked in a true barbecue setup.
Sides were hit and miss: cheesy hash browns were super-salty, drippy slaw was forgettable, garlic mashed, however, were worthy, and garlic toast was fun to munch on. We really enjoyed the Wisconsin Cheese Curds appetizer. They seemed almost pan-fried, though we have to figure they were deep-fried, and the dipping sauce is spiked with, perhaps, chipotle. It had more than a touch of heat.
All-in-all, the food was OK but, seeing as how our thing is local character, of which Grizzly’s has almost none, we can’t recommend it. If somehow you find yourself in one, though, it is possible to eat well enough.310 South Lake Avenue Duluth MN 55802 218-464-4681 Grizzly’s Website Grizzly’s on Facebook