The Dry Dock: Great views at a great price

July 12, 2016

 

Annie Walchuk
Zenith News

The Dry Dock, located at 2820 Midway Road in Duluth, has been delighting guests for 27 years. The original establishment seated only 77 people and was housed in the former Elde’s Supper Club on Old Highway 61. A boat dealership shared the same space, but without any nearby water, it became known as the “Dry Dock.”


The restaurant’s present location, overlooking the Grandview Golf Course, has a spacious dining room, tables covered in white, and a large, bright bar that serves fabulous Bloody Marys. The lower banquet room furnishes a fantastic view with its own private bar and stage.


The walls are covered in duck paintings and sailboats—even that sixth grade art project where you pound nails into a board and then wrap string around them. The anachronism holds a certain charm.


Breakfast starts with grilled Spam-n-Eggs served any style with toast. It doesn’t get more Minnesotan than that, yet few restaurants serve it.


The Bayou Breakfast is scrambled eggs with Andouille sausage, onions, green pepper, and pepper jack cheese. I tend to be skeptical of Minnesotans’ definition of “hot and spicy,” but this dish delivers enough to make you sweat.


The Campers Breakfast reminds me of sitting around a morning fire with a cast iron skillet filled with hash browns, onions, diced ham, and those nasty green peppers. Why is it always green peppers? If I had one piece of advice to offer to restaurants, it would be this: Please find another pepper. Green peppers are more affordable, but they’re too bitter.


The Fisherman’s Special features a walleye fillet (grilled or fried), with two eggs, hash browns and toast. The fish makes for a nice alternative to traditional bacon, sausage, or ham breakfast options.


Dry Dock offers omelets in standard favorites, such as ham and cheese, veggie, or meat lovers, but the Moonlight Omelet sounds awful and is unbelievably good. It might be described as a Reuben omelet, filled with corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, with a side of Thousand Island dressing and rye toast.


Breakfast prices range from $5.99 for egg dishes to $12.99 for the walleye, with most plates in the $7 range. The children’s menu offers one egg with hash browns and toast; French toast with bacon; or five silver-dollar pancakes, which are fun to look at but too massive for young kids to eat. At $3.99, items on the children’s menu might be shareable, and pancakes or French toast are only $2.99 à la carte.


Lunch items include basic burgers and a variety of sandwiches. The Pickled Crow is, fortunately, not. It’s ham, turkey and cheese, coated in graham cracker and deep-fried, with a sweet dipping sauce.


The dinner menu is filled with sirloins, fish, pasta, and mashed potatoes. Oysters are served eight on the half shell with cocktail sauce.


In short, the Dry Dock offers a great meal with a great view at a great price.

Annie Walchuk is a born and raised Duluthian whose thirst for adventure led her to writing. She is a cook and baker, who spent over 20 years as a restaurateur, including a stint at the Northern Grounds Café in Ely. She also oversaw operations for a catering company and bistro on the edge of the Boundary Waters.

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