Editor’s Note: Lighthouse on Homestead is now closed.
Old Highway 61 has been nicknamed the “culinary highway” for more than the New Scenic Cafe and Nokomis. Although both are destination restaurants that can rival fine dining in Minneapolis / St. Paul, there are other culinary stops along the scenic drive that runs from Duluth to Two Harbors. The Great!Lakes Candy Kitchen, Emily’s Eatery, and Russ Kendall’s Smoke House make Knife River a needed stop and now the Lighthouse on Homestead is beginning to forge its way as a contributor to the “culinary highway.”
Three sisters and a daughter made a dream come alive in June 2007 when they opened a restaurant that looks like a lighthouse on the outside and feels like one inside. The walls are covered with pictures of Split Rock Lighthouse, the shores of Lake Superior, and rescue buoys. Everything on the walls was donated, along with the agates and fishing tackle that decorate the top of the bar — most of which they say came from their husbands’ tackle boxes. The decor is clean: themed and organized like a newer and less dusty version of the Anchor Bar in Superior.
The property where the Lighthouse on Homestead now stands used to be owned by the Stromberg family. The Lighthouse features a Stromberg family favorite called the Stromberg-er ($8.50), a “hand packed, flame broiled hamburger topped with zesty sauerkrauts and mild Swiss on a toasted bun.” Similar to a Reuben, the Stromberg-er comes with Thousand Island dressing; the overall package tastes sweet with a tangy kick and subtle spice. The burger earned 3rd place in 2008 and 1st place in 2009 at Fitger’s Grill Wars, making it this year’s Best Burger in the Northland.
The menu also features salads, sandwiches and fresh local fish. When in season, herring ($12), whitefish ($13) and trout ($14) are available. All hot sandwiches like the French Dip come with a side of homemade potato chips. The chips are thick and moist, and taste more like French fries than potato chips.
Claire Pierson, Lynne Compton, Brita Aug and Andrea Darsow (Lynne’s daughter) work in the restaurant daily, showing that it is not only family owned, but also family run. The food cannot compete with the artistic creations at the New Scenic Cafe or Nokomis, but for the Best Burger in Northland or homemade potato chips you have to go to one of the newest spots on the “culinary highway,” the Lighthouse on Homestead.
5730 Homestead Rd
Duluth, MN 55804
HOURS: Open 11am daily
OWNERS: Claire Pierson, Lynne Compton, Brita Aug, Andrea Darsow
ENTREE RANGE: Lunch $5-10, Dinner $9-20