Hogwarts, Austin, Duluth – what do these three places have in common? They’re all places I’ve been this summer, obviously! While the two-day Duluth trip was the least glamorous – I was on a trip for work – it also was home to the best new restaurant I’ve tried in ages.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Duluth, vegan food is not exactly what comes to mind. Flannel and strange vowel sounds, sure, but dairy-free delights? Not so much. And yet – just three blocks down the street from my hotel, nestled into a cozy corner, was the wonderful Pizza Lucé.
When I arrived in Duluth on Saturday evening, I was fairly hungry. I’d read about Pizza Lucé in the prep packet I got before leaving for my trip, so I asked the hotel desk clerk about it. He said that, due to the Tall Ships being in the harbor, Duluth was super touristy at the moment and that the restaurant would probably be crowded. But then he handed me a menu and clued me into the wonders of free delivery right to my hotel room. Umm… yes, please? Normally I love walking around new cities, but it was late, I was tired, and I had to get up at 5:00 the next morning.
Deciding on a dinner dish was painful – the menu clearly lists out all its vegan options, and they were plentiful! But finally I decided to honor the restaurant’s name and go with a pizza. I stepped out of my comfort zone and ordered the Lil Gracie: A vegetarian version of one of our most popular pizzas! Veggie sausage, phony pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives and mozzarella on red sauce. I ordered it with their house cheeze, Rinotta, a nutty blend of crumbly deliciousness. It did not disappoint. No, not at all.
Going out of my comfort zone? Best. idea. ever. This was seriously the best thing I’ve eaten in weeks and weeks. I’ve never been a fan of sausage, meatless or otherwise, but these sage-y, spicy, bites might’ve made me a convert. Heck, the entire pizza might’ve converted me to a meaty-pizza fan. Even the green olives – which I’ve traditionally shunned – worked in this flavor combination. Gah, I’m salivating just thinking about it.
Anyway – I also got dessert: Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – Granola and crisp rice peanut butter bars topped with chocolate. Dairy free. I’m not even gonna bother describing these – peanut butter and chocolate really doesn’t need an explanation. Yum. Here’s my entire dinner, complete with the awesome Pizza Lucé delivery bag.
In conclusion, if you ever have the chance to eat at Pizza Lucé, do not stop, do not pass Go, but just hightail it down there or pick up your phone and order the heck out of this place. You can thank me later.