Hugo >Carpenter's Steak House
Smokey. Place burned today. :(
Go eat some great history.
Carpenter's is old Minnesota. Forget the restaurants trying to look old; this IS old. I started eating there about 35 years ago, and little has changed. You can imagine this as a stop on the railroad, or on old highway 61 when it was a gravel road in the 20's. According to my dad, back then Duluth was five or six hours and at least one flat tire away. Hwy 61 was a dusty, slow drive as it wove back and forth across the railroad tracks every time a swamp got in the way.
Hugo was one of the earliest French-Canadian towns in Minnesota. The connection between Little Canada-Centerville-Hugo can be seen on a map, and lives on in surnames still found there, like Nadeau, LaBore, (LaBarre) Peltier, Auge (Auger) and others. Look how close the old buildings are to the roads in Hugo and Centerville- some have been there since the 1850's. Hugo was the other side of the tracks, with bootleggers and other such excitement beyond the summer residences in White Bear Lake.
The place is full of locals; the food has no pretense, but is always excellent. This is the way people used to eat. Great food, nice folks, a building that functions like it did 100 years ago. The adjoining bar is the same. Just go and watch the people and imagine yourself pulling up in a '37 Chevy. There might be a bit of Formica to mar the image, but not much change since the '70's. The steaks are always great. Before they widen the road, go and eat some great history!
V-Day Steak!. What a joint! Great service and awesome food. We ordered Chef Tony's Steak and the food was fast and excellent. I would definately recommend this place.
Step Back in Time. Once you walk into the place you feel you are moved back in time to the days of old Minnesota. The place has been there for over 100 years, and it shows. The food is great, steaks are excellent. The ambiance is cool, looks like a 1920's speakeasy. The Chef Tony special and the T-Bone are great.
Well worth the drive!. Carpenter's steak can't be beat. We had reservations, but didn't need them on a Tuesday night. It was empty when we arrived just after 5, but got very busy around 5:30. The Chef's Special was delicous, and the best value. Enough for two people! Get it on Tuesday for a great price. Don't be scared away by the dingy building, and worn out interior. The locals tend to be a bit annoying, with noisy kids and noisy friends, but the service is good, the food is top notch, and the prices can't be beat.
Surprise. Very casual dining. We showed up with reservations although they really weren't needed on a weekday. But they did get us our own private dining room which was nice because I took my boyfriend out on a date. We had the steak special. It happened to be buy one get the other one half off which was also very nice on my budget. The steak was good. The waitstaff excellent. Never had to ask for anything. He brought out all of the fixings for us.
Primo Steako!!!. This restaurant is not great on ambience. But, what it lacks in mood, it more than compensates for in taste. You must try the Chef Tony Special. If you are a steak lover, this is the BEST! So tender it melts in your mouth. Definitely worth the drive for steak enthusiasts.
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