Soup tastes great year-round, but it really hits the spot in the cold months, especially here on the Whitefish Chain. That’s why we’re listing five of the locals’ favorite places to have homemade soup.
1) Timberjack Smokehouse
Every Thursday, Timberjack Smokehouse in Pequot Lakes has a soup buffet with a spread of seven (count ‘em, seven) different homemade soups. The buffet includes five soups that are there every week and two that change (locals hope to get there on a week when buffalo chicken soup is on the menu). The five standard soups include lobster bisque, chicken sausage gumbo, chili, chicken dumpling and the up north standard: chicken wild rice. Not only are the soups delicious, but the buffet includes several toppings to put on the soups, like cheese, sour cream, and green onions.
2) Antler’s Restaurant and Lounge
Though Antler’s is part of the Breezy Point Resort complex, it’s open to the public. Antler’s makes all its soups in house and, while all of them are great, has a fantastic French onion. It comes topped with the classic croutons (nice, big croutons that retain some crunch) and bubbly, melted cheese. Antler’s also has a Hungarian mushroom soup that’s a bestseller, and a sundried tomato basil that is delicious. Find Antler’s on County Road 11, just west of the stop sign in Breezy Point.
Rick Beyer, owner of the A-Pine, can’t pick a favorite among his restaurant’s long list of homemade soups. Located at the Jenkins stoplight, the A-Pine changes its soup menu monthly, but during each month it has a different soup for each day of the week. For example, every Monday for a month might be Vermont cheese soup, every Tuesday Reuben chowder, Wednesday might be BLT soup, and so on. And yes, all of those are homemade A-Pine soups.
The BLT soup, Beyer admitted, is one that people tend to raise their eyebrows at. After all, bacon, lettuce and tomato are not a combination generally heard of in soup. But give a guest a sample, he said, and they nearly always order a bowl. Some of the A-Pines other rotating soups include sauerkraut and smoked sausage, chicken dumpling, steakhouse sirloin vegetable, and stuffed green pepper. Weekends are usually saved for chicken wild rice, and homemade chili is available every day.
4) Maucieri’s Italian Bistro
Maucieri’s in Crosslake has two homemade soups consistently, and the third changes regularly. Its two standards are the onion soup- which is very popular- and the minestrone, an Italian favorite. The minestrone is described as an Italian vegetable stew, and Maucieri’s says it’s great on its own or, for a more substantial meal, it’s available over pasta. It has peppers, onions, green beans, carrots, and beef. Maucieri’s is located on County Road 3 in Crosslake, just south of town.
Bites in Pine River always has its chicken and wild rice soup as well as a Hungarian mushroom soup, which they say might be the best in the country. They’re known for the soup, which is made completely in house with lots of sliced mushrooms. In addition to those two soups, they also have a third soup that varies regularly with the “weekly whiteboard special,” a selection of specials (including a drink, sandwich, “bite” and several dinners) that changes weekly. Find Bites south of Pine River on the west side of Highway 371.
So once you hop off the snowmobile, the sledding tube or the skis, check out these or any of the area’s other great restaurants for a bowl of sustenance and warmth.