While visiting beautiful Bemidji recently, my Entourage and I ate at two very distinctly different establishments.Â And the craziest part of it is that the restaurants are next door to each other.
The first place is pretty obvious.Â Some of you will remember my love of a joint called “Backyard BBQ.”Â This was my return trip there.Â In my mind I had spent about 14 waking hours and 9 sleeping hours thinking about BBBQ.Â I consider that time well-spent.Â Anyhow, BBBQ has the most authentic BBQ in this part of the world.Â And when you get within a block of the front door, you start to smell the smoked meat.Â (Note to self:Â smoked meat would make a nice perfume.)Â I ordered the Brisket (yes, I capitalized it, as I always do with important meats of the world) and macaroni and cheese and cornbread.Â I don’t think I have the vocabulary readily available to describe how tender and good that Brisket was.Â It somehow was even better than when I had it in the Summer.Â And my Entourage devoured their meals in similarly short-order.Â This place is a must on any trip to Bemidji.Â And I want to hear about it.Â It’s my happy place.
The second place is probably the best kept secret in Bemidji.Â It’s an Italian restaurant which goes by the name of “Tutto Bene,” which our waitress told us means “all is well” in Italian.Â I like that.Â Because the joint really has the feeling that all is well.Â It’s a classy yet unpretentious restaurant with awesome service and even better food.Â I usually order the lasagna, because that seems like the baseline for Italian dining.Â And it was really good.Â But I should have ordered the Three Cheese Ravioli as a member of the Entourage did.Â I got a taste of it and it was unreal. And I mean that in the good way.Â And of course, the bread was sensational as were the soups.Â I was shocked at how good Tutto Bene was.Â And the atmosphere was excellent.Â Another diamond in the rough in Bemidji.Â Not that Bemidji is “the rough.”Â It’s just a figure of speech.