It’s Monday evening in Hurley, WI. My snowmobile buddy Ranger Dave and I have spent the majority of the day exploring the numerous trails that snake through the Michigan countryside. The sights have been beautiful and the weather forecast calls for another 10 inches of snow this evening. Tomorrow looks like another day in paradise and we plan to venture up to a place called ‘Lake of the Clouds’. So much for tomorrow; for now we need food and cocktails.
We go to the front lobby of the hotel to look over some menus of local restaurants. The desk clerk tells us there are only three places open in town on a Monday evening so we decide on a place called the Iron Nugget on Silver St. The disclaimer on the menu states: “The Iron Nugget is located on famous Silver street and has been an attraction for locals and tourists for over 100 years. Hurley’s reputation for fun, food and entertainment is known throughout the world. In the early 1900’s the three worst place on earth were thought to be Hurley, Hayward and Hell with Hurley being the toughest of the lot.” Sounds like an invitation to dine to me.
We sit down at the bar and order a couple of manhattans and take a look at the menu. They offer a diverse selection of food ranging from sandwiches to steaks; however, the homemade Gnocchi with Italian Sausage and Red Sauce catches my eye. Our bartender also tells me they make their own Italian Sausage. I am convinced and order the Gnocchi. Ranger Dave on the other hand is looking at the Wings again and decides to order a dozen with the Classic Buffalo Sauce – he is told this is as hot as it gets, he also orders a side dish of Jalapeños just in case he needs more heat.
I ask the bartender if I can smoke a cigar and he tells me it is OK so I light up one of my Cubans a Monticristo. The smell is wonderful, the taste is creamy – life is once again as it should be.
My dinner starts with some kind of Soup – one spoonful is enough. We will call it mystery soup. The Chopped Salad arrives with Blue Cheese Dressing. The
salad is ice cold, crisp and very generous in size. The Gnocchi is served and appears to be enough to serve a small army of Italian troopers. For those who are not familiar with Gnocchi – in Italian the word means lump or knot and it is a dumpling usually made from potatoes although many other items may be substituted. It usually has ridges that allow the sauce to stick to the dumpling. Florence is considered to be the home of Gnocchi and I must admit that is where the Little Marinara and I have had some heavenly Gnocchi. Priests have been known to choke to death from eating these delectable tidbits too fast. Anyway, the Nuggets Gnocchi was not too bad, the sauce was tasty and the sausage was very good although I thought it was a bit over cooked.
Ranger Dave is enjoying some delicious Wings; he said they were spicy, tender and succulent. He also noted that the Classic Buffalo Sauce had a little bite to it. I would recommend the Iron Nugget for a casual dinner. The Big Ragu gives this a 3.5 outa 5.