Knotty Pine Bar and Grill lives up to its name in Elbow Lake, Minn.
The Knotty Pine Bar and Grill
Location:12 Central Avenue North, Elbow lake, Minn.
Hours:10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Monday through Sunday. Meals are served from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Customer favorite:The Knotty Pine Burger. Like a bacon cheeseburger but with thickly sliced smoked bacon and special cheese. The 1/3 pound burger comes with choice of "woodchips," French fries, sweet tater fries, sour cream and chive wedges, coleslaw or tater salad. All for $5.65.
Call them at:(218) 685-6162.
ELBOW LAKE, Minn. — Paul Reiland admits he doesn't cook at home, but get him in the kitchen of his Knotty Pine Bar and Grill and he can cook anything, as he puts it, "lickety split."
Reiland, who opened the restaurant in Elbow Lake Feb. 2, has created many of the bar and grill's recipes himself. Using his special seasonings and smoky Swiss cheese, Reiland has developed a crowd pleasing menu that has Grant County residents returning for more.
Just as the Knotty Pine Bar and Grill's name implies, the restaurant has an "up north" appeal. The name, The Knotty Pine, is one he borrowed from his wife's grandfather, Ed Kobe. Kobe, now 92, ran the Knotty Pine Liquor Store in Gilbert.
The name was a good fit for Reiland, who enjoys hunting and fishing, he said.
When Reiland and wife, Tracy, moved near Brandon, he asked Kobe if he could use the business name for a bait and convenience store he was opening. Kobe readily agreed. The first venture was The Knotty Pine Bait and Gas followed later by The Knotty Pine Grill.
He looked for a second restaurant and learned of a cafe closure in Elbow Lake. Reiland made an offer on the building and completed the purchase in October. After four months of preparation, Reiland opened the Knotty Pine Bar and Grill.
He's used the appeal of the businesses' name when developing his menu items. His burgers, for example, are the Backwoods Burger, Minnesota Burger, Knotty Pine Burger and the Barn Burner Burger.
Reiland's culinary touch creates delicious, tasty meals.
Each meal, from the burgers to sandwiches and evening dinners, offer a choice of "woodchips," French fries, sweet tater fries, sour cream'n chive wedges, coleslaw or tater salad. All burgers are made from one-third pound of meat and grilled.
A crowd-pleaser in Elbow Lake is the Knotty Pine Burger topped with thickly sliced hickory bacon, fried onion and smokey Swiss. From his Brandon grill, Reiland has brought the business' signature Brandon BLT burger. The patty is topped with bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. He heats things up with the Barn Burner burger topped with Cajun spice, peppers, hot sauce and hot cheddar.
Sandwiches range from the classic BLT, to a BLT grilled chicken. The prime rib melt is topped with fried onion, white cheddar cheese and horseradish cheese. He's also added an artichoke chicken sandwich that features marinated artichoke hearts and Swiss.
In the evening, Reiland offers lightly breaded broasted chicken, ale-battered and butterflied-breaded shrimp dishes, barbecue-style pork ribs and a six ounce flat iron and 12 ounce ribeye steak.
With a northwoods theme, how could he miss the camping favorite hot dog? But, as the menu states, "this ain't your ordinary hot dog." The dogs are a quarter pound. Besides a plain "big dog," Reiland serves the Elbow big dog with raw onion and relish and a chili big dog with chili, cheese and sour cream.
There are daily noon home cooked specials, kids offerings, salads and pizza and chicken to go.
He strives to offer quality food with quality service and affordable prices, Reiland said. Prices range from the $3.65 plain big dog to burgers and sandwiches in the $4.25 to $7 range and evening meals up to $11.95.
The Knotty Pine can seat up to 200 people and has meeting and special occasion rooms on the second floor.
Reiland's enthusiasm for the business is easy to spot. He greets customers with his ever present smile and stops to chat.
"I like the people relationships and I like small communities," he said. "When we looked at a second restaurant, I knew I didn't want it in a larger town. I just really like small towns. And I like to meet the people. It's what I really enjoy about my job."