Episode 31: Gator’s Grilled Cheese Emporium, Author Aaron Brown


I attempted The Mutt, this gorgeous calorie tower they serve at Gator’s Grilled Cheese Emporium out in Ely, Minnesota. It got the best of me. I mean, I got through the sandwich … but the challenge also consists of three sides, and I didn’t have a prayer when it came time to try those. Photos of them are below. They’re not the dinky sides you might expect if you’ve been living in the Twin Cities for too long (photos are below).

On the bright side, they’re delicious — even if you have to save them for the next day! The Mutt is the most fun I’ve had eating a sandwich since Hugo’s.

The mastermind behind Gator’s menu, Vera Olson, sat down with me for a little bit afterward and I asked her how this thing came to be. I also asked her about life between seasons, as Ely braces for the summer tourist rush, and the Gator’s answer to Happy Meals! She also told me what some of her favorite foods are.

Aaron Brown, the columnist and author behind the blog, Minnesota Brown, has become .., really the leading voice of the Iron Range to those outside the area. I asked him about how he got there, and how he might treat the Range’s next big blogger. He explained how much of himself he lets into his work, and his wife’s recent decision to sell her blog, Northern Cheapskate.

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