Made-in-Minnesota Father’s Day gift ideas

Published 8:50 am Saturday, June 16, 2018

By Sara Porter

MPR News/90.1 FM

Don’t just get dad a new tie — express your Minnesota pride as well as your love for the father-figure in your life with a gift made right in your home state.

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Here are a few ideas for the upcoming celebration of all things paternal, all of them Minnesota-made and Minnesota-based.

The gift of a good fishing trip

If your dad likes fishing, as well as procrastinating, a fishing license might be a much-appreciated gift. As we mentioned in our Mother’s Day gift guide, you can buy a lifetime license as a gift through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website. It can get a little pricey and the processing period might mean it becomes a belated gift, but it’d be the last time your dad has to schlep out and fill in paperwork before going fishing.

Next, he’ll need some gear. Head over to Reeds Family Outdoor Outfitters. They have locations in Walker and Onamia, Minn., and take orders on their website. The business, founded in 1952, has an extensive offering of rods, reels and electronics to help up your dad’s fishing game. There will be a Father’s Day sale this weekend at their Walker location. They’re also holding test drives of their electronics so, if you don’t mind spoiling the surprise, bring dad with so he can try out his gift before you buy — you can make reservations via email.

The gift of good food

Minnesota has made several dishes famous — or at least we’d like to think so.

Take dad out on the town for one of these Minnesota-original meals.

• Walleye at the Tavern on Grand in St. Paul — Opened in 1990, this restaurant serves more walleye than any other in the country — that’s according to a public relations firm owner David Wildmo hired to find out.

• A Jucy Lucy or Juicy Lucy at Matt’s Bar or the 5-8 Club, respectively, in Minneapolis — Both restaurants claim to have created this ingenious fusion of cheese and meat and the conflicting stories have caused a rivalry between the eateries. But no matter who is right, your dad wins because you’ll have to try them both to pick a favorite!

• Tater tot hotdish — Is there any dish more Minnesotan than tater tot hotdish. Well, maybe lutefisk but this is supposed to be a present, remember? You can find it at a few restaurants around the state, or you can make one yourself. Check the web for a recipe that sounds to your liking, or take your tot game to the next level with these recipes from the Splendid Table.

The gift of a good drink

The microbrew industry is booming in Minnesota, so grab a growler of your dad’s favorite brew as a refreshing Father’s Day gift, or, try to find his new favorite by picking a variation on what he already likes.

Here’s a map of some of the breweries around the state — there are some distilleries in there too, just in case your dad is more of a cocktail guy.