Knowing Your Neighbors: Bucktales

A Mexican Resturant in Northern Wisconsin

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Northern Wisconsin isn’t known for its Mexican restaurants, but maybe it should be.

Bucktales Cantina and Bar offers a mix of authentic Mexican dishes and American comfort food favorites – you just have to drive through the woods to get there.

“I think a little bit of everything.  Not a lot of people like the real Mexican food, so I like to mix a little bit of both,” says Bucktales owner Dee Morales.

Morales loves to laugh and he loves to cook.

Originally from south-central Mexico, Morales moved to the Twin Cities about fifteen years ago.

“I worked in the restaurants, and also in different companies, part time,” he said.

But Dee wasn’t satisfied just working part time in the big city; he had other aspirations.

“I was just tired of working for someone else,” Morales said.  “And I always want to try to do my own thing.”

Now he owns Bucktales, a spot up in northern Wisconsin, serving up comfort food with a little Mexican flair.

Over the years, Morales has learned that his American customers have cravings for foods that aren’t always on the table in his home country.

“I do gyros, I do hamburgers, I’ll do Philly steaks, a little of everything,” he says.

But that doesn’t stop him from trying out traditional recipes even his friends and family back home would recognize, like carnitas or barbacoa.

“[Carnitas] is a roasted pork, marinated with green salsa, spices, and we put pico de gallo on top and rice and corn tortillas.  I would say it’s probably one of the most authentic Mexican plates.” Morales said.

Still, Dee Morales loves to please the locals with what he knows they love:

“Haha, well we’re in Wisconsin, so everybody loves the cheese!” he exclaims, with a huge grin.

Tucked away just outside Pattison State Park near the Town of Superior, Morales says Bucktales struggled when it first opened.

But perseverance paid off, and he thinks the food speaks for itself.

“I guess the best publicity you can have is the word of mouth, ya know?” Morales explains.  “It’s a lot of people talking about your food.  I get people from Duluth, from Cloquet, from the places way in the back.  It’s been good.”

More and more people are talking about the food, and the Mexican cook with a huge smile at Bucktales Cantina and Grill, out in the woods of northern Wisconsin.

Bucktales is located on South State Road 35 in the Town of Superior; just follow Tower Avenue all the way down until you’re almost at Pattison State Park.

They are closed Mondays.

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