Where in Duluth did Jason Isbell get the 'best tater tots' of his life?

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DULUTH — Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, fresh from back-to-back sold out shows at the Palace Theater, left some people hungry for more after the Americana songwriter's show here Tuesday at Symphony Hall.

Namely, more information about the tots.

Isbell, during the part of the concert when a musicians talks about the city's beauty, told the audience about a peak potato experience he had earlier in the day. Christine Dean, the normally mild-mannered music director for The North 103.3 FM, used all-caps when she asked her Facebook friends afterward: "Where did (Isbell) get those tater tots he said were the best of his life?"

The mystery ruled the post-show buzz. Dean tried to get the answer on the spot, but her question, shouted from the venue's balcony didn't reach the stage, she said.

We dipped into Isbell's DMs on Instagram, the most active of his social media sites, where the private potato question sat unanswered — and probably will forever. We called Breanne Tepler of the popular local band Breanne Marie and the Front Porch Sinners, which played the pre-party at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. She didn't know, but she, too, wanted to know.

"I'm vegetarian and I break the rules on loaded tots," she said. "It's alright, it's Minnesota comfort food at it's best."

We tried the DECC's communication manager Lucie Amundsen, in case she had made the run to the restaurant or noticed a wrapper backstage or knew someone who might know something.

"I'm digging," she responded via text.

Then we pulled up menus, starting with restaurants in Canal Park, the downtown neighborhood where the band performed. Canal Park Brewing seemed a likely source, but they don't have tots on the menu. Grandma's would be the most poetic pick, (how very Duluth!), but they, too, were tot-free.

The answer came in an email from Isbell's tour company: Lyric Kitchen + Bar.

Isbell's shout-out from the stage didn't surprise the Superior Street restaurant's manager. Taylor Johnson referred to the tater tots as a special recipe. They are made in-house from scratch.

"People go nuts for it," she said. "They love it."

Johnson wasn't working on Tuesday night and didn't know if Isbell dined in or took his meal to go — though members of Three Dog Night had dined at the restaurant, just an elevator ride from the Holiday Inn, a few days earlier, she said. It's also undetermined whether Isbell opted for the tater tots alongside a burger, or ordered the loaded tots appetizer. The latter is "smothered with bacon and cheddar cheese, and topped with tomatoes, green onions and crema. Your taste buds will thank you," according to the menu.