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Longtime Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and her review of Olive Garden going viral is the Herald's 2012 story of the year. Grand Forks Herald photo by John Stennes.

THE EATBEAT: Regulars have their favorites at Eagles Crest Grill

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accent Grand Forks, 58203
Grand Forks North Dakota 375 2nd Ave. N. 58203

Offering "food with a view," Eagles Crest Grill is located off Columbia Road south of the city. The view is King's Walk golf course.

It's a popular place for group luncheons and dinners. And its vast stone fireplace in the center of the high ceiling restaurant offers a warm welcome this time of year.

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On weekends, there are prime rib dinners ($19.99) that have become a draw. Those who frequent Eagles Crest often order the ribeye or sirloin steak dinners ($17.99). Pork loin ribs, walleye and chicken are popular choices. The $9.99 special shrimp dinner on Fridays brings customers in.

People who dine at King's Walk seem to have their own favorites. That's true, too, of lunch customers.

Sunday brunch usually draws a crowd from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Choices including scrambled eggs, pigs in a blanket, pastries, breakfast potatoes and eggs Benedict seem endless. There's also French toast, cream cheese blintz, ham, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, sausage links, caramel rolls and more. The crowning glory is the chocolate fountain on a table with fruits. It brings parents back with children who like to dip fruit or tiny donuts.

The brunch is $11.99, with coffee extra at $1.75. And there's a King's Kids menu with choices for children at $4.99.

My most frequent visits to Eagles Crest Grill have been for lunch with Liz Eggers' bridge group on Wednesdays. A big bowl of wild rice soup was warm and satisfying on a cold January day. The soup was thick, white and filling. Nicely flavored, it was a better choice than a beef stew that was too salty -- a common fault of restaurant soup. The lavosh is an excellent mid-day choice.

I was sitting recently at a table with Merle Ann Barr (MAB), Gerri Eck (GE) and Bonnie Jean Sobolik (BJS). We took note of the little buns freshly baked and served with soup. BJS gave a thumbs-up to the fruit that is served as a side with sandwiches. Last week, it included fresh blackberries.

With all of its positives, there are a few minuses. Sometimes, it's chilly sitting near the windows at King's Walk on a cold day. Service varies from so-so to the very good work done by Tina Tiseth, who has an amazing memory.

The women's restroom is attractive and clean but can be very cold. And coats hung right inside the entrance door could use a warm up before you leave.

Eagles Crest Grill

5301 S. Columbia Road

At King's Walk Golf Course

Café owner-manager: Paul Waind

Kitchen manager: Jeff Waind

Hours: Opens 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday for lunch; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch Sundays; opens 4 to 9 p.m., for dinner Monday through Thursday; and 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Saturday.

Reservations: (701) 787-3491.

Report card: Good food with a great golf course view. Eagles Crest with a party room is popular choice for groups as well as moderately priced dinner and most elaborate Sunday brunch in area. Owner-manager Paul Waind is long-time restaurateur in Grand Forks. He has moved along through changing times, starting as a partner in the Main Street restaurant here in 1978. He also operated Grama Butterwick's and Grand Forks Good Ribs before taking over the lease at Eagles Crest 11 years ago.

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or (701) 772-1055.

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