THE EATBEAT: Great buffet makes Italian Moon a landmark in Grand ForksThe Italian Moon seems to cater to a broad spectrum. The regulars come from from all walks of life and of all ages.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
The pizza tasted so good I planned on returning to the buffet table for more on a recent visit to the Italian Moon on South Washington Street.
But after eating all the other choices I made going through the first time, I decided against it. I had taken a dab of this and a dab of that, including sunflower seeds, black olives, ham, pickled beets. I had planned to try the chicken pot pie soup because it is a favorite.
But there is a limit to how much a person could — or should — eat. Some people can handle a lot. Others are moderate. And I notice that many of the customers at the Moon go back through the salad bar, where there are fresh slices of different pizzas available all the time.
A visit to a restaurant is more fun when you have a friendly server. And I enjoyed visiting with Jadeyn Kopping during a recent Saturday lunch at the Moon. She is a senior at Central High School and an experienced waitress who does her job well.
The Italian Moon is known for its pizza and pasta. But it also offers a wide variety, including Mexican dinners, burgers, pasta, wraps, salads and broasted chicken. The extensive menu also includes barbecued ribs, shrimp and Canadian walleye dinners.
On a second visit, I studied the burger and sub menu. I came up with a quarter-pound Moon Burger that came with a side for only $3.99. I chose a cup of noodle soup and found it top-rate. The burger was good and just the way I like it — unadorned except for mustard and pickles.
This was an excellent buy. I noticed the variety of burgers includes a half-pound Lotysz Burger (named after a former UND and pro football player) for $9.99. But then, it includes double bacon and double American cheese. It might be hard — if not impossible — to play football or even watch it after a hefty order like that.
The Moon seems to cater to a broad spectrum. The regulars come from from all walks of life and of all ages.
In the past couple of years, the Moon has taken on a different look with renovation done by Brad Towers in consultation with his friend, John Horpedahl. They created a north-woods flavor to the restaurant. There is a fireplace in the corner near the entry door. The light wood booths have half moons imprinted on them. The floor is a dark wood. In the evening with candlelight, there is a calm, restful ambience at the Moon.
The restaurant has a choice of booths and tables. There also is a meeting room where large groups can gather.
There are many pluses and a few minuses for every restaurant. The Moon is sometimes congested as customers coming and going are in the same area as those making selections along the food bar. It would be nice if there was some padding on the seats of the booths. And a heavier grade of knives, forks and spoons would be nice.
This is a restaurant that has withstood the test of time in Grand Forks. It was born in 1965 in the form of a little Italian restaurant by the late Keith Moon the owner. In 1974, the restaurant was sold to Ken Towers and the late Dave Rubin.
Reach Marilyn Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.