THE EATBEAT: North Side Cafe is home-style cooking kind of placeThe tomato soup I ordered was good. It had that homemade quality with chunks of tomato in a milky base. The meatloaf sandwich was very large and a little too heavy on the salt.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
Mark Hall and Doug Norby were heading out of the North Side Cafe when I was going in — trying to decide where to sit. Doug only had coffee, but Mark had enjoyed a hot hamburger sandwich.
“This is a home-cooking place,” Doug said.
I noticed a sign, “We now have potato salad.”
Sherrie Brundell came along and said the North Side Cafe is her favorite place. She had just finished chicken strips and a baked potato.
People who eat at the cafe get to know waitresses Georgia, Kris, Barb and Lisa. They wear white short-sleeved blouses, and they work well together. They are used to serving coffee in the morning to a big round table at the rear of the restaurant. There, businessmen, patrol officers and farmers rotate in and out.
I sidled over toward the counter and looked at a promotion for the meatloaf dinner with a choice of potato for $8.25. Soup, salad or coleslaw came with it. Then, there was a promo for the hot meatloaf sandwich and one for egg salad on a croissant with french fries and a beverage for $6.95. Soup of the day was old-fashioned tomato.
So, I sat down at the counter beside Larry Sayre, who works at Lowe’s, and ordered the meatloaf sandwich and tomato soup.
Larry said he likes sitting at the counter because he gets served quickly and has extra time to get things done during his lunch hour.
He told me, along with others, that you get four strips of bacon with the breakfasts. He said, “You know the food is good here.”
He likes the Philadelphia steak sandwiches. “There are only a few places in town I would order them. I’ve always gotten good food here, and the help is so nice. They work like a well-oiled machine.”
The tomato soup I ordered was good. It had that homemade quality with chunks of tomato in a milky base. The meatloaf sandwich was very large and a little too heavy on the salt.
On a second visit, I was having a late lunch with professor Richard Aregood. That was my reward after talking about my recent viral experience to his writing classes at UND.
I ordered a hamburger and a diet cola, and the burger was all right. He ordered a club house sandwich that looked so good I was tempted to reach across the table to sample it. I made a mental note to go back another time for one.
We visited briefly with Hoa Rodriguez, the owner, who told us the restaurant will have been open five years at the end of May. She established the restaurant after working at two truck stop cafes here earlier.
And she has done well. She knows the business and surrounds herself with experienced people. They don’t come and go. One of her key employees is her best friend, Nga Arness, who is the kitchen manager.
Hoa is from Vietnam and came to the United States after marrying an U.S. serviceman. She serves some Asian foods including egg rolls and Chinese dumplings.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or call (701) 7721055.