THE EATBEAT: Nordhem Restaurant serves Karlstad area wellSwedish pancakes and Hardanger sandwiches along with Asian salad are found on the menu of Nordhem Restaurant and Heritage Center on the main street of this northwest Minnesota city of 740 people.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
KARLSTAD, Minn. — Swedish pancakes and Hardanger sandwiches along with Asian salad are found on the menu of Nordhem Restaurant and Heritage Center on the main street of this northwest Minnesota city of 740 people.
If you can’t find anything you want to eat on the extensive menu, you probably aren’t hungry.
When I joined Leslie Wikstrom and his wife, Lucille, and Alicia Spilde at the Nordhem for lunch recently, I took one look at the menu and found it to be amazingly extensive for a small town. But then, it is the only major restaurant, and people tend to come here from miles around. Travelers stop on their way to and from Lake of the Woods.
It is a large, new, first-class restaurant on an up-and-coming Main Street of a town that seems to be on the move. And the Wikstrom family, which owns the restaurant, knows that a town without a restaurant is often down and out. The Nordhem is the only show in town, since a drive-in burned down last year.
The food is top-rate. It is prepared in a large new kitchen with state-of-the-art equipment by Pam Aagere, an excellent cook, and her right-hand assistant, Kay Wojciechowski, who does the baking. Kay makes sure there are fresh cookies, rolls and pastries on the counter. She turns out bread pudding that is a delicacy.
The Wikstroms were enjoying a beef dinner when I joined them. It looked so good that I asked for the same. The beef was so tender you could almost cut it with a fork. The flavor was there. The mashed potatoes were slightly on the watery side but good. The gravy was excellent. The corn that came on the plate had a fresh, firm quality. And there was a touch of cranberry to add interest.
The Nordhem is the place where people gather in the morning for coffee. It attracts customers who come from Canada. It is a very large facility with a banquet area. The dining area has booths and tables. Beyond, there is a museum being developed to preserve the history of this city.
The restaurant seems to be a communitywide endeavor. Women of Karlstad helped choose the blues, greens, burned orange colors that accent the light wood interior. And it is women from Wiktel Co. nearby who can come running in and help out in the restaurant when there is a rush. Both businesses have the same ownership.
The Nordhem menu begins with Swedish pancakes spread with lingonberry preserves and powdered sugar or strawberries and whipped cream. The breakfast menu is so complete it even includes Rusk. You can get one slice of the crusty brown toast for 35 cents or two for 70 cents.
There are entrees including pasta, chicken, steaks, seafood and walleye. There are quesadillas and appetizers. There’s a full page listing of soup, salad and sides as well as kids meal choices for $3.99. They include the usual choices and include buttered noodles with Parmesan cheese.
The restaurant seems to have something for every time of day. Beverages include lattes and fruit smoothies as well as mochas and chai teas.
Sunday is the busiest day at the Nordhem with breakfast and dinner specials — usually including Swedish meatballs. The Sunday breakfast buffet is $8.49 with a $4.25 rate for children.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.