THE EATBEAT: Blue Moose has something for almost everyoneThey were finishing up an order of Cowboy Nachos when I joined a jolly group of women at the Blue Moose on a recent warm summer evening. Talk and laughter is nonstop with this group of five UND professionals who enjoy the occasional dining-out experiences.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
They were finishing up an order of Cowboy Nachos when I joined a jolly group of women at the Blue Moose on a recent warm summer evening.
Talk and laughter is nonstop with this group of five UND professionals who enjoy the occasional dining-out experiences.
The tapas featured at the Blue Moose lend themselves well to gatherings such as this. You can make a meal of the various tapas or use them for snacking as your group gathers. The Cowboy Nachos are warm tortilla chips topped with fajita chicken, chipotle barbecue sauce, cojack cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and black olives. Oh, and a dab of sour cream.
Then, we got serious about the main course.
The Big Bopper Burger was the choice of Cara Halgren, who is dean of students at UND. The others — Melissa Gjellstad, Daniella Irle, Kristen Jezek and Deborah Worley — chose tapas small plates including the Flat Iron, a steak grilled to order with hand-mixed coffee rub. And it says on the menu it awakens the mouth with flavor.
That is the appeal of the Blue Moose menu. It is creative and colorful, inspired by Chef Nathan Sheppard, who recently became one of the owners.
I ordered the Thursday pasta specialty that was laced with chicken and served with a breadstick for $11. With it, you can order a side salad for $2.
The pasta was tasty and the serving was ample. As I looked around the table, I noticed the group had ordered a variety of items.
Our server, Allie, was knowledgeable about all of the food. She was attentive and helpful. She handled five diverse orders without missing a beat.
Along with its extensive menu, the Blue Moose has a wide choice of seating. It includes booths and tables inside as well as a “Back 40” lounge area featuring food with a list of 40 beers. The warm weather brings customers to the boardwalk, which is known as “Restaurant Row” in East Grand Forks. On summer days and evenings, customers seem to enjoy being outside.
Chef Sheppard considers boneless wings and spinach dip signature items. And he says the Blue Moose’s “good old” macaroni and cheese is a favorite year-round.
The Blue Moose was a good choice because it has something for almost everyone. You can order a New York strip steak for $22 or an 8-ounce flat iron steak for $15. There are salads, including the Blue Moose raspberry gorgonzola ($12) and Oriental chicken salad ($10). There were family groups and couples in the busy restaurant while we were eating. For regular customers, there is no problem ordering. For newcomers, the menu takes some study and some help from the server.
There is nothing shy or mundane about the menu. Someday, I am going to garner up the courage to order a P.B.E.B. Burger. That’s described as “a unique combination of burger smothered with peanut butter topped with bacon and a fried egg.” And the menu says, “It’s not just for breakfast.”
Blue Moose Bar and Grill
507 Second St. N.W., East Grand Forks
Owners: Dave Homstad, Greg Stennes, Lyle Gerszewski, Nate Sheppard and Pat Boppre.
Chef: Nate Sheppard.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Telephone: (218) 773-6516 (for group reservations or call-ahead seating).
Pay: Major credit cards accepted; no checks.
Report card: A moderately priced restaurant with a wildly creative menu. Seating is available inside and on the deck overlooking the Red River. Service is good. Not much waiting. Burgers, pasta, salads, steaks along with tapas can be found on menu. Moose Mud Pie is among the desserts.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or call (701) 772-1055.