THE EATBEAT: Broken Drum bursts onto Grand Forks food scene in a tasty fashionThere’s been a buzz about town about the food at the Broken Drum Bar and Grill. This modest-looking place across from Home of Economy on North Washington Street has been attracting more people. And they come, especially during the day, to eat rather than to drink.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
There’s been a buzz about town about the food at the Broken Drum Bar and Grill. This modest-looking place across from Home of Economy on North Washington Street has been attracting more people. And they come, especially during the day, to eat rather than to drink.
So, I seized an opportunity to have lunch there with Duaine Espegard (DE) just before Christmas.
We eyed the menu eagerly. Bring on the soup, we said. And we found the chicken with light, fluffy small dumplings top-rate. It is made, like all the other food, in the new kitchen at the Broken Drum by Deb Johnson.
Since others have extolled the burritos and since they were the Thursday special, we had to try them. They are big. To me, they seemed rather fluffy. And they are tasty.
And then, when our waitress, Shelley Leddige, described the Philly lavosh, DE and I nodded. Yep! Let’s try it.
Obviously, we over-ordered. But we were doing research for the Eatbeat, and we both took a box of leftovers to our respective homes for supper.
After that visit to the Broken Drum, I could see why Bob “Rubber” Nelson and others keep going back. Tomato soup at the Broken Drum is rich in flavor with that homemade quality you can’t get from a can.
Johnson, the chief cook, has been around Grand Forks kitchen working at Southgate, Al’s and other well-known eating places. Now, she is reveling in her work in a well-equipped, though small, kitchen she had a hand in creating. Her enthusiasm flows over to her cooking and her willingness to try things.
She moves to the music!
And then, she works for Jamie and Mike Spicer, who own the bar and come from a family of restaurant people. First, there was Cliff “Beaner” Spicer and his wife, Susie, long in the restaurant business and running trucking stops around here. Then there are Beaner’s brothers — Mark, Bruce and Brad — who run the restaurant at the Flying J travel center at the intersection of 32nd Avenue South and Interstate 29.
The place: Well, it’s hard to find. It’s a one-story building just across North Washington Steer or U.S. Highway 81. Instead of the low-slung ceiling and the fumes of cigarette smoke, you now find a lifted ceiling, clean air and fresh paint.
It’s basically a bar scene with beer signs. There are high tables and comfortable chairs along one side. There is a room with a big round table and smaller table. In other words, there’s a variety of seating. Some customers prefer the bar.
Would I go back? Well, yes, with people who are relaxed and people who like to eat. You don’t just pick around at the Broken Drum. You are likely to order a burger or a walleye strip basket.
This is a place where you also can find bull fries, a local delicacy that disappeared when the Bronze Boot, also on North Washington Street, closed last year.
Broken Drum Bar and Grill
1803 N. Washington St., Grand Forks
Owners: Jamie and Mike Spicer.
Chief cook: Debbie Johnson.
Food service: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Seating: 75 to 80.
Telephone for takeout: (701) 772-9271.
Report card: Wide range of foods springs forth from former rather-obscure Broken Drum Bar, which has added “and Grill” to its name. Head cook Deb Johnson is star of show with new kitchen she created. Soup, lavosh, burritos are excellent. Bull fries are available. Ambience is a relaxing bar scene now repainted and revamped. Prices are moderate.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or call (701) 772-1055.