THE EATBEAT: Deli draws more and more customers to Amazing GrainsIt didn’t take long for us to agree that we had come to the right place when we saw the soup kettle on and the home-baked buns and breads near the little deli corner at the rear of Amazing Grains Natural Food Market on Demers Avenue.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
The wind was up and the temperature was down when I met two of my neighbors for lunch downtown on a cold Monday in January.
It didn’t take long for us to agree that we had come to the right place when we saw the soup kettle on and the home-baked buns and breads near the little deli corner at the rear of Amazing Grains Natural Food Market on Demers Avenue.
Trudy Bergh and I tried the potato, leek and walnut soup and homemade buns on display for eating in or taking out. The soup was wholesome and good-tasting with a consistency not too thick and not too thin. And not loaded with salt. It was just right for a January day. My wheat bun was perfect with the soup.
Our third, Ginger Trzynka, chose a pastrami-sauerkraut-tomato sandwich on focaccia bread. The coffee pot was nearby.
And we agreed that at a place like this, you know what you are getting to eat. You pick it out. You wait on yourself and make out your own ticket on the pads on each of the tables.
At the counter, there was some inviting frittata Italian omelet made with local eggs, sun-dried tomato, shallots, zucchini, quark cheese, arugula and olive oil.
And Heather Schneider, who manages the deli at Amazing Grains, says there are different items every day. They include lasagna and pasta. Burritos are very popular with the downtown customers.
Prices are midrange. Soup is $4.25 a bowl and $2.50 a cup. You can find zucchini brownies for $1.75.
Along with the four tables in the deli area, there are three tables across the front of Amazing Grains where some customers prefer to linger. The kitchen is open, offering a clear, reassuring view of the orderly, compact area.
With an increase in business, the deli has grown in recent years to five fulltime employees including two bakers, two cooks and an attendant at the sandwich bar. Schneider thinks customers come because they discover the ingredients that are in the food as well as those that are not used. Not included, she says, is excessive corn syrup and sugar.
Schneider, who has been with the deli for four years, loves her association with suppliers. She proudly talks of local eggs and tomatoes that up until this month were grown right here.
“People love our hummus,” she said. “We have it in plastic containers along with salads in the cooler. You can take them home all ready to go.”
The crew takes reservations for monthly dinners at Amazing Grains. They are open to nonmembers as well as members of the co-op.
Heather exudes enthusiasm that seems to spread through the deli crew. She grew up in nearby Stephen, Minn., and has worked in various places in the United States and Europe. Always, she has managed to “wrangle her way” into the kitchen and learn more about cooking.
She is a young woman passionate about her work, and her attitude carries over. In the deli dining corner, there is orderly artwork by Pirjo Berg, which includes tiny vases that hold fresh-looking flowers on each table.
Amazing Grains Deli
214 Demers Ave., Grand Forks
Manager: Heather Schneider.
Hours: Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; limited hours Sunday.
Telephone: (701) 775-4542.
Report card: Good, wholesome breads and food come out of the compact kitchen at the rear of Amazing Grains in downtown Grand Forks. Customers count on homemade soups with healthful ingredients. Prices are moderate. One lunchtime visit leaves me wanting to go back — and soon.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 772-1055.