THE EATBEAT: Free popcorn, much more at the Ground RoundTwo-for-one burgers on Tuesday evenings and free popcorn anytime are big draws for the Ground Round. It’s a Grill and Bar in a row of restaurants near Columbia Mall, and it seems to be thriving even with the arrival of new neighbors including the Olive Garden.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
Two-for-one burgers on Tuesday evenings and free popcorn anytime are big draws for the Ground Round.
It’s a Grill and Bar in a row of restaurants near Columbia Mall, and it seems to be thriving even with the arrival of new neighbors including the Olive Garden.
The restaurant goes through 800 pounds of popcorn a month to serve the traditional free servings.
The large and varied menu brings me back to the Ground Round. On recent visits, I have tried the cranberry walnut chicken salad ($9.99) and the jambalaya ($13.99).
The salad was delightful and served with a nice flatbread the Ground Round uses on many plates. The salad is made with chicken and a touch of bacon with the sharp taste of cranberries and the crunch of candied walnuts. With the greens, it adds up to a fine lunch.
On the other hand, I was disappointed in the jambalaya I ordered for dinner. I don’t know what came over me. I must have thought I was in New Orleans. For me, the food served on an attractive triangle plate was too hot, too spicy and just too much.
With friends, I go back from time to time to the Ground Round because it is convenient. Some of them go there especially for the soup. There is a large bar and grill with windows all around. There are television screens and specials during evening hours.
The other side of the Ground Round is a couple steps down into a dining room area with booths and tables. There is soft lighting from colorful lamps.
The Ground Round menu is extensive with Tex-Mex choices along with pasta, seafood, ribs and chicken and steak. The 14-ounce Angus ribeye is described as the signature steak and is $19.99.
Ground Round also offers healthy choice items — for less than 700 calories — which includes grilled salmon and tilapia. There’s also a chicken breast dinner, a turkey club wrap and a veggie burger, which are all $8.99.
Burgers are big at Ground Round with a dozen different versions on the menu. One is a tortilla burger described as the signature soup — turned burger with Cheddar, pepper jack, jalapenos and crunch tortilla strips. There’s also a small side of tortilla soup for dunking. All for $10.49.
The Ground Round has been in Grand Forks since 1985. It is one of four in a group of the independently owned restaurants in North Dakota.
Ground Round Grill & Bar
2800 32nd Avenue S.
Owner and Manager: Matt Walkowiak
Assistant manager: Danielle Hotvedt
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Seating capacity: 280 in dining room and lounge
Report card: Versatile offerings, midrange prices, inviting surroundings. A popular gathering place.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or by telephone at (701)772-1055.