THE EATBEAT: Try the hearty meatballs at AlbatrossA UND business graduate with a yen for his own place, Andrew Krauseneck earlier this year ventured into a combined golf simulator and restaurant business. He wants to make his place called Albatross a friendly center where people come to relax, practice their golf swings and also eat and drink.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
His mother says that when Andrew Krauseneck was a little boy he was selling rocks from the front of their house. He was always selling something.
Now a UND business graduate with a yen for his own place, Krauseneck earlier this year ventured into a combined golf simulator and restaurant business. He wants to make his place called Albatross a friendly center where people come to relax, practice their golf swings and also eat and drink.
In the past couple of weeks, he has been recreating the outdoor patio service that was available when the restaurant started as Suite 49.
Meatballs have been the mainstay of Albatross since it opened last winter. Krauseneck got the idea from a meatball restaurant he visited in Brooklyn. Now, the menu also features burgers, baskets and sandwiches. They are served with a flare. There is, for instance, a Black and Bleu Burger ($9.99) with bleu cheese and bacon and topped with lettuce, tomato and onion.
The meatballs come in several versions. Basically, it’s four meatballs that make up a half pound serving. I tried the classic beef with mashed potatoes on my first visit to Albatross. You get four meatballs for $6.99. I decided next time I will bring a friend to share the meal or ask for a takeout box. Or, I could order a single meatball ($2.99). They are good, large and basic meatballs. The kind you eat at home. The mashed potatoes I chose over spaghetti or stuffing were tasty and inviting with parsley on top.
But Albatross does not stop with ground beef meatballs. The menu offers turkey, barbecued pork and veggie meatballs on the menu. And there are several choices of sauce.
There’s no telling what the summer fare will include. Krauseneck was talking of fish tacos. French bread pizza has become one of the specialties at Albatross. An ultimate five cheese grilled sandwich was created with the help of customers.
Krauseneck is pleased with the demand for his house specialty dessert. It’s ice cream between two large chocolate chip cookies for $4. Customers who live in nearby apartments have been stopping in for this treat.
And it’s enough for two people. Something I should remember a second time around because I found out it really is too much for one person.
Krauseneck is an avid golfer and explains an Albatross is a double eagle. He is counting on golfers to keep coming in to use the two simulators at the bar and restaurant. While it’s in great demand on cold winter days, he is hoping it will hold its appeal on too hot summer days. He figures customers will keep coming in to test their skills. Maybe when it’s too dark. Or on rainy days.
He wants his restaurant to be a friendly gathering place — where people show up regularly rather than occasionally in large numbers before events at the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Albatross Sports Grill & Golf Club
2950 10th Avenue North, Grand Forks
Owner-operator: Andrew Krauseneck
Kitchen manager: Scott Waege
Hours: 11 a.m. to closing, 7 days a week
Telephone: (701) 330-5213
Report card: Beautiful, upscale building near Ralph with ample parking housing two PGA tour golf simulators, bar and large restaurant facility. Limited menu blossoming and growing. Prices upper-medium range. Service is friendly.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.