THE EATBEAT: My (Italian) Moon adventureTilapia was the last thing on my mind when I stopped for lunch at the Italian Moon on a sunny day in May. I was aiming for the salad bar that is laden with choices including soups, pasta and pizza.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
Tilapia was the last thing on my mind when I stopped for lunch at the Italian Moon on a sunny day in May. I was aiming for the salad bar that is laden with choices including soups, pasta and pizza.
I found a booth near the window and a plate at the salad bar. There were two homemade soups and at least 27 choices of salad items. There was an array of pizza at the end of the line.
Along the way, I found the tilapia. I didn’t know what it was, but I took a small helping.
And it was excellent.
It had a light, nicely seasoned coating. Before I was finished with my Moon adventure, I went back for more, and usually, I avoid fish.
The “Moon” is in its 48th year in Grand Forks. It’s a place that has stood the test of time. For one thing, there is a lot of variety there. It’s kind of a low-key place where people feel comfortable. The prices are always competitive. In fact, there are so many special deals it would take a month of Sundays to figure them all out.
The Italian Moon started — by the late Keith Moon — on a small scale here in 1965. His pizza was a hit, and he sold the business after eight years to Ken Towers and the late Dave Rubin.
The Moon has seen changes through the years. For many, it was managed by Brad Towers, the son of Ken Towers. Now, it is being managed by Brent Moen and Chris Breiner. Brad Towers has moved on as manager of the two Wendy’s restaurants, also owned by Ken.
There is a north-woods decor in the Moon. Customers have their choice of tables or booths. Groups use the meeting room near the main dining area.
The restaurant itself is so close to busy South Washington Street that you feel next door to the stream of traffic if you sit near the east windows. I kind of like those booths. Usually, the service is good. I was more than pleased with the server, who went the extra mile to make sure I had everything I wanted — right down to the serving of soft ice cream that comes with the buffet.
The buffet, available every day, is 50 cents per year for children younger than 14. It’s $10.49 for adults with a 60-and-older senior cost of $9.49. A beverage is included.
If variety is the spice of life, you find plenty of spice at the Italian Moon. In some ways, it is confusing. In other ways, the menu offers different customers different choices. They range from appetizers, pizzas, salads and wraps, dinners, burgers and primo pastas.
If you can’t find what you like at the Moon, you probably aren’t hungry. It is a good place to take family groups because of the variety.
The Moon also runs a catering service, which is known as AI Cowboy Catering.
810 South Washington Street
Owners: Ken and Gloria Towers.
Managers: Chris Bremer, Brent Moen.
Hours: Opens daily at 11 a.m.; closes 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday, Saturday.
Telephone: (701) 772-7277.
Report card: Middle-of-the-road, homey style restaurant on busy South Washington Street. Prices are mid-range with various incentives and bargains. Kids 10 and younger eat free Sunday. Pizza and pasta are featured, but the menu includes everything from mini taco salads to full-blown chicken and barbecue rib dinners. Service is good.
Marilyn Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.