THE EATBEAT: From Subway to HANA Japan, Columbia Mall offers varied choicesWe met at the counter of Forks and Spoons in Columbia Mall. I was on a mission to find out what foods are available in the major shopping center of Grand Forks. Dorothy Keyser, a professor of music at UND, was also waiting for service.
We met at the counter of Forks and Spoons in Columbia Mall.
I was on a mission to find out what foods are available in the major shopping center of Grand Forks. Dorothy Keyser, a professor of music at UND, was also waiting for service.
Then, she joined me as we ate lunch and assessed the eating opportunities in the mall. We agreed the choices are not like the Toasted Frog in downtown Grand Forks, but the food fills the bill, and the service is adequate.
You can find footlongs, fries laced with cheese and a wide assortment at this first stall in the lineup of four little shops at the dining area of Columbia Mall. My chicken enchilada soup ($2.99) went well with a garden salad ($2.99).
Day 2 in my research took me to HANA Japan where a friendly and energetic server offered a sample of chicken. And I ended up with tender teriyaki chicken and rice that was well done and a serving of vegetables — broccoli, celery, carrots — cooked just right.
Lacking in dexterity, I found the rice I was eating with a plastic fork flying off my plastic plate. But I persevered.
Day 3 in my Columbia Mall adventure took me to Subway, where I felt more at home. A Subway is pretty much a Subway wherever you go.
Unless you go regularly for Subway sandwiches, it takes a while to make all the decisions necessary to have your sandwich tailored to your individual tastes.
I was a bit slow: Yes, tomato. No, onion. Yes, cheese. Yes, meat. Oh what kind? Salami.
I asked the server named Tyler if he grows impatient with people who don’t make quick decisions. All he said was, “I don’t mind.”
The Lays chips I took with the six-inch Subway sandwich were a great, lower calorie side dish — and even better than regular potato chips. All in all, with a bottle of Dr. Pepper, this was a most satisfying lunch.
And on Day 4 of my journey through the eating facilities of the mall, I was at Magic ChopStix. It adjoins HANA Japan. There I picked up an order of Tokyo chicken, which had a pleasing sharp flavor. With it, I had an order of rice. And the steamed broccoli and celery looked so inviting I added that to my plate. I noticed they also serve sushi.
There are three different sized meals here, ranging from $4.68 to $5.68 and $6.68. The beverage is extra.
Along with the four venues in the huge dining area of the mall, shoppers find their way to Pretzel Maker at the center of the mall. My final stop on Day 4 was at Porpoura Coffee House where the staff awaited with a warm welcome. It was too late for coffee or lunch.
So, I succumbed to a serving of raspberry gelato — one of the best tasting treats around.
Porpoura caters to shoppers including those who come regularly to walk in the mall. It is a gathering place for many who feel at home in this cozy corner near J.C. Penney.
The food court at Columbia Mall has seating for as many at 416, according to Bill Reed, manager of the mall. The large dining area is attractively done in dry, stack-style low walls. Artwise has provided displays of children’s art that adds interest to the vast area.
The large dining space is equipped with wireless reception for the convenience of customers.
And there is an underlying excitement for the opening of Scheel’s within a year. It will be in an adjacent area to the mall originally occupied by Target. Lee says the Scheel’s complex will make more food offerings available including a Starbucks outlet.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 772-1055.