THE EATBEAT: Hatton, N.D., cafe offers quick food in clean atmosphereIf you’re looking for a three course dinner with filet mignon or lobster tails, you won’t find it here. And you won’t find waiters in black suits.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
HATTON, N.D. — If you’re looking for a three course dinner with filet mignon or lobster tails, you won’t find it here. And you won’t find waiters in black suits.
What you will find in this town of about 700 people is the neatest, cleanest and most cleverly decorated little cafe in the area. It’s Double D’s, and it’s owned and operated by David and Dorothy Flaten.
She also operates a day care center in Hatton. Over the years, she has collected Coca-Cola memorabilia, and the cafe is loaded with bottles, signs, glasses — everything “Coke.” Even the salt and pepper shakers are fashioned after Coca-Cola bottles. And on one of the walls, there is a license plate that reads: COKECAR.
I visited Double D’s on a recent summer evening with Mary Glessner and Helen Daucsavage of Grand Forks. We picked up Mary’s mother, Mary Heskin, at her home in Hatton. We looked over the menu, which — like the cafe — is clean and uncluttered. It offers various burgers and sandwiches along with a chef salad.
This is not your predictable hot beef and mashed potatoes type of place. It instead is quick food: Burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches. There are shakes and sundaes. And you likely find homemade cookies on the counter. There was a choice of peanut butter, monster and sugar cookies — at 50 cents apiece.
Helen ordered fish and chips. So did Mary. Mary Glessner chose mini shrimp and found the serving “very generous.” And because I like the whole nine yards on a burger, I ordered the “North Dakota burger.” It came with mayo, Swiss cheese and bacon on Texas toast for $6.
Our food was basic and good. There were friendly people floating around the small cafe, which has been refurbished by David Flaten. He also was in the kitchen putting up the orders that came in from Samantha Janda, who is a student at Hatton-Eielson High School. She’s worked in the cafe for more than a year and was carefully, efficiently and calmly taking care of all the orders.
The large kitchen is wide open for customers to view. And it is reassuring to notice that it is bright and clean. A stop in the restroom after our meal was equally as impressive. This was the cleanest, nicest restroom you could find in a small-town cafe. And it is important when you come from a distance.
Hatton draws visitors from the area with its museum dedicated to Carl Ben Eielson, one of the greatest pilots in aviation history who died in 1929. Eielson is also memorialized at the city cemetery with an arch of copper supported by contributions of school children across North Dakota. And this summer, people are enjoying a new sitting park near the Eielson Museum.
Double D’s Diner
717 Railroad Ave. E., Hatton, N.D.
Owner-operators: David and Dorothy Flaten.
Telephone: (701) 569-1000.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sunday.
Report card: Clean, bright surroundings. Quick, basic food. Good service. Prices moderate.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.