THE EATBEAT: There is a lot to like at Del’s RestaurantIt’s going on five years since Del Kresl sold the little cafe bearing his name in the Grand Cities Mall. The new owners who have taken hold and made improvements are sisters, Laura and Rebecca Hanson. This is one of those places where you can eat breakfast any time of day.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
It’s going on five years since Del Kresl sold the little cafe bearing his name in the Grand Cities Mall. The new owners who have taken hold and made improvements are sisters, Laura and Rebecca Hanson.
This is one of those places where you can eat breakfast any time of day. And that was my choice on a recent afternoon. I found two eggs scrambled, an English muffin and Canadian bacon an adequate combination.
Del’s is the kind of place where you choose your comfort zone. There are three sections to the cafe and two doors — both near K-Mart in the mall. There are booths and tables, but I tend to choose the section near the south door where you can look into the wide window and watch the cooks at work in the kitchen. Usually, you find a copy of the Herald, so you can read that. Del used to be around chit-chatting with customers, but he moved to the West Coast when he sold the restaurant.
I thought about Del as I ate my eggs. The new owners have gradually made changes, but the place is much the same. Now, there is a larger window to the kitchen. There is new carpeting. The present owners are developing a little gift shop in the cafe. They are calling it Edna May after their two grandmothers.
They have added some pleasant touches, such as the soup tureens in plain view. And it is the soup that draws customers back. One customer insisted chicken dumpling is the best.
For a couple of years, Del’s has been a winner in the Herald’s best hamburger contest. So in the interest of research, I stopped by a second time and ordered a deluxe burger with lettuce, tomato and “mayo” for $3.49. The basic burger is listed at $2.49.
The burgers are good. Better than many. The side of coleslaw I ordered was about the best I have eaten. I thought it a tad pricey at $2.59 for a very small serving.
But then, I tend to be conservative.
I was amused to see that Del’s creation — the Winnipeg Gas Station Special – is still on the menu. This is a toasted triple decker sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato, fried egg, baked ham and American cheese ($8.19).
The restaurant has always been creative. It used to feature lutefisk on Mondays in December. Now with the high cost of foods, it may be in jeopardy. And then, Christmas is a long way off.
The strength of Del’s is that it is a unique place. There is a lot to like. There are some minuses. The quality of the flatware is a distraction and the napkins are thin. I noticed I wasn’t the only one asking for another.
Grand Cities Mall, Grand Forks
Hours: Opens 7:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday, 8:45 a.m. Sunday; closes 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday.
Seating capacity: 130.
Telephone: (701) 772-3311.
Pay: Cash, local checks only.
Owner-operators: Laura and Rebecca Hanson.
Report card: Basic food served in well organized, pleasant surroundings. Prices are midrange and like everywhere else, creeping up. Service is good. Homemade soups win approval at mid-day and pie gets the nod during afternoon.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.