THE EATBEAT: No short cuts in Stump Lake Cafe dishesA Stump Burger is a quarter pounder with three onion rings, Swiss cheese and barbecue sauce. And it has been selling well for $7.49 at the new Stump Lake Café and Bar in Nelson County.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
A Stump Burger is a quarter pounder with three onion rings, Swiss cheese and barbecue sauce. And it has been selling well for $7.49 at the new Stump Lake Café and Bar in Nelson County.
The lake is just south of Devils Lake and water from the swollen Devils Lake runs through Stump Lake on its way to the Cheyenne River.
Dwight Elfman, who with his wife Sandy manages the park, says the lake has gained 50 inches in the past dozen years and is one fifth the size of Devils Lake.
After a busy summer in the new 40 feet by 100 feet café and bar, the Elfmans are planning to keep the restaurant running on weekends through September and October.
Beyond that, there is ice fishing, and Elfman says that “has been crazy.”
The café draws people from area towns who serve themselves at a taco bar or order from the menu. There are German with sauerkraut ($7.25) and Humpty Dumpty burgers with bacon, over-easy egg and American cheese ($7.79) on the menu. And all the quarter pound burgers are served with freshly made French fries.
From Grand Forks, you reach Stump Lake Park by going west on U.S. Highway 2 about 60 miles to Lakota. Then south on Highway 1 for 6 miles.
My visit to the Stump Lake Café was with granddaughter Carrie Sandstrom (CS) and her UND roommate, Madison Sloan (MS), who has worked there during the summer.
MS said people come out to the café for ice cream. A lot of them go for the old fashioned malts, shakes and sundaes.
There are full dinners and sandwiches available from the sparkling new, spacious kitchen. When they make potato salad at Stump Lake, they boil the potatoes and eggs. No short cuts here.
There is a clean, open and camp-like feel to the restaurant. It seems to be a popular spot for people living within an hour’s driving distance. They order from the menu. Some go to the taco bar and serve themselves from the crockpot of meat. Then there is lettuce, salsa, cheese and sour cream nearby.
The cooks at the café are Carina Olson, Helga Johnson and Sandy Elfman. The restaurant is clean, spacious and inviting. It is painted attractively in light tones of brown. The women’s rest room rates an A for cleanliness. The adjacent bar is open for patrons who want a drink with their meals.
For many North Dakotans, Stump Lake is an old “stomping ground”. It’s a place where they would go for dances. Where big bands made appearances. It is a Nelson County Park with an old fashioned pavilion where people roller skate or dance. There are camping spots. And there is a historical Main Street USA village at the entry to the park. A threshing bee was planned for Labor Day with a dance in the pavilion.
Stump Lake Café
Nelson County Stump Lake Park
Dwight & Sandy Elfman, park managers
Telephone: 701-296-4474; cell 701-351-1560
Report card: The restaurant makes a visit to Stump Lake complete. It is large, new, clean and inviting. There is a friendly feel about the restaurant near fishing and recreation in Nelson County Park.
Reach Marilyn Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 701-772-1055.