THE EATBEAT: Evergreen Eating Emporium touts upscale choicesWhat began as the Dynamite Drive-In during the late 1950s turned into an English style restaurant long-known as Evergreen Eating Emporium in Thief River Falls.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
What began as the Dynamite Drive-In during the late 1950s turned into an English style restaurant long-known as Evergreen Eating Emporium in Thief River Falls.
Over the years, on several occasions, I have felt “called” to this inviting English Tudor style restaurant at 700 Highway 32 South.
As I sat there with friends eating an Oriental Chicken Salad for lunch on a September day, I looked around the almost quaint restaurant. It is like a castle with a wide entry, a huge, welcoming fireplace. There are high backed wooden chairs and tables with seating for 70 on the main level and room for 50 on the loft. There also is a lower level that can accommodate 250.
This is an upscale restaurant where barbecued ribs, prime ribs and walleye are most popular dinner choices, according to Lisa Robson who owns and operates the restaurant. I liked the glass covering over the tablecloth and the cloth napkins and the goblets with ice water. The place is almost quaint.
Dinner choices include filet mignon, ribeye, prime rib and top sirloin in a price range from $15.95 to $25.95 for a 16-ounce serving of slow roasted, served to order prime rib. There are combination dinners of fish and seafood, pork entrees and chicken. And the menu designed for all ages includes choices for the lighter appetite. These include beef, liver and onions, barbecued ribs, mini shrimp and baked chicken.
My friends at lunch were Gladys Hallstrom, rural Thief River, and Donna Gillig and Sue Huus of Grand Forks. That is, GH, DG and SH.
The Oriental Chicken Salad ($8.50) was adequate and enhanced by the good quality of a warm breadstick. DG found the chicken salad with a tomato base was excellent with special bread.
A soup and salad bar is available for those who prefer the buffet. Soups on Sept. 16 were split pea, chicken dumpling and French onion.
Lisa Robson is the owner and operator of Evergreen Eatery Emporium. And since taking over for her mother, Jana Mattson, who was owner for 22 years, she has branched out. Along with the six people on the regular kitchen staff, she has a second crew that prepares food for DigiKey workers at the nearby plant and for the Arctic Cat crews in Thief River Falls.
The food is delivered to the two large businesses Monday through Friday. The mid-day food choices include a full hot meal with meat, potatoes, vegetables as well as a salad bar. The food selected is weighed on the plate. The cost usually is in the $4 to $6 price range.
The restaurant also delivers breakfast for DigiKey workers with choices of rolls and muffins.
Lisa Robson rests only on Sundays. The remainder of the week she is running from the kitchen and helping out with deliveries. She says her work is her passion. A passion that built up more than 20 years while her mother was running the restaurant.
She believes in starting out with butter and cream. And she says, “My Grandma taught me that.”
Evergreen Eating Emporium
700 Highway 32 S., Thief River Falls
Owner-operator: Lisa Robson.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
Reservations: (218) 681-3138.
Signature dinner item: Prime rib, 12-ounce, $21.95.
Report card: An upscale restaurant with wide range of choices and prices for lunch or dinner. Service is good. Beer, wine and alcoholic beverages available. The ladies room gets a C. The chocolate stick that comes with the check is worth an A.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or (701) 772-1055.