MARILYN HAGERTY: Final rites for Bronze Boot stir memoriesIn a way, it was like a funeral — the final rites — when the auction was held this past week at the Bronze Boot restaurant in Grand Forks. It was the finale for the supper club that opened here in 1954.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
In a way, it was like a funeral — the final rites — when the auction was held this past week at the Bronze Boot restaurant in Grand Forks.
It was the finale for the supper club that opened here in 1954. Other choices back then were the Dacotah and Ryan Hotel dining rooms. And Whitey’s of East Grand Forks, of course, because it continues as the granddaddy of all eating spots in Greater Grand Forks. It has survived since the days of the 1930s when East Grand Forks was a mecca for bars and nightclubs.
The passing of the Bronze Boot stirred memories of grand old cafes, now gone. In days of yore, the Golden Hour on Fourth Street was widely known for the “chicken halibut” that Catherine Oliver featured. She was a Lithuanian immigrant and an astute business woman, married to a UND professor.
The Golden Hour thrived. As the business grew, Mrs. Oliver took in Allan Meisner in 1947 and expanded into the catering business.
As the years went by, a party wasn’t complete in Grand Forks without Mrs. Oliver’s halibut.
For at least three decades, the Golden Hour thrived downtown. Those were the years of the lemon meringue pie at the Ryan Hotel and fine dining at the Hotel Dacotah.
Many in this area will long remember the steaks, the spinach salad and the good times at the Bronze Boot.
The elegant Sunday dinner menus from the Dacotah are found only in files of the Herald from 1913.
One hundred years ago, the Sunday dinner there was 75 cents. The menu started with consomme Neapolitan, sliced cucumbers, queen olives and young onions.
There was supreme fillet of sole, potatoes a la rietz. Also sweet breads a la financiere, stuffed pork chops German style and apricots a la conde.
Also featured: Cream de menthe punch.
There were prime ribs of native beef au natural and stuffed young turkey with cranberry sauce.
Then the menu listed mashed potatoes, potatoes in cream, fried parsnips and new buttered beets.
There was a demidoff salad.
In closing, the menu listed steamed fruit pudding with brandy sauce, lemon meringue pie, green apple pie, maple nut ice cream and assorted cake.
After dinner choices also included brick or edam cheese, golden grain flakes, layer raisins and after dinner mints.
It closed with coffee. And who knows — maybe a cigar.
In contrast to the elegant meals in days gone by, the Dakota Student at UND in 1977 ran a list of the 10 best meals to be found here for $2.
The students reported: Café in Miller’s market at 17th Street and Washington, the Chuck House in the Westward Ho, Mexican Village, East Side Dairy Queen, Phil and Lil’s, Happy Joe’s, the Beanery in South Forks Plaza and the Red Pepper.
The student who went to Whitey’s couldn’t figure out a meal for less than $2. So he spent $2.10 for asparagus tips on toast.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 772-1055.