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THE EATBEAT: Ground Round offers big burgers, healthful choices

Longtime Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and her review of Olive Garden going viral is the Herald's 2012 story of the year. Grand Forks Herald photo by John Stennes.

Ground Round Grill and Bar

2800 32nd Ave. S., Grand Forks

Owner: Matt Walkowiak.

Manager: Danielle Hotvedt.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. with 11 p.m. closing Sunday.

Seating in lounge, dining room: 260.

Signature items: Burgers and chicken tortilla soup.

Telephone: (701) 775-4646.

Report card: Reasonable prices, wide array of choices. Ground Round goes the extra mile to attract customers to inviting, informal atmosphere with easy parking all around and free popcorn.

As part of my ongoing search for the best hamburgers in Grand Forks, I made a late afternoon stop at the Ground Round.

There, I found the usual friendly welcome along with free popcorn. The welcome from waiter named Coltyn was warm. The popcorn was fresh but a tad too salty.

The menu is vast, but easy to follow. There's a nice array of appetizers that appeal to the people enjoying sports on screens all around. The salads are mostly healthful choices and mostly less than $10.

The burgers are served with lettuce, tomato, pickle and red onions. I ordered the Ground Rounder that was described "for smaller appetites" and found it about right. It was $6.99. It was PG. Pretty good. And plenty to eat, although a side comes with the burgers, and I asked for a lettuce salad.

Friends have been praising the chicken tortilla soup, which is served for $3.99 and $5.99 portions. It is a thick, hearty soup with a warm personality. My portion arrived piping hot. The salad served as a side to the burger was respectable.

The Ground Round attracts families in its dining area. And the lounge side of the restaurant is a mecca for those who spend more time with drinks and appetizers. There are happy-hour treats, and customers count on two-for-one burgers on Tuesdays.

The restaurant offers delivery from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. The menu features appetizers, salads, pasta and seafood. There is a section on Tex-Mex entrees and another on ribs and chicken as well as steak -- sirloin and ribeye.

Burgers range from the Ground Rounder through versions including a Patti-Melt and a Tortilla Burger. They continue on up to large $10.49 versions of BLT, Clubhouse, Tortilla and Bruschetta Burgers.

There is a Tex-Mex section as well as pasta dishes on the easy-to-read menu. And for those who are serious about New Year's resolutions for healthful eating, the Ground Round offers choices for less than 700 calories. They include grilled tilapia, salmon, salads, turkey and other fish dishes.

Usually, there is no room for desserts. But if there should be, I would be tempted by the Red Velvet Cake pictured on the menu.

Reach Hagerty at or at (701) 772-1055.