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THE EATBEAT: Touring Grand Forks’ fast food establishments

Breakfast burritos, gummy worms, grinders and a blue drink called Baha Blast: That’s what I found when making the rounds of four fast food places in Grand Forks. My companions were visiting twin granddaughters, Anna Werner (AW) and Mariah Werner (MW).

They are 15 and up to eating on the run — even though they enjoy the scrambled eggs, beef roasts and chicken dinners. That’s what they are used to on the cattle ranch where they live in Colorado.

  •  Taco Bell, 1301 S. Washington St., was easy to get into right after a noon rush. The girls ordered Crunch Wrap Supremes, which came to $5.78 for two. I had a Chicken Quesadilla for $3.29. Then there were drinks. MW ordered a Baha Blast that turned out to be blue. So I did, too. It was no surprise to her.

The taste was there. The food was good. The place is brightly decorated in orange and red. There are low tables, high tables. Take your choice.

I liked the fact there is an open view of the kitchen. The crew seems well organized.

  •  Red Pepper, 1011 University Ave., had a line of people stretching back to the door on a Saturday noon in late July. We had cheese tostados, beef tacos and soft drinks. The bill for three was around $17. It’s hard to keep track in a situation like that. We settled into one of the booths. AW and MW decided to add their names to the many already on the wall.

This is sort of a Grand Forks landmark where people like to stop when they come back or visit. The floor is red. The front door is yellow. There are Mexican wall hangings.

The place is unpretentious. But there are those in faraway places who sometimes get a hankering for grinders — a bit of everything — and have them shipped around the country from “The Pepper.” There’s a larger and newer version of the Red Pepper at 415 N. 42nd St. near the UND campus.

  •  Taco John’s, 2522 Gateway Dr. (one of two locations in Grand Forks), plays bouncy music and serves super Potato Oles. It is especially busy during the noon rush, with a mixture of customers — construction workers, tourist types and regulars. AW ordered super nachos and MW and I had Potato Oles. This place has meat and potato breakfast burritos. It’s one of more than 400 Taco Johns in the Midwest.

The crew of six, all wearing black hats, were moving nimbly in the open kitchen: taking orders, filling orders. You have to pay attention and listen carefully when they call your name to signify your order is ready.

  •  At Cherry Berry Frozen Yogurt, 3221 32nd Ave. S., Suite 800, you get a good sized cup, and you fill it with yogurt and you choice of about 20 toppings. Then you weigh it and pay.

The cost comes to 48 cents per ounce.

That’s how it goes at this popular self service yogurt bar nestled in a corner suite.

“Now don’t go wild,” I cautioned AW and MW as they set out on the adventure. At the weigh in, the bill came to $12.18 for the two of them. They chose chocolate yogurt, I think. Their cups were about two-thirds full of yogurt along with little turtles, tiny bubbles, gummy worms and even a frozen raspberry.

Reach Hagerty at or by telephone at 701-772-1055.