Because it's quiet at midday and rather upscale, I enjoy occasional visits to the Boardwalk Bar & Grill in what I consider "restaurant row" in East Grand Forks. The Plain Jane Burger ($10) I had there recently convinced me I would go back and order the same. This is one of eight burgers on the menu. It's served open-faced with lettuce, tomato, mayo and onion. The beef seemed of good quality, and the portion was adequate.
While the menu is long and varied, a couple of recent visits to the Italian Moon convinced me that a trip through the bar with its salads, soup, chicken and pizza is what many of the customers order. Actually, it is an all-purpose food bar beginning with homemade soup. It continues with salad items — maybe too many. There is plenty of fried chicken and freshly baked pizza coming out of a well-staffed kitchen.
During the week, there are two or three regular coffee klatches at Grama Butterwick's family restaurant on South Washington Street. And the coffee I have had there in the past couple of weeks is some of the best. It's $1, and there are free refills. The locally owned restaurant, which closes at 4 p.m. during the week, seems to blossom on weekends. There are cars parked in front, on 14th Avenue South, and more cars all over the large, time-worn parking lot at the rear.
The mashed potatoes were covered with shiny, dark-brown gravy. The beef was lean and well-baked. The white bread was rather soggy, but it didn't matter because I just shoved it out of the way. Ordering a hot beef sandwich at Seasons Restaurant in East Grand Forks long had been on my mind. So, I drove across the Point Bridge and went east for a block on the approach to U.S. Highway 2. I suppose I could have chosen something from the salad bar to go with my meat and potatoes. Instead, I just ordered a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert.
BEMIDJI — The tranquil beauty on the north end of the lake at Ruttger's Birchmont Lodge and Garden Court Grill calls summer visitors. And the next time I have a chance to dine at Ruttger's, I will order St. Louis Ribs. Although I was very pleased with my 8-ounce salmon fillet, I was greatly impressed with the St. Louis pork ribs my grandson, James Hagerty (JH), ordered. The ribs were on the lean side with full flavor — just as promised on the menu. They are listed at $16 for a half rack and $21 for a full rack. Of course, JH ordered the full rack.
Raphael's Bakery & Cafe 319 Minnesota Ave., Bemidji • Telephone: (218) 444-BUNS. • Owner-operators: Brenda and Ray Sweeney. • Hours: 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday. • Seating: 85. • Average check: $7 or $8. • Report card: With its freshly baked bread, buns, rolls and pie, Raphael's Bakery Cafe is a gathering place in downtown Bemidji. Prices are moderate. Service is friendly.
LAKOTA, N.D — The creamy cabbage and ham soup was thick.The macaroni salad was just like people used to make at home.There is a Reuben sandwich on rye bread, and...
There are people who head for the Blue Moose regularly to order a P.B.E.P. Burger. That's a unique burger smothered with peanut butter and topped with bacon and a fried egg for $10. And that is not for me. I tend to look over the four-page menu — which is easy to follow— and at lunchtime often order the Oriental Chicken Salad for $11. The greens are topped with grilled chicken, chow mein noodles, celery and Mandarin oranges. It's served with a honey poppy seed dressing.
We started, as usual at a Mexican restaurant, with chips and guacamole when four of us gathered for lunch at Casa Mexico in East Grand Forks. Only this time it was different. The guacamole, which most often is just so-so, was exceptionally good. It had a sharp, pleasing taste and seemed to be freshly mixed. The restaurant has its own parking area in the shopping center near the East Grand Forks Hugo's market. The rush begins about 11:30 a.m. for lunch on a weekday.
Del's, Grand Cities Mall Owner-operators: Laura and Becky Hanson. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, including Sunday. Seating for 99 in three sections. Average tab: $7. Report card: Easily understood menu rates an A. Service is good. Food is basic. Roast beef, mashed potatoes, homemade pie. Ordinary food at favorable, moderate prices is what you find every day of the week at Del's Restaurant. It's a small, unpretentious place tucked in the corner of Grand Cities Mall near Kmart.