A sign that says ''Responsibility Road'' leads into the huge, orderly lunch room at Discovery School in Grand Forks. I recently joined second-graders from Megan Carlson's class. It was Friday, and they were serving turkey tidbits with mashed potatoes. I also picked up a slice of whole wheat bread along with some corn and a salad.
The wait was long. Maybe a half-hour. But it was on a rainy evening, and I had my mind made up. I wanted lobster. When I entered the Red Lobster with my daughter, Gail Hagerty (GH), we found a pleasant place to wait and watch the lobsters in the big tank. We actually got tired of watching since they were all cuddled up in a corner — not doing much. I learned later they are in a state of hibernation as they await selection.
KARLSTAD, Minn. — Very good food with a Swedish flair is served at the Nordhem Restaurant in this northern Minnesota town with a population of 769. Unlike most small-town cafes, this one is large and beautifully decorated in a Swedish theme.There are fine wooden booths and tables. The restaurant is rich with beautiful Scandinavian rosemaling and designs in tones of sage green, harvest gold and rose.
Die-hard sports fans head for the bar area of Buffalo Wild Wings. Casual patrons who like the burgers as well as the wings choose booths or tables. On a recent visit, I opted for the sunroom with windows along three sides. Because wasps had claimed the outdoor patio area, the customers were all inside on the last Sunday of August. This is the time of year when UND students also show up in droves.
"Step up. Step up," said a server at one of the three ordering stations inside Culver's the other day. "I can't," I said. "I haven't decided what I want." Culver's is one of those places with so many choices it is almost bewildering. It's comfortable to most customers who go there more often. Or maybe they are quicker at making up their minds.
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.