The sermon at church was half over on a recent Sunday, and thoughts of an omelet kept creeping into my mind.

How good it would be to have a chef put an omelet together following my choices, I thought. So I headed over to the large Aaltos dining room at the CanadInn.

There I found sous chef John Cho on the job wearing a white uniform and a friendly smile. I moved along choosing cheese, ham, onion bits and tiny pieces of bacon. There are plenty of ingredients I enjoy in an omelet. But there is a limit.

I could tell the customer behind me was making other interesting choices.

With my omelet in hand, I knew that with some toast I had all I would want for this mid-day brunch. Still, I had to check out the myriad of food choices available for those choosing the full buffet.

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The signature Sunday brunch is served between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sundays. There are muffins, raisin bread, corn flakes. There is hot cereal. There are melon squares, cantaloupe, pineapple and cottage cheese.

I saw gourmet ice cream, lemonade and root beer. It was almost more than I could imagine.

However, the patrons of this large restaurant are varied. They include townspeople as well as families staying at the CanadInn.

The menu extends beyond griddle favorites served all day to include healthy start choices as well as burgers. There’s a new chicken and waffle sandwich. And for sharing, there’s poutine—golden fries with cheese curds and gravy.

Aaltos is one of several places for food service in the CanadInn. There is soft lighting here and hanging lamps. The booths are cushioned and comfortable.

Historical pictures add interest and extend throughout the hotel’s west entrance corridor – much like a museum. There, the CanadInn features views of Grand Forks.

Across the way from Aaltos, there is El Bistro in the CanadInn. Tavern United is located beyond Splashers of the South Seas water park.

Service in the Aaltos is supervised by Niall Davis, who is helpful and considerate. He pleasantly offered to bring me a lighter coffee when I told him mine was too strong.

Jeff Demarcke, who arrived recently to serve as general manager of the Grand Forks CanadInn, said there are 11 CanadInns including the one in Grand Forks. He said there are eight CanadInns in Winnipeg.

Aaltos is a large restaurant with soft lighting and a grand piano in the area near the entrance. It seems it would be more inviting with brighter lighting inside. Or a bright corner for coffee and pastries in the afternoon.


Aaltos Restaurant—CanadInn

1000 S. 42nd Street

Grand Forks

General manager: Jeff Demarcke

Reservations: 772-8404

Executive chef: Eric Roeder

Restaurant hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Seating: 120 to 140

Report card: A large and attractive, quiet restaurant with exceptionally wide choice of breakfast-brunch fare. Custom made omelets are featured.