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Marilyn Hagerty: Always an adventure at the museum cafe

Heather Schneider likes to deal with seasons and think of what people want to eat. She has been chef at the North Dakota Museum of Art for almost three years. And she says, "Maybe they like to lighten it up in January."...

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Heather Schneider likes to deal with seasons and think of what people want to eat. She has been chef at the North Dakota Museum of Art for almost three years. And she says, "Maybe they like to lighten it up in January."

Among sandwiches, she offers a soppressata salami and fig spread version with gorgonzola aioli, red onion, fresh tomatoes on a toasted baguette ($10). There's also a Museum Club and a Salmon BLT, both $10. There's soup and a brown rice bowl. And crème brulee, the traditional French custard with caramelized sugar topping.

As the chef, Schneider likes to have fun with specials at the Museum. And during the month of January, her thoughts center on the annual benefit dinner coming up Feb. 3.

Schneider started her work on the West Coast and continued it when she moved with her family to Grand Forks. She distinguished herself as soup master at the former Amazing Grains in downtown Grand Forks.

With her present staff, she will be preparing for more than 250 guests on the upper level of the museum. She will be working with sous chef Greg Jones and servers Kelly Kennedy and Erinn Jordan.

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The Museum Café itself is small. It's a few steps down from the entryway to a semi basement level. And it's unique. For me, it is always an interesting adventure to meet friends for lunch in the café browse around the North Dakota Museum of Art.

N.D. Museum of Art Café

261 Centennial Drive, UND campus

Reservations: (701) 777-4668

Executive chef: Heather Schneider

Hours: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday

Report card: Unique menu offers a break from same old, same old. Small café provides pleasant, quiet place for lunch. It's almost like a hide-a-way on the UND campus. An adjacent dining room accommodates small group luncheons.

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