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THE EATBEAT: Blue Moose gives creative variety of menu items

"You're a brave man," said the waitress behind the bar when my son, Bob, ordered a PBEB Burger. That is described on the menu at the Blue Moose as a unique combination of burger smothered with peanut butter and topped with bacon and a fried egg. ...

"You're a brave man," said the waitress behind the bar when my son, Bob, ordered a PBEB Burger. That is described on the menu at the Blue Moose as a unique combination of burger smothered with peanut butter and topped with bacon and a fried egg. All this for $10.

We found our way into the big, log style restaurant about 7 p.m. on a recent Saturday night. The north woods style place was alive with voices of people settled into practically all of the booths and tables. This casual restaurant seats 200 on the main floor, when you include the bar. That's where we ended up sitting, and we enjoyed the ringside view of all the action.

Before long in May, customers will be clamoring for seats on the balcony. The outdoor seating on "restaurant row" overlooks the Red River.

The place was alive on a recent April day. There was music. There were voices all around. I enjoyed watching Amanda Andre and Casey Morin who work as a team behind the bar.

They serve drinks. They serve food. They are quick. They are efficient.

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The PBEB Burger arrived in a reasonable time, about 15 to 20 minutes. And, though the combination sounds wild, it was well-received. The burger costs $10, and the menu says it's not just for breakfast. While Bob was enjoying the peanut butter on a burger, I tried not to look.

Instead, I focused my attention on my walleye sandwich, which was $13. It confirmed the Blue Moose claim of walleye as a signature item. The walleye was excellent inside a golden crust made from beer batter and served with my choice of sweet potato fries.

We enjoyed visiting with others at the bar.

The Moose dinner menu features unique choices such as Norwegian barbecued ribs glazed with a special homemade barbecue sauce. There's also a flat iron steak with a specially seasoned coffee rub.

The menu is a reflection of creativity on the part of Chef Nathan Sheppard. He has established a good reputation in the Greater Grand Forks area and presents a unique menu. Along with Patrick Boptre, the general manager, he is gradually taking over ownership in the establishment which is still headed by Dave Homstad. He is the long time operator of the restaurant with investors Greg Stennes and Lyle Gerzewski.

The Blue Moose opened in March 1994 across the street from Whitey's at 108 DeMers Avenue. After the Flood of 1997, it was moved to its present location on what is known as "Restaurant Row" in East Grand Forks.

Blue Moose Bar and Grill

East Grand Forks

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General manager: Patrick Boptre.

Chef: Nathan Sheppard.

Hours: Opens 11 a.m. daily; closes 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, midnight Friday and Saturday.

Phone: (218) 773-6516.

Report card: High marks, maybe an A, for a creative menu that is varied with a range of prices. It includes a tapas small plate menu. Service is good. At least a B. Community reviews online from TripAdvisor are 70 percent favorable and range from "great place" to "mediocre at best." Other comments: "Packed solid." "Nice view and "good food."

Reach Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or at (701) 772-1055.

Related Topics: FOOD
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