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MARILYN HAGERTY: New book stirs old memories of Grand Forks eating places

Gone, but not forgotten. You can say that about The Windmill, the River Bend and the Royal Fork. Remembering restaurants that have come and gone around Grand Forks turned into a game recently for a group of friends over dinner. Jim Nostdahl took ...

Marilyn Hagerty
Longtime Herald columnist Marilyn Hagerty and her review of Olive Garden going viral is the Herald's 2012 story of the year. Grand Forks Herald photo by John Stennes.

Gone, but not forgotten.

You can say that about The Windmill, the River Bend and the Royal Fork.

Remembering restaurants that have come and gone around Grand Forks turned into a game recently for a group of friends over dinner. Jim Nostdahl took out his pen and made some notes.

The list isn't inclusive, but it has names of restaurants the group could remember. And since my book, "Grand Forks," inspired by chef and writer Anthony Bourdain, has been published, the topic of restaurants long gone keeps coming up.

Among restaurants that have faded away but are still remembered by the group at the dinner are Main Street, Steak and Stein, Speakeasy, The Beanery, Bonanza, Ponderosa, Shakey's, Boston's, Players, Village Inn, Highway Host, GF Goodribs, Shangri La, Dagwood's, Toppers, Golden Dragon and John Barleycorn. Also, Lola's, 42nd Street Eatery, DeMaggio's, International Restaurant, Applebee's of East Grand Forks, Country Kitchen, Big Al's (Now Al's Grill and Catering), Gas Light, Fire Island.

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Also, Grizzly's, Chi Chi's, Bronze Boot, Planet Pizza, Mi Mexico, Suite 49, Capone's, Golden Corral and Branigans.

They are gone. When the group got thinking about restaurants that have been around Greater Grand Forks for 25 years or more, they came up with a shorter list. It includes Italian Moon, Paradiso, Bonzer's, Mexican Village, Sanders 1907, Speedway, Whitey's, Del's, Mike's Pizza and Red Pepper.

Readers may have other recollections. For sure, many remember the Golden Hour downtown where Mrs. Oliver turned out wonderful halibut.

Changes in tastes and in eating out are shown in the restaurants that come and go. There are some around who remember the great food on the Point years ago.

When I recently asked a group of UND students about their favorite restaurants, I got a variety of replies. One said she likes the Amazing Grains deli downtown because of the organic/homemade food. She said, "It's awesome."

Another couple of students love Noodles and Company. One said, "The food is tasty and cheap." Texas Roadhouse was first choice of another. And a student likes Jimmy John's because he enjoys a good sandwich and thinks this place uses quality ingredients.

Other first choices of students were Qdoba, Mama Maria's, Applebee's, Parrots Cay, Mamma Maria's, Taco Bell... and the Olive Garden.

It was my review of the Olive Garden in March of 2012 somehow tickled the fancy of food bloggers and set off a flurry of what was reported as 1.3 million online hits.

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Although I didn't know what it meant then, I have learned what it means to go viral. Somehow the famed food writer Anthony Bourdain entered the fray and proposed publishing a string of Eatbeat reviews in a book called "Grand Forks." It is described as a history of American dining in 128 reviews. As an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, it is available at book stores now. The book was this past week chosen as one of 18 recommended as worth reading by the national Food Tank.

The book is available ($15) locally at Ferguson's where there has been a book signing. Another book signing is scheduled at 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at the UND Bookstore. A third local book signing will be held at the Herald, but no date has been set. Signings are being scheduled in Bismarck and Minot in October.

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

Related Topics: RESTAURANTS AND BARS
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