Not quite yet – but when May rolls around, the Speedway restaurant on North 42nd Street hopes to have tables for eating outdoors.
“It was our bread and butter last year,” says Kenny Rasmussen, who along with Trish Nostdahl manages the large restaurant. With its location on North 42nd Street, the restaurant is in an area where airplanes used to land years ago. Long before the present airport was established west of the city on Highway 2.
The large paved parking lot in front of the restaurant fills up regularly during lunch and dinner hours.
The menu -- all on one large plastic sheet – features burgers, baskets and sandwiches along with appetizers – including tidbits “when available.” Tidbits are breaded, deep fried sirloin tenders. There are 16 sandwich choices including a Haystack – described as a brisket topped with mozzarella cheese and deep fried hash browns. And it’s served with a Tiger sauce on the side.
Dinners are desired by customers who quite often fill the dining room – beyond the choice of booth an small tables. The dining choices range from chicken, shrimp and walleye to a 12-ounce New York Strip at $20.49. A 12-ounce prime rib steak is available after 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
All in all, the Speedway menu is easy to read. It has none of the excessive wordage and art that too often makes it difficult for diners to figure out.
Managers say the specialties are burgers and hand cut steaks. The average check at Speedway is $10.99.
There is a welcome stand in the entry to the restaurant where customers are given menus and guided to their choice of seating. The choice includes small tables and booths on an slightly higher level. The dining room is large and open – and often buzzing on weekend.
Eclectic décor – much of it relating to airport days – adds interest to the dining areas.
“College kids are the frosting on our cake,” said manager Rasmussen. Last year the seating was 6 feet apart because of the coronavirus threat. And it would be that way again, he said.
All in all, Speedway is a pleasant and versatile choice for a meal. There are many regular customers. For some, the bar area is a drawback, while it is a draw for others who seem to show up regularly. The area is set off from the regular dining tables and booths.
With its maximum seating, the Speedway is one of the largest area restaurants.
Speedway Grill and Bar
805 42nd St., N.
Hours: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday
Seating: 260 in booths, tables and dining room
Specialty: burgers, hand cut steaks
Report card: Varied choices on easy-to-read menu rate an A. Service is B plus. Good choice of seating.