Wednesday, October 01, 2008

GF Dining Thread #3

Time for that most favorite of threads...the dining thread.  After all, you guys just love your food and just love talking about the local restaurant scene, don't you?

There have been plenty of changes in the local dining scene lately.  Boston's is gone and the building will become a Space Aliens...is that a good trade?  Mama Maria's has left Grand Forks for the sunny pastures of East Grand Forks.  The Emerald Grill is history and the Royal Fork's future is questionable after the Fargo location closed.  Prices at local restaurants seem to be rising everyday...are you cutting back on dining out?  There are new restaurants, too.  Beyond Juice and the Pita Pit have set up shop at University Village.  Buffalo Wild Wings and Subway will soon break ground on new buildings adjacent to each other on 32nd Avenue South in front of Kohls.  The Firkin Pub is planning for a new location in Grand Forks' historic St. John's Block.  Have you heard of any other new restaurants coming to Grand Forks-East Grand Forks in the future?

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

Subway plans 3 more restaurants in Grand Forks. greenglass4

Matthew K. Hartman said...

I haven't heard of any, but darnit, GF desperately needs a Thai restaurant in town. I'm tired of driving to Fargo, every time I get the craving.

Anonymous said...

where exactly is that Firkin Pub going in relation to the other downtown bars?

Anonymous said...

where exactly is that Firkin Pub going in relation to the other downtown bars?

Anonymous said...

I would love to see an A&W come to Grand Forks.

Anonymous said...

I hear that The Olive Garden is quite good.

Anonymous said...

Saint John's Block is the building on the NE corner of 3rd and DeMers.

Plum said...

Sad to see Boston's leave for Space Aliens - can't we have both?

Boston's was always pretty busy when I went in there, and I had some very fun times at Crappy Beer Nights.

I would love to see some new/better ethnic resteraunts - Thai, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, real Italian (not over priced ragu, tyvm Giulliani's) etc. I get sick of the microwaved fare at most local places.

Plum said...

And - wtf with ANOTHER Subway? How many can one small town support? Is this some kind of market saturation research project?

Anonymous said...

everyone on this blog who is always calling for an ethnic restaurant...put your money where your mouth is and open one up. If the demand for one of these places is so high, your restaurant will be a huge success.

Goon said...

I am kind of sad that Boston's got closed down.

Anonymous said...

anon 08:47: we already have an A&W, it's just that parking sucks since it's on campus

Anonymous said...

I'm also sad to see Boston's go. And I would much rather have a Hu Hots over space aliens any day.

Anonymous said...

I've never had good service at Bostons. From the time it opened a few years ago. I would occasionally go back with friends, and it was always a disappointment. Mediocre menu, and less than acceptable wait service.

As my parent friend noted, Space Aliens will be great, kids get to play games, parents get to have a real bar to order from... and play games.

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Anonymous said...

We never had all this whining when GFKS had Phil and Lil's and Henry's Hamburgers.

Of course, the River Bend was there for great food and service, and even the Bronze Boot provided a decent dining experience.

And they say change is good.

Joe said...

Since we are talking about restaurants, I wanted to share my experience at Kon Nechi Wa's a couple weeks ago.

A group of 7 of us decided to go out for dinner at 6:30pm on a Thursday night. We walked in the door and no one greeted us for a good 5 minutes. I could already tell this was going to be a long night. We finally sat down at 6:45. Our drink/food order was at 7:15. Drinks finally arrived about 20mintues later. And food arrived at 8:05. We were all starving by the time the food came and we finshed just after 8:30.

It was a disaster to say the least. For the amount we paid, it was definately not worth it in regards to the food or obviously the service. Having only one waitress on a Thursday night seems crazy. Maybe someone called in sick or something, but it's still no excuse for the horrible service. I know the bad experiences seem to get told more than the good, but I couldn't believe how long we had to wait.
I know we had a 'large' group, but just after we sat down a couple was seated across the way and they were still there when we left at 8:30.

I don't think I'll be visiting again.

Jacko said...

Joe, I agree with you 100%. I was a customer there only once for lunch and although we spent a ton of money, I feel as of we did not get much! I know someone next will talk about the price of the transport of the fish. I do understand they have to fly the fresh fish in. But I was truly surprised at the size of the portions - the pieces of fish were ridiculously small. Besides that, even the soup was expensive (noodles and beef - no reason to have it that pricey for the soup). I am deeply dissapointed and will not be going back.

Goon said...

Joe how was the food?
I ate there once when it was at the Grand Cities Mall and I thought it was an ok place to eat...

Joe said...

I ordered cream cheese wontons and had the teryaki beef/noodle plate
($9.95). I love cream cheese wontons, but these were the ones you can get in the frozen food section and all you need to do is microwave them. They were dry and not much cream cheese. I wanted to order the pot stickers, but apparently they are ending that menu item.

The noodle plate was very bland and dry. I still don't know if it was because it sat in the heat lamps until the rest of the food was done or if it's just always that way. The teryaki beef pieces were VERY small. I scarfed it down because by that time I was starving. For a $10 plate you'd think it would come with a side of white rice.

Everyone else in my group seemed to like the food to some extent, but we were just too dissapointed about the horrible service.

I agree, there needs to be a Thai place in town. Who want's to go in with me?

Anonymous said...

Rhombus Guys and Toasted Frog are some of the finest recent additions to the GF scene. For a chain, TX Roadhouse is fine. I was never impressed with the service at Bostons, but believe the Space Aliens concept is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see some criticism (finally) for Kon Nechi Wa's. It is one of my least favorite restaurants ever and I have friends who are in love with it.

I've never had great service or a great meal for that matter. Even the ramen I'm sure is Maru-chan or prepackaged from the grocery store. I'm used to ordering a real bowl of ramen that's as big as your head with at least different noodles. The only thing I've ever had there that I really enjoyed have been the egg rolls.

I've had a number of dishes there. Yakisoba where the noodles were spaghetti noodles (even though you can at least BUY yakisoba noodles at Target) and sushi that just fell apart when you picked it up.

If you really want some decent Asian food in the area, I would get in your car and go to Fargo. At least two Thai restaurants (Thai Orchid and Leela) a Korean/Japanese restaurant (Yuki Hana. For the area, that place is really good), and Vietnamese (Jade Dragon on Main).

Anonymous said...

Just was at Space Aliens in Minot. Loud, obnoxious, frickin' giant TVs everywhere. Very good chicken sandwich, though. I'll miss Boston's.

Anonymous said...

Thai Orchid sucks balls. Its every bit as good as the old Hardee's building they're in would imply.

Elizabeth said...

I'm relatively new to the area, and I was very surprised to see how few restaurants are in Columbia Mall. It is a very nice, cozy food court, but it really could use some more options! I really don't have an idea about what should go in there...just something!

Anonymous said...

I for one like Space Aliens. I think the food is tasty. Don't go in expecting a quiet meal!

Matthew K. Hartman said...

Anon (9:15pm) - I don't know how many other Thai restaurants you've been to, but Thai Orchid is definitely reasonable for North Dakota. I've had far worse Thai food in restaurants in Chicago!

Anonymous said...

Ever since Marilyn Hagerty wrote that RAVE review about KFC in the Herald, I've been hoping they'd expand to more locations.

Having a local food critic with such great taste is quite a help!

Anonymous said...

I've eaten at a lot of different Thai places around the world, and Thai Orchid definitely wouldn't make a list of the best of them. It's okay, but maybe we should have higher standards than "reasonable for North Dakota".

Anonymous said...

I wish a Whitecastle would come to GF.

Or re-open Smokey's of Ardoch in town.

Anonymous said...

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There will be many fun direct sales and home based businesses there! For more information contact me at amber.sander@hotmail.com

Thank You!

Bubble Head said...

The best Thai food that I’ve had was in Hawaii the second best was in Thailand. I’ll have to check out the place in Fargo some day. I eat at Kon Nechi Wa's once and a while only had slow service once. I usually order the special (cheap eats). Anyone have any luck at the Phoenix? Been there a couple of times and had what I would call so-so food.

Anonymous said...

Thai food is complex in taste, but not difficult to prepare. I wish one of the local Chinese places would give it a shot...either as a special or menu section.

That way the blog stalker who keeps telling us to put our money where our mouths are wouldn't complain, because the local places wouldn't be changing theme or the entire menu...just a few items, so the risk would be minimal.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone have any luck at the Phoenix?"

One of the worst restaurants in town. Service was terrible and the food bordered on inedible. A few days later I was complaining about the fried rice tasting horrible and the person I was talking to said that's exactly what Shangri-La fried rice always was. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Also had Thai food while lived in Hawaii ! Seemed to be a lot of dogs and cats missing in same area !

Anonymous said...

I counted 31 drip buckets hanging from the ceiling at the bronze boot tonight. The ribs were awful too.

Anonymous said...

I counted 31 drip buckets hanging from the ceiling at the bronze boot tonight. The ribs were awful too.

Anonymous said...

What's a Holiday One Stop Shop? What businesses will be there?

M. said...

Pretty sure that TCBY and the Cookie store in Columbia Mall are closed for good. Today their lights were off and early this morning the mall security officers were hanging out around there. Their cash register is gone, along with all the ice cream and cookies. I called the mall office to ask if they were closed for the day or permanently and the woman working told me that they were closed and that's all she could say about it. She was quite evasive. It was weird.

Anonymous said...

I hope Space Aliens won't alter the exterior of Bostons. The Space Aliens in Fargo is one of the ugliest and most disgusting buildings in Fargo, and it has no relationship at all to the buildings around it.

Anonymous said...

Beyond Juice is now open!

Anonymous said...

Re: Mama Maria's has left Grand Forks for the sunny pastures of East Grand Forks

Do you mean retirement pastures?
I think that is the last place reastaurants go before closing.
If the food is good enough, they would prosper no matter where they are located...

Anonymous said...

Did the Columbia 4 dollar theater shut down?

m. said...

Yes, the Columbia 4 closed on Wednesday.

Anonymous said...

Where on campus is the A&W and can nonstudents eat there?

Anonymous said...

A&W is in the Memorial Union (2nd building west of the parking ramp) and, assuming you can find a place to park, it's open to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Why did the Columbia 4 shutdown? It looked like it was always packed after the $1 movie tickets... does anyone know? Probably sold the real estate to someone else? What a prime location.. in between the mall and 32nd Ave.

Anonymous said...

The Columbia 4 Theatre closed at the end of business on Thursday night. The owner of the building sold it. It all happened very quickly.

David said...

I really wish Kon Nechi Wa's would step up to the plate. I'm willing to chalk some early problems to 'inexperience', but when those problems (such as terrible service and terrible food and terrible ambiance) don't get addressed, there isn't really any way I can overlook it.

I'd LOVE to be able to go there for dinner! Until they get their act together, though, (and I don't think they will at this point) I just can't go back there.

Sausage Butts said...

It's only sunday morning and I already miss Giuseppes tastey, tastey red sauce

Anonymous said...

We're definetly in a "dining bubble". It's gonna be hell on the GF economy when it pops.

Anonymous said...

how do you build say an ethnic food restaurant business w/ high overhead, tight job market, and needing to attract a consistent clientele? not easy in grand forks.

maybe underground gourmet should come? where somebody i.e. an off duty chef - cooks a fantastic meal, announces it to the community - say spaghetti w/ a homemade ragu just like grandma used to make, lasagna, salads, etc. and diners chip in setting up/cleanup, etc. and somebody lends their house for the meal.

Anonymous said...

For whomever requested an A & W ---there is one, its located in the Union at UND...its very small, but the food is always fresh!

Olive Garden won't come to GF unless they get a buttload of people to request it: they have some rule about how far apart their stores need to be.

Space Aliens IS loud, but it's such a fun place to take kids and they have great food. I've been to Fargo's and Bismarcks, both were good.

THANK GOD BOSTONS IS CLOSING! Eaten there, worked there, hated both! They had a few good things on the menu, but it was the WORST run restaurant I've ever been in...what a joke.

Anonymous said...

anon 10:20am

A&W food is NEVER fresh, prbly one of the most disgusting fast food establishments in town imo

Joe E. Shark Sr. said...

Joey, Joey, fagetta bout it. He don't get it...

Anonymous said...

I guess someone isn't in on the Olive Garden joke......lol.

Anonymous said...

OK, I want an A&W that isn't located on campus. I am not a student, never was, and I have a 2 year old. I just really want a rootbeer float from A&W. I seen an A&W and KFC sharing a building in Bismarck, we should do that here. I also think the old Hardees on Washington would be a great place for an A&W or maybe along Gateway some place.

Anonymous said...

That's correct. The A&W concept has morphed from the carhop concept to traditional fast food establishments. They are also now frequently combined with a KFC. And yes, the floats are good.

Why not just buy some A&W root beer, ice cream, and make your own?

Anonymous said...

Overheard a convo of the Rhombus Guys owners the other day- not by choice but simply by the fact that they were speaking extemely loud at the "chain" restaurant I was in. Not impressed. Ripping apart all the restaurants in Grand Forks and talking as though they were God's gift to the world. Not only did they stop at that they tried to hire away the bartender at this establishment I was at which I think is disrepsectful( They wouldnt want someone to do that in their restaurant). Overall why don't some people understand that just because its a franchise restaurant doesn't mean some bigwig in New York or California owns it- ITS MOST LIKELY LOCALLY OWNED! And those are the restaurants that keep the economy going in Grand Forks. I love the mom and pop eateries and will always help to keep them in business, but those aren't the places that are keeping jobs or money in GF. Why are franchises so negatively received? Chances are the owners are people who live and work with you in the Grand Cities.

Back to my main point. Good food or not- I will not return to Rhombus Guys simply because the owners are disgusting and are not people I would like to support.

Anonymous said...

Is business at SlapShot Pizza or wherever you're from really that bad?

Anonymous said...

If I was from Slap Shot- which I am not I don't think I would write something about supporting chain restaurants- Last time I checked ITS not a chain

Anonymous said...

Re: 7:19 PM, October 07, 2008
I agree with you about the rhombus boys. They don't impress me at all. If they were so good, the wouldn't have had to close the TRF restaurant.

Anonymous said...

I ate at the TRF location. When I got my food, the waiter was too damn lazy to bring me silverware, and I was seated at the bar. I ordered the philly steak sandwhich. I was not surprised that they closed, it was the most disgusting philly steak sandwhich I had ever had and have no intentions of ever going to their resataurant in town here. By the way, the best philly steak sandwhich in town? Italian Moon hands down the best!! Rhombus boys should take lessons.

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Anonymous said...

Grand Forks could use some locally owned restaurants that are non franchised. I'm tired of going to restaurants that have ingredients that are not fresh, or too unhealthy. A lot of restaurants have everything deep or pan fried. No wonder USA suffers from obesity. Also I'd rather support our fellow community members than someone lives far from here and could really careless what we do or who we are. I say buy and support local!

health nut said...

Beyond Juice is local and has fresh ingredience, aimed at healthy eating. Sandwiches, Salads, and smoothies that contain all your nutrients for one day. They exceed limits set by american heart institue, cancer & chlorestorol association. USDA approved smoothies for meal & nutritional content. Not including extra's you can add to build your body, burn fat, help with hang overs, build immune system, allergys, etc...
They just OPENED and are located by the Ralph! Check them out - they are awesome.

Anonymous said...

I've had pretty good food at Kon-nechi-wa's but I have issues with the atmosphere. If you get a private room, it's cozy, it's great. If you don't you end up in a booth, by the soda fountain, watching Law and Order on a giant TV. Not a nice date.

Unreal news about Subway. Why won't they just please stop.

Dancinbackwards said...

Two Buffalo Wild Wings within miles of eachother in Grand Forks, ND?!

Boise, ID doesn't even have ONE yet! =(

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