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March 09, 2012

NORTH DAKOTA DINING BEAT

Long-awaited Olive Garden receives warm welcome

(Thanks to jon harris)

While you're in Grand Forks, do not miss lift station number 16.

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I had a friend from Marquette, MI, who greeted me once with the cheery note, "Hey! We're gettin' a Target!"

As Tony Shalhoub says in The Big Night, "You know what happens in that man's kitchen? RAAAAPE!"

Does Dave need a lift that badly? And that often?

The Lift Station is still bigger news than the Olive Garden. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

But it has a much worse menu.

After decades of wishing for a national-chain restaurant, the town we used to live in finally got a: McDonalds. Ta-DAA!
The parking lot was over run for weeks.
Our (then) high school aged daughter asked for some money to meet her friends at the place.
When I gave her $10, she said, "Daddy, I can't eat a meal at McDonalds for $10." She asked for $20.
Since she was a teenager, I conceded the point.
BTW, McDonalds is still the fanciest restaurant in town.

There's also a new Scottish restaurant called McDonald's

Everyone in my town, me included, got all excited last year when a new Dollar Tree opened. We have about 50 different places to eat at but very few places to shop. We get teary when we hear rumors that Target is coming to town. Unfortunately it's still just a rumor.

You were mentioned in a little story about this. Apparently she also has a lift station named after her. See http://www.twitlonger.com/show/gaf1i3

Ah, the Nodak Ambiance ... like nowhere else, really ... Marilyn is a nice lady, she interviewed me once ... "Reporter Emerita" is kinda her title now ... and, I'll attempt to get fotos of our gang @ Dave's Lift Station next time I'm in town ... but we prolly won't go to Olive Garden ... the kinfolk are always discoverin' "new" places to dine, and their list doesn't include "chain" outfits, no matter how nice or how highly recommended by Marilyn ... (who has discovered a lot of "gems on the prarie" in small towns in Nodak and northern Minnesnowta ...

Dollar Tree...Isn't that the place where you don't have to get all dressed up like when you're going to Wal-Mart?

Old Marilyn needs to get out more......perhaps out of Grand Forks even. The OLIVE GARDEN? I make better Italian food in my geezer bus kitchen.

Dollar Tree is what you pay after tax for a Niney-nine cent item at Rite Aid.

And just where in the Sunflake City is the Dave Barry Lift Station anyway?

o'b's' ... southerly area ... kinda off of South Belmont, IIRC, mebbe not too far frum Lincoln Park Golf Course? ... when I get there, I'll try to offer more comprehensive directional advice ...

Next week Marilyn will review the Grand Forks Denny's

Let's please not be dissin' older folks ... Marilyn is in her 80s, her husband, long-time editor of the Herald, passed away a number of years ago, and her "Eat Beat" column has run for prolly nigh on 40 years ... it's a very popular feature with the locals ... hicks tho we may be, we like it here ... tho it should be acknowledged that Olive Garden and its ilk actually DO represent "upscale" dining fer a lotta folks ...

(There ARE sum world-class food merchants in Nodak ... but one hasta know where to find 'em ... y'all stop by, I can point y'all in the correct direction ... )

I am a little concerned about having a restaurant review and lift station picture in the same blog. Hope there is no direct connection. OTU - spent a week in Bismark - actually had some good food. Nodaks are good folks.

Tnx, Eye' ... we like (well, hope) to think we're nicer here than "Minnesnowta Nice" ...

Didja get to try the grub @ The East 40? That's an "independent"/non-chain, and still around after nearly 40 years of others opening and closing ...

However, Peacock Alley, downtown, might be the best of the "upscale" types in BisMan ... a few new ones in the last few years, Fiesta Villa is whut one would expect, good-to-excellent -- but not as good as a Mom'n'Pop in AZ/NM ... The Blarney Stone is cool, and their bread pudding has made me a convert, tho I never liked it before ... yup, decent (and fattening) eats in Nodak ... but then I'm biased ... I've eaten in semi-fancy joints located in "urban" places ... not bad, but not any better than Nodak's Finest, IMH-BLC-O ...

EyeGore ... lemme know if y'all (or any others that frequent this venue) are gonna be in the neighborhood ... mebbe we can arrange a blogit meeting?

EG and O, I've also been to Bismarck (in the 80's) and had a very nice time. You're (not your) right, Nodaks are good folks.

Hmmmm ... the 80s ... where wuz I? OK ... that wuz durin' a "visiting" type mode ... chasin' state basketball tournaments, state speech contests, that sorta thing ... BisMan is a bit noisier now, but still would be the place of choice to which we'd move if we thot we needed to live in a "big" town ... but we don't, so we won't ... tho MB(RH?) werks there five days a week, so it's handy if we want sum "fine dining" ... which often includes an Irish Pub and Guinness ...

Guinness, yeah! The espresso of beer.

UPDATE: This story has "gone viral" accordin' to Nodak news outlets ... watched a feature on it a few minutes ago ... sed there've been (at the time) over 290,000 hits, so they did an interview with Marilyn ... (she's 85, been writin' for the Herald for "more than 50 years") and she sez she "doesn't get it" as to the reaction ... sed she did nuthin' she hasn't done on her "Eat Beat" column for ... well, ever ... also said she's lookin' to do the next story on a good burger place, then proceeded to name one (a chain) that she likes ... she ALSO mentioned a local GF restaurant that anybuddy would consider "upscale" by any standards, so she knows whereof she speaks ... and eats ...

Oh ho... Now " The Bowler " finally has some serious competition.

Are we thinkin' of the same "Bowler", clankie?

The one where my daughter got married is in Fargo ...

Here is the story O the U was talking about.

It's easy for we jaded types to look down on the Olive Gardens of the world but I think Marilyn coems across as a really nice person.

And besides, I've had a lot worse food than that.

Tnx, Jeff, fer postin' that ... it's a slightly more sophisticated version of the TV feature that ran last nite ... I guess I choose to identify with Marilyn becuz I'm well aware of our bucolic innocence out here in Nodak, and besides that, she's nearly of an age to have been a classmate of my Ma's ... not quite, but there is that "parental overtone" to her editorial persona ... and I've met her, and I went to college with the editor/publisher mentioned in that story ... got to know him better during my own 17 years in the newspaper bidness ... yes, we don't get a lot of "good" excitement out here on the prairie ... one SHOULD remember, however, that during the flood of '97 (Grand Forks version), that about half of all downtown businesses were either seriously damaged or entirely destroyed ... and this "new growth" is part of the renovation of a major Nodak community/ethos ...

and yep ... I also have had werse food ... OG is where we met our future daughter-in-law for the first time (Fargo version) ...

and I'll say that if the food snobs were to ever stoop to trying Sander's 1906, The Pastime, or a few others I could mention -- all Nodak eatieries -- they would have a huge surprise @ finding such quality in "the sticks" ... and mebbe a bit of egg on their collective faces ... sum of 'em seem to think they own the rights to a discriminating palate ... and hold pretensions of superiority becuz their domicile of choice simply has a larger population ...

enuf preachin' ... tnx again, Jeff ...

And unlike some Bloggers I know, including one with a Pulitzer, Hagerty has spent Mosquito Season in Grand Forks instead of just visiting in the cold season.

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