Get e-book Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews

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Filled with reviews of the mom-and-pop diners that eventually gave way to fast-food joints and the Norwegian specialties that finally faded away in the face of the Olive Garden's endless breadsticks, Grand Forks is more than just a loving look at the shifts in American dining in the last years of the twentieth century—it is also a surprisingly moving and hilarious portrait of the quintessential American town, one we all recognize in our hearts regardless of where we're from.

Marilyn Hagerty has been writing for the Grand Forks Herald since She currently writes five columns a week for the paper, including That Reminds Me for the Tuesday editorial page, Eatbeat for the Wednesday food page, and personal columns for Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

Cynthia Culver Prescott, University of North Dakota

She lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Skip to main content.

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Description Once upon a time, salad was iceberg lettuce with a few shredded carrots and a cucumber slice, if you were lucky. Create new account Request new password. When I saw a while back that many of her reviews had been published in a book, I knew I had to get it. No matter the restaurant, she writes about it seriously and with kindness. The reviews in the book range from I lived there at the time to , and in the earlier reviews, we are treated to descriptions of decor that includes mauves and greens and light wood and brass railings.

She also mentions several places that I remember. There were many times when my friend Lisa and I would head out after a rough day at the lab and hit that place for Bloody Caesars or the occasional melon daiquiri.

Best Restaurants and Places to Eat in Grand Forks, North Dakota ND

I have yet to find another melon daiquiri like the ones at Barleycorn. Some of you may recall that Grand Forks and the area was devastated by a horrible flood of the Red River of the North in It was very sad to read of all the places that Ms. Hagerty wrote about that succumbed to the flood. The Chuckhouse and the Westward Ho were one of them.

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John Barleycorn is no longer in operation. Based on what I watched on the news, read in books and online, and what my friends there said, it deserves its capital F. We had to evacuate and went down to Bismarck, where my daughter lives.


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My husband, retired editor of the Herald , died down there after a time in a nursing home. The Herald was being published in a school in a small town north of here.

Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in Reviews (Paperback) | The Book Table

There were writers from all over the country in here during the big flood. Still, the Herald wanted writing from someone who lives here.


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I can claim nothing to do with the Pulitzer Prize. The whole book made me think of my time there I was back in Indiana long before the Flood hit Grand Forks and that area and I made an attempt to describe some of it to Ken. People seem a little more insular and distrustful of people from elsewhere.

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In looking back, I had a lot of things going against me! However, it is a delightful read that I plan on keeping in a handy spot for whenever I have a bad day. And remember