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Published April 10, 2012, 11:30 PM

Review: Gramma Ginna’s serves up tasty treats at Scheels

FARGO – Going to Scheels All Sports is like going to Disney World but on a much smaller scale. The sporting goods store on 45th Street has a Ferris wheel, enormous skylights that make it feel a little like Florida, playgrounds, stuffed wildlife and slightly creepy reproductions of American presidents.

By: Eric Daeuber, Special to The Forum, INFORUM

RESTAURANT REVIEW

Gramma Ginna’s

Scheels All Sports, 1551 45th St. S., Fargo

Cuisine: American

Ratings:

• Food: 3 stars

• Service: 2 1/2 stars

• Ambiance: 2 1/2 stars

Phone: (701) 298-2918

Hours: 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 5:30 p.m. Sundays

Reservations accepted: No

Alcohol: No

Dress: As you like

Credit cards accepted: Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover


FARGO – Going to Scheels All Sports is like going to Disney World but on a much smaller scale.

The sporting goods store on 45th Street has a Ferris wheel, enormous skylights that make it feel a little like Florida, playgrounds, stuffed wildlife and slightly creepy reproductions of American presidents.

The complex also has a diner that looks like it came right off Main Street U.S.A. with brightly colored posters of their offerings, cheerful young people assembling sandwiches from pre-measured, portioned ingredients and acres and acres of fudge.

And like Disney World, the food at Gramma Ginna’s is pretty good and the presentation isn’t quite as promised.

But the diner does have some interesting ingredients that add flair to what might otherwise be a pretty basic American deli menu.

Among those is the Big Hunter ($7.79), a sandwich that includes buffalo pastrami wedged between roast beef and bacon and a variety of cheeses and greens.

The Philly Elk, a sandwich you can easily imagine being either too dry or too greasy, turns out moist, beautifully seasoned and well-supported in nicely crisped bread.

These sandwiches are big. The vegetables are fresh, and the bread – white, wheat, sourdough or multigrain – is even fresher. If you can forget for a minute that you’re inside a sports superstore, you really have the makings of a real American deli sandwich. Add a very good chocolate malted and you’re well on your way to simulating an authentic working-class deli.

The details, however distort the simulation.

Your malt comes in a plastic cup. Your sandwich is assembled in front of you with ingredients measured out and, in the case of the bacon, pre-cooked.

This may not matter to most people. And even though it’s a bit disenchanting to see slices of elk rolled out of a little plastic baggie onto your hoagie bun, it doesn’t make a less appealing sandwich when it’s all done.

There are two nice surprises you can consider for dessert. Decent Italian-style gelato was unheard of in Fargo only a few years ago. You can find it here. The other is the pie. For $2.99, you can sit down to a house-made slice of rhubarb, peach or whatever flavor the local baker put up that day.

Gramma’s service is pleasant enough. The people putting together your meal aren’t cooks, but they don’t have to be. The menu is expansive and includes all the sorts of things you’d expect in a tourist attraction – cinnamon buns, Bavarian nuts and, of course, fudge. It’s not authentic, but neither is the Plaza in the Magic Kingdom, and no one much cares.

Is Gramma Ginna’s a destination eatery? I wouldn’t think so, but then again, I wouldn’t think of a sports store as a destination attraction, and it certainly has become that.

Maybe it’s the Ferris wheel.

Eric Daeuber is an instructor at Minnesota State Community and Technical College.

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