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Published March 25, 2013, 11:35 PM

Big eats: Where to find the largest serving sizes at F-M restaurants

If you’ve somehow managed to successfully adhere to your New Year’s diet up until now, you might want to turn away. If, on the other hand, you’ve given up on said diet, please keep reading.

If you’ve somehow managed to successfully adhere to your New Year’s diet up until now, you might want to turn away.

If, on the other hand, you’ve given up on said diet, please keep reading.

Whether you’re really hungry or very frugal, we found some of Fargo-Moorhead’s biggest bites and most monstrous meals. Each could easily be split between several people, or last for an additional meal or two.

A little self-awareness is cautioned as studies have shown that as restaurant portion sizes increase so do rates of obesity.

But if you’re in a diets-be-damned mood, dig into one of these tempting menu items.

Spaghetti, nachos and chocolate cake

If it’s a big plate of Italian food that you’re looking for, try Altony’s Italian Café, 3102 Highway 10 in Moorhead, where an order of spaghetti and meatballs costs $11.50, while a half order goes for $9.95.

Vicki Thorpe, a manager at Altony’s, says diners don’t often realize just how big the full serving size of spaghetti – or anything else – is going to be until they see it in front of them.

“People say, ‘Holy moly, we could’ve just split that,’ ” Thorpe says.

After that, people are likely to just order a half size on repeat visits.

“Or they’ll just take the food home,” Thorpe says.

Another Italian restaurant with particularly large servings is Grazies Italian Grill, 2000 44th St. S., suite 102, Fargo. There, diners can try to conquer a gigantic calzone. For $13.99, it’s available with various ingredients.

At Lucky’s 13 Pub, 4301 17th Ave. S., Fargo, Manager Jesse Schanilec says the No. 1 complaint he gets from diners is that they’re served too much food.

One of the largest portions at Lucky’s 13 comes in the form of the restaurant’s nachos. Schanilec estimates that the large size, for $13.99, can probably feed up to four or five people.

“They’re called ginormous for a reason,” he says with a laugh.

Most sandwiches and half-pound burgers at Lucky’s 13 are also larger than what diners might find at other restaurants.

“Our sandwiches are piled pretty high,” Schanilec says, adding the Cheese Curd Burger for $11.49 is “pretty ridiculous” in its size.

It’s not too surprising, then, that Lucky’s 13 holds eating contests. In the past, Schanilec says, the restaurant has done nacho and tater tot-eating contests, just to name a few.

An upcoming chili dog-eating contest is set for 5 p.m. on April 8. Anyone interested in participating should talk to a manager at Lucky’s 13.

More large plates can be found at Granite City Food & Brewery, 1636 42 St. S., Fargo.

“We pride ourselves on pretty big-size portions here,” says Shane Bauer, a manager at Granite City.

The meatloaf dinner there is an example of a food option that’s especially big. It’s served with a side of mashed potatoes and onion strings for $14.59.

Such an order is very likely going to be too large for one person to eat by themselves, but Bauer says that’s just fine with their diners.

“We have quite a few families come in that dine with their kids, and they appreciate the larger portion sizes because nobody leaves hungry,” Bauer says. “Most of our guests usually take some of their meals home, too.”

“It’s like you’re getting dinner and lunch,” he adds.

After dinner, if you’re still hungry for dessert, Granite City’s chocolate cake is another food item that’s big enough “for two or three or five people to share,” Bauer says. A piece of cake costs $7.95.

Managers at Altony’s and Lucky’s 13 say there’s a certain reputation that comes with offering such big plates, and that’s just fine with them.

“It’s a cool thing,” Schanilec says. “I enjoy bringing out a tray of nachos and hearing everyone going, ‘Oh my gosh, what is that?’ ”

That can definitely lead to a word-of-mouth effect with customers, Thorpe says.

“It goes all over, and then everyone wants to come check it out,” she adds.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535

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