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Zaleski: Lots of places to savor liver and onions

Apparently I was wrong. Last week when I wrote I was a proud member of a shrinking minority that liked liver and onions, I was confident I would be reviled for praising such fare. Didn't happen.

Jack Zaleski

Apparently I was wrong. Last week when I wrote I was a proud member of a shrinking minority that liked liver and onions, I was confident I would be reviled for praising such fare. Didn't happen.

Instead, liver-lovers responded in surprising numbers, not only with stories of liver and onions memories but also with a list of restaurants that serve it up regularly. It appears the region's restaurants are bucking the national trend of fewer places with liver and onions on the menu. A sampling:

Among the most cited by readers was the liver and onions dinner at Fargo's Holiday Inn. "The best, in my experience," said a Moorhead reader. "Great potato sides, too."

A close second to the Holiday Inn was the Cowboy Café in Medora, N.D., which is not exactly in the Red River Valley. I have to concur with readers who've enjoyed the liver and onions at the Cowboy. I get there at least once a year. Really good.

TNT's Diner in West Fargo came up a lot, as did the Fryin' Pan and Mom's Kitchen in Fargo. Also in the running: Cormorant Pub in Cormorant Village in Minnesota lakes country; Frontier Fort in Jamestown, N.D.; and Canadian Honker Restaurant near the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

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One of my colleagues in The Forum newsroom remembers a good liver and onions meal at a restaurant in Manchester, Conn., where she worked for a while. Connecticut is my home state, so someone out there still knows how to eat.

Sons of Norway in Fargo serves liver and onions on Fridays. "The best," said the manager. (Lutefisk on the side?)

The staff of Toscana in downtown Fargo wrote: "Surprise! Surprise! Italians love liver and onions, too. Toscana has calves liver and onions ..." I know about Italians and liver. My mom, who prepared it weekly, was first-generation Italian/American.

All of the liver lovers who wrote heaped high praise on their favorite restaurant. A few, who have had to endure catcalls from their anti-liver families, described an occasional lone liver and onions dinner as a religious experience. I get it.

Alas, a liver and onions tradition is coming to an end. The cook at Ralph's Corner Bar in Moorhead served free liver and onions for many years. When Ralph's went the way of the wrecking ball, Carla continued the tradition at the Crow Bar in Sabin with Ralph's original grill. The last liver fry is 2 to 4 p.m. next Saturday.

So there you have it. Liver and onions might not be king of everyone's menu, but it's royalty to my palate - and clearly to the palates of lots of Forum readers. Liver, onions, bacon, mashed potatoes, a crisp salad, and a beer or a Coke. It doesn't get any better. Let's eat!

Contact Editorial Page Editor Jack Zaleski at (701) 241-5521.

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