Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

Noodles in Grand Forks, ND


Duh-I learned the difference between noodles and pasta this weekend. Noodles are cut and pasta is extruded. I saw both demonstrated at the CIGI (the Canadian International Grains Institute).

The weekend prior, D had been a real trouper as I had spent the morning shopping at my favourite store : Gordman’s in Grand Forks, ND. I thought it only fair that he choose where we would go for lunch before we headed north on I29 and home to Winnipeg. I expected another place where the emphasis was on the libations served not necessarily the food. This is because he had not brought his glasses or an extra pair of contacts with us and he couldn’t drive. To be able to indulge in a couple of brewskies on a Saturday afternoon and not worry about the highway drive was an unexpected opportunity for him. He decided instead to go for the food and let the craft beer sampling await another time away.

He had hoped that NOODLES & Company was not a chain. He hadn’t remembered that we had visited Noodles in the Mall of America with the family, whilst in Minneapolis.  Indeed, we had pretty low expectations when we pulled up. Turns out, we were absolutely delighted by our bowls full of noodles.


D decided upon the Japanese Pan Noodles with a grilled chicken breast. I also chose a chicken breast, but mine was the Indonesian Peanut Sauté. His bowl was full of caramelized udon noodles in a sweet soy sauce. Mine was a rice noodle stir fry in a spicy peanut sauce. Both had broccoli, carrots, Asian sprouts and cilantro.


Mine came with more crushed peanuts and a wedge of lime.

Technically from what I learned at CIGI, “Noodles” should be called “Not Just Noodles” since it serves a wide variety of pasta as well.

Lunch turned out to be a refreshing change from typically fast food. Now, if only we could get Noodles to come to Winnipeg….

Noodles & Company on Urbanspoon

Kath’s (random) quote: “Mr. Jesmond made a peculiar noise rather like a hen who has decided to lay an egg and then thought better of it.”-Agatha Christie


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

JL Beers, Grand Forks, North Dakota


There was a time when D and I would anticipate going away for a weekend and I would have done all my research on the best restaurants that we would try out. Those times have changed, now that D’s mission whenever we are away, is to find the best selection of craft beer in our destinations. D had been dreaming about a burger from JL Beers on the two and a half hour drive from Winnipeg. He and J1 had visited a number of years ago in Fargo and he remembered every single detail of the food menu.



It was impossible for him to remember the beer menu as there were over 40 taps and shelves and shelves of bottled selections.


In order to entice me to join him, D promised that there would also be wine on hand. When we plunked at a couple of the bar stools and asked the bar keep, this was not the case. Instead, he recommended a cider and a Faro from Belgium. He also provided me with tastes of both. Without hesitation I choose the Faro and then read this from their menu as I had my first sips: “A version of Belgium’s “wild fermented” wheat beer, which is the result of blending Lambic of “one summer” with an old Lambic and finished with candy sugar.” Huh? The bevvie by Lindeman’s was refreshing and delicious and was served up in a skinny version of a pilsner glass.


But to the food! I chose the Monumental Burger which was a teriyaki burger with sautéed mushrooms and melted Swiss cheese. It was accompanied by fresh cut fries. The bun had been butter-brushed before it was placed on the grill. How did I know? The entire cooking line takes place behind the bar so that you can see you beer being pulled from the tap at the same time that you can see your burger being formed and fries being cut from a big fresh potato. I was amazed at how quickly the process was completed. This was a speedy supper so I guess that it was technically “fast food” but it tasted like anything but. The burger was soft and tender and packed with flavour. The fries although a little bit too salty for my palette, were greaseless and piping hot.


D selected the Humpty Dumpty Burger, so dubbed because of the fried egg perched on top of the burger. He also decided on the addition of thick cut bacon, so it was like eating a combination of a burger and a breakfast sandwich all at the same time.  He opted for the chips and then agreed to let me have a taste, knowing that they would have been my preference. Lightly salted, folded and browned, they were irresistible.


In the meanwhile D enjoyed his “Hunny Do” and a “Best of the Midwest” beer flight which he very much enjoyed. D loved his burger so much that he ordered a Columbia Burger to go!

JL Beers on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Why beer is better than wine: “….human feet are conspicuously absent from beer making.”-Steve Mirsky

beer heart.jpg

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


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