GRAND FORKS – As the sun sets in the west, cars and trucks begin to fill the large parking lot at Southgate Casino Bar and Grill on South Washington Street.
The place known as ‘the door’ was full in the lounge and cafe during a recent supper or lunch hour one evening this week. And some guests have chosen to dine outside in the large outdoor space.
Burgers are in high demand at The Gate. The signature patty with sliced mayonnaise, lettuce, red onion, tomato and pickle is $8.99. This seems to be a top choice among many restaurants in Southgate.
But the menu goes way beyond burgers. There are entrees including onion rings, potato skins, and three versions of quesadillas. There is also a spinach dip served with corn tortilla chips.
Customers who come for lunch often choose homemade chili or soup and sandwich combinations. The menu is extensive with sumptuous choices. Appetizers include beef tips, pickerel chunks and a basket of chicken strips.
Tacos too. There are five versions at the Porte.
The new chef, recently hired, is Pat Sexton. The managing director is John Sundby.
The door has a large kitchen with a window opening which offers a view. Some guests prefer the large dining room in the large building. There, it is easy to visit. In the evening there is often a rush to sit in the living room where the TV brings sporting events.
The busiest hours for food service are 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., according to Sundby. He said that, like other restaurateurs, he struggled to find food service workers.
Southgate Casino Bar & Grill
2525 S. Washington Street
Number of places: 400
General director: John Sundby
Chief: Pat Sexton
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Report card: One of the largest seating areas of a restaurant in this neighborhood. Good service. Food generally meets expectations of prompt service.