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SimplyGrand ways to romance your valentine

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Don’t have any plans yet with your significant other? Well then, you best read on! Luckily, Greater Grand Forks has lots of great date options and here are my Top 5:   ON THE BOARDWALK.  Drive your date to the East Side for a flick and some food.  Start out the evening with an early showing of the critically acclaimed romantic musical, “La La Land” at River Cinema 15.  Afterward, journey across the street to Blue Moose.  Located on the popular Boardwalk dining district, it’s the perfect spot for a juicylicious burger, some sweet ‘n’ sassy Norwegian barbecue ribs or comfort food at its finest: homemade chicken pot pie.  Quench your thirst with a choice of close to fifty brews of beer in their Back Forty Bar. UPSCALE DOWNTOWN.  The Toasted Frog is the best place around to get pickled.  By that, I mean their martinis and deep-fried cheesy pickles will make your head spin.  Then stroll hand-in-hand down the block to Sky’s for a 5-star dinner with your 5-star sweetie that includes champagne cocktails, jumbo lump crab cakes, filet mignon with peppercorn sauce and a chocolate espresso ice cream cake drizzled with hot fudge …

Posted in: Dining, Entertainment, Lodging, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Where Broadway and DeMers intersect

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Besides being one of the most uniquely beautiful buildings in Greater Grand Forks, the historic Empire Arts Center has become a downtown hub of great live entertainment. Home to the Empire Theatre Company, this talented troop’s Season Five slate of shows is nothing less than stellar! With everything from hilarious musicals to impactful dramas, their upcoming productions will have you laughing, crying and up on your feet, giving a standing ovation!   As proof of its diversity, just take a look at the Empire Theatre Company’s 2016-17 schedule: August 9-13 & 16-20, 7:30 PM – “Hairspray” (Tony Awarding winning musical comedy centering on the integration of a 60s teen dance TV show.) October 13-15 & 20-22, 7:30 PM – “Constellations” (Drama examining how the tiniest change in the details of our lives can lead us on completely different paths. For mature audiences.) November 25-27 & December 1-4, 7:30 PM /Sundays at 2 PM – “A Christmas Story: The Musical” (Classic comedic tale that follows the escapades of 9-year-old Ralphie and his offbeat family.) March 9-11 & 16-18, 7:30 PM – “Peter & the Starcatcher” (Tony Award winning musical that takes a hilarious romp through Neverland and answers the question: How …

Posted in: Arts & Culture, Entertainment, shows and concerts, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Finding Fine Food in the Forks

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Can’t beat a shout out from an award-winning travel writer!  A big thank you to Vancouver based columnist, Lucas Aykroyd, for his kind (yet totally accurate) words about how GRAND dining is in the FORKS! Finding Fine Food at Five Restaurants in Grand Forks, North Dakota

Posted in: Dining, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Downtown fare with upscale flair

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If you’re in SimplyGrand Forks and find yourself yearning for a restaurant with an eclectic urban feel, The Toasted Frog fills the bill.  Their carefully crafted menu, with dishes that are both creative and delicious, may not be pages long but it offers something for every taste bud.    The Toasted Frog is located in a beautiful historic downtown building at 124 North 3rd Street.  In December of 2005, Grand Forks natives Shawn Clapp and Jon Holth acquired the space and began creation of “The Frog”, thus realizing a longtime dream.  After months of remodeling, staff hiring and training, and menu development, the restaurant opened its doors to the public on May 1, 2006.    With its casual metropolitan atmosphere, extensive martini and wine lists, diverse food, and professional staff, The Toasted Frog has become a popular destination for both locals and visitors.  Some of the most frequently ordered items on the menu include the Fried Cheesy Pickles, Wild Mushroom Lavosh, Wood-Fired Pork Belly & Egg Pizza, Mahi-Mahi Tacos, Open Faced Caprese Melt, Moroccan Spiced Lamb Burger, Sodbuster Short Ribs, Gorgonzola Butter Filet Mignon, Chimichurri Pork Tenderloin and nightly specials like Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Coffee Encrusted Sirloin and Asian …

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Get it in Grand Forks, and Almost Nowhere Else!

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Today’s blog comes from Shel Zolkewich, a travel writer, blogger and friend to Greater Grand Forks.   Food defines a place. If you travel to Philadelphia, you must have a cheesesteak. In New Orleans, it’s the poboy. And in Boston, well, it’s clam chowder of course. So what are the ‘must have’ foods in Grand Forks? This outta towner will tell you.   Chicken Tortilla Soup: Culinary historians can’t put a finger on exactly where or when this Mexican soup got its start. But everyone can agree on the fact that it’s delicious. Essentially, it consists of chicken broth served with strips of fried tortillas. But like all great ancient soups, it varies greatly. In Grand Forks, it’s served up in a creamy chicken broth, flecked with diced peppers and topped with cheese. Sometime sour cream too. For just over $3, get your introduction to this soup at The Red Pepper. I’ve been known to ask for a double order and call it supper. Other favourite spots include Speedway (still just over $3), Rhombus Guys (but only in the winter) and Paradiso (here it comes with a side salad and bread). There’s an unconfirmed rumor that even Dairy Queen serves …

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Romancing your Valentine in Grand style

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Valentine’s Day is fast approaching.  Don’t have any plans yet with your significant other?  Well then, you best read on!  Luckily, Greater Grand Forks has lots of great date options and here are my Top 5:   1. ON THE BOARDWALK.  Drive your date to the East Side for a flick and some food.  Start out the evening with an early showing of the new movie “Fifty Shades of Gray” at River Cinema 15.  Afterward, journey across the street to Blue Moose.  Located on the popular Boardwalk dining district, it’s the perfect spot for a juicy-licious burger stuffed with bleu cheese, mushrooms and ham or some sweet ‘n’ sassy Norwegian barbecue ribs.  Quench your thirst with a choice of nearly fifty brews of beer in their Back Forty Bar.   2. UPSCALE DOWNTOWN.  The Toasted Frog is the best place around to get pickled.  By that I mean their martinis and deep-fried cheesy pickles will make your head spin.  Then stroll hand-in-hand down 3rd Street to Sanders for a 5-star dinner with your 5-star sweetie that includes champagne, Maryland crab cakes, filet mignon with peppercorn sauce and a crème caramel that comes topped with fresh fruit and whipped cream.   …

Posted in: Dining, Entertainment, Events, Lodging, Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Stroll, Sip and Savor the Flavor of Downtown

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Much like a good Beaujolais, the Greater Grand Forks Art & Wine Walk keeps getting better with age.  The first glass of wine was poured back in 2006, when the Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and North Valley Arts Council (NoVAC) partnered up to host one of the most popular annual events our cities have ever known.  This past year, the CVB handed over its duties to the newly formed Downtown Development Association but the Walk remains virtually unchanged.       Held every June through October, on the third Saturday of each month, Art & Wine Walk offers regional artists a chance to display their talents and wares at several downtown Grand Forks and East Grand Forks venues.  A sample of wine will be available, at specified sites, for those 21 years of age and older.  Some locations may also choose to serve nonalcoholic beverages and snacks, along with featuring live music.    On the day of the event, a map listing participating businesses can be purchased for $15 at either the Red Roof TownHouse Inn or Blue Moose Grill & Bar.  A partial list of participants includes: Kittson Boutique; Brick & Barley; RH Standard; River City Jewelers; Hey Ocean and …

Posted in: Entertainment, Events, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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Shopping and Dining in Grand Forks

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Today’s blog comes from Grand Forks friend, Michelle Arnaud (@accordingtomio). Michelle is a Manitoba blogger we hosted for a simply grand weekend. She shares her opinions of shopping and dining here…   Dining   Ask anybody in Grand Forks where the best places to eat are and someone will give you a long list of where to go. There is a plethora of restaurants and diners, more than you can shake a stick at, and sometimes it is difficult to pick just one place. Have no fear because I have you covered – if you want something good to eat and experience unique dining, then these two places are your best bet.   The Toasted Frog – If you are looking for a place to hang out with your friends or spend an evening away from the kids, The Toasted Frog is that place. Located at 124 North 3rd Street, this establishment offers a small menu filled with tasty dishes with rotating specials and daily veggies. Each dish is carefully prepared by the talented chefs in the kitchen and each bite is so scrumptious that you want to savor it forever. Serving staff are knowledgeable and ready to help you …

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Art Fest week is finally here!

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Today’s blog is brought to you Convention & Visitors Bureau Executive Director and Grand Forks native Julie Rygg.   There is a lot of buzz and excitement in Greater Grand Forks this week with the  2014 Grand Cities Art Fest, produced by North Valley Arts Council, taking place downtown on Saturday, June 14 and Sunday, June 15. With approximately 175 artist and craft vendors as well as great food and entertainment lined throughout the Greenway, Town Square and Cabela’s parking lot, the downtown will be alive with activity.   I look forward to Art Fest every year. I love to go and hear the music, nibble on treats and purchase fun art for my home and gifts. Of course, this event isn’t just for the adults. The kiddos love it too. My kids’ favorites are the bouncy houses, funnel cakes and unique kids’ items.   If you are new to Art Fest or come every year, you absolutely cannot miss “Arts in Action”. It is a wonderful opportunity to see amazing artists turn raw materials into  original works. This is fun for the whole family!   Admission and parking are free. If you would like to download the map, Art …

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We are happy in Grand Forks!

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Today’s blog comes from Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director, Julie Rygg.   Gallup recently unveiled their annual ranking of well-being in the United States, and guess who ranked first? It was North Dakota (Minnesota was close at fourth)! That tells us, for the most part, North Dakotans are the happiest people in the U.S. I tend to agree with this report. We are quite happy here and there are many big reasons, but there are also lots of small things that we find great joy in!   Now I now it has been a long winter all over the county, and I like to look for some of those fun little things to brighten my day and add enjoyment. I am sharing my current five faves with you. Enjoy!   1. The martinis at the Toasted Frog are amazing. If you haven’t had one yet, I highly recommend them. My favorite is the Pink Lemonade. It is the perfect combination of sweet and sour and reminds me of a warm summer day.   2. There is nothing better than a hot mocha on a cold winter morning. My ultimate favorite place for a hot coffee is …

Posted in: Sports & Recreation, Travel & Tourism, Uncategorized
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