This little piggy went to market.
Fargo, ND – Today we are reviewing a restaurant called Grand Porks. Porks is new to the Fargo area but, not surprisingly, originated in Grand Forks. Since we were both quite hungry, Nick and I decided to review this restaurant together. In order to not be recognized when we walked in, we chose to wear trench coats and aviator sunglasses for the duration of our visit.
John: After pulling into the parking lot of the Grand Porks restaurant, we parked with no problem, but valet parking would have been nice. We walked in separately so as to not cause suspicion that we were two people from a satirical news agency there to do a restaurant review. I asked for a booth in the back of the restaurant and Nick then cleverly asked for a table near the front.
Nick: Upon entering the establishment, we were immediately accosted by a gigantic man dressed in an inflatable pig costume. He blurted out through his bubbly pig helmet “Welcome to Grand Porks, thanks for PIGGING OUT with us!!” then handed us each a 10% off coupon. We were both taken aback by this but there was no time to react as we were being hastily ushered to our respective tables by the hostess. This experience was equal parts troubling and panic-inducing. ★★✩✩✩
John: En route to my back corner booth, I noticed an odd sign on the restroom door: “UniSex Bathroom. One Size Fits All.” In general, this restaurant seemed friendly, dark, and warm, which could have been because I was wearing sunglasses and a trench coat. As I sat down, the hostess handed me an attractive menu showing mostly pictures and prices. While she was filling my water glass, I asked for an appetizer recommendation to which she replied: “Why don’t you try the tickled pork belly nuggets-on-a-stick served with our famous porky jerk sauce?”, to which I replied: “Yes! Why don’t I?!”
Nick: My waitress was an attentive 20-something from Granville, ND. A marketing major at NDSU. Although young, I could instantly tell she possessed a lifetime of experience. How did I make this conclusion so early on? Well, my first test for Grand Porks was to order a double-tall whiskey coke, no ice, no coke followed by the statement “I’ve had a rough day–time to get completely shitblasted!” just to see the server’s reaction. She handled my request with style and grace and without question. This is how I knew my dining experience would likely turn out to be a positive one. ★★★★★
John: My appetizer arrived as expected, and I attentively consumed it. T’was quite good. I ordered a different appetizer, and ate that too – also not bad. Then I ordered three random dinner entrees, since I was basically eating “for free”. They arrived. I ate them all. “What’s for dessert, I asked?” She replied: “How about a pork pound cake?” I ate that too. This is when I began watching the UniSex restroom door, for when there might be an upcoming vacancy, just in case anything I’d recently eaten didn’t fully agree with me, which it didn’t.
Nick: The dinner menu was, itself, a sight to behold. Who knew there could be such a plethora of pork permutations? I took the liberty of jotting down a few of my entrees:
- Pork Tornado– An 8-inch fried corn tortilla shaped like a funnel, filled to the brim with carnitas, ham slop and bacon bits.
- The Mighty Hambone– A completely un-butchered pig spine beer-battered with a 16-month old case of Michelob AmberBock®, then deep-fried.
- Frizzle Fry Head Cheese– Head cheese as only Grand Porks can prepare it! Lightly tossed head marinated in a vegetable oil/olive oil/motor oil conglomeration, then broiled in a below-ground smoker amidst periodic sprinkles of hog sweat. Served with a side of aus jus.
I made no hesitation in ordering the Frizzle Fry, among many other entrees. It came, as requested, eyeballs intact and with visible canine incisors. It was an absolute delight. ★★★★★
John: I was feeling happily full to the gills, barely able to move toward the UniSex bathroom. While laying back in my rear corner booth, I could see Nick up front, obviously quite pork-drunk, sitting at a table near the entrance. He was trying to reach out and grab anyone who walked within six feet of his pork-covered table. It was at this moment that I knew this restaurant was a winner. During the last two hours, it had passed every test we threw at it. On a scale of 1-5, I’d have to give it 5 Pigs, which is what I told my server just before I started trying to explain to her that my meal was to be free because we were writing a serious restaurant review for a very prestigious local satirical fake news website.
Nick: Final numbers for our trip to Grand Porks:
Entrees devoured: 8.75
Double-tall drinks imbibed: 7.5
Hours spent: 4.25
Trips to the UniSex: 16
Verbal reprimands from Porks staff: 4
Dollars spent: $197
Likelihood of return: 9.4
Overall rating: ★★★★✩