I put on a dealer earlier this year in Dickinson, ND. Dickinson is a long, long way from Davenport. It's a 13 hour drive - one way. It's in the Mountain Time Zone. I must be crazy for putting on a guy that far from home. But I promised that I'd be out at least once a year to look after this dealer, and part of the reason for the Dakotas Trip earlier this summer was to go see him.
After our meeting/training session, we went out for dinner to a new place in Dickinson, but one that has been around for a few years in the Rocky Mountain and Western Plains states - Sanford's Grub and Pub. Sanford's started in Wyoming when a bunch of college buddies decided to try their hand at a restaurant that served good food, had a lot of beers to choose from and had a ton of TV's to watch sports on. They later expanded into Colorado, South Dakota, and now North Dakota. The Dickinson location opened earlier this year.
Now, Dickinson is in the literal middle of nowhere, so I wasn't expecting much from this place. I thought, "OK, I'll just go with the flow tonight and see what happens."
Actually, Sanford's Grub and Pub reminded me of a little mix each of a T.G.I. Friday's, an Old Chicago, an Applebee's, a Buzzard Billy's, a Joe's Crab Shack, and an ESPN Zone. It had all this crap all over the walls and hanging from the ceiling, along with about 30 televisions. They had perky waitresses who oozed sweetness. And they had over 40 beers on tap to choose from. That was a plus. But they were trying to be too many things for one place. And I was a little wary of that fact.
Sanford's menu also features a little bit of everything - steaks, sandwiches, burgers, appetizers and salads. They also had a number of dishes that featured Cajun specialties, as well. They're famous for their deep fried pickles, a delicacy that we didn't partake in. In fact, a lot of their appetizers were of the deep fried variety. We ended up getting some chicken wings and the Baja Bites - small pieces of grilled chicken wrapped in a tortilla shell. They weren't bad.
For the main entree, my dealer went with the shrimp and Parmesan linguine - a Parmesan cream sauce covering linguine infused with shrimp, mushrooms and chives. It sounded great, but I went with the BBNY - a Cajun seasoned New York strip steak, topped with chunks of garlic and sauteed mushrooms. That sounded almost sinful.
I have to say my steak wasn't bad - but it wasn't great. The meat was a little tough for a medium rare steak, but the Cajun seasoning and the mushroom and garlic topping made up for the lack of tenderness with a great taste sensation.
My dealer had never gotten the linguine before, but he said he was very satisfied with it. It looked good and he said it tasted very good.
I encountered a couple other Sanford's Grub and Pub's on my trip through the Dakotas, but I didn't think the food was worth stopping in a second location. For Dickinson, I'm sure it was pretty good. But, then again, since it was my first trip to Dickinson, I don't know if there's anything better than Sanford's. I'd like to think so, but for what it is, Sanford's does a good job. I just wish they'd concentrate on doing one thing and doing it great.