“It’s nothing special.”
This was the catchphrase of the lunch date with my photographer and another friend at Mahoney’s Bar and Grill. Lucky for all of you readers, we stayed long enough to witness a few entertaining moments in this otherwise ordinary place.
Directly across from the Fargo Theatre, sits a new downtown eatery, Mahoney’s Bar and Grill. The front of the restaurant is all windows, and even though I could see inside, I was surprised at how spacious it was after walking in. Orderly and clean, the high tables and long bar seemed to wait solely for the Friday and Saturday night crowds. A few flat screen TVs hung on the walls, and my photographer discovered Black Jack tables hiding in the corner. They were covered at the time, sleeping on a lazy Monday afternoon.
We walked to the back and spent less than a minute placing our order. The menu was simple: a few burger options, grilled or fried chicken breast or chicken strips with side options of onion rings, chips, or cottage fries (fries that look like potato chips). Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from the meal. At first sight, I felt the simplicity and openness of the establishment was created for large weekend crowds, hungry after a night on the town.
Five minutes flew by, and our food was brought out to us. I appreciated the speed of service and could feel the heat off the food. It came straight from the fryer and grill.
My chicken strips were large and flavorful. The cottage fries were a little under-cooked and “nothing special.” My photographer’s onions and double hamburger were also standard. Simply put, it was ordinary fried food.
“Do you guys mind if I take over the place for a while?” another customer asked. “Of course,” we responded. My ears couldn’t be happier; the crappy hard rock previously blaring was overcome by some indie tunes from a high-tech jukebox.
I had one more place to check out before I made my final judgment of the place. Walking again to the back, I found the female mecca – the ladies restroom. It was clean and, just like the restaurant, it was spacious enough for large crowds.
We spent the rest of our time collecting and playing with the small plastic swords used to stick in burgers. The jukebox lady, and only other customer, had a dance with the bartender.
Mahoney’s isn’t a place I would pick for a supper with friends, but if I was roaming around on a Saturday night and craved some chicken strips, I might find myself there, if I didn’t head to Dairy Queen instead.
It’s just not that special.
BY MEGAN HAVIG