Fryn’ Pan Family Restaurant

Having grown up in Grand Forks, I was never introduced to Fryn’ Pan, a regional chain of restaurants that seems to have quite the following here in Fargo-Moorhead with the, let’s politely say, older folks. IMG_4663

There is a location in both Moorhead and Fargo, along with three in Sioux Falls, one in Wahpeton and one in Yankton.

Wanting to try out the tiny Altony’s Italian Cafe but finding it absolutely packed, we headed to the nearby Fryn’ Pan and were seated quickly.

I passed the salad bar and instantly knew what I was in for: Processed, institutional-grade food slop. And unfortunately I was right.


Thinking that breakfast items were probably the best bet at a place like this, I ordered the Sausage N’ Pepper Jack Omelette. It comes with hash browns and your choice of toast, muffin or two hotcakes.

My dinner mate actually went for the salad bar, one that was bereft of color, complete with a thick bean soup that resembled something you’d find in a trough and several cold pasta salads.

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I’d venture to guess that the median age in the place that night was 72.

My omelette was out relatively quickly. Beside the sausage bits tucked inside, the cook tossed quite a few more on top. Barely-melted, plastic-like white cheese strips were put on top, too.


Now, growing up and eating breakfast at elementary school at times, I had what was called “breakfast pizza” quite often. Yes, this was before the current push for “healthy” food for kids at school. Pizza at breakfast?! Hell yes!

But I bring this up because the sausage that came on my elementary school pizza was the exact same as the stuff that came with the omelette at Fryn’ Pan. Not that it tasted bad. It was appropriately fennel-flavored and salty, but this undoubtedly tells me the ingredients used at Fryn’ Pan are from a food service like Sysco. It depressed me.

On top of the hashed browns was a huge dollop of butter. So potatoes that are fried in butter need another serving of butter on top now? Needless to say, I scooted it off to the side of the plate.

I was thoroughly disappointed in my meal at Fryn’ Pan. There are countless other places doing home-cooked breakfast food you should try before heading here. The fact that the place is so popular on weekends even further depressed me, sending me into a spiral that only frozen yogurt for dessert could fix.


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