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REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Balta Bar & Grill celebrates 5th anniversary under current ownership

By Staff | Apr 27, 2018

Bonnie Remmick/PCT Balta Bar & Grill owner Stephanie Halvorson behind the bar.

Stephanie Halvorson, owner of Balta Bar and Grill, 202 Main Street, Balta, ND, celebrates her 5th anniversary this month in this small town which hosts only one bar and restaurant. But the Balta Bar and Grill is not to be underestimated; it has some of the best food in the county. I know this for a fact, I ate there on Thursday.

Spring was here, weather was great Thursday and it was time to get out of Rugby and report on the rest of Pierce County. I looked at the map to see what my options were, and Balta blinked out at me. Balta it was. Balta lies about 20 minutes south of Rugby, and off Highway 3 about two miles west.

The locals congregate here at noon for lunch. They can smell the gas grill barbecuing ribs clear out on the farm on a nice spring day. I could smell them on the way into town, and it smelled good. Four local eaters all told me that I could not take their pictures, cause they weren’t suppose to be there for lunch. They pointed out the sign above the bar, that they all adhere to “What happens in here, stays here.” In honor of the code at the Balta Bar and Grill, I put down the camera.

The bar is adequate size, amazingly light environment with a big grill in the kitchen, and has a huge outdoor BBQ which was simmering some ribs since early morning.

I had the prime rib sandwich with french fries. The portions were plentiful and the food fresh, and hot. The prime rib dissolved in my mouth without chewing. The fries were the best I ‘ve ever had. North Dakota has some good food!

Five years ago, after managing the Rugby Cobblestone Inn, and having been a cook in her career, Halvorson bought the bar and opened it with a full menu for lunch and dinners. Halvorson makes all her soups fresh from scratch, and are served daily. The Balta Bar and Grill is open six days a week noon to one am, and closed only Monday. Halvorson does all the cooking and only has help on Friday and Saturday night. She needs it those nights, “Because we are busy on Friday and Saturday,” she said. “We serve prime rib and Steaks. We use the best and freshest local meats I can find, and I have a secret ingredient for my fries and I ‘ve had no complaints.”

“We have a street dance once a year in the summer. We have darts, 2 x 4 Junga, and a great pool table,” Halvorson added.

Balta Bar and Grill also provides appetizers for parties, and special occasions. They can be reached online at Facebook or call 701-542-3322.

Next week I travel north, to Wolford, to the Corregidor for lunch. I can’t wait.

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