The next chef has been making the FM area a little sweeter every day for almost 20 years. Meet Nichole’s Fine Pastry Owner and Founder Nichole Hensen! Nichole grew up on a family farm near Glenburn, North Dakota, where she enjoyed helping her parents with their Hereford cattle and small grains. After finding inspiration from traveling, Nichole attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California.
“I returned to Fargo from California to bring a bit of Paris to the Prairie and opened Nichole’s Fine Pastry in the heart of downtown Fargo in 2003. This January will be our 20th birthday at Nichole’s!”
Nichole chose to visit BernBaum’s where she ordered the Lox Cold Sandwich.
“I love salmon, and I love bagels. It seems like a no-brainer! I love supporting local businesses, and especially ones that are women-led.”
When you enter Bernbaum’s, you are instantly transported. A midcentury modern twist on the classic New York deli, you’re not in Fargo anymore. Greeted by the buzz of the staff, the chatter of customers fills the air, and you’d be hard-pressed not to see a familiar face enjoying a nice meal. It feels comfortable yet heightened—like going to visit an old friend in the city.
It’s worth it to say that a straightforward dish isn’t an instant slam dunk. There is something to be said about simplicity, an easy sandwich when you’re in a hurry, something to get fuel in your tank and keep going with your day. And a classic lox sandwich could easily fall into that category, but the team at Bernbaum’s leans hard into the dish and makes it an experience.
We start with the bagel. They’re light and chewy while providing the perfect bite for a hearty bread. Expertly proofed and boiled, you could put almost anything on this and it would be hard to end up with a bad experience. But then we bring in the schmear—a lox schmear, made in-house—and we’ve already elevated this experience to an eleven. Bits of lox distributed evenly within the whipped schmear make a perfect placemat for the large slabs of lox itself. Cold Norwegian lox, brined to perfection. Hints of dill and lemon within the lox itself provide added subtlety. Thinly shaved onion provides a tang and crunch, while the tomatoes bring in a warm acidity. Our accouterments of radish sprouts and capers bring everything together and tie it with a beautiful bow right on top.
A classic, yes, but simple—far from it. It’s skillfully made from top to bottom, and it brings a piece of the big apple right to Broadway. Paired with a hard cider from our local Wild Terra, it makes for a beautiful meal to enjoy alone or with excellent company.