Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography
We here at Fargo Monthly like to think of ourselves as “foodies.” In the general sense of the word, we kind of are, considering we love Fargo food. However, we are missing an element that makes us true foodies. We lack the culinary sensibility to decipher if a coleslaw is made with fennel or cabbage. Nor can we obsess over the complexities of caramelized onions, our palates just cannot handle the workload.
Luckily, our good friend Eric Watson, Executive Chef and owner of Rustica Eatery and Mosaic Foods has those qualities. He can discern the ever-changing, always evolving world of food. So, we took him out into the Fargo dining scene, but a very specific scene. For seven days, we ate at seven different food trucks of varying culinary styles. From pizza to tacos to deli sandwiches, we had Eric try it all. Without further ado, hop in Eric’s food truck and travel with him on his food truck diet.
Day #6: Detroit Deli
It was Julie Walsh’s passion for cooking that led her to Fargo. “I had cooked pretty much everywhere,” she said. “I was out in Oregon and down in Florida and I’ve worked in every type of restaurant even vegan and vegetarian places.” Oddly enough, her current culinary endeavor is not a place for the vegetarian, unless they really like cole slaw.
Detroit Deli opened up last year after Detroit native Walsh and her boyfriend took their hand renovated food truck down to Sturgis for the annual motorcycle rally. “It was my first business and I made some business decisions down there that were mistakes, but they helped me learn too,” she said. “Then I came back up here to open and I knew better and wouldn’t make those past mistakes anymore.”
However, Walsh has clearly not made a mistake in setting up shop in Fargo.
When asked why open up a deli in Fargo, Walsh had a fairly self-explanatory response. “I just looked for something that Fargo was lacking as far as food,” she said. “I grew up with great delis in Detroit and I didn’t really see that here, so the decision was easy. They sort of have that hard-working rough persona that Detroit and the Midwest have, so I thought it was a good fit.”
Walsh says it is the classic Reuben that has become a favorite of customers at her food truck. Other staples include the salami sandwich as well as the turkey melt. However, Walsh just wants to bring people back again and again to her big blue truck. “We just want to be a place where people can come get hand-sliced meat and classic sandwiches,” she said.
“This might be weird, but I’m really drawn to the cole slaw. Like, it can be done so many different ways, but this just tastes like a deli cole slaw. Don’t get me wrong, the meat is perfect and you get a nice generous portion of it too. However, side dishes are what pull an entire meal together and the cole slaw (and potato salad too) are top notch in my opinion.”
The intersection of 4th and Main in Fargo (Regional Small Business Center Parking Lot)
Monday & Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.