Photos by Hillary Ehlen
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 #4: Sliderz
For owner Teddy Mata, his passion for cooking was cultivated by a familiar face, Eric Watson. As we walked up to the window, he smiled at Eric and said “I looked up to Chef so much and now I get to serve him my food.” Unbeknownst to us, Teddy was on staff at Mezzaluna when Eric was the owner and Executive Chef. He has since sold Mezzaluna and Mata went his own way too, but the two shared moments of nostalgia while Eric was eating his burger.
Mata was not the original owner of Sliderz, which opened up last year. He says he purchased the truck from a good friend of his and has not looked back. While they are currently set up outside of Duffey’s Tavern on 12th Street, Mata is looking to move closer to Downtown. “For us, when we are doing the lunch rush and also the late night scene, Downtown is ideal,” he said. There is a chance that Sliderz moves somewhere near Fort Noks or back by Mezzaluna, where other food trucks call home according to Mata.
Whether or not Sliderz moves closer to Downtown, they are still one of the only food trucks in town that makes burgers. They are certainly the only that makes them exclusively too. It may seem odd, but this classic staple on any dinner menu has become somewhat of a niche for Teddy Mata and Sliderz.
“I had the El Macho (Hillary wouldn’t let me have a bite of the Mushroom N’ Swiss) and it was really good. When you’re talking about hamburger sliders, it’s all in the beef. You have to pack a ton of flavor and juiciness into only a few bites which can be a challenge. This is perfect though, the beef is nice and flavorful, but you have to savor every bite too. The guac and the aioli really work well together too, I like this burger a lot.”
Duffy’s Tavern, 16 12th St S, Fargo
Lunch: Tuesday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Dinner: Tuesday – Thursday: 5 – 9 p.m.
Late Night: Friday – Saturday: 11 p.m. – 3 a.m.