During the past couple of weeks, Jake and I have tried to experience Fargo through food.
In a previous post, I wrote about my love for a cranberry and brie-filled croissant from Nichole’s Fine Pastry in downtown Fargo. While I waited for the post office to open, I stopped by Nichole’s last weekend and bought a couple of desserts to take home.
Nichole’s Fine Pastry
13 8th Street S.
Fargo, ND 58103
The Trollwood Post Office is the strangest post office I’ve ever seen. It’s located at the end of a rundown strip mall. Everything is located in stripmalls, from post offices to libraries to NDSU departments to plastic surgeons. I drove around the building three times before I noticed a small sign beneath an entrance with faded red lettering, nearly erased by the weather. Following a sign that instructed me to ring a bell, I waited as a pleasant woman answered the large warehouse door and searched for my package while I waited outside in the wind.
While I was at Nichole’s, I noticed an interesting, purple dessert. Though I can’t remember the exact description, the dessert was a maple-flavored panna cotta with a gelatinous grape topping.
Why this sounded good to me, I will never know. But for a few dollars, I purchased the purple mystery and a slice of pumpkin cheesecake for $5. Typically, I don’t often eat cheesecake because I find it too rich and dense. Again, I must have been in an unusual mood because I was craving sweets and definitely felt drawn to cheesecake.
I had a suspicion that the grape dessert might swing towards really amazing or not so wonderful. Jake tried one bite and was not a fan. I had a strange love/not-so-in-love relationship with the dessert. The grape topping was made with fresh, juicy halves of purple grapes suspended in a firm grape gelatin. Beneath, lay what had the mouthfeel of panna cotta and tasted of maple and caramel. The combination of the two layers was odd and I was not sure I liked eating them together. At the same time, I was also addicted to something about the dessert and eventually finished it.
The pumpkin cheesecake was completely delicious, flavored subtly with pumpkin spice. It was light and creamy and had a delicate “baked” texture. Unlike the grape dessert, Jake also loved this cheesecake.
This cheesecake successfully avoided the cloying sweetness and heaviness that makes me hate most cheesecakes.
1609 32nd Avenue S.
At some point during the past couple of weeks, I experienced my cyclical gyro craving. Unlike the Twin Cities, there aren’t gobs of institutions serving gyros so I stopped by Cafe Aladdin, a restaurant someone had recommended (there are two locations in Fargo). I ordered a gyro combo with french fries and sides of hot sauce and feta which cost about $13. The combo came with my choice of beverage and I was happy to fill-up on fragrant, black tea.
Near the counter, I noticed a sign for Kronos and assume they buy gyro cones from this company like many others. Most others?
I ordered my meal to-go and by the time I opened the container, the fries were incredibly damp and soggy. Not that this stopped me from eating them. The fries were covered in a red spice mixture that looks bolder than it tasted. It was minimally salty.
The gyro itself was generously without being a monstrosity (as in Holy Land Deli). Although, it was loaded too full to really eat with my hands as the interior spilled out from each end, when handled. Gyropolis in Bloomington, MN creates the most ergonomically-constructed gyro I have seen.
The meat itself was cut relatively thickly, and moist and juicy. I prefer my meat more on the crispy and thinly-shaved side. The yogurt sauce was thick and creamy and the tomatoes, fresh. The gyro was covered in iceburg lettuce which I loathe because I dislike its slimy texture and smell when placed on warm food. This is just a personal preference of mine. I also did not notice any discernible onion, of which I added more at home. Again, my nit-picky concept of a perfect gyro is garnished with plenty of raw onion to bite through the richness of the meat and yogurt.
The hot sauce cost about 70 cents extra and I saw it poured into the cup from a jar.
The hot sauce was not particularly spicy, though it added a nice acidity to the rich gyro and french fries.
This side of feta cost an extra $2.49. The gentleman let me know it would be less expensive to order feta just for the sandwich, but I wanted extra to eat with my fries.
He gave me a whole half pint of feta. The cheese was drier and extremely salty. Eating the feta alone gave my mouth a slight salt burn, but tasted great when eaten with the fries and hot sauce.
My first impression of Cafe Aladdin was friendly and acceptable and I might try them again to relieve a future gyro craving. I would like to order some of their other menu offerings such as kufta and fried vegetables.
On two separate occasions, I have dined at Wasabi, a Japanese restaurant located downtown.
Wasabi Sushi & Asian Grill
623 NP Avenue
Jake and I dined at Wasabi for our first time, last weekend.
I was especially feeling homesick that evening.
To begin, Jake ordered this appetizer titled the “Heart Attack” and glass of sake.
Join me next, as I share my journey through the Enchanted Highway and evening in Medora. Jake and I also tried some selections from The Green Market’s special Day of the Dead menu which ended this weekend.
Next week, I plan to travel to Sacramento to visit my brother and spend time in Yosemite National Park and spend time in the Twin Cities for the holiday.
As personal side notes, I’m starting to connect with more people and look forward to learning how to cross country ski. I’m also seeking a part-time job so feel free to throw me tips in the Fargo-Moorhead area.