Sneak peek at 20 Below Coffee Co.

The number of quality cups of coffee available to us in Fargo-Moorhead continues to grow. Small batch roasters have made their mark now, too, with Stumbeano’s setting up shop downtown last year. They roast beans in Fergus Falls, where they started, but now are slinging espresso near the Boiler Room restaurant.

Some drinks at Stumbeano’s I recommend are the chai tea, cafe miel or a cortado. They really know what they’re doing. Also available are pour-over coffee or aeropress.

Now another place is just weeks away from opening.

20 Below Coffee Co., at 14 Roberts St., looks to be a perfect pairing of quality coffee and outstanding customer service, as they write on the website:

Paired with this goal of bringing the highest quality coffee and community environment to our beloved city is the goal of strengthening community in the countries we are receiving our coffee from.

There’s also an emphasis on fair trade with coffee farmers:

One of our long-term goals is to develop direct-trade relationships with coffee farmers in order to maximize their profit, product quality, and relationship with others in their community.

Something the founders, Ty and Elisha Ford and Michael and Danae Moran, have been doing I found particularly interesting. They’ve set up a Kickstarter-like campaign “founding member opportunity” with different rewards for amounts contributed, ranging from a drink token to free coffee for life (with $2500 contribution).

An email went out to early supporters with photos of the new space and it’s looking good so far:

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There will be a grand opening party on April 11th with live music and giveaways.

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‘Pounds’ coming soon

There will soon be a new place to try out in downtown Fargo. 11021118_881774288549811_1813478324201151082_n

Pounds is setting up shop at 612 1st Ave N near Wurst Bier Hall.

They’re doing some renovations on the space right now, and no word yet on an opening date.

From the looks of it, Pounds will feature made-from-scratch food and going from their website design alone, it’ll probably include burgers, wings and drinks at least, so most likely an upper-scale bar menu.

Stay tuned.

Check out www.poundsfargo.com

All about a sweet new startup: Gigi’s Ice Lollies

In only six days, Nicole Kolbe and her sweet new company, Gigi’s Ice Lollies, shattered their Kickstarter.com goal of $2,500.  While that brings Nicole quite a bit closer to being up and running, there’s still time to contribute to the cause, as the Kickstarter project will be online until July 19. 

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Holy lollies!

Nicole’s idea is a fairly simple one: Quality, handmade popsicles sold from a cart in the sweltering North Dakota summer. The first cart should be mobile on or around July 13 in the area of the corner of 3rd St. and Broadway, across from Atomic Coffee. Keep a lookout for a bright rainbow umbrella and follow it for deliciousness. dc59b3c7e8f2a54d7bd3512831292592_large

“We are even working on the concept of taking ‘ice lolly party’ orders where you can arrange to have ice lollies delivered to your office for you and your co-workers. Eventually we are hoping to cater weddings, parties, and other events- but that probably won’t happen any time soon, unless it is a special case,” Nicole wrote in an email to me.

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As for the background on the name and idea, I’ll let Nicole explain it to you:

“I grew up on a small farm in TN and during the summer my grandmother, Gigi, would make us handmade ice lollies to keep us cool. Everything was natural, fresh and wonderfully delicious,” Nicole wrote. 

“Fast forward 20 years where I am married 1,500 miles from home and pining away for the lovely pops of King of Pops (in Atlanta, GA) and my grandmother. Then it dawned on me to simply make my own. Then it dawned on me that Fargo needs a handcrafted frozen treat on a stick to call its own, too. Thus Gigi’s Ice Lollies was born.” 

How cool is that?!

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Not only is the idea great because it honors the memory of Nicole’s grandma, but she’s using fresh, local and locally-sourced ingredients without any preservatives, artificial flavors or sweeteners, so you can feel good about indulging. Nicole says most of the lollies have less than five ingredients and quite a few are vegan, so everyone’s invited!

What really caught my attention were the flavors Nicole has thought up: Banana split, honeyed peaches and cream, strawberry basil, vegan frozen hot chocolate and (mmmm) lemon ricotta. They all sound crazy good, right?

I think it’s great that young people in Fargo are trying new stuff like this. It all goes together to make our community better, one step at a time, one ice lolly at a time!

Check out Gigi’s Ice Lollies on Facebook

Red Pepper has ‘soft opening’

There are till a few hours to get your grinder on.

Grinders

Grinders

The Red Pepper is holding a “soft opening” for its “unpretentious Mexican” food at their new Fargo location at 1115 19th Ave. N. in the Happy Harry’s Plaza.

“The Pepper” has been a mainstay up in Grand Forks, mostly for inebriated college students.

Fellow blogger Jeni Flaa went to check the place out for the first time, but unfortunately had to turn back due to the extreme wait and slow-moving line.

In line, people were yelling to keep the door shut. Despite the publicity for the restaurant, the owners did not provide any way to guide the long line so it was a crowd of people struggling to keep any semblance of a line. Lots of people letting their families in so the line never seemed to get shorter. Waited for 20 minutes and moved ahead but only a few steps. Puzzled that hardly anyone seemed to leave the restaurant with their orders. Heard the ding of the microwave-also puzzled how it takes so long to put together food that mostly needs to be assembled and nuked.

Jeni said she’ll try again when the initial buzz dies down.

The Red Pepper Fargo will be fully open starting Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

‘Red Pepper’ Fargo location opening very soon

Grinders

Grinders

The Red Pepper, a staple for inebriated college students in the northern Red River Valley, will open its first Fargo location in the next week or two.

The restaurant, announcing on its Facebook page, will open up shop “in a week or two” in the Happy Harry’s Plaza in north Fargo right next to the NDSU campus.

I’ve let you know my thoughts on the place before.

I imagine it’ll be extremely popular. It’s good drunk food, in that it would be nearly disgusting to ingest while sober.

 

Panera coming to West Acres Mall

Just a quick note because I’m quite busy today:

West Acres Mall announced Wednesday that a Panera Bread location will be opening there in the fall of this year.

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See the menu here.

Your thoughts?

Sonic Drive-In coming to Fargo

It looks like “more than one” Sonic Drive-In will be gracing the great city of Fargo in the coming years. We could see our first in as little as 18 months, according to a Forum Communications article.


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Seriously Overrated GF Joint Coming to Fargo

I might make a few enemies saying this.

But it must be said: The Red Pepper is not good. It is terrible. The only time it can be justified is if you’re drunk off your ass at 2 a.m., stumbling into the shabby restaurant and ordering three of everything.
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