Oh, the irony: Former Spuds open potato-based food truck in Moorhead

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MOORHEAD -- Two brothers hope their new spud-based food trailer idea will be no small potato in the local food scene.

Patrick and Tony Frost debuted their Potato Brothers food trailer late last month at Moorhead’s Junkyard Brewing Co., 1416 1st Ave. N., and have since kept busy serving up meals and snacks at the brewery, as well as events and businesses around the region, to spread word of their take on spuds.

It’s something the Moorhead High School graduates have talked about for years, but they made it a reality this summer when they bought a used concessions trailer from a Fergus Falls man about two months ago.

The trailer was in rough shape after years of sitting in the elements, they said, and it wasn’t equipped with a proper mobile kitchen because it had been used as a hot dog cart.

The brothers got to work rebuilding the floor, moving windows, installing a full kitchen and adding some orange and black accents to pay homage to the Moorhead High School Spuds.

Now, they’re ready to show off their work and win over the hearts and bellies of locals.

New flavors

The brothers have plenty of kitchen experience and knowledge of what to do -- and not do -- in the food business.

Tony Frost, 31, said he’s done everything from five-star dining to fast food work for about 15 years, while Patrick Frost, 29, got a bachelor’s degree in business administration in Texas and worked as a sous chef and head chef.

The two worked and lived together for several years in Austin, Texas, going their separate ways three years ago when Tony Frost moved back to Moorhead and his younger brother moved to Denver to work catering and events until coming home earlier this year.

Tony Frost said they wanted to bring new flavors to their hometown, and after years of emails and phone calls, they settled on a seemingly simple idea -- potatoes -- in a spud-heavy area of the country.

Potatoes aren’t just the main ingredient of their offerings, which include a “deconstructed” and homemade tater tot hotdish with hand-rolled tots and locally sourced beef and bison meat. Spuds are also a “symbol” of their sustainable business, according to Patrick Frost.

“The potato is the seed that then sprouts and grows next year, so in our concept, the potato is renewable,” he said.

The menu will change frequently, though Patrick Frost said they’ll almost always serve up handmade tots, tater tot hotdish and some sort of fry, such as brown butter fries with Italian cheese and parsley.

They’ve also whipped up sweet potato pancakes, breakfast tacos and potato hash.

The Frosts said they’ll likely set up at Moorhead’s Junkyard Brewing a couple weekends a month, and they’d also like to travel to music festivals or other special events in the region.

But locals probably won’t see Potato Brothers come to restaurant-rich downtown Fargo because they said they’d rather go to underserved areas, such as office parking lots out of downtown or industrial parks.

“There’s just so many options downtown for lunch that we would really have to fight for some sales,” Tony Frost said.

A brick-and-mortar restaurant probably isn’t in their future either. Patrick Frost said many chefs have switched to a mobile kitchen to have more flexibility and control of their schedules and to be able to travel around rather than serving in the same spot every day.

They also like the ability to follow their own passions as they offer up a seemingly endless number of dishes to serve and showcase the humble crop.

“Our menu definitely helps us in a chef-driven concept to be motivated to change things up every day because potatoes are just endless,” Patrick Frost said.

Business profile

What: Potato Brothers

Where: Junkyard Brewing Co., 1416 1st Ave. N., Moorhead, and other rotating locations around the region

Phone: (701) 429-1341

Online: Keep up with the latest offerings and location of Potato Brothers at www.facebook.com/potatobrothersllc