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Published February 02, 2011, 12:00 AM

Three new Fargo restaurants offer down-home dishes

If you’re hankering for a home-cooked meal over the lunch hour, there are a few new options in Fargo.

By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM

If you’re hankering for a home-cooked meal over the lunch hour, there are a few new options in Fargo.

Two new deli restaurants opened this past fall, while another is scheduled to open this spring in the building that most recently was occupied by Fargo Coffee Co.

In the case of Stewart’s Deli, which opened Oct. 5, it was Trixie Stewart’s passion for food that drove her to open in the Skaff apartment building Stone West Village at 4955 17th Ave. S.

She serves panini, grilled sandwiches, deli salads, and soups made with fresh ingredients.

Stewart said there’s something for everybody, from the Boring Bugsy – ham, cheese, lettuce and mayo on soft white bread – to the Hot Mamma – a panini on grilled sourdough with a blue cheese pecan spread, red onions, tomatoes, and red hot sauce.

“I wanted something that offers healthy, delicious food,” Stewart said. “You’ve got to really come in to experience the flair of the place.”

Stewart makes soups from scratch every morning. Her creations include beer cheese, knoephla and French onion. She also will take requests.

Another new lunch place, Oasis Café, opened Nov. 15 in the Hair Success building at 1638 32nd Ave. S.

Richard Thompson, owner and chef, offers a variety of Panini, sandwiches, soups and stews. He makes homemade meals out of wholesome food that keep you going all day, he said.

His menu includes items like Caribbean beef stew – made with flank steak, raisins, green olives and corn – and Tuscan peasant stew – made with sausage, chicken, ham, roasted peppers and onions.

As his café develops, Thompson plans to offer upscale cuisine and more interesting fare, made as customers enter the restaurant, he said.

“That’s how I want to differentiate myself,” he said. “You can go into a coffee place and get a cold sandwich, but you come in here and you can actually get something somebody makes for you.”

Finally, coming in late March is CJ’s Kitchen.

Curtis and Jan Ness of Fargo have been kicking around the idea of opening a restaurant for the past 10 to 15 years.

When the building at 1601 S. University Drive (the former Fargo Coffee Co., Starbucks and Pizza Hut) became available, they decided to shoot for their goal.

“We just thought it was a really great location and so we made the move,” Curtis Ness said.

The restaurant will be open for breakfast and lunch and will serve home-cooked meals.

The menu will rotate and will offer things like egg bake, breakfast burritos, kuchen, soups, sandwiches, white chocolate cheesecake and white chocolate pecan pie.

“(Jan Ness) makes about six to eight really good soups and we’ll have three or four of them every day,” Curtis Ness said. “It’s just kind of a place to have some fun and eat some good food.”

As soon as they get city approval, they will start re-equipping the restaurant.

Business profiles

What: Oasis Café

Ownership: Richard Thompson

Where: 1638 32nd Ave. S., Fargo

Hours: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday – Saturday

Contact: (701) 478-8155

What: Stewart’s Deli

Ownership: Trixie Stewart

Where: 4955 17th Ave. S., Fargo

Hours: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Contact: (701) 356-7776

What: CJ’s Kitchen

Ownership: Curtis and Jan Ness

Where: 1601 S. University Dr., Fargo

Planned opening: late March

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526