Casa Delicia putting food truck in park, moving into downtown Fargo restaurant
Casa Delicia owner Marcel Sanchez said the new restaurant is expected to open soon to align with the food truck's one-year anniversary. “It’s not going to be any extremely fancy, but we want to make it look really nice,” he remarked.
FARGO — A mainstay of downtown Fargo’s late-night food truck scene and the weekly Red River Market is set to open its own brick-and-mortar restaurant.
Casa Delicia Eatery, operated by Marcel Sanchez, is set to open a stationary restaurant and, for the most part, put the food truck in park for good. Sanchez, who was born in California but grew up in Mexico City, reported to The Forum that his aim is to make the restaurant and catering events his primary focus.
Sanchez is in the process of hiring three full crews to staff the new restaurant, which will be opening at 623 Northern Pacific Ave. in a space behind Sushi Burrito. He is targeting Sunday, Oct. 10, the eatery’s one-year anniversary, as the opening date for Casa Delicia’s new digs. “It’s not going to be any extremely fancy, but we want to make it look really nice,” he remarked.
In the interim, Sanchez said he has been ratcheting down the food truck’s schedule. Casa Delicia is currently open Thursdays during Broadway Square’s movie nights in addition to Friday and Saturday nights near Sports Bar.
Sanchez moved to North Dakota after dropping out of college in Mexico to work in the Bakken oil field. That eventually led him to Fargo to finish his education at North Dakota State University and also open Casa Delicia. “I think the Fargo community has a lot of potential,” he said. "I love that they love Mexican cuisine and Mexican culture in general.”
Since its opening, Sanchez said Casa Delicia has received a warm welcome from metro area diners who are eager to eat authentic Mexican cuisine. Traditional menu items offer diners a chance to experience Mexican culture as well. “I want to give out just authentic food for people who want to try it,” he said. “There’s a lot of people that don’t really know about Mexican culture and I not only want to show them but teach them about the real Mexican culture through food.”
Despite his ardent focus on authenticity, Sanchez said he is relatively new to the kitchen. “I honestly don’t have a lot of kitchen experience,” he commented. “I just serve food the way I would like to be served. I cook them and I prep them the way I would like to be served anywhere I go.”
'The Mexican Panera Bread'
Growing up in Mexico City, Sanchez recalled walking past food vendors and taco trucks on nearly every corner. It’s why he is focused on quality to help Casa Delicia stand out among the crowd. “In order for your business to be successful, you have to have really amazing food and do something different that nobody else is doing,” he explained. “That’s pretty much been my motto.”
Even with the positive response from the Fargo-Moorhead area, Sanchez still said he is taking “a big risk and a big gamble” opening the restaurant. Regardless, he said he isn’t worried about the possibility of failure. “I believe that if you work hard, you can accomplish pretty much anything you want,” he remarked. “Worst case scenario, if I fail or the business fails, to me it wouldn’t feel like failing. It would be a really great experience that I got. I would never move on with my life wondering what could have been.”
If all goes well with the new restaurant, Sanchez said he’ll continue looking to expand. He has eyed West Fargo for expansion within the metro area, though he’s also setting his sights far beyond the F-M area. “I would love to become the Mexican Panera Bread or something like that,” he beamed.
In the short term, Sanchez is focused on transitioning the business from on-the-go to its new format while also promising some new menu items. It’s a challenge for which he feels prepared. “I’ve always believed that hard work pays off and you’ve just got to work hard,” he said. “If you really want something, you’re going to do what it takes to get there.”
Sanchez is also out to establish himself as a community fixture. While Casa Delicia is already a staple among the food truck faithful, he wants to become more consistent and prove he’s here to stay. “The hardest thing about this is just being consistent, so that’s what we’re trying to do. We want to show people that we’re working and we’re not going anywhere,” he said. “We’re not just here to sell food or trying to make money, we really want to be a part of this community.”