The Curse of Washington and Demers

With the demise of yet another restaurant at the intersection of Washington and Demers in Grand Forks, I’ve been wondering: “What is it about that location that continues to curse any business that opens up there?”

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit took the place of Mi Mexico, which took the place of a long-vacant Hardee’s location.

But being one of the busiest intersections in the state does not guarantee business success, obviously.

To me, it’s an access issue. Because of how it’s situated, there are only two ways to get into the parking lot, northbound on Washington or eastbound on Demers. The location’s visibility is great, but that just does not seem to translate to any lasting customer base.

What are you thoughts? What would you ideally like to see take Dickey’s place at the intersection?

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Coming to Former Mi Mexico Location

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will soon be calling the former Mi Mexico location home, according to Reggie.

“When I moved to North Dakota, I looked up barbecue and all that came up were Chinese food restaurants,” said franchise owner Josh Becker. “There was a desperate need for barbecue here.”

Dickey's Quarter Plate

Becker is right. The only time we get good barbecue up here is when the Famous Dave’s truck comes up from Fargo for the Art Fest or something. Wild Hog in south Grand Forks is alright, but I found their version a bit dry. I do need to get there again and try the ribs, though.

Dickey’s was started in Texas in 1941. They serve hickory-smoked meats like beef brisket, pulled pork, polish sausage and more. Sides include cole slaw, barbecue beans, potato salad and French fries. There are over 200 locations across the country.

A Fargo Forum review found the meat tasty, but the sides lacking.

Dickey’s is expected to open in mid May. I can’t wait.

Dios Mio! How I Miss ‘Mi Mexico’

Mi Mexico closed its Grand Forks location on July 25, 2011 and I haven’t stopped missing it since. It took the long-vacant Hardee’s location at one of the busiest intersections in the state at Demers and Washington, so I don’t know how it didn’t survive.

Mi Mexico Closed

It was crazy popular when it opened in 2010 with cars spilling into the Leever’s lot. The restaurant featured hand-painted murals by artist Ezequiel Escobedo and colorful wood booths. I didn’t care for the harsh fluorescent lighting though.

Mi Mexico was my long-awaited alternative to the American-style Mexican food at Paradiso down the road just a few blocks. I know there are many fans of Paradiso out there, but it is nearly an insult to quality Mexican food.

News flash: red or green “gravy” and gooey yellow cheese topping almost every dish are not authentic Mexican ingredients. On that gravy, there’s really no flavor at all and it’s pretty nasty looking. It usually forms a film as it sits under the heat lamp.

Don’t get me started on Mexican Village.

But Mi Mexico was a shining light of authentic Mexican food. I’d go probably two or three times a month, salivating over the extremely flavorful (and pretty spicy) grilled  jalapeños.  I thought about trying to make them myself, but knew I would never be able to get the spice mixture the same. They were reason enough to come.

The menu was huge, filled with fajitas, chimichangas, quesadillas and more.

I remember I had the Especial Dinner that comes with a taco, tamale, enchilada, chile relleno, chalupa, rice and beans. It was enormous and really good. I didn’t much care for the relleno, though. I’ve had it at other places and found the Mi Mexico version lacking.

The Minot location is still open and if I’m ever there, I’ll definitely be going.

I hear from Reggie that El Metate in Crookston is very good. Check out his review. Hopefully I’ll get there soon.

I want to hear from you about your dining experiences at Mi Mexico or your rebuttal to my views on Paradiso.

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