FMO Restaurant Review: Le Sous-Sol
Fargone, ND – What follows is another in a special series of restaurant reviews of places in the F-M area, mmkay?
Johnnny: By the flip of a coin, we decided to check out a new basement restaurant in downtown Fargo called Le Sous-Sol (the basement). As soon as we stumbled into the place, we knew it was a huge mistake to come here.
Nick: Le Sous-Sol. Impossible to pronounce due to our total lack of immersion in French culture. You see, the French weren’t allowed to migrate here back when North Dakota became a state. That was one of the provisions of what they called The Great Nodak-French Embargo. This fortunate embargo treaty lasted until well into the 1970s. As a result, French culture effectively skipped a generation. Now, we have our first French restaurant and nobody can pronounce its frickin’ title.
Johnnny: I wanted us to have a window booth. Upon learning they had neither, we were offered a free glass of wine, which I initially declined since wine is something we only drink at church. The overall ambiance seemed fine except for the extremely bright lights which manifested some disturbing pictures of dead animals on the walls.
Nick: Normally, dead things are quaintly pleasing to my eye holes. But these dead things I found offensive. There’s just something genuinely irritating about a disemboweled platypus leering at you as you try to dine. I complained, then brushed it aside as our obviously French waiter called it “les tradition” to have graphic depictions of newly-murdered mammal species adorn dining room walls. Whatever!
Johnnny: For an appetizer, I ordered the butterflied platypus and the pickled beets. We tried to pay no attention to the arguing coming from the kitchen until it literally spilled out into the dining area. Since some of the other patrons were smoking cigars, we lit up as well while enjoying the altercation.
Our server, Jacquieaiux
Nick: The cook fight! I forgot all about that! By that late in the evening I was so utterly trounced on red wine I forgot a lot of things but I do know those two sous chefs really had a war for the ages. I can recall a multitude of French cuss words being hurled about, such as “manger de la merde” and “vous baise la chatte”. There was sangria and bisque and creme brulee all over the walls, the floor. It was magical!
Johnnny: We ended up having a seemingly wonderful time in spite of the food fighting staff and the questionable service. We met some folks from Colorado there who said they have been frequenting this restaurant for years (even tho it just opened a month ago, so they obviously were from Colorado, doyaknowhatimsayn?)
Nick: Our waiter insisted we pay for our meal in francs as it is, again, “les tradition” to fund your host in his native form of currency as payment. I called bullshit, but he stood tall. He explained that as part of the Great Nodak-French Embargo, full-blooded French have been disallowed from handling American currency. This was “les stipulation” of ending the embargo, he said. Well, we didn’t have any francs so we ended up having to wash all the creme brulee and bisque and whatnot off the walls. Hard French labor to pay for our meal. Side note: I had the scallops á la provençale which was absolutely incredible. 10/10.
Johnnny: In summary, we would only recommend that you eat at Le Sous-Sol if you end up there by accident or by force. Yes, it is a restaurant that serves food, but because of all its hyper-quirkiness, we suggest that you instead go to the Grand Porks, which we previously reviewed for our most discerning readers who we know appreciate a good thing and who are starving for the latest information on what the hell’s happening in the greater Fargo-Moorhead area, mmkay?