From working in fast food to opening a restaurant of their own, this father-son team turned their love of food into a family-run business… with a twist.
“Food Dudes” may be named after the guys, but the La Crosse County restaurant, in the village of Holmen, is a full-blown family affair. James Condos and his son Kaiden own the business, while daughter Sideny manages the front of the house and his wife Kyla helps out as needed. Their food is now on everyone’s radar thanks to their prized, five-star Google review.
Cherita Booker, UpNorthNews Reporter: How did Food Dudes start?
James Condos: We opened last July after a building went up for lease half mile from our home. We knew it was the right time. It has always been a dream of mine to own my own place, and what better partners to have than my own family! My son and I have always had a passion for food, so that’s where our name “Food Dudes” came from.
What makes Food Dudes unique?
All of our sandwiches are made to order by hand with fresh ingredients, no short-cuts. We source some of our meat from the local meat market and have collaborated with 608 Brewing Company for some of our weekly specials. And we serve one of the only fried pork sandwiches in the area!
Our decor is also unique. My son and I have always been huge fans of Japanese Anime (Dragon Ball Z, Attack on Titan, Bleach, Sailor Moon, Chainsaw Man, Naruto, etc.), so that’s proudly displayed all over our walls, tattooed on our bodies, and often playing on our TV.
What are your favorite things on the menu?
My personal favorite is the Daybreak Burger, which is a quarter-pound patty of ground angus, house made breakfast sausage, and smoked ground bacon, topped with cheddar, sliced ham, bacon, fried egg, deep-fried tater-tots, and maple syrup mayo on a toasted brioche bun.
The best seller is easily “The Dude,” which is an angus patty smashed into freshly-sauteed onions, covered with American cheese, and housemade garlic mayo on a toasted bun.
Another fan favorite is the Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, which comes in as a close second to the Dude Burger. It’s a hand-tenderized chicken breast that’s marinated in a blend of buttermilk and pickle juice and hand-breaded in our southern flour mixture before we deep fry it to perfection.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Finding the balance of dedicating time to the business, while making time for family, vacations, and relaxation, has been difficult. It’s definitely a labor of love.
What can we expect from Food Dudes as it approaches its first birthday?
We are currently updating our menu with a few new items, and we hope to have the drive-thru open soon. Currently, we only utilize it for online order pickup.
Our long-term goal is to move into a bigger space and expand our menu to include pasta, seafood, steaks, and more!
Food Dudes, located at 208 S. Holmen Dr. in Holmen, Wisconsin, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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