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Oct 2, 2007 01:18 PM

Anyone been to Be'Wiched Mpls Yet?

I'd love to hear any reviews of this new place. Thanks.

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    1. re: St Paul Susie

      I think it's at 800 Washington Ave. N. (I haven't been yet.) See this City Pages blurb from a few months ago:

      Or see their web site at (warning for work-time surfers - there's music).


      1. re: St Paul Susie

        If you know where C. McGees used to be (next to Babalu), it is in that space. With pedigree like this, I am embarrassed I have not been yet. This week for sure.

      2. It was noted in the Strib today. I didn't read the article, but they did have a photo of the pastrami sandwhich imbedded in the small article.

        1. OK, I went over there yesterday and was very impressed with the place. They've only been open a month- I sampled several of their prepared salads and all were excellent- a potato salad with capers, a chicken salad with beans, and a lovely coleslaw with a 'sugar-parsley' dressing. Also had some yummy soup- a creamy celery/apple. The owners seem like they are really into thinking about balance with flavors, using sustainable/local/high quality ingredients, and being creative, along with beautiful presentation. Plus keeping the prices affordable, and the wait time short for the eaters!
          Did I mention nothing is same-old same-old on this menu? Even half of these goals
          would endear me to the place. And granted there weren't a ton of people in there, but
          it seems like it could be a place in which you could have a conversation comfortably.
          I chatted briefly with the owners and they seem very enthusiastic about their first time
          running a place of their own. They make their own pastrami (see Rick Nelson's Counter
          Intelligence Podcasts for the interview with them for Star Trib) from free-range meat,
          do their own smoking and curing of meats, and even make their own very original
          veggie burger with mushrooms and beets! I'm definitely going back to work my way
          through the menu, and encourage other hounds to follow suit-

          8 Replies
          1. re: faith

            Do yourself a favor and run, don't walk, to this place.

            I was there today with one other person. We ordered the turkey sandwich, the pastrami with extra meat, a bag of Rachel's chips, and the pasta salad with tuna confit. We split the sandwiches and shared the sides.

            The salad was very nice. It's oil-based rather than made with mayo, and has some nice peppers and olives in it. The tuna was excellent - it's really high quality tuna loins in a confit of their own making.

            The turkey sandwich was very nice. The ciabatta was very soft. The date spread was a delightful flavor balance to the goat cheese and bacon in the sandwich. I could have stood more date in there, being the goat cheese was pretty mild and the turkey isn't seasoned much. But I really am not sure where I'll find a better turkey sandwich in the cities. It's real roast turkey breast that is sliced as thinly as deli meat.

            The crown jewel is indeed that pastrami sandwich. It's the best sandwich I've had since I don't know when. I normally am not a fan of pastrami, as it tends to be too salty, too fatty, and/or even bland. This meat is miraculous! It's lean yet moist, excellently flavored, and very generously heaped on. The rye bread is flavorful, with a very soft middle and a nice crunch crust. The sandwich has some nice pickled cabbage (thankfully with a mild flavor) and a terrific hot dijon. The flavors balance so beautifully in this sandwich - it's very bold without being overpowering.

            Both sandwiches same with a small side of a chick pea salad that was delicious. It had sort of a North African/Middle Eastern flavor palate to it.

            I talked to one of the owners for a bit - the commitment to sustainability is plainly there. They just take really top-self quality stuff and prepare it with a lot love. The process for the brining for the pastrami is pretty neat. He was a pretty charming guy, too.

            I also chatted with the counter guy - he came out to our table and talked with us for a while. Cute guy with glasses - look for him. Really nice and fun to talk to. He is totally geeked out about his job, even though he has little stake in the place other than his paycheck. He told us to get the tuna confit sandwich and the pulled pork when we come back - he loves those as much as the pastrami.

            My only gripe was the woman who works the pay machine. She really couldn't be bothered with customers. She clearly lacked the order-takers enthusiasm for her job.

            When I was ordering , the women in front of me in line took forever to order - they were placing Sally orders (as in When Harry Met Sally). I couldn't help but get annoyed not only at having to wait for them but at the idea that they wouldn't trust the cooks instincts in how they assembled the sandwiches. The flavors are so well-balanced, and they robbed themselves of the chance to experience that with all their substitutions, on the sides, and hold-the-spreads. These cooks know their food - they come from La Belle Vie and Solera.

            The space itself is also very smart. There are a variety of seating options there - counter, tall tables, booths, stand alone tables. Very sturdy wooden chairs. The color palate is very warm and inviting.

            Run, don't walk. Best sandwiches in town.

            1. re: pgokey

              hooray, finally good sandwiches!!.. i totally missed that the turkey sandwich had dates in it.. that's intriguing.

              someone try the asparagus one & let me know :)

              1. re: pgokey

                Be'wiched were offering gratis apps at the monthly Sam's Wine Shop tasting this week. Muchos yummos (and nice that North Loop food businesses support each other).

                1. re: pgokey

                  Very cool. I just started working in Golden Valley and noticed how easy and quick it is to get in and out of the Warehouse District from there. I look forward to checking things out. Thanks for the great writeups pgokey and faith.

                  1. re: pgokey

                    I ran and was not disappointed. Had the New York Pastrami and Oh, my god!!! I love pastrami and this was the best pastrami sandwich I have ever had. You probably can't find a better pastrami sandwich this side of the Hudson. We had the tuna pasta salad and it was spectacular too.

                    The front of the house needs work. It seemed that there was only one person handling transactions, busing, all customer issues. She was overwhelmed. Apparently some customer was telling them about an issue with their meal which meant we waited five minutes to place an order. There were a handful of tables that were unbussed, the pop cooler for the premium bottles pop was not fully stocked and they didn't even have a bottle opener near where the bottled pop was. It seemed the counter service set up was designed to have multiple people working it with separate order and payment stations. Not a huge deal but they obviously not worked out all the kinks yet.

                    I find it curious that they opened this place in the warehouse district and not somewhere in the skyway system. I hope that enough people are willing to leave the confines of their office to support this place because it is a jewel. I hope they are effective at marketing themselves to sell truckloads of sandwiches to corporate lunches as box lunches. I know if I were the employee or customer receiving this as a box lunch as opposed to the average box lunches I would be delighted.

                    I am already plotting my return. This is pastrami worth obsessing over. I am just afraid that I will be so singularly focused that I may miss some of their other delights.

                    1. re: GastronautMN

                      So I didn't run...but I did drive really fast to Be'Wiched after reading these posts. And unfortunately, I was kind of disappointed. I got a pastrami to go, and as I was driving home, began to unwrap my sandwich. Boy, was I surprised to find it cold. Not room temp...but COLD. Like the meat had just been pulled from the fridge. Was this your experience, too? If it's intentional, this is a big leap for me. The pastrami should be hot IMO. No?

                      Also, I found the pickled cabbage too sweet. It overwhelmed the subtle flavor of the pastrami. I do have to say that the pastrami is very good. And my last few bites were excellent -- there was no cabbage in them, and the meat had warmed closer to room temp.

                      I want to like the place. Tell me...what's the deal with the cold pastrami?

                      1. re: FireRev

                        Fire, I agree with the temps. My favorite pastrami is fresh out of the steamer, sliced thick. NY style. Katz is still my gold standard.

                        That said, I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch there today. I found the cabbage gave a nice balance to the mustard. My sandwich had a good 2" thick roll of thin-slices of pastrami so the meat wasn't buried by the other flavors. As is my standard MO, I pulled out a bit of each ingredient for individual tastings -- the pastrami alone is among the finest cold cuts available in town. I do concede that I think I would sometimes like the pastrami without the cabbage. It wasn't hot pastrami, but it was great, great quality meat. I wasn't disappointed at all.

                        I also tried the orecchiette pasta salad with chunks of tuna confit, olives and pepperocini (I think...I left my menu at work...a mild, tart pepper). Wonderful flavors and perfect overall after adding a hint of salt.

                        I was the lucky recipient of the slice of focaccia that came with my dad's soup. It was delicious and fresh.

                        The lunch was so good, I returned for supper. This time I tried the turkey sandwich on ciabatta with dates, goat cheese and bacon. I really appreciated the generous slathering of goat cheese. My last bite was cheese, dates and bread -- I could seriously eat an entire sandwich of just that.

                        I finished it off with a macadamia, coconut tart (shaped like a muffin). Wow. Flaky and chewy on the outside and gooey on the inside. Superb.

                        And how cool it was at lunchtime to see the open kitchen full of staff chopping carrots, toting around a big, beautiful whole turkey, and otherwise manipulating fresh, REAL ingredients into soups, salads and sandwiches!

                        I chatted quickly with Matthew, one of the owners while he was taking my order. I meant to ask him if he would consider adding a hot pastrami option but forgot. This place is already the crown jewel of the lunch scene within a five-mile radius of my new office so I'm sure I'll get back soon to ask him.

                        1. re: FireRev

                          My pastrami was not cold. It wasn't hot, either - I guess I didn't notice its temperature at all. I think it was warm - more than room temperature.

                          I didn't have the react of the cabbage being too sweet in the least, nor did I find the flavor of the pastrami to be subtle.

                          When I talked to the owner, he was very interested in feedback. I think if you say something to him, he'd adjust.

                          Give it another try, and ask that the meat not be cold. I am not sure I would like it cold, either.

                          But the flavor balance - I guess it's a matter of personal preference. But wow, I loved, loved, loved, loved the flavors of that sandwich. I'm betting a majority of the board would agree.

                  2. I work about half a mile from here and so glommed onto it as soon as I learned of it's existence. I've been about once a week for the past month or so. I always get a soup/half sandwich combo. With a free fountain drink, it's a downright steal at 8.50, considering the quality of ingredients.
                    * turkey sandwich with dates/goat cheese is wonderful, though I could do with fewer dates.
                    * I had the italian hero on Friday and it was absolutely delish. Wonderful meats with fresh mozz, lightly dressed with olive oil and herbs. no fakey italian dressing, and just a little zing from the meat.
                    * pastrami has been my least favorite so far-- though I am far from a pastrami expert. The sandwich as a whole was kind of tough (maybe the strong rye bread?) and didn't seem as cohesive as the other two

                    I have had some wonderful soups, also. The minestrone they have every day was so-so, but I've had an absolutely out-of-this-world mushroom bisque, and a comforting, perfectly seasoned cream of celery.

                    I think this spot will only get better... I hear they are planning for a happy hour and more take-out dinner food. As it is, with it being open till 8 on weekdays, I can see stopping by for a sandwich to-go to share for dinner (the whole sandwiches are giant). Love this place!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: KristinT013

                      Funny this thread should get bumped today. I went back for a second time tonight. I didn't realize they closed at 6 on Saturdays - we got there at about 6:30 for a pre-Bunkers dinner. The employee who waited on me before remembered me, and they graciously let us in to order, and even eat there while they cleaned the kitchen. I was surprised and really pleased they did that.

                      We both got the pastrami and I got potato salad. The salad was lovely. The meat in the pastrami was served warm - not hot, but plainly more than room temperature. It was perhaps more delicious than the first time, but I liked the overall sandwich just a smidge less. The reason is that my first time I got the one with extra meat, and this time I got the regular size. The extra meat really helps to balance out the spiciness of the mustard.

                      I think I liked the rye better this time, though. The crust was pleasantly crunchy, and the rest was wonderfully soft.

                    2. I finally made it to Be'Wiched this week after running some errands in the Warehouse district. Overall I have to say I was disappointed. I really wanted this to be a place that I really craved sandwiches from, a great deli with great selection that one could return to every week and never get tired. But I just can't see it becoming that. I ordered the 1/2 poached chicken sandwich with a curried Israeli couscous salad on the side. The cashier warned me that the poached chicken was actually a chicken salad, which wasn't made clear on the menu, but I went with it anyway. With a fountain drink on the side my bill came to $9-10.

                      The 1/2 sandwich portion was very small. Now, I'm totally in support of appropriate portions but this was maybe 2"x2" piece of bread. The chicken salad was piled high within it, but with that little bread most of it spilled out. I will say the sandwich was quite good, although extremely heavy tasting since it had a mayo base. The couscous, which there was a nice portion of, was extremely bland, I don't think it tasted very different than if you had cooked the couscous with no flavorings at all. Plus it was quite chilled which lead to even less of a flavor.

                      I'm not a cheap person, but I would compare the experience to the Astor Cafe, which I think is over priced for what it is. While Astor isn't as imaginative, from there for $9 you can walk away with a hearty ham and cheese on baguette sandwich and a wonderfully flavored side salad. I'd rather spend my money there knowing it will satisfy that craving rather than get something dull or unsatisfying at Be'Wiched.