Nitzan Cohen knows sandwiches. The Israeli-born chef has made a name for himself in Vancouver as the master of Mensch, his roving Jewish deli that specializes in piled-high hot pastrami sandwiched between slices of rye bread.
Now it's sandwiches of a different kind that are moving into Kafka's Coffee, where Cohen is posted as head chef. The Main Street location of the local café business will now be home to Lil Bird Sandwich Co., a take-away window where customers can safely order-up nourishing eats on housemade sourdough bread.
Launching just in time for picnic season - as well as a great option for supporting local small food businesses during the COVID-19 crisis - Lil Bird will start serving sandwiches and lemonade on Tuesday, May 12.
“Even before COVID-19, I wanted to introduce more meals at my Main Street location. We've developed a phenomenal food program at our other locations, but this takes it all to a new level.” says Aaron Kafka, owner of Kafka’s Coffee. “During these trying times we wanted to give everyone something quick and easy to order and pick-up, straight from our open window. It’s contactless, it’s convenient, and it’s delicious. To make a great sandwich, it’s all about fresh ingredients, layering, and making sure that each element is perfect for that sandwich. We make all our bread, sauces, and pickles in-house and get our meats and cheeses from local producers. Each bite is full of flavour.”
Those bites will have a Mediterranean influence, much like Kafka's current food menu.
To get things started, Lil Bird will be offering four sandwich options:
- The Holy Grilled Cheese, featuring a blend of cheddar, Swiss, and Gouda;
- Meat your Match with mortadella, salami, Swiss, sriracha mayo, tomato, pickled onions and greens;
- Uncle Antipasto with marinated peppers, fresh basil, tomato, fresh mozzarella, balsamic aioli and greens on;
- Super Chicken Shawarma with brined free-range chicken, preserved lemon aioli, pickled turnips, fresh herbs and tomato.
For the true little "birds" in your life, aka the kids, there's a Wee Bird Meal, which includes a small sandwich, apple slices, and a cookie.
“Kafka’s has been my second home for a while, and when Aaron approached me to help build the sandwich menu at Lil Bird Sandwich Co., I said ‘hell yes’,” adds Cohen, who regularly hosts his Mensch’s pop-ups at Kafka’s.
A percentage of sales will be donated towards the Vancouver Food and Beverage Community Relief Fund.
Lil Bird Sandwich Co. will be open seven days from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They are located at Kafka's at 2525 Main Street in Vancouver.