Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Lunch Club at Kenny & Zuke's Sandwichworks


Every Friday, I join my work lunch club for a midday meal excursion. Today we trekked to the new Kenny & Zuke's Sandwichworks up on NW Thurman & NW 24th. The line poking out the door was a little daunting, but we weren't turning back, and fortunately the spillover was mostly due to two moms with hulking strollers, so it wasn't but a minute or two before we bellied up to the counter.

I was craving a hot dog. Normally I ignore hot dog cravings because they seem inherently wrong, but the flowering trees lining NW Thurman made me think of Spring and Spring made me think of Life and Life is Short, so I gave in and ordered the New York Dog--a Sabrett meatstick with kraut, relish, or onions. I chose...relish. Nick Zukin, Kenny & Zuke's super nice co-owner, encouraged me to upgrade to a chilidog, but I couldn't do it, as my stomach was still feeling fragile following Wednesday night's--let's just say...interesting--dinner at Departure.

The picnic tables were full, so we stood around sipping our retro sodas (Kenny & Zuke's has a great selection) and waited for someone to leave or Moses to appear to part the sandwich eating masses. Finally someone left, so me, my coworkers, and my Boylan's birch soda claimed our picnic table throne and conversation stalled as we stuffed our faces.

I work with some pretty eloquent people, so I thought I'd let you tell them about their lunch club experience in their own words.

Name: Mette
Sandwich: Tuna Melt--tuna salad, lettuce, and tomato. Add a dollar and they'll melt it. Mette forked over the dollar.
Experience as told by Mette:
Kenny & Zukes: Where I met a man in a blue jumpsuit named Tor. (Just to explain, Tor was the new friend Mette met in line today. She is friendly like that.) My tuna melt was fabulous - so much so that I ate the last 1/3rd of it while fighting fullness gag reflexes because I just couldn't let it go to waste. The chips were crispy and good enough that my co-worker Rob bagged them for leftovers, even though a tiny bit of tuna had touched them and he absolutely does not eat seafood, but he disregarded the tuna touching and took the chips anyways. My retro coca-cola reminded me of my childhood summers hob-nobbing in europe drinking warm sodas in cobble stone squares with beautiful fountains. This made me sad because I no longer drink warm sodas in foreign countries much because I work for the man, and in hindsight I might have taken my frustration out on the chips, intentionally dropping bits of tuna on them. I'm sorry tuna, I'm sorry chips, for using you against each other when, really, you're a perfect pair and made my day. Until next time...

Name: Rob
Sandwich: Cuban Mixto-roasted pork, ham, pickle, mayo & cheese. Grilled and pressed on a hoagie roll.
Experience, as told by Rob:
The roll was wonderfully rustic and chewy. It oozed with melted mayo and cheese. I added a little hot sauce, which gave the sandwich the perfect kick for my tastes.

Name: Shellie
Dog: Chilidog--Sabrett hot dog topped with house-made chili
Experience, as told by Shellie:
When I first saw the chili dog offering on the chalkboard, I felt my heart skip a beat, but that feeling was immediately replaced with one of guilt at the thought of ordering such a seemingly decadent item. However, when the K&Z sandwich works owner eagerly asked Jen if she was ordering one, I knew it would be too good to pass up.
I was right. The chili was nice and thick, allowing it to stay in place on top of the dog, and an application of spicy mustard on top pushed it into the A+ category. I will certainly be ordering this little gem again, with much less guilt involved.

Thank you Mette, Rob, and Shellie! Your Sandwich Stories are an inspiration to us all. Stay tuned for the next installation of Friday Lunch Club: Bad Name, Good Lunch.


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