For months, I have lamented my crazy schedule, and spending half the year overseas means that I have lost ground in my battle to stay on top of my local restaurant visits. And of course because I want Jeremy Iggers to think I am really on top of the local food scene (insert sarcastic look here), I have redoubled my efforts to catch up on places I have not eaten at or have only been to once or twice.
I finally made it into Good Day Cafe for the second time. I first visited during its second month of operation and was underwhelmed. On Tuesday, I had breakfast there with Ed Levine and Rick Nelson, and the food, for the most part, was better. Service was very good. I could care less for the cavernous room, which to me comes off as cold. The caramelized apple pancake was absurdly large and would make a great dessert if it was three inches across and came with a small scoop of caramel ice cream. Please explain to me why they serve a twelve incher in the morning. It is grossly oversize.
The omelet with potato, leek, and cheese was nicely cooked, but the potato component was a dud. The potatoes should have been crisped or made flavorful in some way. The leek was an ingredient in name only, and the GDC potatoes that are bragged about all over the menu were flash-fried, listless half moons that left me unimpressed. The caramel pecan rolls were good. The best thing I ate there was the highly touted fried egg sandwich, which was very tasty but was oddly lukewarm when it arrived.
I had lunch this week at Be’wiched, which, like the GDC, has gotten a lot of great ink this year. I ordered a pastrami on rye, and you can get a “New York” style pastrami sandwich (double meat) if that is your thing. The pastrami is a scratch product; they brine raw briskets for six days, roll the brisket in crushed peppercorns and coriander, and smoke it for six to eight hours.
Be’wiched also smokes its own turkey and bacon, and it was in the process of smoking thick slabs of bacon for La Belle Vie in a huge smoker using apple and cherry woodchips on Wednesday. But I digress.
The brisket has great flavor, but my sandwich was dry. First off, it needed a good brown mustard. Second, the coleslaw that came on the sandwich, which was very tasty, was skimpy. Third, the beef itself was too lean. Next time, I am going to see if a fatty cut is available, but like most non-traditional delicatessens, it seemed that it was only using the “flat end” of the brisket; I like the “nose.” Last, the sandwich came with a pathetically small (one ounce soufflé cups that were not even filled) tablespoon of potato salad and five razor-thin slices of pickle as sides. C’mon guys, at least give me a whole pickle. All of this being said, the sandwich was great, and had the pastrami not been dry, Be’wiched would have been a home run.
I give them huge points for the scratch pastrami, and based on the owners’ pedigree and their obvious desire to make a great product, I think it should improve. I cannot wait to eat my way through more of the menu over the next few months.
I am aware that many Twin Citians have said the Be’wiched pastrami is better than any they have had in NYC. These people are clearly in desperate need of a new deli to go to in the Big Apple, and I mean no disrespect to the Be’wiched crew, but c’mon.
As God is my witness, I am going to make it into Heidi’s this month. Check out this review from Jim Norton; pretty funny stuff.