Pop-up kitchens, wherein an outside chef assumes the reins in a restaurant for a brief period of time, are just beginning to - forgive the painful turn of phrase - pop up in Edmonton. Big City Sandwich is, to my knowledge, the first to do so. Big City Sandwich will join the ranks of the Capital Region's food trucks next summer and, until then, will preview its sandwiches monthly. October's pop-up witnessed a hub of activity at Packrat Louie. Big City Sandwich is actively searching for their next pop-up location.
I missed their September debut, but eagerly tucked into a smoked beef brisket sandwich with bacon jam on October 23rd. Here, tender shreds of sultry, smoky beef lounged with tangy bacon jam that whispered of maple and onions. The bun itself needs a bit of work - perhaps something a bit crustier? A cheese-stuffed jalapeno pepper added a flash of heat. Sides, which included fries and baked beans, were perfect partners. I'm not even a fan of baked beans, but these were toothsome and spicy. I thought I was full and intended to save the fries for later. I must confess that they did not survive the drive home. They were well-textured and delicious, even ice cold.
Dessert presented a pumpkin ginger whoopie pie from the well-crafted kitchen of Bluebird Cakes. Whoopie pies superficially resemble oversized oreo cookies, but the similarities end there. There is simply no comparison between a homemade, lofty, creamy creation and a rock-hard, preservative-laden store-bought slab of flour and shortening. This whoopie pie handily captured the autumnal flavours of pumpkin and warm spices, and carried a smooth but not overly rich cream cheese filling. I would get out of bed at 3 a.m. for those things. I eagerly await the next pop-up kitchen. Dare I say that I shall pop in?