The Kimchi Reuben
Our Insanely Famous and Somewhat Misunderstood Kimchi Reuben
Let us take a moment to shine some light on one of our most popular sandwiches, the Kimchi Reuben (otherwise known as the magical unicorn of lunchtime.)
This mouthwatering delight, a creation of Executive Chef Josiah Coleman, was featured at our table for the 2017 Taste of Nashoba.
It has wowed every single guest brave enough to venture into the uncharted territory, the flavor profile created by the daring combination of our house-made pastrami and kimchi. (You read that correctly: “house-made.” Pastrami and kimchi are another set of items we make fresh in our Groton kitchen.)
We recently had a customer share a kimchi reuben testimonial with one of our baristas. A resident of the West Coast, she travels frequently and whenever she finds her way to Massachusetts, she insisted that she HAD to stop in, specifically for our Reuben. Being well-traveled, she compared our sandwich to the likes of those from delis and bistros in NYC, NY and guess what: our Reuben won top honors!
Accolades from all corners, but you’re maybe still asking… What even *is* this kimchi? What makes our reuben so exciting, so Necessary to travel miles out of the way to have it again?
You’re not alone.
We see menu readers pause and turn to us with questioningly looks. Some ask their companions if they think they’d like this mysterious sandwich. (The answer is yes: and even our vegan friends can enjoy by subbing avocado for pastrami and holding the cheese)
Kimchi is a Korean cuisine staple, usually made of fermented napa cabbage.
At the suggestion of a former employee, Chef Hok Teh, Josiah looked into adding kimchi to the S&L menu, and thus the concept of the kimchi reuben was born. By swapping the classic sauerkraut (pickled) for kimchi (fermented) Josiah introduced a new, dynamic flavor profile.
Now one and a half years old (over a decade in dog years??), the Asian inspired reuben has become an anchor on the lunch menu.
The kimchi features garlic, ginger and spicy Korean peppers.
To keep the dish true for faithful customers but to inject “new life”, our cooks change the pastrami’s flavor profile every few months. Currently, we start by brining a beef brisket, then apply a rub of smoked lime and cracked black pepper. After an over-night cure, it is roasted and braised for a total of five and a half hours. crust and let it cure overnight. This ensures a nuanced, layered flavor profile, a trademark of S&L dishes.
Josiah’s well-crafted reuben hits all the major taste buds.
As you bite into the reuben (which is served on our house-made focaccia) you get the salty-olive oil from the the bread. This is immediately accompanied by a sweet-tangy spice from the kimchi which is then smoothed by a mild, savory Swiss cheese. For a robust finish, enter the sweet-salty pastrami with a hint of smoke.
To recap: Kimchi is fermented cabbage dish from Korea. We incorporate it into the fan-favorite Reuben. Bread, meat, kimchi, all made from scratch in our kitchen. Brimming with flavor, and as always, intentionally crafted.
Our kimchi and pastrami is also available paired with pepper jack cheese and egg in one of our breakfast sandwiches.