I’ve been a fan of Aviv Fried’s baked goods since I visited the Sidewalk Citizen Bakery last year. When I learnt that the Sidewalk Citizen Cargo Bike Store was back again this summer on Stephen Avenue and is now offering artisan sandwiches for lunch, I was super excited. The pop-up bike shop is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and is located on Stephen Avenue at 2nd St. SW. This year they are collaborating with Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters so the pop-up bike shop is actually located alongside the Phil & Sebastian mobile outpost. The sandwiches are also available at the bakery on weekends (Friday & Saturday from 10am till 3pm).
The Artisan Sandwich menu changes daily but there is always a meat and a vegetarian offering. To find out what’s on the daily sandwich menu, you can follow them on twitter @avivfried. On the day that I stopped by, the meat sandwich was a Braised Pork Shoulder with Korean BBQ Sauce & Kimchi Slaw while the vegetarian was a Roasted Eggplant & Cauliflower with Mint, Almonds, and Feta. Both were served on a fresh-baked ciabatta bun.
I decided to go with the meat sandwich – The Braised Pork Shoulder with Korean BBQ Sauce & Kimchi Slaw ($10). I was pleasantly surprised with how professional the packaging for the sandwich was. It was tightly wrapped dual-layered thick butcher paper. I appreciated this as I was transporting the sandwich back to my office and the packaging survived the five-minute walk without any issues.
The sandwich, on the other hand, did not survive the walk so well and turned into a bit of a sloppy mess. Perhaps, it was my fault for not eating it right on the spot or maybe, it was just the style of the sandwich, but I found it to be too soggy/saucy for my liking. The braised pork was tender and flavourful but there was a bit too much sauce for my liking. The slaw was nice and crunchy but I wished that it would be more spicy and acidic to contrast against the pork. The bread itself was amazing! I loved how fresh and soft the ciabatta bun was. I just wished the bottom half of the bun wasn’t soaked in sauce.
Overall, I thought the sandwich tasted ok despite the sogginess. This was basically a Korean-inspired version of a pulled pork sandwich. I was impressed enough with the ciabatta bun that I would go back to try some of the other sandwiches, perhaps one without much sauce as I’m not usually one to like my food drenched in sauce.