Be’Wiched Deli in the North Loop

Jill Lewis / Heavy Table

Jill Lewis / Heavy Table

On a recent rainy Monday, the colorful interior of Be’Wiched Deli beckoned hungry lunch patrons looking for a place to dry out and grab a sandwich. Crowded tables turned over so quickly that the staff had little time to sweep the crumbs off the tabletops in between diners. So what is it about this North Loop deli that drove so many through its doors that gloomy day? We examine the phenomenon through three case studies:

Case study #1 — Soup
A potato-leek soup with green tomato chutney earned a place on the daily soup roster that day. Served with a slice of cheese-topped focaccia, the soup’s extreme butteriness reflected the flavor of the Yukon Gold potatoes that must have been the main ingredient. The chutney, however, had either been stirred into the soup and disappeared completely or was omitted altogether. Still, the soup was smooth going down and fit the bill for a rain-soaked day.

Jill Lewis / Heavy Table

Jill Lewis / Heavy Table

Case study #2 — Sandwich
Occupying the space on Washington Ave. N. and Eighth St. that used to house C. McGee’s Deli, Be’Wiched has mainly used its gourmet sandwiches to differentiate itself from its predecessor. While the meats are the same (ham, pastrami, turkey, etc.), the Be’Wiched team of Matthew Bickford and Mike Ryan smoke and cure many of their offerings in house. You can’t get that TLC feeling from a typical deli sandwich. Topped with upscale cheeses and veggies, these sandwiches are worth their slightly heftier price tag. The asparagus sandwich with fromage blanc and black pepper-glazed fennel is a stand-out, while the poached chicken ranks high for flavor but lower for sheer logistical eatability. With large chunks of meat tumbling out of the baguette onto the plate, this isn’t the sandwich to choose if you’re out to impress someone with your dining grace (i.e. job interview, first date).

Jill Lewis / Heavy Table

Jill Lewis / Heavy Table

Case study #3 — Salad
Potato salad lovers can rejoice — fans of the picnic side will relish Be’Wiched’s version featuring capers and boiled eggs. The kitchen fares worse with beans, however. A white bean salad with chicken, green beans, and hot mustard would have been a hit if the beans had been more than half-cooked. Instead, look toward the spinach salad with smoked apple, brie, and pecans — it proves you don’t need bacon to make a spinach salad worth savoring.

Though not every dish is consistent, Be’Wiched is a comforting lunch choice for any day, rainy or sunny. If the three case studies above aren’t convincing, one taste of its Valrhona chocolate brownie might be the tipping point. Dense and fudgy, more like an enormous piece of flourless chocolate cake than a brownie, the dessert is hard to resist when you’re paying your bill and notice it waving to you from the counter.

Be’Wiched Deli

Rating: ★★½☆ (Good)

Upscale deli in the North Loop
800 Washington Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
612.767.4330
OWNERS / CHEFS: Matthew Bickford and Mike Ryan
HOURS:
Mon-Fri 8am-8pm
Sat 10am-6pm
Closed Sunday
BAR: Beer and wine
RESERVATIONS / RECOMMENDED: No
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes/No
ENTREE RANGE: $6.50-$13.50 for sandwiches, $3.50-6 for soups and salads

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Jill Lewis

The great-granddaughter of an Eastern European Jewish baker, Jill Lewis cannot escape her genetic predisposition to carbs. Her love of baked goods, wine, cheese and chocolate may not come in handy for her day job as a Twin Cities PR professional, but it proves infinitely helpful for her gigs as a contributing writer for The Heavy Table and the co-author of the Cheese and Champagne blog. A former resident of Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin and suburban Washington, D.C., Jill now lives with her husband, two young sons and cat in St. Louis Park.

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6 Comments

  1. I’m happy to see their asparagus sandwich get props, it’s delicious and filling to boot.

  2. For your next visit:
    Nice little beer list.
    Eclair to die for…er or is that the peach strudel pie.
    The olive/garlic clove Meatloaf sandwich if your so lucky for it to be the special.

    I love your site, but your rating system is flawed if you can give Five Guys the same Value as Be’wiched.

  3. I am slightly perplexed by this review. I have been to Be’wiched and have not been impressed at all. Their portions are never consistent and the sandwiches, though you claim are “gourmet”, are nothing of the sort. I have worked in the building for years now and was extremely sad to see C. McGee’s Deli leave – and further I wasn’t impressed with their replacement. Try them next if you’re looking for some great food.

    But I love the site.

  4. Stu Borken 02/07/2010 Reply

    This place is phenominal. The pastrami on rye with house made slaw and house made horseradish mustard is high up on the scale of classic New York style pastrami sandwiches that are available in the cities. A cup of their hot soups and a small pasta salad and this is wonderful lunch of evening meal. Portion size is generous.
    I have sent dozens of people there and the word of mouth that I have received back makes me look really good as a restaurant critic…which I’m not, I just enjoy a good restaurant that works hard to put out a consistant fine product. Matt and Mike to just that. Matt and Mike are always on the premises and when you conclude you dining experience, give them a shout. It’s that causual and comfortable.

Trackbacks for this post

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  2. […] inventive drink list, craveworthy sandwiches (Co-owner and Executive Chef Matt Bickford also helms Be’Wiched Deli in the North Loop), and desserts that you will, indeed, write home about. Whether you enjoy the […]

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