Walter Mencken 11 a.m., July 25
Urban Gourmet Caters to South Park's Palate
Hip to San Diego’s bourgeoning knack for fresh, local, organic food, Urban Gourmet sprouted up about three months ago at Fern and Grape in South Park with the goal of catering to the area’s taste for healthy, fresh, and affordable eats.
“We want to know where our products are coming from — that it’s at its freshest,” says sandwhichista Alex Grant. “We like to support local businesses and local farms. Our wheatgrass is all locally grown in Temecula. We have a raw honey. This is a pretty big vegan area, so we want to cater to a bunch of different palates. Not just vegan or gluten-free, but a wide variety of palates. We have something for everybody.”
Tapping into local favorites, Urban Gourmet features Caffé Calabria coffee, Viva Pops, and Big City Bagels, which are best savored as a breakfast sandwich with egg, bacon, and sausage, or as a quick morning bite of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese, almond butter, or peanut butter for $2.99.
The green certified hybrid Jewish/Turkish/Greek/San Diegan market and deli offers gluten-free options, is available for catering and provides free delivery to nearby businesses.
The deli touts fresh soups and salads, Dietz & Watson deli meats, hummus, and marinated artichoke, and plans to start carrying local produce soon.
But the South Park street–dubbed sandwiches and raw juices are the focal point of this community market and deli decorated by local artists Ryan Tanniscoli and Dok Whitson.
“The Fir is our ultimate veggie sandwich,” says sammie slinger Savina Tisnado. “It has avocado, bell peppers, cheddar cheese, banana peppers, tomato, lettuce, sprouts, marinated onions, mayo, and mustard. It’s one of our bigger sandwiches. It’s really popular.”
“The Hawthorne I would say is probably the most popular,” says Grant. “It’s like a turkey club. Sourdough bread, light mayonnaise. We try to keep it light on all the condiments. Heavy avocado, light mayonnaise. Shredded lettuce, tomatoes, turkey, a good amount of bacon, and muenster cheese.”
“The Urban Gourmet is our signature,” says Tisnado. “It comes on squaw bread and has a cranberry balsamic drizzle, mayonnaise, pears, lettuce, turkey, bacon, and Swiss cheese.”
Sandwiches come with a choice of salads: house red herb potato, chipotle macaroni, or kale with seeds and Bragg's Liquid Aminos.
Savina and Alex
The house “Urban” fresh, raw, local, organic juice combines carrot, orange, and ginger, while the Energetic Cocktail is recommended if you’re feeling the first symptoms of a winter cold.
“The Energetic Cocktail has a little bit of everything,” says Grant. “Apple, orange, carrot, celery, and lemon. I like to add ginger.”
In tune with South Park’s canine-friendly community, Urban Gourmet offers free dog treats for in-house hounds.
Says Tisnado, “We love our dogs.”
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