Portland sandwich transplant Bunk opens in Wburg with mixed reviews

04-bunk-chicken-salad-sandwich.nocrop.w670.h447

Chicken Salada sammie at Bunk; credit: Tirzah Brott

Grub Street paid Bunk a visit and was impressed:

The bathroom-wall photo of a wolfish ’50s-era Elvis gobbling a sandwich tells you everything you need to know about Bunk. Bunk is all about indulging appetites. And Bunk is all about the glory that is the sandwich. Two ideas, incidentally, that pretty much sum up the philosophy of the Underground Gourmet. The counter-service sandwich shop that opened recently in Williamsburg is a branch of a popular Portland, Oregon, mini-chain run by a crew of musician-cooks including co-founder Tommy Habetz, who once worked for Mario Batali as a Lupa sous-chef.

For his first Bunk foray outside Portland, Habetz hired Jake Adams, a former Milk Bar chef de cuisine, to oversee the kitchen. The sandwich-making modus operandi here is to start with the classics, then by judicious tweaking, scratch cooking, meticulous construction, and the use of outstanding bread and top-notch ingredients, improve upon them. [Read more…]

Max has closed in Williamsburg, to be replaced by Portland sandwich joint with “best breakfast sandwich ever”

bunk-sandwiches

We were fans of Max, but they never seemed to get their footing in Williamsburg after moving from the Lower East Side. We hear that Bunk will replace them in October or November. From Eater:

The psychic bond between Brooklyn and Portland grows stronger every day. One of the stars of the Portland, OR cheap eats scene, Bunk Sandwiches, is taking over the Max space at 740 Driggs Ave in Williamsburg. Max’s OpenTable and Seamless accounts are down, and nobody’s picking up the phone. An employee at the Tribeca location says the restaurant is just taking a vacation… Bunk is the brainchild of Lupa veteran Tommy Habetz and restaurateur Nick Wood. The duo currently operates five locations around Portland, plus a food truck and a ballpark outpost. [Read more…]

Brookland, Oregon

c/o The New York Observer

Turns out Brooklyn hipsters aren’t as unique as they’d like to believe. This week’s Observer features an article by Adrianne Jeffries comparing and criticizing Brooklyn and its ever growing DIY, organic-living lifestyle as being a carbon copy of the Northwest hipster haven Portland, Oregon.

Jeffries notes that the similarities between the two areas include local interest in an arts and music scene, environmentally friendly DIY products sold auspiciously at markets like the Brooklyn Flea (just a few examples from the article include “rings glued to typewriter keys, handmade, vegetable-dyed, vintage Oriental rugs,” and homemade chocolate bars wrapped in packaging, “printer with soy inks on 100 percent postconsumer-recycled, chlorine-free, processed paper that was made from wind-generated energy”), an affinity for food trucks and the preferred mode of transpiration as bicycles.

These examples and more lead Jeffries to rebrand the borough, Brooklandia, after Portlandia the IFC comedy show starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein that makes fun of the West Coast hipsters.

This negative comparison to Portland is only one of many jibes Jeffries manages to get into the article as he writes off Brooklyn’s creative, environmentally conscious community as hackneyed and pretentious. Check out some choice Brooklyn-bashing quotes below:

  • “Brooklyn’s overwrought mustaches and handmade ice cream in upcycled cups are now well-established facts of life. It’s as if the tumor of hipster culture that formed when the cool kids moved to Williamsburg had metastasized into a cluster of cysts pressing down on parts of the borough’s brain.”
  • “One of the things I’ve found is that as a reporter it’s getting harder for me to pitch Brooklyn stories that start like, ‘Hey, there’s a group of guys in Brooklyn or a group of young people in Brooklyn who—’” Mr. Smith said. “You can sort of feel the eye-roll of the editor, like, yeah, there’s a bunch of people in Brooklyn who, you name it, are constructing a huge skyscraper out of used coffee cups! They’re learning how to butcher pigs in their own kitchen!”

-Robert Smith, NPR Reporter

  • “Williamsburg is just becoming like a circus,” he said. “When I’m there, I hear the circus music in my head. Mustaches were like 2010. We’re on to mutton chops. Everyone is walking around like the Satorialist is about to take a picture of them. That’s not a healthy way to live.“It’s all just becoming so precious,” he reflected. “And Brooklyn is not supposed to be a precious place.”

– Jake Dobkin, Gothamist publisher