Deli Food Goes Upscale at Be’Wiched

Be’Wiched Deli puts chef-driven food on the table

Give us this day our daily sandwiches and make them Be’Wiched. The clever hint of a sandwich in the name fits the chic character of the deli. “You think it’s hard naming a kid or a dog?” owner Michael Ryan says. “Try naming a restaurant. It’s not easy.” So be enchanted with a sandwich at Be’Wiched. Ryan opened the first location in Minneapolis about 10 years ago. He recently added a second location in the Jet 55 Corporate Center in Plymouth, which serves breakfast and lunch, plus catering.

“We like Plymouth and always wanted to grow the concept,” Ryan says. “Plymouth felt really good with the building itself, the kitchen, the infrastructure, [and] the market is strong. There’s a coolness factor to the building, and we got it.”

The roomy setting offers more space for catering and day-to-day food production. Plymouth office workers and other hungry customers have easy access to a chef-driven menu of sandwiches, sides, soups, salads and desserts, plus breakfast.

Be’Wiched Deli serves soulful cuisine—the kind of thoughtful, high-caliber food that Ryan prefers. While the quality is there, any pretentiousness is not. Yet the path to fine, fast-casual food is a laborious one. “A wholesome, hand-crafted concept is hard to do,” he says.

Ryan has worked in restaurant kitchens, boutique bed-and-breakfasts, country clubs and other esteemed restaurants under the masterful eye of nationally acclaimed chefs. Then he got the urge to be an entrepreneur, to not only make dishes but do more with his own business. The food part was only a slice of the pie.

“To be in business for yourself is a different skill set,” he says. Everything from payroll to maintenance is required to make a restaurant run. The Plymouth expansion is testimony to his success in aligning small business ownership to creative food production.

Ryan enjoys delicious food and describes his favorite dishes with the passion of a poet. “I appreciate the time and effort it takes for crafting food,” he says.

The recipes for soup and other dishes are a collaborative effort. Be’Wiched Deli updates classic foods with an innovative twist or two; layering flavors evolves dishes into something grand.

Tomatoes can make or break a sandwich and Farmer Bob turns out prize-winners from his hoop house. He’s among the select vendors Be’Wiched Deli relies on for food sourcing during the growing season. “Half my job is finding ingredients. The other half is not screwing them up,” Ryan says, laughing.

A commitment to local, sustainable sourcing and quality eating powers the menu. Everyday dishes improve when they’re made the right way. Enter the sandwich, an all too often overlooked mainstay that becomes something memorable at Be’Wiched.

The goal is to present “the best sandwich, have the best experience and give the best quality,” Kaitlyn Nebben, manager says. “All of our staff and [the] owner put a lot of effort into Be’Wiched.” Nebben  started as a catering coordinator at the original North Loop location.

Perish any thought of plain old tuna salad here. Sushi-grade fish goes into a tuna confit cured in olive oil to bring out delicate flavors. Black olives, cucumbers and preserved lemon complete the sandwich served on focaccia ($12).

The pastrami sandwich, a deli mainstay, gets a New York-style treatment from grainy rye bread stuffed with an eye-popping quantity of meat. Tales of legendary pastrami fail to describe the bliss of biting into a stack of thinly sliced meat, coarse grain mustard and pickled cabbage. The housemade curing and smoking process gives the sandwich its distinctive taste. Spicy, smoky aromas of wood and peppercorns seethe from every meaty morsel (half sandwich and side salad $9, full $14).

The finish? Any sandwich improves alongside an appropriately indulgent cookie or bar. The browned butter brownie with a touch of orange zest is a worthy treat, so rich it doesn’t need frosting.

Little extras make all the difference.

If a customer waits more than usual, we may “slip a chocolate cookie into their bag just because,” Ryan says. Such a sweet ending is more than worth the wait.