Quick Bites: Taste Our Goods
Sandwiches at Sparrow's
by Bix Engels
Taste Our Goods, a new lunch counter inside Bob Sparrow's butcher and grocery store in Kerrytown, is a collaboration between Sparrow and two recent U-M graduates, Suzanne Lipton and Nora Feldhusen (center and left in photo, with Ariel Beth Nathanson).
Both women had been working in Kerrytown since last August-Feldhusen at Sparrow Market and Lipton at Sweetwaters Café. "We weren't really sure what we were going to do after graduation," Lipton told me, "and then Bob asked if we wanted to start a lunch counter." The two intrepid foodies-Lipton, a Washington, D.C. native, has been baking since high school, and Feldhusen, who grew up in Brooklyn, has worked in "a bunch of restaurants"-jumped at the chance. One week after Lipton earned her bachelor's in art history and Feldhusen took home her degree in organizational studies, they opened up shop in a corner with its own small kitchen, next to the cash registers.
The menu includes about ten sandwiches and five salads, plus some daily specials. Nearly all are $7, and are named, Zingerman's style, after friends and members of the Sparrow's crew. The healthy JJ's Gym Club (named for Josh Johnson, a trainer at Sparrow gym next door) is packed with thinly sliced roasted turkey, sprouts, cucumber slices, a little Jarlsberg, and a thin smear of deli mustard, all sandwiched between slices of Zingerman's whole wheat bread. Lipton says their most popular sandwich so far is the vegetarian Spa Todd with white bean hummus, avocado, and spinach. The Bob Cobb salad I tried was exceptional-chunks of roasted turkey, smoky bits of thickly sliced bacon, avocado, and fresh greens, all tossed with a first-rate olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
In June the two women started offering a cooked breakfast on Wednesday and Saturday mornings-local eggs, pancakes or biscuits, and Bob Sparrow's great bacon or sausage. Lipton, who says she probably would have gone on to culinary school if this opportunity hadn't presented itself, notes the practical side of their setup. "We're in the middle of a grocery store," she laughs. "We can't run out of anything."
Taste Our Goods is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. till 3 p.m.
[Originally published in July, 2009.]