Railtown Cafe is found appropriately nestled in a somewhat “industrial” part of East Vancouver known as “Railtown”. Sitting at the corner of Railway and Dunlevy amidst warehouses, tech company offices and artist studios, Railtown Cafe is another spot that has taken me way too long to get to. I’ve been hearing lots of good things since they opened their doors not that long ago, so the time had come to head in and try some of their highly recommended sandwiches for myself.I figured that because it had taken me so long to check out Railtown Cafe that I may as well take a bit of a culinary tour through a few of their sandwich selections. Based on the recommendations of Director of Operations, Marli Anderson, the decision was made to go with the Chicken “Club”, the Reuben and the Pork. Along with these finely crafted, made from scratch sandwiches I needed to choose a couple great craft beers to pair them up with. Luckily, Railtown Cafe offers a very nice selection of various local and regional craft beers to choose from. I went with Driftwood Brewing’s Crooked Coast Altbier and New Belgium Brewing’s Ranger IPA. Now let’s explore which worked best with each of these awesome sandwiches.The Reuben was the first sandwich I decided to bite into, and from that first bite I was immediately in sandwich heaven. The Railtown Cafe’s Reuben sandwich comes with tender slow braised beef brisket, thousand island cole slaw and gruyere on house bake rye bread. The moist brisket is sliced nice and thick and the flavour is deep. The thousand island cole slaw is just right with a great crunch and a zesty flavour. The gruyere is subtle and brings nice salt content to the sandwich. All this sits between the two thick, soft and moist slices of rye bread, which is just spectacular.This sandwich paired up very nicely with the Driftwood Crooked Coast Altbier, which isn’t overally hoppy and was delightfully crisp with the rich beef brisket.Next I dove right in to the Chicken “Club”. Now traditional club sandwiches are one of my all time favourites, so I was extremely excited to give this one a try. Now Railtown Cafe’s version of this classic sandwich is on the menu board in quotations because it’s not your classic version. This “Club” sandwich comes with warm chicken breast, 72 hour bacon, tomato, avocado, arugula and green goddess dressing on toasted focaccia. The chicken breast on this one is prepared sous vide style and then grilled to give it a nice crisp outside layer while still being super juicy. The bacon is unreal, the taste is intense and the texture is perfection. The stand out on this sandwich for me was their house recipe green goddess dressing. Not sure I can even find the words to describe its flavour other than to say it’s out of this world.This sandwich paired up great with the New Belgium Ranger IPA, as this generously hopped IPA mingled really well with the freshness of the “Club” sandwich.Last but certainly not least was the Pork. This sandwich came with tender pulled pork shoulder, jalapeno, cilantro, pickled vegetables and aioli on a french baguette. The flavour profile of this one is that of a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich. This one brings a lot of heat from the use of fresh jalapeno. The pork comes roughly pulled and is nicely seasoned with many levels of flavour. The cilantro is bright and fresh and the pickled vegetables are crunchy and bring the acidity to the sandwich.This sandwich also paired up well with the Ranger IPA, as the bold hops helped knock down the heat from the jalapeno and also cut through the fat from the pork.
So, if you’re looking for some serious sandwich offerings from a cafe doing everything from scratch paired with great selection of craft beers then head Railtown Cafe for This Sandwich and That Beer.Head to www.railtowncafe.ca, www.driftwoodbeer.com and www.newbelgium.com for more info. Follow them each on Twitter @RailtownCafe, @driftwoodbeer, @newbelgium and follow me @TSTB_blog. Head to Legacy Liquor Store to find both these beers to take home.Listen for my monthly feature on Just Here For The Beer radio on Team 1410AM in Vancouver on the last Saturday of the month. Also look for my column in the BC Craft Beer News at your local craft beer focused private liquor store.