“If I did a Reuben, say, then people would remember the one they had on the Brooklyn Bridge looking at New York, and no Reuben I do is going to taste as good,” he said, explaining why he creates his own breaded works of art to “manage expectations.” 125 Church Street, on the other hand, doesn’t have the same hangup when it comes to the weight of expectation. Its Reuben kicks ass – without the Brooklyn Bridge.
125 Church Street is a standout N16 hangout, offering locally roasted coffee, a great range of rotating craft beer, cool tunes and a cozy beer garden that really opens the place up. The design’s slick, elaborately understated and cool. And it’s the kind of place that never seems open when you walk past – think Paddy’s Pub without the sign (that’s an It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia reference, kids).
The biggest attraction, however, is the cafe’s grilled sandwiches. Options include The Cuban (pulled pork), a grilled cheese, a grilled cheese with deli ham, the Cyprus Grill (veg), the Wrappers Delight (slow-cooked lamb), the Tokyo Wrap (teriyaki chicken) and the aforementioned Reuben. But as soon as I read the Reuben’s description everything else simply melts away; seven day house-cured salt beef, mustard, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and thousand island sauce served on rye bread.
My sandwich comes with coleslaw and crisps, and it takes me less time to eat than it took the friendly bartender to grill it. The salt beef falls apart and the Swiss cheese and sauerkraut blend with the mustard and thousand island sauce, coating the rye bread perfectly and making me lick my lips as I wolf it down with mouthfuls of coleslaw and crisps. I wash it all down with a Beavertown Gamma Ray and think, “I’ll be back…”