New City Kitchen

Second chances don't come easy, and there are plenty of reasons you might need one. Maybe you made some bad decisions, or maybe the recent near-Depression plunged you into the economy's cracks. But if you fall out of the job market long enough, it's hard to climb back in.

New City Kitchen is designed to remedy this, and also serve a damn good pastrami sandwich. "I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years, I got into a little bit of trouble, and it gave me a criminal background," says Misty Koch, an assistant manager at New City. "Three weeks into the six-week program, I got a job offer at Burgerville. But I finished the program first.” 

After an internship, New City Kitchen employees are paid competitive wages to work in a catering, takeout and delivery kitchen offering box or bag lunches with salad rolls or sandwiches from ham to muffuletta. "But our goal is to give our best employees away," says director Paul Schroeder. The kitchen has a standing relationship with Gustav's and Old Spaghetti Factory, and one of their graduates just signed on at Clarklewis. The program started in 2011, but since November you can now order a sandwich out of its new kitchen at Bud Clark Commons in Old Town.

So how are the sandwiches? Pretty good. The best is the deliciously meaty pastrami on thick, grainy rye, served with dill pickle and a light Russian dressing, followed by the salami-turkey-provolone muffuletta on fluffy baguette. All are available in a bare-bones bag or box lunch ($11) that includes pasta salad, yogurt parfait and a pair of cookies. Just know it takes an order two days in advance, and the pickup system is still a little haphazard, making it most suitable for delivered group lunches. So far, they deliver mostly to area nonprofits such as churches and the Cascade AIDS Project. Need an extra reason to feel warm and fuzzy about your lunch order? It arrives, of course, by bicycle.

EAT: New City Kitchen, 655 NW Hoyt St., 971-277-5274, Pickup or delivery 7 am-7:30 pm Monday-Friday.

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