Mike Del Buono
Words: Karen Hare / Photos: Joseph Visser
The Sandwich: fashioned from the desire to eat while moving, this portable lunch has won its way into the hearts of many. Its stacked goodness, layered and laced with sauces, cheeses, veggies, meats, and even jam, has been adapted and integrated in a million ways, in a million places. The simplicity and complexity of edibles between bread has drawn me here, along with many others, to stand outside the Green Room on Osborne and wait with anticipation.
Once inside, the line moves fast and the room gets quiet. As Kristina Dimitrova hands out prints of her work, the sandwiches dissolve into bellies and the room fills again with the voices of Winnipeggers. Art, food and the element of surprise make for a very enjoyable (and delicious) afternoon.
Muddy Water: The sandwich is popular and universal, simple and complex, what is it about the sandwich that drew you in?
Mike Del Buono: Over the last few years I saw a number of cool places like Nuburger and Market Burger open up that were taking the burger and delivering it in a way that was above and beyond what people were used to. I noticed that no one in the city was doing the same thing for sandwiches and it just made sense. The sandwich is the ultimate go-to meal for anyone out there and I thought it was time that Winnipeg had something more than the traditional deli. Also, one of my favourite things in the world is a sandwich made from holiday leftovers like Thanksgiving or Christmas. To me, it's the ultimate comfort food.
MW: Can you tell me a little about the shop that will be opening on King and Bannatyne?
M: What we're doing is focusing on sandwiches made with in-house slow roasted meats. It's a very simple menu that will have a few staples and weekly specials to keep things interesting. We want to keep the menu small and done right so people know what to expect when they come see us. We're going to serve a lot of it carvery style where your sandwich will be hand carved from a big roast and put together right in front of you. For the vegetarians, we will have an option and we're going to be serving one soup and one salad, made in-house, which will change daily. Also, for those that enjoy a pint or a glass of wine with their sandwich, we've got you covered.
MW: While waiting for the shop to be ready, you have been holding a series of pop-up events, each time a new place, new sandwich and also featuring a new artist. There has been a lot of excitement behind these events from the eaters; how has it been for you guys?
M: It's been amazing for us so far. Not only have we been able to get sandwiches in people's hands, we've had a chance to work with some really talented local artists. It's the perfect opportunity to highlight all of our passions. We have a ton of fun doing it and at the same time we get to give back and support our community and upcoming artists. It's something that we hope to continue in the restaurant when we open.
MW: Art and food seem to be such a great match, why do they correlate and how has this relationship emerged for you?
M: Art and food, in Winnipeg especially, go hand in hand. Our city is home to some of the greatest restaurants and culinary events in Canada. We've [also] got this incredible scene of local artists that is perfectly exhibited in the Exchange District. They are two things that have had a great influence on my life and I think a lot of people out there can say the same thing. Being located where we are, it just made sense for us to somehow use the restaurant as a hub for food, art, and creativity.
MW: When do you plan on opening?
M: Right now everything is on schedule and if there aren't any hold ups we should be open early November.
MW: And I have to ask… what’s your favorite sandwich?
M: That's tough because it's always changing. But right now with Thanksgiving just around the corner I've got roast turkey sandwiches on my mind.
King and Bannatyne, the sandwich shop on the corner will be opening early November, stay connected via instagram and twitter @kingandbann to see what they are up to!