“I remember the first time my father and I made a cold cut turkey sub together,” Tanjin Minar reminisces about the bodega her family owned in NYC, where she learned from a young age the ins and outs of running a business. “I was amazed that he was so quick... and how much passion he put into making his food.” Today, Minar mirrors this in her recently opened J&T Cafe, where she crafts creative sandwiches with high-quality ingredients in the style of NYC bodega staples, all for under $14.
One of Minar’s favorites is a classic Chopped Cheese sandwich: juicy ground beef, melted cheese, and crisp lettuce in a toasted hero roll, with a vegan version coming soon. Hot Pastrami, bagels with Nova Lox, and a Bacon, Egg ‘n Cheese are all on the menu, too, each assembled with care. “My mother always taught us that food is love,” Minar explains. “As a 27-year-old full-time engineer, I want women to know that they can be whoever they want to be and it’s okay to be multi-faceted.”
65 Bath Street
Not only is the Sarcastic Sweets food truck hitching up for new adventures with a fresh brunch menu this month, but a storefront is also in the works for this cupcakery with Alaskan flair. Pastry chef Nina Reed has been bringing big flavors to our little state for some time, and soon a new extension of her business, the Alaskan Treehouse Cafe will add lunch specials to the mix with healthy offerings like tacos, smoothies, Alaskan coffee, and even a $5 Surprise for the adventurous eater.
“A whole lot of sarcasm with a sprinkling of sweetness” is Reed’s motto: “I try to let people know who they’re dealing with and what I have to offer, which is a quality product with no filler.” This means plenty of lactose-free and allergy-sensitive items, along with creative breakfasts like the Pancakewich and Wafflewich with a fried egg or vegan alternative between two pancakes or waffles. Ever versatile, the truck will also be providing concessions all summer for Sarcastic Cinemas, drive-in movies at the RI School for the Deaf, with dates on Instagram at @sarcastic_sweet.
One thing Kevin Hawes found himself missing the most during lockdown last year was having a specialty grocery store nearby like the ones he would frequent while living in bigger cities and traveling Europe. “I recognized that my neighborhood of Fox Point didn’t really have something like that,” Hawes explains, “and I wanted to see if this was something I could bring to the multicultural residents that live here – a truly metropolitan shopping experience that offers a range of local, regional, and international quality food products.”
And so Hawes Fine Foods was born. The new Hope Street market draws from the network of international friends Hawes taps into for authentic items like Cipriani’s Virgin Peach Bellinis, Spring Valley Coffee hand-roasted in Kenya, fine oils and vinegars, and more. Local artisanal brands also make their way onto the shelves: Deep Roots Farm meats, Narragansett Creamery cheese, Rhed’s Hot Sauce, and Chi Kitchen kimchi are just a few, plus seasonal fresh produce. Whether you’re entertaining or stocking your pantry, Hawes aims for a fun foodie experience. 107 Hope Street