Brooklyn has frequently benefited from regular comparisons to Portland, especially as far as restaurants are concerned; not only do we have easy, widespread access to Stumptown coffee, but the borough has served as second home to Andy Ricker, who’s blessed us with multiple variations of Pok Pok. And now, we’ve factored into the expansion plans of the beloved Oregon chainlet, Bunk Sandwiches, as well—previously included amongst Travel + Leisure’s “America’s Best Sandwiches,” Food & Wine’s “Simple Acts of Sandwich Genius,” and Bon Appetit’s “10 Sandwiches You Must Eat Right Now,” and showcased on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate.
Which means, instead of traveling cross-country in search of Bunk’s heralded pork belly cubanos (featuring slabs of molasses-rubbed, three hour-roasted piggy), you now need only journey to Williamsburg. The opening menu at the Driggs Avenue location is essentially identical to those at Bunk’s five West Coast outposts, but since Bunk is zealously committed to hyper-local sourcing (one of Brooklyn and Portland’s basic shared tenets), pints of Sixpoint and cans of Kelso are mere shades of what’s to come.
So until they forge connections with purveyors like Bien Cuit and Saxelby’s, Bunk’s sizeable roster of sandwiches (any of which can be reimagined as salads) showcase the best of the Pacific Northwest, from a tuna melt made with fatty flakes of Oregon albacore, to a grilled cheese oozing both butter and medium-sharp cheddar from Tillamook, and a slippery stack of Italian cured meats, including salami cotto, mortadella and capicola, by way of Olympia Provisions. There’s also a better than average selection of imaginative vegetarian options (with all due respect to the lettuce, mayo and hash brown monstrosity at The Meat Hook), such as a roasted poblano torta, heavy with pinto beans and guacamole; a dynamic tumble of marinated garbanzo beans, zippy feta and house-marinated peppers; and toasty triangles of peanut butter, teamed either with thick globules of jelly or impenitent swathes of Nutella.
No wonder we have an intrinsic culinary connection to Portland.
740 Driggs Avenue, Williamsburg