Japanese sandwiches from Mikkusu Sandos
A weekly notebook about dining options during the Covid-19 shutdown, with a focus on quality and ease of pickup and delivery. Remember, the people serving up the food are part of the front line; keep it in mind when tipping.
There’s just one week left (or so we are told) to get one of the glorious Japanese sandwiches at the Mikkusu Sandos pop-up in the storefront formerly occupied by Cuchi Cuchi. If you haven’t had ’em, rush out for one Wednesday through Saturday. Panko-crusted, fat-fried pork cutlets from Savenor’s comes on the main offering. I didn’t try either of the pork katsu variations, but had the panko-breaded zucchini version, which combined an outstanding light tempura with pickled red cabbage, Dijonnaise and katsu sauce on crustless Japanese milk bread, or shokupan – fluffy, dense and sweet.
The term mikkusu in Japanese refers to variety, and on its short, tight menu, the pop-up also offers a tuna salad variation (low on mayo, very satiating) and the tamagoyaki sando, a delicately folded Japanese sweet egg omelet dredged in panko (think sweet egg nigiri in a sandwich and you’re there). All come with sides of pickled veggies and a mouth-puckering potato salad.
The reason the short-lived lunch eatery down in Central Square near Craigie on Main is winding down is that it’s going to go into remodeling hibernation to blossom anew next month as Cloud & Spirits, a Korean-infused dining experience. (Japanese and Korean cuisine often find a home together on concept menus.) The hand behind it all is chef Katie Cheung, a former computer scientist who’s had stints at at Radius, Kamikura and Menton. I suspect these wonderful box lunches – and they are perfectly boxed up – will live on in Cloud’s daytime offerings. I’m not running the kitchen, but I will be running for that zucchini katsu this week. Mikkusu also offers sinful drinks, such as a thick yet light matcha latte with clover honey and Yuzu Ichigo Spirits, with fresh strawberry, yuzu citrus puree and a splash of lemon-lime topped with Italian sparkling soda and garnished with fresh orange, lemon, lime and strawberries. Both come in alcoholic versions as well.
Tom Meek is a writer living in Cambridge. His reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in the WBUR ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston City Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom is also a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere.