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The Dirty Apron Deli is the newest lunch spot in Vancouver's Crosstown and the latest addition to the Schuermans empire.
Nico Shuermans hard at work behind the Dirty Apron Deli counter
In the last 18 months, Vancouver has seen many of its high-end restaurants make the shift toward a more casual style of dining: Angus An’s Gastropod pulled in its horns and re-emerged as Maenam; Robert Belcham and Tom Doughty topped up their Fuel numbers by becoming Re-Fuel (same great food in a more neighbourhood style); and Andre Durbach stepped out of the Euro-centric kitchens at La Buca and Pied-a-Terre to open the deliciously accessible Cafeteria.
540 Beatty St, Vancouver
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This is a great trend for all food lovers; it made fantastic food from accomplished chefs more affordable during the harsh times of the recession/depression/panic. Now it seems as though Vancouverites are starting to open their wallets and purses again. We’ve stopped brown bagging our lunches and we’re starting to head out again; to places like Meat & Bread and to the new food street carts.
You may know the Dirty Apron as a cooking school, but it has recently rebranded and relaunched itself to include the Dirty Apron Deli.
The Deli is run by the formidable duo, Nico and Karri Schuermans, of Chambar, Medina and the Dirty Apron Cooking School.
The groceries and produce side of the Dirty Apron Deli
As well as providing Crosstown residents with a place to buy groceries, produce and charcuterie, the Deli also offers kickass sandwiches (cold baguettes or grilled sourdough) and salads.
What shook me as I took the first bite of my Montreal Smoked Meat sandwich, which was in a cute little paper bag, was the balance of the sandwich. So often purveyors of food rely heavily on one key ingredient, an amazing chipotle sauce or freshly smoked salmon, to win diners over. The smoked meat was delicious and could easily have won the show by itself, but it was nicely underscored by the sharpness of the pickle and the zest of the fennel.
The Dirty Apron also has a daily roast. The menu items are likely to change, but at the moment the offering for Monday through Sunday are beef ribs, venison stew, veal osso buco, pork loin, lingcod, lamb shank and prime rib. Yum.