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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How Sweet It Is: KT's Sweet Lunch Delivers

Allow me to introduce last Friday's lunch: a half turkey sandwich with red pepper pesto and carmelized onions on ciabatta, packaged with a peach and a mixed green salad armed with apple, avocado, walnuts, blue cheese and a connective tangerine dressing, and...

a little homemade treat: a mini caramel-apple cake.

Not bad, huh?

It gets better.

The packaging is all compostable, from the bags to the containers to the fork. The fresh goods are delivered for free if eight amigos and/or colleagues jump on board (it's $3 otherwise). And it costs $8.

Such succulence is possible Wednesdays and Fridays thanks to a new venture called KT's Sweet Lunch (214-7465), Monterey Culinary Center grad Katie Martin's answer to what she sees as a preponderance of overpriced and unhealthy lunch options.

"And I love cooking and baking for other people," she says. "It comes naturally, and I love it."

Sign up to get her menus by e-mail at the start of the week by way of her website and log your order by 2:30pm the day previous. She compiles them with farmers market fare at The Kitchen in Sand City and then rolls out.

The options with her soup-salad-wrap/sandwich staples are many. You can combine half orders of two of the three or just get after a full serving of your favorite (the wrap, above, is joined by some savory baked chips).

My sandwich was delicious, with a nice sweet and smoky note from the onions balanced by the earthiness of the ciabatta and the tasty red pepper pesto.

The salad's stars—blue cheese, walnuts, avocado and apple—always play great together, but do so even more socially with the help of the smooth tangerine dressing, which was a nice surprise.

I also tried the curried sweet potato chowder, which was robust to the point of chunky. (Don't be fooled by the big container; Martin ran out of the half-size vessels so this looks deceivingly like a skimpy order.) The peas provided a nice presence and I loved the pepitas in there. The only thing it was missing something to counteract the potatoes' sweetness—like some heat. My colleague/design guru Gretchen Miller suggested some chipotle action. I second the motion.

The bonus closer, a caramel apple cake, underwhelmed, which is surprising because it's Martin's signature and the first dessert I've had from her that didn't completely rock. I'm gonna chock it up as an aberration.

If life is to be sweet, lunch should be too. How sweet KT's is.

Coincidentally enough, Martin sent out this week's menu right after I posted this. Here it is:

Menu for Oct. 20 and 22

Pulled Pork, Mozzarella, BBQ sauce on Caramelized Onion Bread (from the Bakery Station) with Kettle Chips

Roasted Pumpkin, Chicken Sausage, Roasted Red Peppers, Green Beans, Lettuce, & Feta with a Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette

Beef, Shiitake, & Barley Soup