Lunch at Katarina Ölkafé:
Microbrews and Macro-Sandwiches
There is no point in Shazam-ing the music at Katarina Ölkafé. The music-detecting app has no records of the tunes being played at the establishment. Upon inquiry, I’m informed that the music is sourced from Mississippi Records, a Portland-based label with the motto to provide hard to find music in limited amount of releases.
This attention to detail and the sense of a carefully curated experience is present throughout my entire lunch at Katarina Ölkafé, a spot that has made a name for itself by serving high-quality sandwiches and local beer at reasonable prices.
Seating options are scarce in the small space, designed like a hybrid between a bar, a deli and an old-fashioned general store. I grab a seat around the communal table. Sandwiches dominate the Jewish deli-inspired menu, which also offer a few optional side orders and medium-sized portions of Knish pastries, matzah ball soup and red cabbage slaw.
The Reuben sandwich (98 kronor) is often referred to as the king of sandwiches. Corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, mustard and mayo are mounted between two pieces of rye bread. The voluminous sandwich is finally grilled in an attempt to sear the many ingredients together. Another stunner on the menu is the large Tuna Melt (89 kronor), a grilled rye bread sandwich filled with a gooey mixture of tuna, cheese, mustard and pickled red onion. This last component makes sure the cheese-dripping creation never becomes overwhelmingly stout. Although the mac ‘n’ cheese (25 kronor) isn’t the strongest among the side-dishes, the pickled veggies (25 kronor) and the rillette de canard (75 kronor) – a paté-like dish made of duck confit – both shine.
Another section of the menu that really shines is the page that is completely dedicated to the brews from local microbreweries. “Beer from the great oh-eight”, is what Katarina Ölkafé calls the list (as a reference to Stockholm’s area code of 08, in case you don’t know). Södra Maltfabriken, Stockholm Brewing Co, Modernist Brewery, Danderyds Bryggeri, Design Brew and Light Night Brewery are a few of the breweries represented – and the guys behind the counter happily guide guests through the jungle of Stockholm craft brewing.. And with passionately knowledgeable guides like these, who furthermore seem to have attended a charm school far removed from what I’ve become accustomed to from cold and impersonal Scandinavian service, I am more than willing to stick around and explore larger parts of the beer menu. Consider me a newly converted 08-beer-vangelist.
Katarina Bangata 27