‘Say Hey Cafe’ Opens Softly At 156 East Pender Street In The Heart Of Chinatown

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by Andrew Morrison | I snuck my first sandwich inside the brand new Say Hey Cafe in Chinatown yesterday. It was only ‘day two’ of their soft launch at 156 East Pender Street, and things were looking/smelling good. The 16 seat sandwich shop was inspired by the no frills hoagie joints of New York City and Philadelphia. Owned by Zachary Zimmerman – a first time restaurateur coming off a 12 year stint as a garbage man – and chef Graham Marceau of Corduroy Pie Co. (I recognised him as the opening chef at Bufala), it’s a limited food service spot (no liquor license) with brisk sandwich construction in the style of Meat & Bread (which just shuttered their new Victoria shop, by the way). Say Hey does four mainstay hoagies plus two rotating specials: one meat, one veg. I was tempted at first by the meat special – a banh mi-inspired romancer of pork terrine and chicken liver parfait hit with shaved pear in tarragon dressing (further layered with provolone, mustard seed, pickled serrano chilies and watercress) – but ultimately went with the spiced up Meatball with amped up aioli and veritable forest of arugula. The bread was toasted and delicious (the star of the show), while the pork/beef meatballs were warm and juicy. Good sauce, too. The serrano heat was a bit over the top, but it was nevertheless a pleasure to sweat. The design of the long, thin room is simple and utilitarian with plenty of room for people to wait for take-out or sit down and dig in. Check it out from 11am to 6pm and take note that they aim to expand their hours to include morning service with a breakfast-appropriate sandwich. Take a look…

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