Posted by Degan on May 4th, 2011
There’s an old adage that says you can’t do it all – pick any two of cheap, quick or delicious, but something’s gotta give. Usually true but Glowbal Group’s latest project, IK2GO (Italian Kitchen to Go), may just have broken the rules.
Italian Kitchen to Go is an offshoot of the Glowbal Group’s popular Italian Kitchen restaurant on Alberni Street. Seeing a need for fast and fresh lunch options they took over the lobby space of the building next door, orchestrated some pricey renos and launched an already hopping lunch counter and catering service.
It’s quick: Chef Francisco comes in at 5 AM to make sure breakfast is ready to go for the morning rush. Muffins the size of grapefruit are made fresh each morning (along with everything else), then there are quick and easy Caprese salads for lunch, pizza, sandwiches and hot pastas. There is no sit down service or chairs and it’s impressively situated in a wide hallway with an exit at each end so there are no bottlenecks. If you’re downtown and don’t even have time to stop by, don’t worry, they deliver.
It’s cheap: Enormous muffins are $2.35, artisan sandwiches like prosciutto, breaded veal or porchetta max out at $6.75 and gourmet add-ons of Kobe meatballs and other delicacies can be had for about $4. The most expensive items on the menu are the lasagna (with Kobe beef, spinach, ricotta and mozzarella) and the penne & meatballs for $7.95.
It’s delicious: The quality of ingredients is exceptional, with everything made fresh daily. Bread and cheese are my Achilles’ heels any day but accompanied by the flavours coming out of this tiny kitchen – sun dried tomatoes, olives, ham and assorted other Italian delicacies – are so good it seems impossible that they’re meant to be gobbled down over a quick lunch.