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In June 2011, First Lady Michelle Obama swept into Woodstock sandwich deli, The Kitchen. Mrs Obama’s invigorating visit echoed the love that South Africans have felt for The Kitchen, since it first opened its doors in 2008. Chef Karen Dudley, The Kitchen’s founder elected to set up shop in Woodstock when her catering business outgrew her home. Besides serving as a base for Karen’s catering business, The Kitchen is a Woodstock eatery that attracts city slickers, loyal lunchtime diners and world leaders due to its soulful food and unpretentious atmosphere.
If you can imagine a series of bowls, filled to the brim with home comforts, you will have envisioned The Kitchen. Breakfast consists charmingly named items that are often vegetarian friendly. Enjoy Bananas in Pajamas, which consists of seedy toast with cream cheese, banana, honey and gomashio. For a taste of home, enjoy Margi’s Pancakes with spicy syrup, bananas and a dollop of cream. Watch the salad cam very carefully to select which variety of salads you might select at lunch, as well as to make sure that lunch is still available.
Three lunch salads are priced reasonably at R65, for a protein punch, add grilled chicken, a scotch egg or gammon for R28 or more. Salads consist of wholesome ingredients such as potatoes with green pesto, aioli and pomegranate seeds. Alternatively, try thinly sliced aubergine in tomato paste or taste the spicy Tunisian egg salad, chachuka. The Kitchen is renowned for serving nutritious and flavourful lunchtime meals, and indeed, one of the most famous ambassadors on its menu is The Love Sandwich. To create a ‘Love Sandwich’, one of a variety of breads is selected, generously spread with pesto, aioli, tomato, dressed leaves and then crammed with other delicious fillings. For dessert, devour a World Peace Brownie or Lemon Square.
A variety of sodas and juices are available to drink. Cold appletiser quenches the thirst alongside a hearty lunch. While the drinks menu remains limited, a variety of hot drinks, consisting of tea and coffee is on offer as well.
The team at The Kitchen has ample patience, they explained the deli-style menu with panache, while guiding diners through the ordering process with ease. Their joy was infectious.
“You can see the whole setup is like an antique shop,” explained one of The Kitchen’s team members when I commented on its homely feel. Between the bench in the window, comfortable wooden chairs and tables, as well as the knick-knacks on the wall, The Kitchen feels like visiting an old friend.
If you are looking for a cool spot to people watch, while biting into a Love Sandwich, or if you would like to order a nutritious takeaway while channeling your inner First Lady, visit The Kitchen.