WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? DANISH PANINI

092915danishcafe2Chicken Douglas, a panini-style sandwich from the Danish Café, a flag-festooned coffee shop. (Photos by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

By SUSAN ERICSON

092915danishcafe3On any given day at Loni and Claudi Kofod’s Danish Café on Bridge Avenue in Red Bank, you’ll find customers in deep discussion, their open laptops sharing table space with large cups of coffee.

But the wifi, full-bodied, European-style java and original pastries are only part of what brings customers to this light-filled, red-and-white-flag-festooned Galleria space. The lunch menu offers simple, healthy choices, as PieHole rediscovered on a recent business meeting-slash-What’s For Lunch outing.
092915danishcafe1Named only by its ingredients, another panini style sandwich from the Danish Café: the ham, cheese and tomato. (Photo by Susan Ericson. Click to enlarge)

The Chicken Douglas, a sandwich served on whole grain as requested, was listed on the menu as a hot ciabatta. The tender chicken cutlet came lightly slathered with a curry-infused mayonnaise and decked with crispy bacon and a slice of pineapple. Grilling in a panini press rendered it nice and crunchy. Easy to pick up with one hand, this tidy, tasty sandwich got wolfed down in no time.

Another sandwich listed on the menu under hot ciabattas had no special name — just “ham, cheese, and tomato.” Also requested on whole grain, it was filled with Danish-style boiled ham, Swiss cheese and tomato. The ingredients are typical of what you will find a Dane eating for lunch, but usually on an open-faced, thin slice of hearty bread. The panini-pressed ciabatta bread lends hearty structure to the sandwich.

Both were accompanied by a side salad consisting of fresh baby greens, red onion, corn, and grated carrot.

Scandinavian-style items such as a frikadelle (roast pork and red cabbage) sandwich, and herring and smoked salmon platters, also grace the menu. Those puffy little rounded pancakes called ebelskiversa sweet treat, can also be found here.

The Danish Café is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the weekend. It’s located at 2 Bridge Avenue, opposite the Two River Theater.

SUSAN-ERICSON