Smorrebrod - The Delicious Lunch with the Funny Name

We recently discovered a whole new category of savory and hard-to-pronounce open face sandwiches.  Sure, we love avocado toast.  Yes, we are fans of French tartines.  But, they all play second fiddle to our new crush: the Danish Smorrebrod.

Smorrebrod sandwich
Shrimp & Fennel Smorrebrod- the tasty lunch with the funny name

It all started a couple of months back when I passed a small shop in Grand Central Station in New York City.  The display case window immediatelly caught my eye; there were dozens of open face sandwiches calling my name. Each had layer upon layer of delicious, healthy toppings sitting atop a sturdy, freshly baked slice of rye. I learned they were called smorrebrod (translates to 'bread and butter') and I was smitten.

From Denmark, smorrebrod (pronounced "smore-uh-broad") have been part of the local diet for hundreds of years.  They are traditionally prepared using rye bread and then covered with a multitude of topings - meat and fish, vegetables, fruit and spreads and cheeses.  A creative light had been lit: these would make a perfect addition to the lunch menu at Fado Pub & Kitchen. So, the project was on : bring a little bit of Denmark to Dublin, OH.

Two big questions needed to be answered: what about the bread and how to narrow down the choice on toppings.

Smorrebrod sandwich
Curried Chicken Smorrebrod - the tasty lunch with the funny name

The Bread

Any good burger or sandwich wins and loses with the bread.  Smorrebrods, although open faced, are no exception.

The bread was crucial and we wanted to do something unique and we wanted to bake it fresh. So, we went to work and three weeks and 18 recipe later, we nailed it. We combined the right flour and ingredients to get the perfect texture, flavor profile and thickness (1/4 inch was deemed perfect). And, the non-stop baking filled the kitchen with a sweet, yeasty aroma that would stop staff in their tracks. An added bonus for sure.

So, Batch 18 was the winner- a seeded Soda Bread.  We wanted to use a traditional Irish Brown Bread recipe as a nod to our Irish roots.  To it we added whole grain flour, sunflower, sesame and poppy seeds because of their flavor profile and health benefits. The result is a light, flavorful, healthy foundation for our next phase of development: the toppings!

Roasted Smorrebrod sandwich
Roasted Beetroot Smorrebrod- the tasty lunch with the funny name

The Toppings

This part of the project was an absolute joy. We must have tried 30-40 different combinations of ingredients, toppings and spreads in order to create our first smorrebrod menu.  The kitchen was full of fresh herbs, Ohio proud meats, fresh vegetables and fish options in order to create the right combination of flavor and texture.  It was a real team effort.  Our kitchen, service and bar staff were all willing participants as we taste tested our way through what seemed like an endless array of flavors.

Notes on smorrebrod toppings, changes and things to try

Following, we settled on three to begin our smorrebrod journey: Roasted Beetroot, Shrimp and Fennel and Curried Chicken Salad.  You can see full descriptions below and each can be paired with our daily soup or half salad.  

We thought the three provided a nice balance of ingredients, provided a little something for everyone and paired well with our soup and salad options. We anticipate rotating in new options regularly.  Join us for this hard-to-pronounce yet delicious to eat lunch at Fado Pub and Kitchen.

Smorrebrod sandwich
Smorrebrod sandwich
Smorebrood sandwich

The Menu

Roasted Beetroot: Earthy beets, creamy avocado, fragant basil and slightly peppery radish flavors with bibb lettuce and lemon are paired with goat cheese and sweet agave. Bright colors & great flavors makes for a healthier option.

Shrimp and Fennel :  The flavors of Shrimp & Fennel go well together in this light salad.  Fennel imparts a light anise-like flavor and also good texture with a slight crunchy mouth feel. The salad is also flavored with some classic Old Bay seasoning, mayonnaise and lemon.

Curried Chicken Salad - Chicken Salad gets a flavor boost from curry spices and mango chutney but we also make it with yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a healthier approach. The salad is served in bibb lettuce cups and garnished with toasted almonds and fresh cilantro for flavor and also a nod to traditional style curries.