The grand opening of Box Car is this Wednesday from 11am to 6pm. Photo: Boxcar

Boxcar Kitchen and BNA’s New Tasting Room Opens This Wednesday

Bánh mì sandwiches and steamed buns hit Kelowna in a serious way, with classic ingredients and North-American twists

Serving Asian street food to the Okanagan valley since 2014, Crasian proprietors Courtney and Mieko Koga have been busy this year. What started out as a food truck serving hybrid, North American street food meets Asian savoury, salty, sweet, sour and spicy delights, has now transformed into a sizable venture for them. Earlier in the year they opened Provisions Kitchen and Catering, with chef Brock Bowes, formerly of RauDz serving up upscale camping-inspired food at the back of microbrewery Kettle River Brewing in the city’s north end. This Wednesday, the sisters will be introducing everyone to Boxcar at BNA’s new tasting room on Ellis Street.

“Sticking true to the CrAsian theme, Boxcar will offer rotating bánh mì sandwiches and steamed buns, with both classic ingredients and North-American twists”, says Courtney. “The 170-seat expanded tasting room at BNA will also be true form to what the Nixons prove to do in all their projects. You can expect nothing but the best with a one-of-a-kind social room, eclectic decor, and interactive activities”.

BNA Brewing are expanding its current operations to accommodate a new patio and add to their existing tasting room, a request that was green lit by City Council earlier in the summer. “So we’ll have a bigger patio. We’re going to have way more space inside for seating, because as of right now we can only fit about six to 10 people in our tasting room. So, we’ll still be able to do growler sales and retail sales out of there but there will be more space to come and hang out”, BNA Co-owner Carolyn Nixon said following the city’s approval.

The new lounge also features expanded hours, and a fire pit for colder days. More importantly for us, you’ll now be able to fill your face with their take on the world’s best sandwich. A typical bánh mì or Vietnamese sandwich is a fusion of meats and vegetables from native Vietnamese cuisine – juicy layers of roasted pork, a rich schmear of pâté, a smattering of crunchy, punchy pickled vegetables, and a loaf of bread that’s entirely unique. There are only a few establishments in Kelowna right now that feature it on their menu, but none that get us too excited – where they mostly disappoint is with the bread, the most critical and important aspect of any really good bánh mì (that and pickled daikon, the sandwiches staple veg curiously lacking in the current versions served up around town). With the help of Rutland’s Specialty Bakery, Courtney and Mieko have been experimenting with the bread they tell us, understanding its importance in an attempt to get the sandwich just right. We’re eager to taste the result.

Courtney and Mieko experimenting in the kitchen earlier last month. Photo: Boxcar/Instagram

The grand opening of Box Car takes place this Wednesday from 11am to 6pm.