Perhaps it was watching his father create sandwiches from simple ingredients on hand. Maybe it was the tasty flavors of the Bay Area and Long Beach eateries that captured his interest. Or maybe it was the influence of his wife and her successful coffee shop. Whatever the inspirations, Zach Curren folded them together to create “Trencher’s Deli” where eight made in-house breads are the foundation to sandwiches such as Dutch Crunch and Chicken Tawook. Following his credo to provide distinctive sandwiches with fresh ingredients, Curren strives to make most of his menu in house. He roasts and smokes deli meats and makes fresh bread, pastries and desserts. Condiments, like grain mustard and avocado mayonnaise, are also made fresh.
Trencher’s Deli is filled with unexpected, pleasing details. Such as the name, “Trencher’s”. When asked about how he came to name his mid-town delicatessen, I expected a stodgy tale of family legacy and tribute. Instead, I learned some about Curren’s straightforward business approach. “I really just did a google search and liked the name.” Curren said. “I liked the idea that the word Trencher was a large plate on which food is served.” The name pairs well with Trencher’s lighthearted approach to running his deli. And his humor extends to Trencher’s Facebook videos and postings that are both whimsical and effective. It’s fun to eat where others have fun working.
Trencher’s serves its sandwiches on such large, wooden platters (or trenchers). Care is taken with each sandwich such as Dutch Crunch that features rice flour dusted on the surface of the bread making a soft, textural “crunch” when eaten. Carne Vinha d’Alho (wine braised pork shoulder) fills The Trencher, Curren’s signature sandwich, served with grain mustard and toasted with house made Italian bread.
Curren often is seen kneading or rolling his bread at the front of the deli.
“He invests so much care into his creations. His commitment inspired me in my own restaurant, Shades of Brown”
says Melinda Curren, Zach’s wife and owner of Shades of Brown Coffee Shop.
Melinda’s contributions to Trencher’s Deli are significant. She trains staff to make drinks according to barista techniques and adds much of the color in the deli’s interior.
The Italian Roll, with spicy tomato chutney (again, made in house), caramelized onions and fresh basil make an ordinary lunch date more of a culinary destination. San Francisco is where Zach experienced the Sourdough which features house made bread and butter pickles, provolone, grain mustard and mayonnaise. Wild cucumbers pickles and toum (raw garlic puree) combined with garlic, marinated grilled chicken and roast tomatoes makes the Chicken Tawook a new Tulsa favorite. Again, flavors from Long Beach, California found their way to Tulsa making a tasty change of pace for a business lunch.
The secret to Zach’s bread? Zach prepares his bread with a process called delayed fermentation. Breads rise twice, once in a refrigerator overnight, then again at room temperature. This process causes the yeast and bacteria to go dormant while the enzymes break down flour starches moving the sugar evenly throughout the dough. The result? A sweeter, nuttier bread with an ability to caramelize nicely. It’s an indirect route but the edible destination is worth it. This sandwich is one of my favorites!
Additionally, Trencher’s offers fresh baked goods such as scones, muffins and cookies plus a full deli case filled with delicatessen favorites such as Eggplant Caponata, Hummus and Tabouli. Drinks include fresh lemonade, fresh orange juice and locally roasted coffee and espresso (served to me in one of Melinda’s hand thrown pottery mugs!). For all the sophisticated flavors and processes, Trencher’s Deli is surprisingly understated in ambiance. While there, I felt comfortable and welcomed as I’m sure other diners do, too. This is why Trencher’s is fast becoming a favorite spot, a perfect place for friendly gatherings or lunch appointments. Also refreshing is Zach and Melinda’s commitment to keeping Trencher’s Deli uniquely small and diner-friendly. They will happily cater your office or holiday party, extending their fun, adventurous spirit into your gatherings.