A Braised-Meat Paradise Sprouts in Dumbo Heights
After opening Untamed Sandwiches’ first location in 2014 in Manhattan, Andy Jacobi and Ricky King have taken their entrepreneurial vision to Brooklyn. Untamed Sandwiches had its grand opening this fall in Dumbo Heights. After a packed house at opening day they have continued their momentum through the fall and have quickly engrained themselves into the fabric of the Dumbo Heights community. Recently, we had the chance to speak to Andy Jacobi, the co-founder of Untamed, about their grand entrance into the Brooklyn Market.
AllaboutWallabout: Congratulations on your success with Untamed Sandwiches and welcome to Dumbo Heights! First, we would like to learn a bit about your background and how you decided to open Untamed?
Andy: Before opening Untamed, I spent time working in Finance and then decided to pursue a passion of mine- sustainable food. I ended up working for a grass-fed beef farm where I was selling a very premium product to restaurants and butchers up on both coasts. That is how I met Ricky, who was a chef at two restaurants and shared my passion for quality, sustainably raised food.
AllaboutWallabout: Your menu seems to be really unique with the different pairings of ingredients you have blended together. For example, I am reading the concoction named the “Chupacabra” and I don’t believe I have ever tasted a sandwich that combines ingredients such as braised goat meat and roast carrots.
Andy: That sandwich happens to be one of my favorites! Its main ingredient is grass-fed goat meat, and this meat is very expensive and also hard to find in the United States. We get grass-fed goat from a small farm in Vermont. Though Americans may not be used to eating goat meat, you would be surprised to hear that it is the most common meat eaten globally. The Chupacabara is one of the original sandwiches on the menu, so it holds a special place in my heart.
AllaboutWallabout: You mentioned you source goat meat from a farm in Vermont. How do you go about sourcing the rest of your ingredients?
Andy: We are very dogmatic about the quality of our ingredients. If that means the purveyor is isn’t located in the Tri-State and we have to go beyond it to source the best ingredients, then so be it. We are also very dogmatic about the concept of sustainability with respect to our ingredients. While we love buying local, we only will do so if that means the farmers are feeding grass to their cattle, sheep and buffalo, natural grains and proteins for their chickens and turkeys, and grass and self-foraged proteins their pigs. The bottom line is that the animals we serve eat what they want to eat, which makes them very happy. And we believe that happy animals are the principal component of amazing sandwiches.
AllaboutWallabout: How did you decide to settle on Dumbo as the second location to expand Untamed’s brand?
Andy: We took meetings in various places in Brooklyn, but Dumbo was the only place that we seriously considered in Brooklyn. Nothing else was even close. We were first showed the space two years ago, and it is amazing how much it has changed even in two years. We saw the vision and realized we had the opportunity to get into the ground floor of something special. We are extremely excited to be a part of a smaller community here and see it grow and evolve in a manner that mid-town Manhattan cannot because it is so much more established and developed.
AllaboutWallabout: How did you go about designing the space?
Andy: We wanted to develop a feel here that fit the space. We wanted a cleaner, brighter space that accentuated the high ceilings and industrial feel of the space. We incorporated concrete countertops, reclaimed wood, and chalk-board counter tops to create a feeling of warmth to invite people.
AllaboutWallabout: We have noticed that you seem to be braising a lot of your meats. Why did you choose this method of cooking your meat?
Andy: Braising is very prep intensive but is service-light. Braising takes 5 days to go from raw-meat to finalizing the braise, and we wanted it to be service-light to allow us to capitalize on locations that have a lunch-time crush.
AllaboutWallabout: I know that you are known for your mouth-watering braised meats, but I would be remiss not to ask you about this Ice Cream push pop- It is the perfect lunchtime snack and it is so unique! How did you come up with it?
Andy: I consider the ice cream push pop to be one of the hidden gems on the menu! Our chef Luis taught himself how to bake these amazing cooking, and we came up with the idea of collaborating with il Laboratorio Del Gelato by combing Luis’ cookies with their vanilla gelato for a really unique desert.
AllaboutWallabout: What is next up for Untamed Sandwiches?
Andy: Look out for our third location to open in Manhattan on Lexington between 54 th and 55 th sometime in the next couple months!
AllaboutWallabout: Thank you so much for your time today and for sharing with us a bit about both you and Untamed Sandwiches, we wish you and Ricky the best of luck with expanding your brand!
Andy: It was a pleasure, I hope to see you and your readers at one of our locations sometime soon!