There is no sign for Sacha’s Café, but financial district fans are finding it for morning coffee and quick lunches.
The small, sleek space is tucked into the back of the ground floor of the JPMorgan Chase office tower. Folks queue at the counter for a grab-and-go sandwich (prosciutto with fresh mozzarella is the bestseller) or to order a custom-made one. There are daily specials from soups to sweets.
German chef-owner Hans Viertl grew up on a farm in Bavaria and dreamed of seeing the world. He became a chef after an apprenticeship and worked in Munich and Paris, then for Club Med for 18 years.
Viertl was sent to Miami to manage resorts in the Caribbean, and met his wife, Sonia, here. She is of Armenian descent and grew up in Montreal. They adopted their son, Sacha, from Russia 22 years ago.
The couple ran a gourmet food and wine shop in Coral Gables, but sold it six years ago to go into the cafe business. (Sacha’s also has locations in Coral Gables and the Blue Lagoon area near the airport.)
Start the day with a yogurt and granola parfait with fruit or an omelet. Specials on a recent lunch visit were grilled vegetable and goat cheese quiche, a wrap with curried chicken salad, spinach and roasted garlic soup and penne carbonara.
Salads range from spicy tuna to couscous with chickpeas, caramelized onions and chicken. Breads include slim ficelle, baguette, ciabatta, whole grain and croissant to craft a sandwich with roasted turkey, Genoa salami, honey ham or country pate with Gouda, Cheddar or Manchego.
Tempting brownies, apple strudel and gourmet chocolate bars are near the checkout register for a treat.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.