Bethany Clough

Mabel’s Kitchen is back and educating Fresno about muffuletta sandwiches

The muffuletta sandwich in the process of being made at Mabel’s Kitchen in downtown Fresno, which has reopened inside Bitwise Industries. The New Orleans inspired sandwich at Mabel’s is made with corned beef, roast beef, ham, mozzarella, pepper jack cheese and an “olive salad” that’s almost like a spread with pickled vegetables, olives and capers.
The muffuletta sandwich in the process of being made at Mabel’s Kitchen in downtown Fresno, which has reopened inside Bitwise Industries. The New Orleans inspired sandwich at Mabel’s is made with corned beef, roast beef, ham, mozzarella, pepper jack cheese and an “olive salad” that’s almost like a spread with pickled vegetables, olives and capers. SPECIAL TO THE BEE

Mabel’s Kitchen is back.

The little downtown sandwich and sweet treats shop is up and running after nearly a year’s closure.

You may remember it from its time on Kern Street next to the former Downtown Club. It closed for what was supposed to a brief time before moving into its new digs.

Now it’s back, though it might take a little hunting to find it.

Mabel’s is inside the Bitwise Industries building at 700 Van Ness Ave. (Yep, you can totally go in there even if you don’t have Bitwise business.) Walk to the right, passed another local business, Valparaiso Cafe & Roastery, a coffee shop that uses locally roasted beans.

There you’ll see a friendly face and baking fanatic, owner Susan Valiant.

“If anything came out of that year it was my bread. It got better,” she says.

She’s still serving sandwiches with housemade French bread and a pickled pepper French bread. Each week she rotates in something different – like the blueberry challah bread or the challah with a swirl of blackberries inside.

She still serves hot sandwiches and bierocks on Tuesdays, and has added cold sandwiches. There are more grab-and-go options for people with short lunch breaks.

One highlight, according to Valiant: The muffuletta sandwich. It’s a New Orleans thing, with the Mabel’s version made with corned beef, roast beef, ham, mozzarella, pepper jack cheese and an “olive salad” that’s almost like a spread with pickled vegetables, olives and capers.

She’s still making the sweets too, with one of the most popular a triple chocolate s’more brownie.

The new location is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. It serves a breakfast panini, too, and delivers downtown with a $30 minimum purchase.

Keep tabs on Mabel’s Facebook page for delectable photos.

Mabel, by the way, is Mabel DeMorales, the former head cook at Roosevelt High School cafeteria and Valiant’s grandmother.

She was the one who taught Valiant to cook and it’s her bierock recipe used at the restaurant. At 96, she doesn’t make it into her namesake cafe very often, but you may see Valiant’s mom working there.

Details: (559) 681-2463, on Facebook or Instagram as @mabelskitchen.

Bethany Clough: 559-441-6431, @BethanyClough

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