Pasture PDX, Portland, OR., 7/29/22

exterior – 1413 NE Alberta St., Portland, OR., 97211

Pasture PDX bills itself as “a whole animal butcher shop and restaurant that offers a wide variety of meat cuts, cured products and sausages”.  Owner Kei Ohdera and John Schaible met while working in New York in 2014.  In early 2019 they started doing pop-ups in Portland featuring meat of retired dairy cows and European-style butchery – in an effort to recreate the experience they had with high-quality meats offered in New York restaurants.  They opened the permanent location near the end of 2021, with the aid of a “Kickstarter” campaign, and now offer lunch and dinner on Thurs. and Fri and a butcher case as well as locally sourced products, beer and wine.  It’s a small yet very tasteful space with tables out front, meal supplies (including cloth napkins) on a cart, and the order counter behind all that.  Next to the area is the butcher counter and shelves of local products for sale.  The menu is via smartphone link but can be found on their website <pasturepdx.com>.  They ask you to bus your own tables and orders can be over the phone.  There is music in the background and both owners were working in the shop and very friendly.  The sandwiches were great.  I totally recommend the place. Continue reading

Léa Parisian Sandwiches, Chicago, 7/14/22

exterior – 70 E. Lake St., Chicago

Léa Parisian Sandwiches was inspired by simple peasant foods the owners, Nicolas and Colleen Caulliez,  enjoyed in France.  They wanted to bring the artisan breads and pastries of Paris to Chicago.  They make traditional French baguette bread and pastries, without preservatives, in-house daily.  They now have 2 locations and you can find their full menu on <Leafrenchcafe.com>.  We went to the location near the Chicago Cultural Center and it was on a corner.  Windows line two sides of the place.  When you walk in a wall of rolling pins greets you and below are several computers where you can place you order and pay your tab.  An abbreviated menu is overhead.  They call your name out when  yours is ready.  A number of small tables are along the windows and a bench lines the other wall.  The tile floor is the main decoration.  To use the bathroom you need to get a key from the counter people.  I give 2 thumbs up to this place. Continue reading

Block 16, Omaha, 5/7/22

exterior – 1611 Farnam St, Omaha, NE 68106

Block 16 is in downtown Omaha and owned by Paul and Jessica Urban who met in a culinary program.  They have a family farm that supplies a lot of their produce and otherwise shop for local and sustainable food sources.  They like to feature a daily special and have offered a different one 1,400 times in the last four years; they call it fun, street-style food.  It’s a fairly small place of 2 rooms.  The first one is where you order and there are some stools around the edge and counters, also the hall to the bathroom.  The second room is where you wait for you food to be brought out and has small 2-tops along the edges with 3 larger tables in the center.  There were a couple tables outside also.  The dining room had large windows to the street and tables on one end, music in the background and bright interior lighting.  The person at the order counter was very helpful.  They do sell beer as well as non-alcoholic beverages. Continue reading

Attman’s Delicatessen, Baltimore, 4/30/22

exterior – 1019 E Lombard St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Attman’s Deli was established in 1915 by Harry Attman and is now run by the third generation of the same family.  It is the oldest continuously family-owned deli in the country.  They have 2 locations – the one we went to in Baltimore and another in Park Potomac.  The location on Lombard Street opened in 1933, on what was then known as “Corned Beef Row” because there were 7 delis on the street. (Now just 2 delis remain operational.) They are known for their corned beef and on a busy day can sell 2,000 pounds of it at the Baltimore location only.  Hot dogs are another signature and are topped with a slice of bologna or pastrami – a consistent favorite.  They also sell lots of sides and other meats.  When Harry’s son Seymour took over in 1968 he bought the building next door to open a place for customers to eat and talk, named the Kibbitz Corner, and established names for a number of sandwich combinations.  When we went the line was long, but people were friendly and it gave you a chance to walk by the counters and decide what to order.  The corned beef was worth the wait. Continue reading

Carl’s Deli, Cincinnati, 4/23/22

exterior – 2836 Observatory Ave # A, Cincinnati, OH 45208

Carl’s Deli dates back to 1938.  The owner Anne McManus was practically raised there as her parents owned the deli in 1968 but sold it in 1990.  When that owner decided to sell he contacted McManus first and she was then ready to take over.   Now a local hangout, there are tables inside and outside but they also do catering, ready to eat take out and gift baskets.  They also sell wine.  It’s a small place with most of the interior taken up by sales counters.  The menu on the wall lists lots of sandwich combinations or you craft your own combo.  We ordered at the counter and they pretty quickly had our delicious sandwiches ready to eat.  This is a good place.  I can see why it’s so popular. Continue reading

Carmen’s Deli, Dayton, OH., 4/22/22

exterior – 40 N Main St, Dayton, OH 45423

Carmen’s Deli is in downtown Dayton, opening in 2009.  Chef Haitham Imam was encouraged by his wife Carmen to leave corporate dining and open his own place.  When the downtown tower where they were located went into bankruptcy the owners of the Kettering Tower across the street, saw their popularity and offered them a spot in their building.  The deli is open 8:30 – 2:30 weekdays and the bar runs 4-9 on Thurs. and Fri.  As we entered we were greeted and directed to the counter where you place your order.  There you can watch you sandwich being made and direct the toppings.  After it’s ready you proceed to the register and pick a table.  There were also tables outside.  The pair cooking that day were personable and gave a good show.   The food was fine, not outstading but very edible and satisfying. Continue reading

Blues City Deli, St. Louis, 11/19/21

building

Blues City Deli opened in 2004 as a combination of the owners love of food and music in a New Orleans style sandwich shop.  There is no live music inside now because of the pandemic but piped in music plays.  There are lots of tables outside and seats inside the corner restaurant.  Lots of blues memorabilia decorate the walls and there is a long counter without seats, along the window wall to the street.  People often seemed to lean there while waiting for their number to be called.  The line to order stretches outside but it moves quickly as does delivery of your food.  They offer a large variety of sandwiches and muffulettas all made with top quality meats and cheeses. Bottled drinks and bags of chips are located along the line for you to pick up while you wait.  They also offer beer and wine.  It is a good place with a friendly vibe. Continue reading

Gioia’s Deli, St. Louis, 11/17/21

exterior

Gioia’s Deli on ‘The Hill’ opened in 1918 and the new owners took over in 1980 but they are still serving the original recipe of hot salami.  The Food Network named their hot salami sandwich as “one of  the best sandwiches in America.”   In 2017 they won the James Beard American Classic Award.  The meat is never frozen and once cooked stays warm till it’s served.  They go through 10,000 pounds a month and now that I’ve tasted the hot salami vs. one of their other sandwiches I can see why.  It is a delicious product and worth trying if you’re in the area.  It’s a small place with a line to the order counter aside a rack of chips and area for drinks.  There are seats inside as well as tables outside.  Windows to the street make up one wall.  Staff were all friendly and helpful.  When you get to the counter you have an option on bread, cheese, garnish and condiments.  The order person helped us with a recommended version and our food was ready with only a very short wait. Continue reading

Victory Sandwich Bar, Atlanta, 11/9/21

exterior

Victory Sandwich Bar was located near Inman Park and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.  It offered a large covered porch, inside seating and a backyard patio filled with picnic tables, each having a dog bowl at the end.  Music from inside blended into the outside.  Inside was booth seating, high top tables and a long bar where you place your order.  You are given a number after you pay and then they bring it to your table.  The sandwiches are small but only cost $5 each.  They have a full bar but are known for their Whiskey Coke Slushie, made with Jack Daniel’s and Coke, which come in 2 sizes.  You get those when you finish placing your order so you can work on it while your sandwich is made.  They are just like the frozen drinks from convenience stores but these have that whiskey twist.  It’s a fun drink but you still have to be careful to avoid a ‘brain freeze or cold headache’.  It’s a  pretty place to sit and prices are reasonable but the food didn’t wow me. Continue reading

Earl’s Steak Sandwiches, Dover, N.H., 6/11/21

exterior (99 Oak St., Dover)

Earl’s Steak Sandwiches is family owned and specializes in shaved beef sandwiches.  Wife Mo (Maureen) Donovan works the floor, husband Jim cooks and their daughter Sophie, who is 10, makes rings and bracelets to sell in one of the booths.  Opening in October, in a location that had previously been a diner,  during the Covid pandemic they rose to the challenge by concentrating on take-out until indoor dining resumed.  The decor features a ‘vintage car theme’ with old hot rod magazines at the table and the walls decorated with oil signs and car parts.  The inside area is small, with a few counter stools, but there also is a good number of outdoor tables.  Behind the counter is a window to the kitchen where you can see, hear and smell the owner’s cooking.  One of the booths is “reserved for Earl” which is where the daughter assembles and sells her jewelry.  Earl has a photo but it is actually not a family member, they just liked his name.   They cure their own meats and make their own sauces. Continue reading

Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia, 5/20/21

Market exterior

Reading Terminal Market is one of America’s oldest and largest public markets in a National Historic Landmark building. They have produce, meats, fish, flowers, cheese, bread and sweets to create your own meal or they have a number of restaurants. While we enjoyed walking the aisles and seeing what was for sale we tried two of the most famous sandwiches there -Tommy DiNic’s and Hershel’s East Side.  Both often have a line but we got there early and were able to easily buy from both and find a table in the center dining area, where all the tables are separated by plexiglas. Continue reading

HUDA, Philadelphia, 5/19/21

exterior

HUDA is “fast casual concept by Philadelphia based Chef Yehuda Sichel” who loves sandwiches. The sandwiches come on homemade milk buns and sourdough and they also offer salads. It’s a small shop with one indoor table and 4 outside ones. They do a lot of takeout. The menu uses seasonal and local ingredients and the staff were all super friendly. You go inside to place and pay for your order and then they bring it to your table. We went there for a late afternoon snack to split and it was perfect and really tasty. I’d go often if I had the chance. Continue reading

Roli Roti, San Francisco, 3/14/19

stand
stand

Roli Roti is a food stand by the Ferry Building and the location does move, so just look for the line.  The secret is to get there when they first open, and then there is no line and it’s easier to find a seat somewhere in the area to enjoy your sandwich.  They are only open on Thursday (10 am – 2 pm)  and Saturday (8 am – 2 pm) but their signs encourage you to hire them to cater your next party.  They have the rotisserie going as you walk up and you can see the chickens and pork rotating slowing dripping their fat and juices on the potatoes below.  I have been many times and it’s a great snack – the smell is wonderful – but I’ve only tried their porchetta sandwich.  They cut the meat while you watch and load it onto a wonderful soft, chewy roll and then cover it with onion relish and arugula greens.  There are bits of the crackling crust of pork intermixed with the tender, juicy pieces of pork.  I will admit that some days have yielded a better tasting meat than others but it always is rich, decadent snack or meal.  Try it if you’re there at the right time and then on Saturday you can walk through the wonderful farmer’s market behind the building or cruise through the fun shops in the building. Continue reading