Deli Wish Granted
Grant’s Marketplace (2953 Beech St.) floated in like a fairy godmother after I wished on my east coast roots to find a true, deli sandwich in San Diego.
My standard being: quality cold-cuts, thinly sliced, layered upon first-rate bread and adorned with proper condiments- not as an option, but as a steadfast rule.
Grant's seemed to have read my rulebook, but more likely they had written it. Boar’s Head meats (no turkey roll here) lured me with its bacon-like beacon from our familiar friendship back east. The bread could also hold its own, which showed guts, since most places out here treat it with secondary status- oh, how wrong they are. Besides the regulars (wheat, white, etc.), Grant's offered marbled rye and crispy, rosemary loaves from Bread and Cie (local bakery.)
This rosemary bread was essential for my first-meal-of-the-day favorite, traveling off breakfast's beaten path and directly into the “Rosemary Avocado Smash”( rosemary olive oil bread, avocado, basil, salt and pepper.) While eating my "oh, so San Diegan" dish, this town's deli potential gained some ground.
Classics like the messy warmth of a Ruben or the salty coolness of a BLT were rivaled with "freshies" like Caprese (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil) and “Smokin’ Joe” (roast beef, cheddar, bbq sauce.) The "Californian" quickly became my #1 (a metaphor for my present "state" of mind?) with turkey, white cheddar and avocado.
Grant's rounded out their reputation by swinging a mean ladle when it came to homemade soups and left me with the question, what's more important - oxygen or turkey corn chowder? Stocking shelves with unexpected finds like pancetta and high end wines, they still make sure there's enough bottles of Coke and Stewart’s root beer to sip with your "sammy".
My standard (ended up) being: Grant's standard.
It's easy to become a fixture once you grow some roots, so I'll be here often, at an outside table, just gaining a little east coast perspective from this west coast deli.