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My Favorite Local Delis

Delicatessens started on the east coast, but for my money, it's the west coast versions that have achieved true Deli Nirvana. Out here, the Delis have developed a spicier, more complex, and even a Latin American edge.

Sunrise Deli

9945 Campo Road

619-460-5800

FoodJorge Barraza and his two brothers tried opening a Mexican fast food diner a few years back in Casa De Oro, but since they all had experience working in a La Jolla Deli, they decided to try the sandwich style in their own restaurant. The result is a delightful blend of New York and Mexican styles. My favorites here are the Philly Cheese steak, the Reuben, and the Deluxe Clubhouse, which are all huge and flavorful, but the clincher here is the incredible tortilla soup they throw into the deal. For about five and a half bucks, you get the sandwich, a cup of soup, and a drink with refills all included in the price. In a time when drinks alone can cost you nearly two bucks, this is the best deli deal in town.

Chez Nous

9821 Carroll Canyon Road

858-566-4335

FoodI’ve been buying the Spicy Chicken Melt from Chez Nous for over five years, with it’s high spice level and delightful flavors. But there’s a world of exotic deli fare they offer that I’ve only recently checked out. First of all, all chicken, turkey, beef and lamb here is roasted by the owners daily, who season it up and use it in some excellent sandwiches. Secondly, they’ve developed some excellent sauces that are used with those sandwiches. The Lamb is cooked with rosemary and garlic, sliced thick and is delightful. The Portobello chicken starts with fresh sliced mushrooms, grilled with veggies and a seasoned chicken breast, served with an excellent pesto sauce. Most sandwiches are in the five to six dollar range.

Lit’l Pepper

8911 Complex Drive

858-565-6566

FoodLocated in the back of a Kearny Mesa strip mall, Lit’l Pepper has made a reputation of richly seasoned soups and exotic sandwiches. Soups can range from minestrone to gumbo to chicken, but I have never had one that was less than excellent. And while the sandwiches can be as simple as pastrami and swiss, or as complex as the Muffuletta, with ham, turkey, swiss, and incredible olive spread, with onions and veggies, a sandwich as visual as it is delicious. Most sandwiches are about five bucks.

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  • Name: West Coast Delis