Since I’m not in Gainesville anymore (for now), naturally I really can’t review Gainesville food anymore either. After all, any time I visit I probably will just go to my favorites (Bento/Gelato Company/Burrito Bros/???) for the weekend or the few days that I’m there. Fortunately, however, I’m coming back to a metropolitan area where the food supply is endless.
Here’s a disclaimer: I’m a big-time neophyte to the Orlando Food Scene. My non-national chain restaurant knowledge here in Orlando consists of the following few restaurants: Amura, Kyoto Sushi and Grill, 4Rivers, Briarpatch, Lazy Moon, Korea House, Little Saigon and Kimchi. And that’s it. My parents are too much of fans of places like Brio, P.F Chang’s, etc. And while those places aren’t bad…I’ve grown to take a liking to local, homegrown places. It’s not that Orlando doesn’t have them…the city certainly does. But they’re either out of reach in terms of money OR just location.
That Deli! is a fairly small deli in a fairly big plaza in Lake Mary (corner of Rinehart Rd and Lake Mary Blvd). I first got referred to it by my friend Neel and have always had it in the back of my mind; the desire to go only increased when I looked up reviews and saw that everyone was in love with it.
Naturally, therefore, it was only important that I kidnap one of my friends that I hadn’t seen in a while and make her go with me there. The restaurant space there is fairly small…just slightly bigger than a cafe space at your local Barnes and Noble. That Deli! has a wide array of sandwiches, soups and salads that really should appease any person in your party’s palate. From the meatiest of sandwiches to the most friendliest of veggie eats, you can find anything…and that was reflected in both of our orders. I ordered, naturally, a Chipotle chicken sandwich and Amy got a portobello mushroom wrap (I think). It was veggie, regardless. All sandwiches also come with a side ranging from chips to Mac n’ Cheese. Total for both of us: ~$20 (I got a drink, she didn’t).
Hint: get the Mac N’ Cheese.
Now you might think $20 is a little much for a deli (although honestly looking back I thought it was very reasonable), but you get a heck of a lot of stuff inside that sandwich. Not to mention, the side of mac n’ cheese is perfect because it’s not too small to rip you off but not too big to make you unbutton your pants at the end of eating your lunch. PS: the Mac N’ Cheese tastes just brilliant. It’s not too cheesy but it packs actual flavor to it… if that makes any sense.
Not to mention, both of our sandwiches were perfect. Every bite captured the perfect ratio of meat + sauce + cheese possible…and if I were to comment on any drawbacks, the only one I’d say was it was just a tad too spicy (even for me). The red onion didn’t help with that ensemble totally, but it didn’t flat out ruin it by any means. I saved it and enjoyed it very much so the next day. Amy was so entranced by the place that she went back with her dad only a few days later.
I’m dying to try their soups soon…but I’m going to try and make sure I don’t go until like a month later. I’ve had this nasty habit of going to a place I like a million times within a span of a few days (e.g.: Kangaroo Express for slurpees, Jeremiah’s for Italian Ice….).
Pros: Good selection, friendly staff, great sides, reasonable price and, of course, great sandwiches
Cons: Almost none…could’ve laid off on the chipotle aioli slightly. For Amy’s wrap, the portabellos could’ve been cut up for easier eating.
CLOSED SUNDAYS. Why is every damn good restaurant closed on Sundays? (chick fil a, 4Rivers, etc.)