I needed this one to be good. I didn’t sleep well the previous evening. Things came to a halt with a woman that I liked. I was in stress mode with the magazine. I needed this one to be good. I had wanted to try Dave’s Downtown Deli for a while now. I occasionally pass by it on my way to different law firms. It always looked busy. Since it’s a little ways away from my office I had not made an effort to go in a get a sandwich just yet.
I decided to make the trek there on Wednesday. As soon as I stepped in there, I knew it was going to be a good place. All the food was made to order. Every person making the food was behind a legit deli counter. I know there’s a big fuss about seeing your food being made, but I didn’t mind The counter was about chest high, and I had to keep stepping back to look at the chalkboard above to figure out what fixings were available.
I liked the vibe of the place. They weren’t trying to be fancy, incorporate buzzwords, or do anything unique. They were a deli that served sandwiches, soups, and salads. (I mean, they had other things, but those were the staples.) People waited in line, ordered their food, paid, and then enjoyed their food. It’s always nice when places keep things simple.
I got my standard order: turkey on wheat bread, pepper jack cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato, onion, and banana pepper. The one thing I don’t like is when the servers aren’t honest with you about if chips and a drink come with the meal. I asked and the person making my sandwich said yes. The price on the board for a sandwich was $6.75. The whole things cost me $9.63. I get it that I got the meal, but come on, tell me it’s three dollars more. I got a chips and drink anyway.
I walked back to my office with a smile on my face. I had tried most of the turkey sandwiches within a few blocks of my office, so I hadn’t legitimately had one in a while. I wasn’t disappointed. Everything came together. It was a simple sandwich, well constructed, that tasted great, that filled me up. The meat tasted just fine. The whole meal for the price wasn’t too bad. The chips were delicious. The veggies didn’t taste like a locker room. They were crunchy and added some zest to the whole enterprise. Everything kind of just came together as I ate my lunch at my desk. It was just what I needed.
Dave’s is the new standard for good turkey sandwiches. In a tumultuous year full of celebrity deaths and an ever-lowering bar for decorum in public life, it’s reassuring to know that some places can still do simple things well. You don’t need special flavors to cater to the foodie-razi, you don’t need blazing efficiency, you just need to make a good sandwich well. And Dave’s does just that.