Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Deli Dilemma

Dear Readers, by now you have heard me mention before the difficulty of finding a good, dependable deli here on the west coast, and in Los Angeles specifically.

I've grown up and lived around numerous neighborhood delis that always provided top notch food and sandwiches that I never considered the fact that many cities were not as lucky.

Despite this, I have continually sought out a deli I could call my own here in the 818, but have, for the most part come up a little short.

Having driven past Handy Market in Burbank numerous times over my four years in LA, I had never even bothered to stop by. Not even on Saturdays when the chef fires up the giant BBQ grill and cooks outside.

So this past week, I finally decided to check it out.

First of all, Handy Market is more than just a deli. If you live in the neighborhood, it can serve all of your basic needs if you can't make it out to the supermarket easily. But the real story is the deli counter in the back.

For this experiment, I decided to order the pastrami panini with tomato, basil and feta cheese on a wheat roll.

The roll was fresh and when pressed and grilled had a nice crispy exterior while keeping the insides fluffy and warm. The feta offered an excellent dry and pungent flavor which contrasted well with the savory pastrami. The basil was so incredibly fresh and the flavor had an incredible bite which cut through most of the other flavors.

The only not-so-standoutish element was the pastrami. While it was tasty with a light black peppery flavor, the pastrami was a little too chewy at points. It could be that it cooled down a bit before I was able to eat it, but that shouldn't have accounted for this level of chewiness. While not bad, it wasn't spectacular.

Overall, my experience at Handy Market was fairly positive and I would definitely be willing to give it another try, but for the time being, I will just be moving on to find another deli.

What's your favorite sandwich at your favorite deli?

Until next time, Readers...

Pastrami Panini
*** 1/2
Handy Market
2514 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505

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