I heard about Deluxe Deli in a recent article over at the MNSun and headed down there on a Sunday morning to scope it out. I had originally planned on going there that afternoon for lunch but found that they are not open on Sundays so I put it off for another day…
Last night I was in the mood for a sandwich and figured that I would drag Kim along to check out Deluxe Deli. I had already seen the menu on the front of their shop and I must admit that I was already unimpressed with the place as it really reminded me of yet another unnecessary sub shop. Do we really need the chains and the local places all serving the same shit? I guess some people think so. Anyway, we headed down and worked our way through the construction traffic and over to this tucked away little spot in a random strip mall 5 miles away from anywhere that would be able to support a restaurant of this type.
There was one woman working behind the counter and she seemed to know the woman that was waiting for her order at the counter. We waited 5 minutes, even after she saw us, before she said she’d be right with us. I used this time to snap a photo and look over the menu and their weekly specials. While I was busy doing my thing, Kim picked up a newspaper from the 5th of September and started reading it to pass the time. After I placed half our order I went and sat down with her to kill some time. Kim leaned over to me to tell me that her first impression was that the smell of coffee along with lunch meat is overwhelming. While I noticed the off smell, I felt it was more of a potpourri than coffee and honestly it was fucking sickening. The number one rule of running a restaurant is no scented anything, yuck.
The space is large and not terribly tidy. They have been open for a few months and I would have expected it to look more finished than it does. Their sitting area towards the back of the restaurant serves no purpose other than to stare at the stereo system against the wall. Kim noted that there was no coffee table in the area so you couldn’t even eat there if you wanted to. There are a good number of tables but they were all empty except for us tonight. Both Kim and I have seen this numerous times before and I have to say that it’s just not looking good for Deluxe Deli so far. While Kim didn’t say anything about this place, she has mentioned before that it feels as if someone’s dream is just going down the drain. I really felt that way when we ate there.
This week’s specials were a French Dip with a side of au jus and a side of potato or pasta salad for $4.99. They also had a Delux Wrap Sandwich which was a choice of meat and cheese along with a cup of soup for $5.99. The rest of the menu was terribly boring and written haphazardly at a partial angle across a white board above the register. I eventually made the choice to go with their “2Xtreme” sandwich which was listed for $5.49. There were several veggies options including pickles, sprouts, onions, banana and jalapenjo peppers, etc. Kim decided on their French Dip and after I asked for it they asked if she’d like provolone on it too. She did and chose their potato salad as her side.
My sandwich was quite large with a good bit of fairly medium-rare roast beef and a ton of veggies and cheese. When I actually sat down to eat it I was in awe of its size and I nearly had to unhinge my jaw to get any of it in my mouth. The sandwich overall was just a large sandwich and aside from the massive size of it and the reasonable price for the amount of meat, it wasn’t anything which I would want to make the drive for again. Kim’s French Dip was awfully bland and the au jus didn’t look like any I had ever seen before and reminded me a lot of canned beef broth. The potato salad looked similar to Cub’s Steakhouse Potato Salad but had no flavor at all and reminded me of kid friendly paste from my days in preschool. Kim didn’t even finish it and after we left Kim said to me let’s go get something for dessert because she felt like she didn’t get enough to eat.
While the place has a lot of potential, I really just can’t see it turning around in time for them. My suggestion would be to drop the catering offerings that they seem very interested in and begin a small grill to serve burgers and fries. They need to redo their menu with something that looks a bit more professional and get to work on serving something other than Subway-style sandwiches.
I wish them luck but as it stands right now I recommend that you stay away. If you’ve eaten at Deluxe Deli in Lakeville please let us know what you thought.
Deluxe Deli and Catering
20647 Kenrick Ave
Lakeville, MN 55044
See all the pictures from Deluxe Deli and Catering in Lakeville on Flickr here.