Richard Riehl 2 a.m., March 4
Smokin' at the Motor City Deli
The stretch of Miramar Road between the 805 and the 15 probably doesn't immediately spring into your mind when you think about great lunch spots. But all those folks in the auto body shops, slab granite and hardwood warehouses and business parks have to eat somewhere, right? So when I was out that way getting an estimate for my poor bumper, the unfortunate victim of a hit and run fender bender, I thought it was only fitting to stop in Motor City Deli, 7094 Miramar Road, for lunch.
There's a cute young woman behind the counter, and I ask her for a recommendation. "May I offer you a sample of our house-smoked meats?" she asks. Well, sure, I'd love that. She puts some tri-tip, pastrami, brisket, pulled pork, and chicken breast in a small bowl. I try the pastrami, pork, and brisket, all good, and order pulled pork ($6.99) on a french roll. Then I try the piece of tri-tip. For some reason, I'm not a huge tri-tip fan, but I stop my server in mid-tongful and ask for it instead, with onions, mushrooms and provolone ($7.99). All specialty sandwiches come with a side, but sadly, they are out of mashed potatoes and gravy, so I get cole slaw.
The roll, from La Jolla Baking Company, is lightly crisped, and there's a good ratio of meat to bread. The mushrooms and onions are nicely grilled, with melty provolone covering it all.
Best of all, there's a nice, quarter-inch pink smoke ring around every slice.
It's smoky, juicy and peppery. The cole slaw is pretty standard, if the parsley in it was fresh instead of dried, it would be outstanding. As it is, I'd bet it's fine on the pulled pork sandwich, but alone it's just sort of there. I can forgive it in a heartbeat, though, that sandwich was good.
When I was leaving, I asked for a to-go cup for the rest of my soda ($1.39). The young lady poured a fresh, full cup for me to take. Nice touch.
7094 Miramar Road #114
San Diego, CA 92121
Mon - Fri 7:00 am - 3:00 pm
Free lot parking.
Order ahead on their website, and Motor City Deli will have your sandwich ready for pickup.