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Everybody says get the pastrami.

“It’s so hot, it’s so rich,” says Tammy, the gal ahead of me. “If I hadn’t ordered the Californian, that’s what I’d be getting.”

“And these are pretty picky people we get in here,” says Thomas. He's taking orders from behind the counter.

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Thomas, Tammy

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I see a bunch of them coming in after – looks like – a long, hard day.

“Aargh! Today I wanted to strangle every one of my preschoolers,” says Patty Fay. “Gimme a pastrami! Quick!” She’s a teacher, dancer, actor. Typical South Park. And OK, she didn’t quite say that. She likes the pastrami but she’s buying a bottle of wine (and buzz is they do have an awesome collection). But you can see she and Tammy come here like they would their neighborhood pub, every day, after work, probably, to stock up, catch the day’s scuttlebutt, decompress.

This is Grant’s Marketplace (2953 Beech Street, at Dale), South Park, 619-231-0524.

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So yes, I am looking for a sandwich. Starved. Got off the #2 bus too early. Hoofed it all the way up from 25th and Broadway.

I remember this place from a South Park Walkabout. Liked how the couple, Joe and Kim Grant, had turned a crummy corner liquor joint-deli into a classy grocery-winery-café with — if you listen to street word — seriously good sandwiches.

“Favorites?" says Thomas when I ask. "Hot pastrami or Joe’s Favorite, turkey, gruyere, avo, $7.49.”

I see the pastrami special’s $7.99.

’Course in the end I go for the Comfort Zone, the BLT ($6.99) on toasted wheat, because it’s one you can get a half sandwich on ($3.50). At least, I tell myself that, but find myself not mentioning it to Thomas. And then I find myself asking for avo as a $1 add. But, out on the deck, no regrets.

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The patio

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View from the patio

I lunge into it. The thing’s hot, toasty, salty, crispy.

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My BLT

I wash it down with free Adam’s ale, look up at the sunset planes coasting in to Lindbergh...

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...and think thoughts of thanks to Joe the ex-schoolteacher who quit and bought this place before he strangled his kids.

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