Cold Weather, Warm Deli
St. Louis finally got the snow everyone was waiting on, but while some complain of venturing out in the flurries, I use this to my advantage. Cold weather gives me an excuse to find warmth—in a tasty cup of soup. One of my favorite places to grab lunch made me feel toasty, and in between those two pieces of grilled bread were five slices of perfectly gooey, melted provolone cheese with a side of beef and cheddar chili. Pickles Deli in the Central West End (also a downtown location) has become one of my go to spots offering the Mediterranean Wrap a delicious grilled pita bread filled with chicken, feta, olives, cucumber and peppers with greens and greek dressing along with the Italian Sub loaded with Capicola ham, Volpi salami, provolone, lettuce, and tomato slathered in a Balsalmic spread and pepperoncini, with my personal addition, multi-grain ciabatta bread… my greatest advice is this: come hungry. For paying under $10 you get far more than you pay for in my opinion and today was just as impressive as usual. My grilled cheese was toasted perfectly, with provolone melting out the sides; perfect for dipping in to my hot chili. The spices did not overpower my meal and the beef and cheddar were a perfect mixture, heavy enough to fill me up but not so weighty that I felt overindulged. The deli itself is small and welcoming, the staff remember frequent visitors and call out to you upon arrival. Their glass-front counter shows off fresh meat varieties and as you move down the line to the cashier you can watch the magic happen, as the cooks flip and dice, mince and garnish. While ESPN typically plays in the background you can find a seat and chat at an understated wood table for your meal to brought out to you, and if you manage to leave room for dessert they offer ice cream, fresh bakery cupcakes, and St. Louis’s famous gooey butter cookies with locally roasted coffee to wash it all down with.
If you haven’t ventured in to this small deli with a mighty taste, I’d do so!