Friday, June 1, 2012

Just a Dill of a Deli!

Here in East Tennessee, Jason’s Deli, a Knoxville restaurant that's part of a chain of restaurants based in Beaumont TX, comes closest to actually qualifying as a deli… They do serve an ok hot pastrami sandwich.  FYI…Jason’s Deli is a 238 location franchise operation, (  

But…this isn’t about Jason’s… This is about the best deli we’ve experienced outside of New York or Boston.

Our long term friends, Bob and Nona, live in Florida but they’re originally from the northeastern USA…New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  They know good deli food!  When we visited them back in February, they took us to a local deli for lunch.  As you can see in the photo above, it’s called ‘The Lucky Dill Deli’ and it can be found in Palm Harbor Florida! 

The inside of The Lucky Dill Deli is bright and well decorated.  It was past the lunch hour but the place was quite busy…

These are our friends, Nona and Bob.  They actually put up with us staying with them for 3 nights!  We’ve known Bob and Nona for many, many years…back into the 70’s when Bob and I both worked for Venture Stores. (The May Department Stores version of Target)

Our waiter started us out with this great looking basket of rolls... As it turned out, while they were very good and appreciated, they were unnecessary...really 'overkill' as you will see as our luncheon was served. 

I don’t recall who had this cup of this Bean and Pastrami Soup… ($3.49)…but it looked good and it was gone in a flash!

The menu at The Lucky Dill is extensive to say the least… There are no less than 12 “Signature Starters” ranging in price from $3.79 to $8.99.  There are also 12 dinner salads, ($8.99 to $11.99); including one very tempting creation entitled “Santorini Salad with Garlic Pan Roasted Shrimp”. ($11.99)

How about this for a Hot Corned Beef sandwich! ($9.49) The quantity of corned beef on the sandwich is enough to boggle the mind…or at least the eyes… As for the quality…delicious!!

Other menu groupings include Dynamic Duos (Sandwich and Soup); All the way to NYC; The Designer Collection; Croissants; Deli Faves and Raves; Baskets and Buckets; Flatbreads; Soups…8 different varieties; Uptown Faves…such as Blintzes and Potato Pancakes; Bigger Better Burgers; Doubles; Altern-A-Burgers; Chickwiches; Philly Phaves; Hot Off the Press …Panini’s; Boars Head Subs; NYC Hot Subs; Franks; Club Manhattan; Gourmet Grilled Cheese, and; Wrap and Roll.  Whew!!

One option on the menu included 3 sliders, referred to as The Lucky Deal. ($11.99) I believe that the grouping included corned beef, chopped liver and roast beef on onion rolls with a scoop of potato salad plus a pickle and a slice of onion.

In addition to all of the menu groupings or items, there are a few other sandwiches on the menu… After, The Lucky Dill bills itself at the “Home of the Sandwich That Ate Brooklyn”!   There is a list of 16 sandwiches under the heading, “The Original”.  These include Hot Brisket ($9.79); Tongue ($13.99) and; Chopped Liver ($8.99).
Then there are the ‘Skyscrapers”…sandwiches that are beyond humongous ($9.79 - $13.99)…and another category labeled “Our Famous Reubens” ($6.99 - $10.79)

Laurie and I opted for the Hot Pastrami on Rye, just about our favorite sandwich when it’s done right… ($9.49) It was very, very good with a ton of meat!  It was just a little leaner than we hoped for... 

In the past, I’ve had hot pastrami sandwiches at Carnegie, Stage and Katz’s Deli’s in New York City.  This sandwich was better than Katz’s version but not quite up to Stage or Carnegie Deli’s much more expensive versions…as both of those are a bit ‘wetter’, (i.e., contain a little more fat).  However, it was every bit as good as Manny’s in Chicago...minus Manny’s potato pancakes.  Laurie had a nice scoop of potato salad with her sandwich and I had potato chips.
 OK…Not in the mood for sandwiches?  There are no less than 19 Blue Plate Specials on the menu ranging from Best Ever Roasted Chicken ($8.99) to Oven Braised Short Ribs ($10.99) on through Stuffed Cabbage ($8.79).  If that doesn’t do it there are 5 items listed under the category of the “Fulton Fish Market” and another 16 items under “Little Italy”.  How about Giovanni’s Sausage and Peppers ($10.49) or Carmine’s Creami Crimini ($9.99)?  The menu is almost too large to comprehend…

Laurie topped her meal off with a small slice of cheesecake… She couldn’t finish it after that huge sandwich!  Our desserts came with the meal… I can’t remember if it was because service was a little slow and they felt guilty, or if it was a special or maybe we had some type of coupon…

I finished my lunch with a slice of apple strudel.  I did manage to finish my dessert…  Especially since the desserts were free, I really enjoyed mine!

If you enjoy baked goods…you didn’t have to look far at The Lucky Dill Deli!

The bakery products all came from the attached Brooklin Bakery.  This photo gives you a glimpse at about a third of their offerings!  There were at least 2 big cake display cases, not to mention other displays with a lot more cookies and pastries… It was mind boggling and it was lucky for us that we were traveling for a couple more days or we might have gone a bit overboard with the baked goods…

The Lucky Dill Deli with The Brooklyn Bakery is located at 33180 U.S. Highway 19 North in Palm Harbor Florida.  Phone: 727-789-5574.  To access their Website go to:  If you like Deli Food and you’re within 50 miles of Palm Harbor; don’t miss this stopping at the Lucky Dill Deli!
Just click on any photo to enlarge it!
Thanks for stopping by to experience a great lunch with us…
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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