Just south of Scottsdale Quarter, Rubicon Deli bakes bread every morning. This bread is of course for the deli's sandwiches. They come on whole or half-loaves — your choice. Loaves come in standard forms like wheat, and crazier creations like jalapeno-jack or even a Brie bread. These loaves are large. Depending on the filling, half a sandwich could slay your appetite.
Rubicon Deli is a San Diego import. The microchain has three locations in San Diego, one in Reno, Nevada, and now one in Scottsdale (opened in March).
A Phoenix outpost will be opening this summer.
The first Valley location is in a Scottsdale Road strip mall flanked by office parks. Polished woods, burnished surfaces, and a calculated white-and-black theme make up the interior. Behind the ordering counter, a large mounted board displays the menu.
Rubicon is all about the sandwich. They are more in tune with today's trends than what you would see at macro sandwich chains. You'll see pork belly, spicy pickles, and miso-ginger mayo. The menu is divided into hot and cold sandwiches. Each camp features plenty of meat: pastrami, grilled chicken, and a French dip called "The Dapper Dipper."
Ordering a vegetarian sandwich is a good way to test what kind of chops a sandwich place has. A shiitake sandwich has umami from roasted fungi and intense flavor from a liberal scattering of sun-dried tomatoes. It's not a bad sandwich if you're looking to fill up on food that grows out of the ground. The veggie options are promising and varied enough to pull your eyes away from the meat. One is called "Veggie of the Sun."
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Rubicon also makes two acai bowls. These are jet-cold and on the sweet side, even for acai bowls. The deli also makes kale chips, dark green curves clad with congealed cheese dust. For $2, you can upgrade the generic side of house-made to these kale chips. Sandwiches also come with a cookie.
A display case by the register contains more cookies.
Rubicon has some cool iced teas and sodas. It also makes soups and gigantic salads. It sells its own mustards in three flavors, including cranberry and habanero. It has some fresh facets that make it a welcome microchain, worth checking out if you need a respite from chain-deli fatigue.
Rubicon Deli. 14601 North Scottsdale Road, #100, Scottsdale; 480-795-2369.
Daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.