If you consider yourself a Slow Foodie, you need to find an excuse to get to The Deli in Queen Creek.
A good friend recommended it to me awhile ago -- he stops by on his routine visits to The Pork Shop -- and when I saw him a couple weeks ago, he wondered if I'd checked it out yet. Sometimes we all just need a little nudge, so yesterday I made it a point to "stop by" for lunch.
Without a doubt, it's a hike from just about anywhere in the Valley, but I'm so glad I made the trek, just to see what these people are doing. It's owned by husband-and-wife team Blake and Nicole Mastyk. He's the former chef of Cartwright's in Cave Creek, and she's a former sommelier of Tonto Bar & Grill.
Now they're running The Deli with the help of other family members, including Mastyk's dad, Barry. He was my waiter yesterday, and was so eager to tell me all about the place (I was just a random stranger, of course). After lunch, Mastyk himself came out to say hi. These people are just so incredibly nice, and you can tell this tiny restaurant is truly a labor of love.
Just about everything here is made from scratch -- homemade sauerkraut and homemade pastrami on my excellent Reuben sandwich, house-roasted free-range chicken in my delicious bowl of chowder, studded with corn and chunks of Yukon potato. On the side, there were two fat slices of homemade bread & butter pickles. They have housemade mozzarella, crackers, sauces, and even mayo, all of which you can purchase to go.
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Along with homey soups, pizzas, salads, and sandwiches, there are always a few dinner specials starting at 5 p.m. This week, they have a surf and turf combo with filet mignon, crab and sweet corn cake, and shrimp with scalloped potatoes, as well as orecchiette with sausage and shrimp.
And they're proud supporters of Simply Bread, Agritopia, Queen Creek Olive Mill, and local farms. They've been doing a weekly farmers market that just ended for the summer, but will pick up again in the fall.
Be sure to check out The Deli's website for driving directions.