I was skeptical when I first heard about Beach Hut Deli, which opened last month downtown. After all, there are already a slew of sandwich options at Davis and its name is a little hokey.
But Beach Hut Deli is more than a bro’d out version of Subway. Its sandwiches are of gargantuan size, albeit more expensive than what you could order on campus. However, with a friend of similar tastes, you could split a specialty sandwich and walk out the door full.
Conveniently located on E Street, the deli is adorned with faux surf boards, neon beer signs (domestic beer is $3.25 per pint) and Frisbee plates. I went with a friend during the Friday lunch hour and most of the tables were taken. We did manage to find one, near what appeared to be the beginnings of a miniature arcade.
The prices of the sandwiches were initially stunning. The deli offers the basics – turkey breast, roast beef, Canadian ham, Italian dry salami and tuna – from $5.40 for a small sandwich to $11.50 for a large. The basic sandwiches include the general vegetables and cheese, and the choice of a sweet French roll, wheat roll, Dutch crunch roll and sliced garlic cheese sourdough. The specialty sandwiches offer ritzier ingredients for approximately the same price range.
Unfortunately, the sandwiches don’t come with any sides. If you’re craving them, chips are $1.25 and pasta or potato salad is $2.00. If you’re particularly ambitious, you can choose from one of three plates of nachos ranging in price from $5.95 to $7.95.
I opted for the first specialty sandwich listed on the menu, the Surfin‘ Bird. The sandwich comes with turkey, avocado, bacon and cream cheese in addition to the basic ingredients. My friend chose the generic turkey breast sandwich for $2 and probably 500 calories less.
Our sandwiches were ready in about 10 minutes, an understandable amount of time considering how enormous they were.
The sandwich ingredients were fresh and not overly slathered in condiments. The meat portions were particularly generous. They certainly didn’t cheat me out of bacon, cream cheese or avocado, either.
I entered the restaurant starving and left stuffed after eating only half of my Surfin‘ Bird – and I like to think I can eat a lot. My friend didn’t finish her (smaller) sandwich, either. The employees must have been paying attention, because they amiably offered us takeout bags as we stood up to leave.
The bottom line? Beach Hut Deli doesn’t exactly reinvent the sandwich, but its offerings are decent.
The service at the Beach Hut Deli is consistent with the hang-loose spirit, as the employees (who appeared to be about college-aged) were quite friendly and dressed casually, without uniforms. My cashier did forget to ask us what kind of bread we wanted, but the sweet French roll was good enough.
Beach Hut Deli also manages to stay open past 10 p.m., which is no small achievement in Davis. Its 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. hours should be friendly to those looking for a legitimate late-night meal that doesn’t come in a greasy box.
Budget-conscious students could split a medium or large sandwich with a friend, easily satisfy their appetite and spend just about $6 by foregoing a beverage. If you’re looking for a quick and casual off-campus lunch with friendly service, Beach Hut Deli is an excellent option.
PATRICK McCARTNEY can be reached at email@example.com.