Oy vey!  A goyische deli?  Mishigas! -- John.

1800 N. Lee Trevino Dr
El Paso, TX, 79936
(915) 592-BUNS
Hot deli sandwiches, pizza
I Ate: chicken chef's salad, the deluxe original sandwich, barbecue potato chips
Price: $9.47 + tax

(Five stars at its best; four at its worst)

There are three Schlotzsky's Delis in El Paso, though only two turned up in my web search.  I visited one ensconced in the ground floor of a fairly large office building at the corner of Lee Trevino and Trawood.  Take Lee Trevino north from the interstate 'til you pass Trawood, and it'll be there on your right.  (The store used to be a bank; you can dine in the vault, if you like.)  Schlotzsky's is known for their hot sandwiches and has begun offering personal pizzas.


One thing I've missed most about New York is the abundance of kosher delicatessens.  There's nothing like having a sandwich with 3/4 pound of cold cuts on hearty rye, with a big latke (potato pancake) on the side.  I know there are a few hiding in the depths of the city, and I'll be searching them out; but the first place I tried when I got the hankering was Schlotzsky's, and it wasn't what I craved.

Schlotzsky's isn't a real deli, first of all, not even the non-Jewish type; there are no cheeses hanging in the window, and you can't order two pounds of pastrami to go.  What you CAN order is a hot deli sandwich, which I did.  I also picked up a chef's salad and a bag of their potato chips, and waited 'til the sandwich was ready.

They have their own brand of potato chips, at 79 cents for a small bag; I'd picked up the barbecue flavored variety.  My reaction was, eh.  They were sliced rather thin and tended to evaporate rather than crunch, and the barbecue taste wasn't very strong.  Maybe other people would prefer them, but frankly, I'd rather they carried bags of Lay's brand, or something similar.

The salads were all pre-made in plastic containers, in a refrigerated display near the cashier.  The chicken chef's salad wasn't too bad, with chunks of chicken, grated cheese, other veggies, and a yellow twisty pepper that I wasn't in the mood for and set aside.  I was given two aluminized pouches of bleu cheese dressing, and a little baggie of croutons.  I suppose the idea of having the croutons separate was to keep them from getting soggy and stale.  It didn't work.  Still, I liked the salad.


After the so-so chips and the okay salad, I was hoping for something a bit better in the sandwich; and the sandwich did not disappoint.  Schlotzsky's original sandwich, their flagship entree, comes with ham and two types of salami, three cheeses, mustard and various veggies, and a choice of buns; I picked the popular sourdough, though I could've chosen wheat or jalapeno cheddar.  I'd also gotten the "deluxe original", which is the same as the original except they piled on more meat.

In a word -- yum.  The meat was fresh, hot and soft, and presented no resistance to my incisors.  The onion and lettuce crunched as I bit down.  I normally prefer to add my own condiments, but the mustard wasn't overdone, and added zest to the mix of flavors.  The bread too was a delight.  After the prior chef's salad I'd planned to take half the sandwich home with me, but it melted in my mouth and down my throat, and before I knew it there was nothing left.

Want to nosh on a nice hearty sandwich?  Schlotzsky's is a good place to go, even if it's trafe.  Not bad for a bunch of goyim, though they do need to improve their side fare.  (Pardon me if I kvetch; after all, it's my job.)


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