Friday, October 02, 2009

Bay Cities Deli

Those of you that have not lived in LA, and perhaps those of you that don't or didn't spend much time on the Westside and around Santa Monica, have probably never heard of Bay Cities Deli. The Deli is right on the corner of Lincoln and Colorado, just North of where the 10 hits Lincoln. Most of the time the parking lot is packed and on weekends they actually have someone in the parking lot to direct traffic into parking spaces.

Inside, Bay Cities is packed and cramped and full of fabulous food items from their cheese selection to their bakery to their wine selection to, of course, their deli. As you would expect, considering the word "deli" is in their name, Bay Cities has an incredible deli. You will not find better meat products, prepared foods, and salads; every meat to be sliced in the case if it is not some sort of custom product, is a Boars Head product. Of course, with all of the fabulous bread, cheeses, and meats, Bay Cities puts together some amazing sandwiches.

When I lived in Venice, there were many Sundays when the line at the deli inside Bay Cities was 30-45 minutes long and all of us in line were willing to wait for sandwiches -- the best sandwich, in my opinion, however is the Godmother. Served on their fresh french bread, the base sandwich consists of Genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, prosciutto, and provolone -- no substitutions are allowed and if they description of ingredients got your mouth watering, you'll know why. Following the base sandwich, you can add the normal fixings, but most get it with "the works", which consists of mayonnaise, your choice of mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, Italian dressing, and you choice of mild or hot pepper salad. A word of warning: if you get the sandwich with the works, eat it within 15 minutes or so of it being assembled or all of the amazing oils will begin to make the bread mushy; not that it tastes bad, but it may cease to function in the classical sandwich manner (i.e., you might need a fork and knife).

Due to the popularity and potential length of line, it was always challenging for me to grab a sandwich on my way out of town. However, Bay Cities now has online ordering, which is amazing. Allow me to note that this is not automation for automation's sake -- the automation in this process truly solves a problem for customers like me that know exactly what they want: I can get in and out without waiting in line. To support the online ordering, they carved out a corner of the store well away from the normal deli line that only fulfills online orders and catering orders. I will admit that the online ordering system is rudimentary (i.e., not very fancy), but it works and it works easily on my iPhone. Just log on to the site, put in your order, and they'll make it; you need to give them 45-60 minutes (they won't even talk to you about your order not being up if it hasn't been 60 minutes since you ordered). Once you arrive, you stand with the rest of the people that have ordered online and sift through the orders on the gorilla rack -- they just print out the order sheet and wrap it around the sandwich, so look carefully for your e-mail address.

I was just in LA last Sunday, placed an order on my iPhone during brunch, ran into the store while my friend waited in the alley (far enough away for the parking guy to not yell at him), ran up to the rack, found my sandwich, and was out in less than 5 minutes. The sandwich that I brought on the plane only had mustard, lettuce, and pickles on it because, to be honest, everyone on the plane starts drooling with the smells coming off just the base sandwich; if you load it up with the works, you will assuredly send the smell of all that stuff throughout the entire plane air system in addition to the complications you may face with the sandwich getting mushy from all the oil.

If you live in LA, it's definitely worth a trip; if you're traveling through and flying out of LAX, bear in mind you can swing by, hop on Lincoln, and take Lincoln straight to the airport.

Link -- Bay Cities main

Link -- Bay Cities online ordering

Thanks to The Delicious Life for the pic

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