With 25 years of meat-slicing experience, Center Cut Meats' butchers possess the know-how to carve any meat?including wild game?to customers? specifications. They specialize in preparing ham and turkey, and have a knack for smoking sausages and bacon in trivia contests. Cajun spices, jalape?os, and garlic kick up the flavor of jerkies and smokehouse products, and artfully sliced cheeses complement deli platters. The meat market also vends live lobsters and freshwater fish including rainbow trout, walleye, and catfish. On weekdays, foodsmiths stock a lunch buffet with entrees such as beef stroganoff or meatloaf.
Today's culinary triumphs are the product of thousands of years of experimentation. The staff at Annona Gourmet doesn’t see any reason why that march of innovation should end, so they fill the shop’s shelves with exotic twists on staples such as pasta, sea salt, and vinegar. 20 varieties of olive oil pour from large stainless-steel tanks called fusti, their straw-hued droplets hinting at everything from Sicilian sunshine to Persian limes. After tasting balsamic vinegar infused with cinnamon and pears or figs, patrons peruse the inventory of pastas beneath coastal murals that give one the feeling of being at a beach free of sailors with boring albatross stories. Jars of sauces and dressings hint at a spectrum of flavors with earth-tone hues, and sea salts take on the flavor of black truffles or ghost peppers in an escape from seasoning conventions.
C. McGee’s focuses its kitchen skills on building from-scratch sandwiches and soups that are also easy on the arteries. The staff paints a vivid palette with meaty works of art in bread-bookended sandwich form. The deli’s box-lunch combos hark back to the ease of a childhood midday meal, alleviating adult dining anxiety in the form of a half sandwich with either a cup of soup or a half-pint salad ($7.75), or the premium box lunch of a sandwich, chips, soup, and dessert ($11.75).
The vittlesmiths at Ham's Sandwich Shop carefully craft gourmet deli sandwiches using fresh baked bread from the New French Bakery and succulent specialty meats. The menu finds its flagship in the unctuously mush-mouthed Godfather ($6.49)—Italian salami and ham tucked under a duvet of pepper jack cheese, garlic spread, and tart vinaigrette. The Texas beef brisket ($6.99) layers an ultra-thin cut of smoked beef brisket with tangy barbecue sauce and sweet red onions on a hoagie roll, and the fiery grilled Guillermo ($6.49) satisfies spice-connoisseurs with roast turkey, jalapeno bacon, habanero sauce, and pepper jack cheese on a chewy focaccia roll. For $2, add chips and a drink to any sandwich or create a decorative garnish of two origami dollar swans kissing. Able to whip up gourmet meals in fast food time, these deli denizens provide fast, friendly service in a casual atmosphere.