Cherry Deli and Catering reinvents the boring sandwich

Lynlee Derrick

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When I was walking towards Cherry Deli and Catering, I had no clue what I was about to encounter. Besides the review in which a customer claimed to want to name their future kid after the restaurant, I was walking in blind and hopeful that it would live up to the hype.

I almost walked past the building while lost in thought about what I wanted. The outside blends in with the other houses surrounding it on Cherry Street. A welcoming porch, decorated with dainty black tables and plants, greeted me as I snapped back to reality. Nothing was over-the-top– it all seemed very relaxed. 

After I walked in, I noticed two employees hard at work behind the counter. At 11:27 am, there were already a few customers waiting around the store despite having just opened at 11 am. The walls were mainly filled with windows that let in the Saturday morning sun, which illuminated the room with a light airiness. Plants were perched in corners while flyers for the town’s local events loomed over them, but most importantly, large chalkboards hung around the counter to inform customers of what exactly this quaint little deli had to offer.

From vegan to vegetarian, all the way to corned beef sandwiches, Cherry Deli and Catering truly catered to any craving, just like a huge sandwich chain. I was stuck between all the options. Did I want a crab salad sandwich or one with various grilled vegetables?

I reluctantly ordered just one sandwich: #33 Lockwood, which is a vegetarian option. Faced with the choice of getting half a sandwich for $7.50 or a full one for $9.50, I hungrily ordered the full.

While there weren’t many people when I ordered, handfuls more came in after I tucked myself away in the corner. Every time one of the two workers would call out a number and bring the sandwich out, my head perked up in anticipation, but it was never mine.

Due to the limited number of employees, it took over 20 minutes for two sandwiches and a bowl of chili to be made. My patience on an empty stomach was put to the test.

Once the man dropped off the sandwiches at my table and collected the eclectic CD disc that had my assigned order number, I could smell the mixture of all the vegetables combined on top of pieces of toasted bread.

Inside my mouth, the flavors danced together immaculately as I ate my sandwich. It was even better than the reviews claimed. For a vegetarian option, the vegetables seemed to be chosen with precision and not just haphazardly thrown on so they could claim to cater to all. I ordered a full sandwich, and it wasn’t as large I expected, but the flavors packed a punch.

Immediately, I could tell this food was made from scratch and not premade. Fresh heat radiated from the bread, and a decadent smell of caramelized onions wafted off the sandwich. In a little under ten minutes, the table was empty of any food besides crumbs, but I didn’t want to leave the inviting atmosphere.

My food was jaw-droppingly good, and Cherry Deli and Catering radiated friendliness, but the service was sub-par for a sandwich that was on the higher end of the price scale. Nonetheless, if I’m ever in the neighborhood again or looking for a place to enjoy the company of friends with great food, I will definitely be returning with a little more patience.