A grocery store’s two or three facings of pre-sliced, shrink-wrapped pepperoni or Swiss doesn’t make it a deli. You’ve got to have a back room where people actually smoke the meats or grind their own sausage.
And now that the retail outlet of Bavarian Meats, in the Pike Place Market, has folded its tent and slunk off into the night, it’s harder and harder to find a true Yurpeen deli in SeaTown. (A bit more about Bavarian here.) And yet there’s George’s Deli, not German but Polish, unassuming, family-run, close to the big hospitals. A steady clientele of folks in scrubs and three-piece suits; a phalanx of cheerful women taking orders and packing up sandwiches.
The reuben has an insider’s-secret reputation as the best in town, the potato salad has a secret ingredient, the shelves are stocked with jars of condiments straight from the Old Country. But my weakness is the beef tongue, sliced thin, on rye bread with “everything” (lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, pickles, Havarti). And what seems like half a pound of thinly sliced smoked tongue.
Gross? What, because it comes out of a cow’s mouth? Go suck an egg.