Is there anything better (I’m talking food-wise here) than a neighborhood deli? Sure you’ve got your schmancy once-a-year places that stretch your palette and show you something amazing. You’ve got your exotic street foods, your bakeries and pubs. But in terms of an experience that grounds and comforts you, I’ll take a neighborhood deli any day.
Now I’ve definitely got a certain amount of loyalty to the Birchwood Cafe – it’s the neighborhood deli in my neighborhood, after all – but I’ve got to shout out to the Cheeky Monkey Deli in St. Paul too. Beautiful fresh bread. These amazingly airy homemade potato chips. Organic meats. It’s the good stuff.
Cheeky Monkey is my friend Sarah’s neighborhood neighborhood deli, so I called her up to see if she’d be interested in letting me take pictures of her with a meatloaf sandwich – one of the signature dishes at the deli. As it turns out, Sarah orders the meatloaf sammie every time she goes to Cheeky Monkey. Her husband Craig has traveled the menu, but not Sarah. And, as she told me, every time a meatloaf sandwich lands in front of her she makes this face:
and that’s one of the reasons she’s my friend. : )
Here are a few more photos from our lunchtime shoot. Thanks loads to the fine folks at Cheeky Monkey for their hospitality and for plating up such photogenic and delicious food. Hopefully we can collaborate again.
What’s your favorite neighborhood joint? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.