After queuing up the Mission Impossible music, which only I could hear, I set out to lock and load my tummy with a few of the best of Orange County’s delis. First stop, OC Kosher Market & Deli where I inhaled a sandwich piled high with freshly cut layers of pastrami. The market also offers food from all over the world, so I couldn’t help but grab a bag of Bamba for dessert. The market is situated next to a few Asian-influenced restaurants as well as a karaoke bar, making this location the perfect place for a first date. Who could say no to a kosher dinner and karaoke? Not me!
Next stop, Benjies Deli, which made me feel like I stepped into a time machine. The restaurant has preserved its classic retro atmosphere from when it first opened in 1967. After regretfully passing over the various Jewish items on the menu (matzoh ball soup, knish, and kasha), I became fixated on “Benjies Special”: a hot sandwich made of pastrami, coleslaw, and a thousand island dressing. With a sandwich named after the restaurant, it had to be good. And it was. Even though I was stuffed to the kishkes, I wanted to order another! Benjies not only offers deli sandwiches but also sells black & white cookies flown in from New York. A major portion of Benjies’ customers are people who have been coming to the restaurant for years — both Jewish and non-Jewish. It seems like a great place for when it’s time to meet your beau’s family?
Last on my list was C4: The Cure for the Common located in downtown Santa Ana. When I first walked into C4, I thought I had the wrong address. Nope, this 1920’s themed-deli not only specializes in meat and cheese, but also in wines and beers. Bottles are shelved along the walls and accompanied by signs encouraging customers to grab a bottle to go. The Reuben sandwich I tried was just as scrumptious as the first two delis; however, what I enjoyed the most about C4 was seeing a bunch of guys unashamedly drink their bottomless mimosas. The restaurant not only offers weekend brunch but also has something happening each night of the week. One that I can’t wait to attend is Trivia Night every Tuesday. If you’re looking for a night on the town, C4 is the place to be!
There you have it. There are places to enjoy a pastrami sandwich, or any deli sandwich for that matter, that will fit almost every facet of your life. Mission Accomplished. Α
Dvorah Lewis is pursuing her Master’s in Library & Information Science with a specialization in Archival Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.