Club Deli is located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  As the name may suggest, the main fare consists of deli sanwiches, although they always have two soups cooking (one of which is chili), as well as pasta.  Cookies are available for guests with a sweet tooth.

Customer service

I eat at Club Deli perhaps once every two weeks, and sometimes the gaps are even longer.  Nonetheless, the guy behind the counter always knows what I want – 1/2 a #17 (ham and swiss) on croissant.  The half sandwiches are a good size, expecially if you’re having soup with your sandwich.  When the sandwhich gets passed along to the gal who does the toppings, she usually knows the correct toppings as well – mayo, onions, salt, pepper, and a pickle spear on the side.  I’m not an exception, either – they remember these details for everyone in my group – quite impressive.  The guy who serves as order taker and meat and cheese provider often tries (jokingly) to convince me to change my predictable order to something different.  Nope – there’s no point messing up a good thing.

Quality ingredients

Many delis use meats and cheese that are pre-sliced.  At least one large national chain even has the meats in pre-measured quantities.  There is none of this at Club Deli.  When you order your sandwich, they slice the meat and cheese right there.  I’m particularly fond of the swiss cheese.  I’m a big fan of swiss cheese, and it can be hard to find in a lot of places, with many delis using provolone as their token “white cheese”.  The sandwiches cost a bit more than you would pay at one of the fast food sub places, but the fresh, high quality ingredients more than offset the cost difference.

The chili is flat out awesome.  There are hundreds of different ways to make chili, and the chili at Club is made precisely the way I like it.  If you’re ever at Club Deli, definitely give the chili a try – you won’t regret it.

Other cool stuff

You just might bump into a celebrity.  A few months ago, we were eating our lunch and college wrestling legend Dan Gable walked in.  Gable lost only one bout in college at Iowa State (in the national title match as a senior).  He then ran roughshod over the competition in the 1972 Munich Olympics en route to a gold medal.  He followed this up by building a college wrestling juggernaut at the University of Iowa (to the dismay of Iowa State alums).  Wrestling is not my favorite sport, but since Iowa has two great wrestling programs, I do pay attention to it.  Seeing a living legend was very cool.  Nope, I didn’t bug him for an autograph.

If you didn’t have a cookie earlier – or even if you did – you can buy some candy as you leave.  Toss a couple of quarters into the jar and snag some chocolate or even a Tootsie Pop.  Does anything chase down ham, swiss cheese, and chili better than chocolate?

 

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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