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Two Beards Deli & Catering

December 16, 2012

  • 38 Commerce Avenue SW
  • Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • (616) 719-3802
  • Website
  • Menu

I don’t know if it’s a conscious decision or not, but I’ve been straying from my typical burgers and pizza diet lately.  I’ve been eating more deli sandwiches, but unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of great deli’s.  There are some good ones in Grand Rapids close to where I work, but I do like a little variety.  I feel like I’ve been picking up sandwiches from Martha’s Vineyard a lot lately.  I had a little extra time for dinner the other night and I wanted to check out a new place in downtown Grand Rapids.

Two Beards Deli & Catering is on Commerce Avenue near the intersection with Weston Street.  There’s a parking garage right on the corner and the deli is to the south of the intersection at street level.

Parking can always be a challenge downtown when you just want to pick up something quick.  I didn’t really want to go through the hassle of going in to the garage, but it probably would have been easier than trying to find street parking.

Two Beards is owned by the same people who own Cherry Deli which I visit often.  I love the sandwiches at Cherry Deli, but it’s a little expensive to eat there every day.  The pricing at Two Beards is about the same and the sandwich  list is just as large. 

I was pretty overwhelmed when I picked up a paper menu off the counter.  One of the two employees in the kitchen told me to take my time.

I headed straight for the Pastrami section of the menu.  I didn’t really see what I was looking for.  I really like pastrami as simple as possible.  Meat, bread, cheese, and mustard.  All of the pastrami options had other things on them so I got the one that would be the easiest to take something I didn’t want off.

All of the sandwiches are named after famous people with beards.  My choice was the #39 which is dubbed Leo Tolstoy.  The sandwich is pastrami, rosemary-thyme mustard, Provolone cheese, and caramelized onions on a pretzel bun.  I left the onions off.

The guy taking my order asked me if I wanted a half or whole.  I thought he was saying hot or cold so it took us a few minutes to get on the same page.  The sandwich only comes cold although after the misunderstanding, he did offer to heat it up for me since I was saying hot.  Once I figured out what he was saying, I ordered the whole sandwich which cost me a little over nine bucks.

There were a few other people in front of me when I walked in, so it took a few minutes for my sandwich to be put together.  I took a seat in the large dining area and continued looking over the menu to see what else they have on a menu that boasts almost 80 sandwiches.

When I was handed the sandwich, wrapped in butcher paper, I was a little surprised to see it was more of a sub sandwich than the typical two slices of bread sandwich that I usually get from Cherry Deli.

I got back to work and unwrapped to find a really interesting sub bun.  They call it a pretzel bun, but it’s not the typical hard pretzel roll bread that I’m accustomed to.  This bread was actually really soft and had that great pretzel flavor.  The pastrami was piled high on the two sandwich halves and there was a thin, yet delicious spread of the rosemary-thyme mustard….made with real thyme by the way.  I got a few pieces of thyme leaves stuck in my teeth.  Totally worth it.

Just like Cherry Deli, Two Beards comes through in a big way with delicious sandwiches.  There’s always a little sticker shock at first, but it’s completely worth it.  Incredibly delicious sandwiches piled high with meat and fresh, home made toppings.

#39 Leo Tolstoy (minus caramelized onions)

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