I meant to take my lunch to work. It was all packed. Sitting on the counter. All ready for me to take with me. Then, as I’m getting my stuff together, work calls and asked me to hurry up. I wasn’t late. In fact, I was ahead of schedule. I was going to get there fifteen minutes early…but they needed me there quicker. I got sidetracked, forgot my lunch and ended up having to eat out. Not in the original plan, but not a bad thing either.
I usually don’t get to take lunch earlier enough on Saturday’s to eat at the deli I’ve really been wanting to try. I usually start at noon and take lunch after 6:00…about halfway through my twelve hour day. This Saturday, I started at nine which meant lunch time was around noon. Perfect.
Schnitz Deli is on Fulton Street in Grand Rapids just eats of Fuller Avenue. The tricky part is they also have a bakery just a few doors down and when you come from the west, that’s the first thing you see. I pulled in to the bakery first, realized it wasn’t a deli and got back in the car to find the deli.
Schnitz’s Deli operation is in an older part of Grand Rapids. The storefront butts up to a busy Fulton Street and parking is very limited to what you can find on the streets around area. I ended up going down a side street to find a spot and walked back.
When you enter the building, you come right to an order counter and deli cases. The menu is written on a board behind the deli case and there are few tables squeezed between the wall and the case. The deli claims to be world famous and even on a Saturday had a pretty good line for lunch.
I actually grabbed a paper menu off the counter which was easier to look over. I found several sandwich creations that sounded amazing, but they also have one of my favorite options, a Pastrami sandwich.
When I finally got to the front of the line, I ordered a full Pastrami sandwich on rye with yellow mustard. They also do half sandwiches, but the full is only a buck more. I figured for a dollar, I might as well go with what is essentially another whole sandwich. The sandwich ran me a little under eight bucks and I paid cash only because I didn’t see anyone in front of me use a credit card. I believe they had a machine sitting there, but I just went with the crowd and paid cash since I had exactly eight bucks in my wallet.
If you decide to eat in, you have a couple options. There’s a nice, large dining room with old hardwood floors right off the small deli area. The deli is also connected to Common Ground Coffee House.
Even with the large volume of sandwiches being cranked out of the tiny kitchen, I only waited about five minutes for my name to be called. I was handed a plastic bag with a styrofoam container just big enough for a sandwich and a pickle then I was on my way back to work to enjoy my sandwich.
When I was finally able to break the styrofoam container open, I was very happy to see a home made rye bread piled high with home made pastrami. It wasn’t piled New York high, but it was a very hearty sandwich with a pretty hearty spread of yellow mustard. The sandwich was everything I hoped it would be. It wasn’t a slimy pastrami which I was happy about. The yellow mustard added a good contrast to the smokey meat.
Schnitz Deli turned out to be everything I had hoped for. It’s great, traditional deli that serves fresh made sandwiches on home made bread. I wish they had longer hours. I would definitely eat there more often. Instead, I will have to look forward to those times when I get a normal lunch hour.