Address: 1568 Merivale Rd, Nepean
Hours: 10am – 6pm (Mon-Fri); 10am – 5pm (Sat); closed Sun
Historically, I haven’t been a huge fan of deli sandwiches. Other than the magical wonders of overloaded smoked meat sandwiches, I can take ‘em or leave ‘em. Generally, I leave ‘em. Subway? Haven’t been there in over a decade. Legendary Halifax subs? Meh. After years of Larsen’s deli meat sandwiches in high school, I could happily live my life without another cold cuts sandwich. It’s with that history that I came to European Delicatessen, located on Merivale amongst its swath of strip malls.
As much a grocery as it is a deli, European has a wide variety of imported dry goods from Germany and Eastern Europe. Coolers with their deli meats and the sandwich prep area run the length of the store, and a small chalkboard menu resides on the back wall. Homey knick-knacks line the tops of shelves and what wall space there is.
It was the mid-afternoon, so there was no one else ordering food. Having never been here before, I asked the guy behind the counter what he would suggest for a first timer, and he proffered the Bavarian meatloaf ($5.99). I got it fully loaded with lettuce, tomato, pickles, mayo and mustard, and tacked on some cheese for an extra dollar.
Going over to one of the two small tables by the entrance, I settled in to have my ‘wich. I don’t know what Bavarian meatloaf is normally like, but this had a soft texture, and a flavour along the lines of mortadella, with flecks of pepper and other seasoning throughout. All the toppings were fresh and tasty, and the hefty Kaiser roll was fantastic.
After my late lunch, I strolled the aisles to see if there was anything that would strike my fancy. Since I already had way too many forms of carbs at home, so I took a pass on the various forms of spaetzle. I wasn’t feeling like Transylvanian corn puffs, but some creamy dill mustard caught my eye. I also grabbed a couple packs of their house-made sausages (~$8/lb) from the freezer to cook up for dinner.
The bratwurst had a mildly herby flavour and a smooth texture to the meat. The dill mustard was a standout condiment, with the fresh pop of dill really brightening up our meal. The small 280ml bottle isn’t cheap at $6.49, but it’s well worth it. You could put this stuff on pretty much anything!
With a steady stream of European customers during my visit, European Delicatessen seems to be serving a niche market, and they deserve some exposure to a wider audience, especially when so many people are driving by on a daily basis without giving them the attention that they deserve.