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East Side Deli


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#21 pdxdroog

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 04:40 PM

I've been there a bunch. They are not trying to be anything other than a small sandwich shop. They arent claiming to be New York, they dont try and pass everything off as home made when it isn't, they dont try and convince you its the best food in the city, they aren't even from restaurant backgrounds. You can bag on their spelling and choices of what they put on certain sandwiches but its a good place to get a decent meal for cheap. In a city where $14 sandwiches, $4 tacos and $30 pizzas are becoming the norm, its nice to have a cheap option that fills you up and is still decent food. There still is room it this city for simple, regular food, it doesnt have to all be gourmet and foodie, sometimes simple and good is just that. Dont forget this is still portland.

#22 PDX 4 Life

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:10 PM

I agree with PDXDroog. I live in S.E. and am getting kinda tired of the waiting in line for a $30 meal. Take your condos and your yuppie dishes back to the West side, actually just keep driving until you get back to Cali. I eat at East Side all the time and love the fact that I can get a killer sandwich for under $10 bucks that feeds me for 2 days. I love East Side and so does everyone I know on Hawthorne. It's exactly why I love Portland. Keep up the good work guys!! :P

#23 StMaximo

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:25 PM

Can we please get one more new member whose name starts with PDX to complain about $30 meals and sing the praises of East Side Deli to make it unanimous? :P

#24 ASquared

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Posted 27 September 2008 - 06:43 PM

I agree with PDXDroog. I live in S.E. and am getting kinda tired of the waiting in line for a $30 meal. Take your condos and your yuppie dishes back to the West side, actually just keep driving until you get back to Cali. I eat at East Side all the time and love the fact that I can get a killer sandwich for under $10 bucks that feeds me for 2 days. I love East Side and so does everyone I know on Hawthorne. It's exactly why I love Portland. Keep up the good work guys!! :P


"the Lady doth protest too much"

I live just off Hawthorne and everyone I know thinks it's mediocre at best, guess they have to live on Hawthorne to see the light.

Killer sandwiches for under $10 are hardly exclusive to this outpost in the SE (or Portland).

#25 marcass

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 10:59 AM


I agree with PDXDroog. I live in S.E. and am getting kinda tired of the waiting in line for a $30 meal. Take your condos and your yuppie dishes back to the West side, actually just keep driving until you get back to Cali. I eat at East Side all the time and love the fact that I can get a killer sandwich for under $10 bucks that feeds me for 2 days. I love East Side and so does everyone I know on Hawthorne. It's exactly why I love Portland. Keep up the good work guys!! :lol:


"the Lady doth protest too much"

I live just off Hawthorne and everyone I know thinks it's mediocre at best, guess they have to live on Hawthorne to see the light.

Killer sandwiches for under $10 are hardly exclusive to this outpost in the SE (or Portland).

Ate there last night-Huge cheesesteak and a turkey sando only $14. Great deal to me and my family. I will go back and support these guys! They were very nice and laid back.

#26 concreteoatmeal

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 11:03 AM

I agree with PDXDroog. I live in S.E. and am getting kinda tired of the waiting in line for a $30 meal. Take your condos and your yuppie dishes back to the West side, actually just keep driving until you get back to Cali. I eat at East Side all the time and love the fact that I can get a killer sandwich for under $10 bucks that feeds me for 2 days. I love East Side and so does everyone I know on Hawthorne. It's exactly why I love Portland. Keep up the good work guys!! :)

nice to know you 2(1) agree. :lol:
"If you were expecting a kick in the groin, and you get a slap in the face.......thats a win where I come from"

#27 katez0r

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 02:00 PM

I agree with PDXDroog. I live in S.E. and am getting kinda tired of the waiting in line for a $30 meal. Take your condos and your yuppie dishes back to the West side, actually just keep driving until you get back to Cali. I eat at East Side all the time and love the fact that I can get a killer sandwich for under $10 bucks that feeds me for 2 days. I love East Side and so does everyone I know on Hawthorne. It's exactly why I love Portland. Keep up the good work guys!! :lol:


uh, I got a killer sandwich last night for 8.50 on the west side at a restaurant that makes almost everything from scratch, including the bread, and it fed me two meals, one of which I ate in my condo with my native Oregonian boyfriend. (Okay, we rent the condo.) I didn't wait in line for it, either. Enough with the generalizations already.

#28 postmoves

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Posted 29 September 2008 - 08:23 PM

Whippy, and others, you're kidding with the Cup & Saucer, HFH (drek!), etc. comparison in Hawthorne, right?
This is a sandwich shop, not even a a real deli!!!, and I am not a 'pdx...' newbie as was claimed as the only proponent.
Have only eaten @ this joint once, as my business is closer to Zupan's (which coincidentally serves Boar's Head), and I, for one, think there a massive hole in the service of good lunch staples in the area.
I am by no means a pedestrian who keeps the Applebees or Olive Gardens in business, yet I have resulted to Subway, and preferably Big Town/Quizno's to satiate due to lack of accessible sub shops not just in Hawthorne.
I, for one, wish them all the best, and the Boar's Head brand means they are at least trying.
I find some of these comments overtly pretentious (Shocking! :P ).
Nick, to answer your original question: comparing to K&Z, Castagna, etc. is just not fair - but time will tell for success in their own right. If you want a quick, decent, reliable bite on your way to doing the real-life, I think you'll be ok.

#29 ExtraMSG

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 04:09 PM

Had to hit the Hawthorne liquor store, so I bought lunch for the crew at East Side Deli. That will be my first and last visit. Everyone agreed the sandwiches weren't much better than Subway. We got the meatball and the Italian. Bread was very soft and flavorless. Meatballs were rather bland, the sauce sweet. The Italian was worse than what most people would do with takeout fillings from Safeway or Fred Meyer, imo. The dressing seemed dominated by the oil. Nothing was seasoned well. Got a chef's salad. Again, crappy dressing. I think Boar's Head must have gone downhill, too. That's what they use for their meats, but I found them to be mid-quality supermarket -- not even as good as the best stuff (in a supermarket!).

Ordering process is annoying. People clump around the menus at the door and then you're supposed to use a dry erase marker, most of which have lost their legibility, to choose fillings, sandwiches, etc, on laminated sheets. Then you hand them to the kitchen. I thought our ordering process at MMM was confusing, but this stuff is all familiar and it's still a weird ordering process. And they list things like "lettuce" on the salad ingredients. I have to check lettuce for a salad?

Reminds me of the crummy, somewhat dirty, sandwich shops I'd go to in college. It's the type of place that makes Quizno's viable. Should have gotten hot dogs at Zach's.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#30 BigDaddy

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 05:01 PM

Reminds me of the crummy, somewhat dirty, sandwich shops I'd go to in college. It's the type of place that makes Quizno's viable. Should have gotten hot dogs at Zach's.

Since they opened a second shop right by PSU, I think they know their target market pretty well. I got a sandwich there once when this thread started, and haven't felt a need to return. For the money, I'll go to any one of the locally owned shops on the Eastside, especially RoboTaco for their Milanesa.
Off topic by a mile or a block, for those of you who read fiction and philosopy, Mother Foucault's at 523 SE Morrison is a welcome new spot in that area. Nice stock, wonderful feel in the shop, and the owner knows his stuff.

#31 Angelhair

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 05:08 PM

I've been to the one at PSU, as well. The sandwiches are on the skimpy side and are utterly boring.

#32 LadyFantastic

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:00 PM

You guys are so pretentious...I worked for east side and we had regulars come in everyday..the ordering process isn't complex..children did it easily..our food was good and yeah it isn't fancy it's a sandwich...and yes some of them get dressing...just like on the east coast...your wrapping should have oil stains...if you didn't want that much it's real easy to tell somebody to make it light or just do oil and vinegar..as for skimpy how much are you looking for? I could take a half home and it was two meals...maybe you guys should stick to reviewing places most of us can't afford to eat at...another reason I don't get on here very often...

#33 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 08:30 PM

LadyFantastic, maybe you should take some advice here and get out more so you know what the competition is. Or don't. You seem to do fine with the Pita Pit crowd that enjoys your several locations.

And pretentious? You're right. You don't come here often because you obviously don't know what the fuck you're talking about. First, the people here tend to be budget-minded and there are more reports on taquerias, carts, Thai joints, pho shops, and the like than anything else.

Second, a 6" is $6 and a 12" almost $12 at your shop. That puts you in the same price range of the places people here enjoy, like Bunk, Meat Cheese Bread, Eastmoreland Market, and so on. You're not cheap by sandwich shop standards. I had an $8 Italian the other day at Woodsman Market that put yours to shame. The meats, cheeses, and bread were all much, much better quality, plus the seasoning was delicious and it came with quality pickled peppers that balanced it out very nicely. And basically it was the same price per inch. You guys start with shitty product, so the possibility of making a good sandwich is nil. I understand that there are plenty of people out there fine with crap, but to use a phrase that seems to be in vogue: it is what it is.

And in response to your PM:

As a restaurant owner you should really be more careful with your words...crummy and dirty are very wrong especially if a place isn't that...because of how you write on this board I have never and will never go to one of your restaurants or recommend them to anyone visiting...I will tell them if they ask to not go. I've told my friends to not go. Fortunately you only sell copies of food you like so no one misses out. Keep on with whatever you think you are doing...it just makes Portland more and more pretentious about food of all things..


I am careful. The place was a dirty mess the day I was in there and I held my tongue by not going off in detail about not only the unkempt state of your Hawthorne store but its uncleanliness. Generally, it's not as much of a concern to me as most people. I've happily eaten at street stalls where roaches and rats scurried about, on converted schools buses leaking water on my head, and out of the back of a van with a griddle in the trunk. 1) What I said was referring to places I ate at in college, but 2) it accurately described your place. I didn't talk about the food smeared on the counter I was waiting at, the exceedingly dirty floors, or the people huddled with ordering sheets over the garbage, then handing them to the sleeveless kitchen, who presumably touches these sheets and then touches food?

Btw, I can't be the only one who finds the ordering process confusing or annoying since your staff acknowledged that it was annoying before I even said anything and seemed very ready to redirect me.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#34 BigDaddy

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:22 AM

"First, the people here tend to be budget-minded and there are more reports on taquerias, carts, Thai joints, pho shops, and the like than anything else."

I've been out of work for the last two years, and a night out that costs us $30.00 really impacts us for a while. Fortunately I've been able to find really good to great food on this board that allows us to still vary our menu. At home, I've learned to cook with pork and beef bones and feet, mustard green, bulk beans, and "variety meats" such as chicken hearts, beef hearts, along with other organ meats to keep from going nuts. I've never been a fan of high priced restaurants, even when I was on my or someone else's expense account, but I will admit to abusing the hell out of a good steak place when it was available. As for the price point, the Milanesa at RoboTaco goes for $8.50, the Sandwiches at Eastmoreland Market go for $8.00 to $9.00, and even as an overeater, a half sandwich will fill me, but I usually eat the whole damn thing about 2-4 PM and call it good for the day. East Side Deli isn't horrible, it's just not as good as other meals in the area for the same price. Especially when Leroy's Familiar Vittles has their collard greens and tomatoes, okra, and onion going. Three of their sides, and an order of mac and cheese with smoked brisket, feeds my wife and I for $12.

Yeah, we do have slap fests here from time to time about the validity of a bagel, or the authenticity of a bowl of pho,or canned salsa vs. fresh made, but we're generally being snotty about things that cost under $10. .

#35 ASquared

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:41 AM

A lot of one-time hit'n'run posters seem to be very sensitive about this place. What's with that? It doesn't seem to strive to be anything more than the sandwich counter at a grocery store so why so much vitriol when people call them out for being just that?

#36 Jill-O

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 10:00 AM

I've been there once and it was an OK, serviceable sandwich, nothing more. Not worth posting about, IMO. I thought the place was a bit dirty and that it took longer than it should have to get a simple turkey sandwich. And no, it wasn't obvious to me what the procedure was for ordering when I came in...and handling the scummy laminated menu sheets (so dirty that I had to try a couple of sheets and 3 pens to find a pen that would write on a sheet to put down my order). If I had not been in a rush, I would have gone elsewhere. It wasn't horrific, just not an experience worth repeating.

Used to eat Boar's Head meats all the time growing up in NYC, but even then it was true that the Italian salumerias in my neighborhood had better meats... Now, here in Portland, there are so many better places to get a sandwich and that have better quality stuff, even at that price point, that I don't even think of East Side.

Yep, not a fancy sandwich...not a good one, either.
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