Deli Dilemma

I have two favorite delis near my office. When my only other sandwich options in walking distance are Subway, Dunkin' Donuts, Burger King, and a small bagel place, these delis particularly shine. One is a bit further, and most of the time it makes more sense to drive than walk. When the weather is cool enough that I can walk more than a mile without turning into a sweaty mess, and I don't have any afternoon meetings, I do enjoy the long walk along a beach needed to reach this deli. There I find an assortment of over 60 sandwiches, all available in wrap form, the option I take every time. I love the wraps in that place.

The other deli is in a strip mall much closer to my office, at the end of the block and around the corner. I can walk there in about ten minutes, and while they don't have the range of predetermined choices that the other one has, there are five or six sandwiches that stand out. My healthiest choice is usually a turkey and swiss sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and honey mustard. My least healthy choice is a fried chicken cutlet topped with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, what they refer to as a “chickaroni”. My current favorite from that place combines hot, chopped roast beef with bacon and melted American cheese, all on a toasted garlic bread hero. It's sort of the deli version of a bacon cheeseburger, and it's delicious.

Nothing compares to the wraps in the further deli, but the closer deli has some good food as well. Other than the occasional crowd that I might encounter, there's only one other down side besides a long line. Around this time every year, they opt to leave the front door open and get some fresh air. This also attracts flies. A few horse flies zipping around a lightbulb or perched on a wall might not seem like a big deal to some, and any of us who've ever enjoyed a meal in a park might do little more than wave the pests away before resuming our lunch. A few years back, one of my friends pointed out how the same flies that land in fecal matter will turn around and land on a sandwich, rubbing their legs together to clean them. It's gross and a great way to spread disease. This thought breeds much horror.

For whatever reason, the flies in this deli usually hang around either by the entrance or near the cash register. While I waited for my sandwich on Friday, I made the mistake of glancing up, perhaps attracted by motion. Behind the counter there are some cabinets and shelves mounted on the wall. Way up on top of these are some boxes, and I noticed some kind of orange cylindrical thing as well. I should say this object was mostly orange, as the bulk of its surface was literally covered in flies. It was obviously some kind of sticky trap like fly paper, and was doing a good job when one compared the sheer volume of dead flies to the two or three still darting around the light fixtures. Dead or not though, that was a lot of flies.

I already ordered my favorite roast beef sandwich, and I had to be back at work for a 2:00 meeting. My eyes shifted to the left, to a wall-mounted certificate of approval from the health inspector that I found both reassuring and surprising. I got my sandwich and paid for it, and tried not to thing about that fly-covered cylinder until I was finished. That was a lot of flies, a lot of flies. Without thinking, I once ate a french fry that I dropped on a table, so I am capable of having a strong stomach when I probably shouldn't. Still, I'm not sure I can go back to that deli. I'm better off driving to the other one if need be, especially since they keep their door closed and I don't think I've ever seen a single fly in there. No, I think I'm done with that deli for a while, at least until the Winter when they close their door again and the flies are gone.

Well, that probably killed a few appetites. We'll see how this compares to the cheese grater story I have planned for tomorrow...


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