4626 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Date of visit: October 20, 2009
Price for 2: $14.50
A good deli can actually be hard to find in Portland, so when a vegan friend told us we had to try East Side Deli, I was initially skeptical. But this place is hands down the best deli I have ever been to in Portland, and it just so happens it’s on Hawthorne and in the 4600 block, at that.
The sandwiches turned out of the open kitchen are huge and more importantly, completely customized with super high quality ingredients. No limp, shredded ice berg lettuce here, the stuff they use is fresh and leafy. And it’s like that for everything you choose, from the cheese and meat, to the veggies and sauces.
When you go in, you grab a dry erase card and select what you want. First you choose from breads. A six inch sub is giant, so I usually go with locally made Dave’s Killer bread. Then you choose hot or cold, meat, cheese, spread, veggies, extras (s +p, etc) and then add-ons that cost .50 extra (bacon, avacado..) Today I went with tuna on toast, with Vermont cheddar, sun dried tomato mayo, pickles, tomatoes and avocado. I’ve previously gotten the roast beef with horse radish, which on my next visit, I will probably go back to because damn, the roast beef is good.
Jared got the field roast, which is sort of like veggie roast beef, stacked high with every type of veggie you can imagine. Add on $1.50 for each for chips (a selection of Tim’s and Hawaiian kettle chips that even for bagged chips is pretty awesome) and a can of soda for each, and you have basically the best tasting, cheap lunch money can buy.
Of course, there is some bad news. Even when the place is empty, the sandwiches take some time, and on some of our visits the place has been packed to the gills. There is also limited seating (one indoor table and a bar, and a few outdoor tables) so East Side Deli is a better grab and go spot than eat in. And hey, if you call ahead, they’ll have your sandwich waiting for you.
Veggie options: Tons of veggies and Field roast “vegan meat”
Speed: For a deli, it can be kind of slow. Depends on how busy it is.