Arnie Mendoza, owner of recently-opened Broadway Delicatessen, said he hears the question, “What is a delicatessen?”, roughly three to four times a week.
Mendoza, who realizes the actual word “deli” is in delicatessen, says there is a difference between the two.
“A deli and delicatessen are different because at most delis they only serve sandwiches and can be considered just a sandwich shop in a sense,” Mendoza said.
“The definition of a delicatessen is a place that serves sandwiches along with cold cuts, cheeses, salads and unusual foreign prepared items, and I feel like when people hear the word ‘deli,’ Subway or Jimmy John’s automatically pops in their mind,” Mendoza said. “The word delicatessen is foreign down here and it’s more popular up north. But at our delicatessen we plan to offer you more than just a sandwich.”
Broadway Delicatessen, now open at 118 Broadway in the World Trade Center building, serves signature sandwiches and a build-your-own style option along with soups, salads and pizza by the slice.
Mendoza said he signed his lease about two years ago, but because of Covid, his opening was delayed.
Mendoza said he was inspired to open Broadway Delicatessen following a visit to the East Coast in 2016, when he visited some of the most well-known delicatessens.
“I went to (A Taste of) Katz’s in Brooklyn and Corky & Lenny’s in Ohio and their style of deli and taste opened my eyes to something I never had,” Mendoza said.
Inside, Mendoza has displayed the neon sign of Gildemeister’s jewelry shop in honor of one of the space’s previous tenants. Mendoza said the delicatessen has no relation to the jewelry store, but felt it would be nostalgic to display it inside.
Pricing ranges from $8.99-$10.99 for their sandwiches, including a $10.99 sandwich-and-chip combo; $7.99-$8.99 for hotdogs; $4.99-$6.99 for salads; $3-$4 for a pizza slice.
Broadway Delicatessen’s tentative hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday.
Rocky Garza Jr. is a freelance journalist in San Antonio and co-editor of The Ranger at San Antonio College. Follow him at @rockssjr on Twitter
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