So what’s good here?
Substantial sandwiches with piles of quality deli meats and cheeses on fresh breads, including potato buns, sun-dried tomato wraps, and ciabatta. The menu is extensive, with choices to appeal to everyone from the meat eater to the vegetarian to the adventurous foodie.
The New York Yankee is a triple-decker hot corned beef and pastrami with Swiss, tomato and lettuce on toasted rye. On the lighter side is The Carolina: white meat turkey, avocado spread, tomato, sprouts, bacon, and Swiss on toasted wheat. A creative blend is the Portabello Mushroom Wrap with grilled mushrooms, light Italian dressing, sauteed onions, bell peppers, avocado spread, and melted Swiss cheese rolled in a sun-dried tomato wrap.
There is a “To Your Health” section of the menu with items such as Key West Chicken, featuring sliced chicken, spinach, avocado spread and mango chutney on a soft potato bun. Plus, there are large salads, a salad bar with an extensive selection, “Giant Spuds” wraps, burgers with fries, and robust hot dogs.
Customers can design their own sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches, such as The Battery Burrito with scrambled eggs, onions, peppers, and cheddar on a tomato wrap and served with fresh fruit and a side of salsa, are also available. Desserts include “big” cookies and Mile High Carrot Cake.
East Bay Deli offers boxed lunches and catering as well.
How did East Bay Deli get started?
Ironically, East Bay Deli opened Sep. 11, 2001 in Charleston. Not a great day to start a business, but it began to thrive there. More locations were opened in the Charleston area, and eventually shops opened in Florence and North Myrtle Beach. A few months ago, East Bay Deli opened a location in downtown Columbia.
It’s repeatedly been named the best deli in the Charleston area. The goal for the past 15 years has been to provide a New York style deli experience – but with a Southern flair.
What does the place look like?
There is a patriotic 1930s-1950s theme – with World War II encouragement and duty posters, Coke paraphernalia, and historic calendars. The atmosphere is wide, light and open, with large windows offering a view of Main Street. Contemporary drop lights and flat screen televisions bring a modern flair, but the checkerboard floor and bright reds and golds focus on the nostalgic theme.
There is a glass dessert display case, an order counter, and booths and tables.
Who eats here?
After church on Sundays the place is buzzing with churchgoers. Week mornings, lunch times, and evenings run the gamut from students and business people to blue collar workers and families.
East Bay Deli
WHERE: 1426 Main St., Columbia
WHEN: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. daily; order online for pick up as well.
COST: Under $9
INFO: www.eastbaydeli.com; (803) 814-2277