Friday, January 7, 2000
You get up early if you're Bill Susalla. He's got the homemade blueberry muffins coming out of the oven by sun-up, and three or four sauces working in preparation for lunch. For the last five years at Deli Treasures, he's been busy tweaking the menu so that instead of trying to figure out what to make for dinner, you're likely to feel the gravitational pull toward a pile of honey-glazed pork chops with herb stuffing, as you're headed home from work. In this era of home meal replacement, the Deli offers a changing selection of popular heat-and-eat entrees, like North Beach chicken breast over risotto, beef stew, chicken enchiladas, and always available vegetarian lasagna--or you can grab one of several tables, and be served on-site.
Turkey and beef are house-roasted for the selection of deli sandwiches, featured along with New York pastrami and corned beef, a variety of cold cuts, and chicken, tuna, egg, and bay shrimp with dill and green onion salads. There's another dozen or so specialty sandwiches, like mesquite-grilled chicken breast, barbecue tri-tip, an Italian poor-boy, a veggie burger and meatloaf-like-mom-made. Eight-inch pizzas, like the popular chicken and pesto, are available hot out of the pizza oven, or ready to take home and bake. The macaroni and potato salads are all made on-site as is the cole slaw and the Chinese chicken salad. Soups like hot-and-sour, albondigas, and avgolemeno change daily and keep things interesting. And for dessert, a triple dip of Rocky Road is never a bad idea.
House Specialty Deli Treasures fires up the mesquite grill with a different barbecue special every day.
Barbecue-meister Bill touts the Thursday and Sunday menu as the frequent fave among connoisseurs of the open flame, when teriyaki-marinated skirt steak is the featured item.
"Skirt steak is more of a specialty cut of beef that you might not always find at the grocery store. It's more expensive than tri-tip," Bill notes, "but I like to use it because it has more marbling, and more flavor." Skirt steak is the diaphragm muscle that is cut from the flank, with flank steak and skirt steak working equally well in this method.
Bill uses soy sauce, white wine, ketchup, fresh ginger, garlic and sugar in his teriyaki sauce--without cooking the mixture--and marinates the meat for a full 24 hours, already cut into pre-portioned strips. His style of grilling utilizes indirect heat.
"It's more of a smoking process that I do," he explains. "Mesquite pops and cracks quite a bit at first, so getting it good and hot before you put the meat on the grill is essential. I pile the coals up on either side of the meat, so it's a longer cooking process, but it results in more barbecue flavor."
Off the grill, the steak is sliced thin and piled on your choice of eight Paris Bakery breads, with a choice of a dozen or so condiments. The deli offers an excellent choice of Central Coast wines. Of special note to oenophiles: Purchase your selection right off the shelf, and there's not even a corkage fee. Bill's choice to go along with a smoky skirt steak sandwich? A bottle of Rancho Gallante Cabernet Sauvignon, '97.