Agoura Deli - heart attack on rye!
Oh My God.
Shooting pix of shopping malls out at the extreme end of the SFV and a bit beyond today, and one of the assigned properties, on Kanan Road just north of Thousand Oaks Blvd., turned out to have a deli/restaurant in it that looked pretty good to a hungry elderly gent along around 1:00 or so. It was a large and friendly place, and nicely welcoming to an unaccompanied person, always a good sign. The menu was surprisingly hardcore deli-like for a place out in the boonies, even though they are high-priced boonies - a whole page, f'rinstance, devoted to smoked fish. Who knew?
I told the waitress I needed a little more time to peruse, figuring on maybe three minutes, and then as page after page of wonders proceeded to unfold I felt like maybe I should just postpone my decision until dinner, except I was REALLY hungry. So I went for my childhood favorite, which they just happen to have: liverwurst with Swiss cheese. I always had it at home on regular white bread (this was the Midwest, after all), and I always put sliced HB egg on a field of mayonnaise in mine as well, but this time I asked for rye, plus a little mayo, please.
Now, my liverwurst sandwiches back then were made with Oscar Mayer braunschweiger, spread on the bread to a thickness of perhaps 3/16", with a sturdy 1/8" slice of cheese leaning against it. Agoura Deli does it otherwise, There were I think six slabs of liverwurst, about a half pound, stacked between two thin slices of cheese and two small slices of admittedly very nice bread, on each HALF sandwich. There was, in other words, sufficient pork liver product on each HALF sandwich to make perhaps three WHOLE sandwiches of the sort I was expecting. Besides a cursory carrot sliver and sprig of parsley, there were two or three slices of raw onion, a good and sturdy thing to slide in between the slabs. A densely packed bowl of coleslaw, my choice of accompaniments, completed the order.
Aside from the all-but-insurmountable problem of actually eating this monster, everything was really nice. The liverwurst was excellent, not the disgustingly fatty and oversalted stuff you too often are served, WHEN you can find it, and the bread was pleasantly flavorful and chewy. The coleslaw was of the creamy variety, very lightly dressed, just sweet enough and rich enough to please this picky slaw guy. I did, however, have to ask for a go box, and took home the other half of my sandwich, from which I shall probably make enough sandwiches for the rest of the week.
With the charge for the slice of cheese (75¢), this stunning slab-o-goodness cost me damn near twelve bucks, but it was well worth it. I am not going out to Agoura Hills just to visit the Agoura Deli, but if I find myself out there again for whatever reason I will certainly try to make it around lunch time.
I'd think it'd be easy to find in any *real* deli around here. In some places I've lived it's been available only in grocery stores, whereas in some others it's common lunch-counter fare. In Anchorage, Alaska I knew three different lunch joints/diners where I could get a grilled liverwurst and cheese! Anybody know a source for THAT in the LA area?
I think you should also check out Italia Deli in the shopping complex just south of Thousand Oaks Blvd. Not quite on par with Agoura Deli, but still pretty good, too.