HOME > Chowhound > General South Archive >
Are you making a specialty food? Tell us about it

new deli in Carrboro

Rory Jan 5, 2008 03:14 PM

Just heard that a deli will be opening next to the Open Eye Cafe in Carrboro...anyone know more? Will they have *sigh* pastrami and kosher pickles...

  1. k
    ksherk Apr 17, 2008 11:48 AM

    Ever since I moved to Carrboro I've said that what we need is a good deli, where I can actually order the sandwich that I want, on the bread that I want. Turkey and meunster...roasted peppers and goat cheese...hmmm...

    This does not seem to be that place. It's nice, in its use of local products, but it does not appear to be a place where I can order my favorite sandwich.

    And as for reasonably priced, I'm not sure where other folks have been eating that they think $7 is a reasonable price for a sandwich -- in my world, a roast beef sub on a nice roll with the works should not cost you more than $5.50 at a decent deli (and I'm not talking Subway here). And $4 for sides?? I can't bring myself to pay blanched asparagus or $3 for coleslaw unless there's something really interesting going on.

    That being said, my veggie sandwich, tho expensive, was quite tasty. Tangy carrots, well-cooked spinach, and good white bean spread. There was also a stuffed pork shoulder that they were out of when I got there at 1:45. I'm anxious to try their pastrami too (no corned beef today), but I'll save that for another time. And their cheese sandwich looks really yummy too.

    I agree with everyone else has said about the pickles. It needs more vinegar, more spicing, maybe just more time in the barrel?

    I don't want to give the impression that I didn't enjoy my Neal's experience. Just that if you're looking for a deli in the basic northern sense of the word, where you can get a sub or a grinder, this is not it. But if you're looking for a new fun gustatory experience that highlights local products, then do check it out!

    3 Replies
    1. re: ksherk
      bbqme Apr 17, 2008 02:13 PM

      I'm curious, where is your part of the world found? I certainly haven't seen it in the Triangle. Gawd, please don't say New York...

      I do agree that their menu is limited but given their small space I can see why. And they are still experimenting with the menu so hopefully it'll expand a little as they findtheir groove. I'm totally with you on the expense of the sides though.

      1. re: ksherk
        FINWAILIN Apr 22, 2008 12:47 PM

        If you feel like going to Chapel Hill for a NY Style deli - J&J's in Timberlyne Shopping Center, on Weaver Dairy Rd (near the Post Office) is a pretty good NY style deli. They use Boar's Head deli meats and you can select from some good breads for a decent price.

        1. re: FINWAILIN
          ksherk May 13, 2008 12:49 PM

          Thanks! I'll check it out!

      2. b
        bbqme Apr 15, 2008 10:46 AM

        After grumbling under my breath that that doesn't do me any good when I was told that they were out of corned beef and pastrami and wouldn't have any more in until Monday, I ordered their sub. The bread was from Guglhupf, the cold cuts were made by Giacomo's out of Greensboro, and the tomato was from that morning's Carrboro Farmer's market (I thinkI heard that right). The sub was outstanding. The sweet and slightly spicy peppers they put in it and the fresh, locally sourced products really made the sub special.

        Now, if the will only make enough corned bef and pastrami to satisfy demand...

        Sidenote: Besides Neal's Deli, also hit the Farmer's Market for veggies, Weaver Street's bakery, Open Eye for a latte, Fifth Season for some gardening stuff, and Cliff's Meats for meat. How lucky we are in Carrrboro/Chapel Hill to have so many great independent stores right next to each other.

        11 Replies
        1. re: bbqme
          Rory Apr 15, 2008 08:06 PM

          And dont forget Miel Patisserie in Car Mill, for handmade chocolates and french desserts.
          I agree with you utterly bbqme, Carrboro/Chapel hill is gustatory heaven.

          1. re: Rory
            bbqme Apr 16, 2008 01:30 PM

            ...and Maple View for ice cream, Tyler's for beer and pub grub, Orange County Social Club for cocktails, Panzanella and Glasshalfull for meals (and Acme is good too if a little hit or miss), the taco truck at Fitch lumber for late night snacking...the concentration of great places in that little area of Carrboro is just amazing.

            1. re: bbqme
              LulusMom Apr 16, 2008 01:49 PM

              I'm with you - so many great places so close by. But is it just me, or has Tyler's been kind of off on the food front lately?

              1. re: LulusMom
                bbqme Apr 17, 2008 02:07 PM

                You know, honestly I haven't been by there in awhile-- so many other great places to check out. You may well be correct.

          2. re: bbqme
            bbqme Apr 16, 2008 09:45 AM

            It was so revolting I blocked it out of my memory during my post above, but their pickles are nasty, however! They had this horrible baking soda flavor-- blech!

            1. re: bbqme
              inmybackpages Apr 16, 2008 11:42 AM

              I agree, the pickles are kind of funky...alum?

              1. re: inmybackpages
                brokegradstudent Apr 16, 2008 11:59 AM

                I like them. It is a different style than the dills we usually see around here. The website says they're using Guss' pickles (gusspickles.com) and the taste seems just like other half-sours.

                That said, I'd be ecstatic to see a pickle/relish bar (not that there is room or market at Neal's) like the deli equivalent of a salsa bar at a taqueria...sours, half-sours, dills, spicy dills, bread and butters, chow-chow, giardinara, etc, etc.

                1. re: brokegradstudent
                  Rory Apr 16, 2008 12:16 PM

                  My dad was just there and hated the pickles too. Neal's does't get the importance of the kosher sour pickle for the true nyc deli experience. I love half-sour too.

                2. re: inmybackpages
                  FINWAILIN Apr 22, 2008 12:42 PM

                  I don't know if you guys got a different variety or batch of pickles on the day(s) you were there, but when I went, they had very good, Gus' garlic half-sours that were bright green and crispy, the way they are in many NYC delis; pickles need not be those ubiquitous, soft, greyish-yellow things (though I like those too). I do wish they had "sub" type rolls however, maybe soon.

                3. re: bbqme
                  SenorSuarez May 14, 2008 11:57 AM

                  The pickles are either getting better or growing on me...

                  1. re: SenorSuarez
                    ksherk May 17, 2008 09:41 AM

                    I'm still not loving them -- I was back there this week. I really want to love them, but...

              2. b
                brokegradstudent Apr 7, 2008 11:16 AM

                We made it for lunch today and enjoyed it.

                I had pastrami on rye, my wife had the Manhattan and we split a cup of borscht. A coffee and a coke brought the total to $22 w/ tip

                The pastrami is medium fatty and very flavorful. Portion was entirely fair at the price. Borscht is chunky deli-style borscht. I'm a big fan of borscht in general and this one is pleasant if not exceptional (Russian borschts, that they aren't trying to do, are beefier and heavier, their's is all about the beets). The rye (and all the other bread) is Guglehupf so 1) it's really good but 2) Guglehupf doesn't bake on Mondays so they have to toast day old.

                Up a few someone didn't like the pickles. They're 1/2 sours so taste a bit different by design. They pair well w/ the pastrami.

                A few notes we overheard while we ate
                -menu is still a bit in flux as they work the kinks out, today they didn't have their house corned beef. If you have your heart set on something on the web-menu, you may want to call ahead.

                - they're still figuring out their afternoon hours a bit, apparently. We showed up hungry at 11, when they open, and they were ready to go.

                - the Monday bread thing, see above
                -They aren't selling meats by the # yet but will once they get a handle on demand and supply

                1 Reply
                1. re: brokegradstudent
                  inmybackpages Apr 8, 2008 06:07 AM

                  Another note - seems like they are very popular and have been selling out by the evening. I stopped in around 6:30 and they were out of food.

                2. SenorSuarez Apr 4, 2008 11:38 AM

                  I just had lunch at Neal's. I had the Sub 2. Sandwich was excellent. Pickle needs a lot of work. Apparently their menu changes constantly, but here's what was on it today:

                  -Neal's Corned Beef on rye $6.50
                  -Reuben - Corned beef, swiss, kraut, and russian dressing on rye $8
                  -Pan Bagna - Albacore Tuna with anchovies, capers, onions, roasted peppers, oil and vinegar on baguette $7.99
                  -Muffuletta - capicola, milano salami, mortadella, provolone, olive salad on muffuletta loaf 1/6th $5.50, 1/2 $15.50, Whole $28
                  -Sub 1 - Milano salami, capicola, provolone, choice of peppers, lettuce, onion, oil and vinegar on subroll $6.99
                  -Sub 2 - Milano salami, hot sopressatta, mortadella, provolone, choice of peppers, lettuce, onion, oil and vinegar on subroll $6.99
                  -Egg Salad - with shallot and capers on wheat or rustic white $5
                  -Porchetta - Pork shoulder stuffed with garlic, fennel seed, sage and rosemary on rustic white $7
                  -Neal's Smoked turkey - Avocado salsa, bacon, and mayo on rustic white $6.50
                  -Veggie - Pureed Tuscan-style white beans with roasted carrots, wilted spinach, and pickled red onion on rye $7
                  -Hotdog - Hoffman's veal and pork wiener in natural casing with mustard and/or kraut on pretzel roll $3.50 or 2 for $6.25

                  Sides - $4
                  -Lentils braised with red wine
                  -Oil and Vinegar potato salad with caraway
                  -Creamy coleslaw

                  Potato Chips $1.50
                  Chocolate Chip Cookies $.75
                  New York style cheesecake $4

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: SenorSuarez
                    bbqme Apr 4, 2008 12:55 PM

                    Wow, prices are quite reasonable. Are the sandwiches skimpy? I'd rather pay a little more and get something substantial akin to the NYC delis.

                    1. re: bbqme
                      Rory Apr 4, 2008 04:09 PM

                      great menu & excellent prices. There's enough there so I can get corned beef *sigh* for a fling and then Pan Bagnat, Veggie for my everyday life. I have to check the cheesecake. I used to bake NYC cheesecake and sell this at my stall in Galway and some guy, visiting from Scotland would always stop by.

                      1. re: Rory
                        LulusMom Apr 5, 2008 03:37 AM

                        Ooooh, hows the pan bagnat? nice chewy bread??

                  2. b
                    bbqme Apr 4, 2008 07:32 AM

                    Head's up...I called and they said they are opening today at 11AM.

                    1. b
                      bbqme Mar 27, 2008 10:00 AM

                      Have you tried the housemade pastrami at the Barbeque Joint in Chapel Hill? Pricey but very good.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: bbqme
                        Rory Mar 28, 2008 01:52 PM

                        bbqme ;
                        It is good, but not like nyc pastrami, which must be fatty and spicy. I'm only saying this as the new deli is supposed to make it nyc style.

                        1. re: Rory
                          fussycouple Mar 28, 2008 02:35 PM

                          I must disagree.

                          I dislike fatty pastrami to the max, which is why Katz's in NYC has the best pastrami on earth. They offer superb LEAN pastrami in addition to their other 2 grades of pastrami.

                          I sincerely hope we don't get medicocre run of the mill fatty pastrami just because there are a lot of semi-decent places in NYC who make it that way. The best places offer multiple grades of pastrami to suit the differing tastes of people.

                          1. re: fussycouple
                            Rory Mar 28, 2008 04:08 PM

                            As a 3rd generation New Yorker, I can assure you fatty pastrami and fatty corned beef is the only way to go, which is what made the 2nd Ave Deli so great. Katz's feh;-)
                            9 days out of 10 I'm vegan due to health cholesterol etc; when I indulge I am uber fussy & why bother if it isn't great?
                            Good luck to the new deli here.

                            1. re: Rory
                              Saddleoflamb Apr 4, 2008 07:54 PM

                              Amen to fatty pastrami.....the navel cut is the only way to go when eating it warm/hot.....melt in your mouth delicious.

                      2. d
                        dbsutton Mar 26, 2008 09:08 AM


                        4 Replies
                        1. re: dbsutton
                          schmems Mar 27, 2008 09:14 AM

                          So is it open now? They have been working their butts off to get it open. Whenever I go out at night, there are at least 2-3 people in there working on it.

                          1. re: schmems
                            tacostacoseverywhere Mar 28, 2008 05:26 AM

                            I think they're trying to open at the beginning of next week, provided that all health inspections go according to plan.

                            1. re: tacostacoseverywhere
                              SenorSuarez Mar 29, 2008 04:03 PM

                              I walked by there earlier today (Saturday) and they said they're opening "this week". I'm guessing that means Monday. I'll be by mid-week for lunch, no doubt!

                              1. re: SenorSuarez
                                Rory Mar 31, 2008 07:30 PM

                                that's what I heard too. Also the good chef from Southern Rail who left,will be cooking there (yay).

                        2. g
                          gyzn Jan 11, 2008 08:24 AM

                          I did some checking, and found the follow: The Carrboro Citizen reported in http://www.carrborocitizen.com/main/2008/01/03/farmers-market-gets-new-manager/ that farmer market manager Sheila Neal is stepping down to start "Neal's Deli" with her husband Matt Neal. Neal's Deli is listed on http://www.carrboro.com/restaur.html at 100 E Main St. - that is, next to Open Eye - as "coming soon". Whois reveals further that Sheila Neal registered the domain nealsdeli.com on 11/22/2007. The website is online, but only says 'coming soon' when I checked on 1/11/2008. I'd say this is the place to stay up to date on this. Good luck to Sheila and Matt!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: gyzn
                            fussycouple Jan 11, 2008 10:25 AM

                            n.b.: Matt Neal is Bill Neal's son.

                            1. re: fussycouple
                              Rory Jan 11, 2008 01:17 PM

                              I just read they've been down to the lower east side in NYC smart!

                              give me a really good fatty corned beef sandwich and a pickle and they will come;-)

                          2. tacostacoseverywhere Jan 6, 2008 08:10 AM

                            hadn't heard about that, but it definitely sounds exciting!!! any idea who's doing it?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: tacostacoseverywhere
                              Rory Jan 6, 2008 04:25 PM

                              It was in the local Carrboro paper, a couple with a farmer's market stand. Sorry I chucked the papers out, otherwise I'd give their names. More power to them!

                            Show Hidden Posts