The Napa Deli isn’t actually in Napa. It is outside the county limits by two miles in a little place called Cordelia/Green Valley. It is located off I-80 freeway where it meets I-680 and CA12 to get to Napa. It is an unassuming little family run business for which I have a soft spot. I am not the easiest person to feed and this place manages to satisfy even picky me every time. I eat there several times a week. I know that when I go in there, I won’t have to worry that my food will be messed up and I will always get a friendly welcome.
Let me tell you what is special about this place. It is owned by a father and son duo and managed by another son. Kyle is the dynamo of the group and the chief chef, the schmoozer, and all around good guy. His energy is boundless, his smile and warmth really help to make the place special. He’s the kind of guy who knows all of his customers by name and makes sure he greets as many as he possibly can personally. The dad, David, is the quieter sweetie pie. He’s not as outgoing, but you can tell he’s the steady rock of the business and helps to keep things moving on the right track. Then there is Jason, who is the managing son. He’s a bit of both, with his quick smiles, and outgoing personality, but his mind is definitely on the business and he’s always thinking about how to move the deli forward.
Even though the deli is in a basic strip mall; with a Costco and a Safeway, these guys make it feel far warmer and more inviting to all who come in. Another member of their crew is Tommie who is a favorite of mine. (I have known her for many years and have followed her around from deli to deli). She helps to manage things in the morning, and prep for the huge lunch crowd. That woman is awesome and is a perfect compliment to the boys.
I wouldn’t consider this your average deli. Yes, they do sell sandwiches and paninis, but they do far more. They have full on meals to go like tri-tip, or grilled chicken with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. They do a mean lasagna packed with flavor, and a wonderful enchilada. They do great catering for a reasonable price and they are popular with the local businesses for lunch and parties.
Their daily specials always change, with entrées such as baby back ribs, or crab cakes, but they usually have some combination of these basic meals to eat in, or to go. These have been a lifesaver for me when I have been traveling as they make a perfect freezer meal for The Brit, so he can come home and throw one in the microwave and I know he’s eating healthy and good quality food.
For the same price for which you could buy a mediocre meal from the freezer at the grocery store; you could purchase one of theirs without all of those terrible additives and it will be delicious. It is in a single portion size in a container you can microwave. How much more convenient can you make it? Priced from $5.99-$7.99, it’s the same as a burger and fries and far better for you.
They serve local wines from Vezer Family Vineyards, Back Roads Vineyards, and G V Cellars. They serve it by the glass and I am told they will soon also sell beer on tap. I am sure The Brit will be happy then. They are running a special that if you buy a bottle of wine, they will give you a free sandwich; seems like a great deal to me. They don’t mark their wines up very much from what the wineries sell it for. I think that is awesome.
Before writing this article, I wanted to taste as wide a variety of their items as I could. I love their “build your own wrap”. Every single item they put in their sandwiches, wraps, and salads are fresh and perfect. I would love to highlight their red pepper mayonnaise, which is an item I always love. My niece adores their pesto, and she orders their Sonoma turkey pesto panini every single time, substituting the spinach and the roll for sliced sourdough. The Brit always orders the same sandwich too: ham and cheddar cheese toasted on a sourdough roll as a panini.
I have had a variety of the salads from their deli case. The pesto and sun-dried tomato bow tie pasta salad is my favorite. Their Mexican bean, broccoli coleslaw, and couscous salads are also favorites. The menu item that is really outstanding is their veggies; grilled or roasted to perfection. I love getting something quickly that tastes this good and is this healthy. I have gone there and bought just a plate of veggies and had that as my lunch.
The other item that I think deserves praise are their green entrée salads. Kyle is always coming up with fresh dressings for the green salads he sells. Today, I ate the chicken salad with blueberries, strawberries, and blue cheese. It had a wonderful sweet berry dressing which complemented the flavors of the salad I was eating. I have been to fine restaurants where the quality of the ingredients weren’t nearly as fresh and delicious as these.
For desserts you are spoiled for choice; they bring in a wide variety from local places. My favorites are the cakes and pies from SweetiePies in Napa. There has not been one item that I have been disappointed to eat. (Ask the Brit how rarely I have said that with desserts and treats!) They even have a selection of gluten-free treats on offer (although they are not a gluten-free kitchen or facility).
This place offers high taste and high quality for a very reasonable price. I know that this little family business is going to explode; someday when they have franchised this little gold mine I’ll be able to say, “I knew them when they were just a little deli…”