places | Blues City Deli + benton park

Yay for off-days! Luckily, Patrick and I usually have weekends off together. We try to make time to run errands and get in a mini-day-date if possible, a favorite pastime over the last couple of years. 

After sleeping in, making a healthy, too-hearty breakfast and some cleaning/resting/reading, we headed out into the city. Today's responsibilities landed us in the Benton Park area, so we made a point to stop by

Blues City Deli

for lunch, as we've been meaning to for a while. 

The little sandwich shop is so full of character and positive energy! The origin of all the good vibes seemed to be a man behind the counter, who appeared to be the owner,

Vince Valenza

, and a quick look at their website told us we right. A video on their main page showcases his generous, humble, super-positive personality. I loved the warm greeting we were welcomed with upon entry, and he even gifted us a cookie at the end of our meal (Something that also happens at

Nora's sandwich shop in Dogtown

, also a place full of good energy and tasty subs). Another couple eating was given a couple of t-shirts, for no apparent reason other than kindness-of-the-heart and maybe a little friendly promotion. I absolutely adore the word-of-mouth, spread-the-joy kind of business their running down at Blues City Deli and will definitely be back, if for that alone.

As for the food - it was delicious, of course. I had the Tuna Po-Boy on wheat (

#7   Tuna Po-Boy

(Served on hoagie)


Lots of Albacore Tuna and Dressed with Lettuce, T

omato, Pickle, and Onion served on a Seeded Baguette ::


). I'm really picky when it comes to seafood (I eat tuna and the occasional shrimp - usually fried... and I rarely eat anything fried.) The sandwich was mild on the fish-scale (as tuna is, I know) but had great flavor. It wasn't too salty and the veggies tasted fresh. The pickles had great flavor and the lettuce was crunchy. I usually don't eat tomatoes, but these were not overbearing and mellowed out the pickle/mayo flavor and helped balance the texture of the sandwich. 

Patrick ordered the Roast Beef Po-Boy (

#8   Roast Beef Po-Boy

(Served on seeded baguette)


Top Round Roast Beef Roasted to Perfection, Dipped in Aujus, dressed with Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, Onion, and Mayo :: $6.50

) and I can promise you, he is an expert on roast beef sandwiches. It was good. I tried a piece of the deli meat and it had a great texture and flavor. I didn't interview him on the details of his sub, but if he says it's good it must be.

My chocolate chip cookie topped off a delightfully simple lunch (and simple in the good way, not the trite way) and we left happier than when we arrived, seriously. 

As they would say at

Blues City Deli

, Thank Ya Baby! (Also a big thanks for lending your walls to the awesome photo I snapped of


- it's a new favorite.)

Blues City Deli Official Website

Blues City Deli Facebook

Blues City Deli's Vince Valenza's Twitter

(Take a peek at their facebook page to see all the press coverage they've received.)