Legendary Sausage Deli Expands Its Operation

May 1, 2013 |

Sometimes one drives past, or otherwise passes by, a certain place so many times without stopping that it becomes nearly unnoticeable, simply a part of the background scenery. Such had become the case in my relationship with Sausage Deli at the intersection of Grant Road and 1st Avenue, which always seemed to beckon but never managed to draw me in. I heard good things, but hadn’t tasted for myself. It was easy to overlook.

Until, that is, lo and behold; Sausage Deli outgrew the humble quarters it’d been housed in since 1978. Not straying far from its roots, in February Sausage Deli reopened right around the corner from its original location in an enlarged setting with more easily accessible parking and additional floor space. Having outlasted Greasy Tony’s, Grill and Zachary’s Pizza, earning it the title of last Can’t Buy Me Love-era local eatery still standing (said 1980s made-in-Tucson film was largely shot at Tucson High Magnet School), Sausage Deli was clearly here to stay.

As so many local businesses along the modern streetcar line have done, owner/operator Chris Fanelli made sure his “new” restaurant was indeed “improved.” Extra TVs and draft beer were part of the plan. “The new space offers a fresh look,” Fanelli said at the time, with “more space for seating and a larger patio without moving too far away.” Do be prepared for a brief wait since, as at every legendary establishment which enjoys positive word of mouth, the lines can be long at Sausage Deli. This place has a rabid following among Wildcats and worker bees alike. Longtime fans have even gone so far as to purchase salvaged bricks from the now-demolished old deli building, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. That’s true customer loyalty!

Reviewers on Yelp.com consistently mention the Omar (salami, turkey and Swiss on an onion roll with bell pepper, onion, chopped pepperoncini peppers, mustard and Italian dressing) when singing Sausage Deli’s praises using adjectives such as “fantastic” and “amazing.” Looking to eat light? Try the Susie Sorority which features turkey, havarti, lettuce, tomato and sprouts on whole wheat with mayo.

A jukebox and booth seating encourage one to linger rather than grab it to go; people-watching at Sausage Deli is a pastime unto itself. And sandwich trays, party platters and box lunches are but some of the options available should you choose to have Sausage Deli cater your event. When it comes down to it, do you want the members of your planning committee to simply eat a meal or for them to experience a Tucson institution? He who provides Sausage Deli for lunch is the king of the office.

Remember, friends don’t let friends eat at Subway. Here’s hoping Fanelli and company continue to crank out grinders and hoagies for another 35 years to come. Visit the Sausage Deli Monday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm at 754 E. Grant Rd. In a hurry? Call your order in at (520) 623-8182. An expansive menu is available at SausageDeli.com.

Category: FOOD & DRINK