Cucina Deli Review – Good Value and Local Charm in the Avenues
Cucina Deli in The Avenues has been one of my favorite little places in Salt Lake since discovering it a few years back. I always remember it as “Cucina on Avenue Q” (although it’s actually in between Q and R Streets) because I tend to forget street names when they just have letters and numbers. And although it’s just nestled in between the cute houses in the neighborhood, it’s not hard to find. Just look for the tall rainbow house across the street. There is also a cute Laundromat next door. The word is CUTE, people. If I lived in the avenues I think I’d be here multiple times a week.
When you walk in you are greeted by a monochromatic display of tasty treats and eats in the glass case. It’s like a little case of artwork, seriously. Somebody spends a good chunk of their morning preparing this delicious and lovely food, and I hope they enjoy making it as much as I like looking at and eating it. Large handmade raviolis stuffed with good cheese and topped with basil. Avocado halves stuffed with chicken salad and paired with sliced tomatoes. Orzo and chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and feta. And a plethora of other specialty salads and baked goodies. Varietally speaking, you could visit this deli on the daily and it would never get old.
In addition to being greeted by the good eats, today there is a tan, pretty woman behind the counter patiently waiting to take my order while I soak in all of the colors and smells. And since we waited til 1:30 for lunch today, me and my growling tummy were delighted to see some free samples on the counter: jalapeno preserves from local Wanship-based company Pepperlane! Oh my. This is the second time of late where I have discovered the power of berries and hot peppers together. It is like your taste buds are having a little party in your mouth!
I proceed to order what I consider to be the best lunch deal on the menu: ½ sandwich and a heaping side of any of their salads. The half is $3.50 and each additional side is $2. Don’t be scared by the half sandwich. Their portions are good-sized.
I did notice that they use Boars Head meats, which initially made me a little weary. I have read that Boars Head is not as natural as they make it sound; and that it may have the dreaded high fructose corn syrup in it. But upon further investigation I found out that Boars Head has two different lines of meat, one of them being all natural. I don’t know for sure, but I am willing to bet that Cucina Deli is using the latter. I will ask the next time I am in there.
This charming little deli and shop (they have a few little chocolates and odds and ends) is a must-see. For those who live in The Avenues and may visit this place on the regular, how is the breakfast? The coffee? And it must be so convenient to swing by and pick up a quick, delicious and wholesome dinner for the family on a busy weekday night. Do tell.
For more information, check out Cucina Deli on Ski Town Restaurants.