What: The Torinise Sandwich
Where: The Real Italian Deli, 100 S. Sunrise Way, Suite B, Palm Springs; also at 44795 San Pablo Avenue, No. 1, Palm Desert
How much: $7.99
Contact: 760-325-3800 (Palm Springs); 760-836-1493 (Palm Desert); facebook.com/therealitaliandeli
Why: The yummy ingredients—especially the bread.
The Real Italian Deli opened in Palm Desert in late 2013 to nearly universal acclaim. However, your humble scribe just so happens to live in downtown Palm Springs, meaning that my dining opportunities in Palm Desert are relatively few and far between. As a result, I hadn’t yet sampled the goodies there.
That’s why I was very happy to hear in December that the Real Italian Deli was opening a second location at Sunrise and Tahquitz Canyon ways, a mere five-minute drive from my home. I recently had the opportunity to check it out with some dining companions—and we soon realized that we have been missing out.
The charming little spot is deli/shop first, and restaurant second—seating is limited, whereas the selection of Italian goodies, both pre-packaged and freshly made, is certainly not. Therefore, we ordered our food to go. My selection: A Torinese sandwich, featuring roast beef, lettuce, tomato and a gorgonzola spread, all on a yummy roll.
Man, was the Torniese a tasty sandwich. The meat was perfect; the Gorgonzola spread offered a savory, salty bite; and the tomato and lettuce gave the sandwich a needed freshness.
But what sticks in my memory the most about that sandwich is none of those ingredients; instead, what I remember is the bread. It was soft, yet firm enough to hold up to all the ingredients—and it tasted amazing. It gave the sandwich a lovely, yeasty sweetness, taking it from very good to fantastic.
The other stuff we tried ranged from so-so (the Lucchese sandwich, featuring chicken breast, Parmesan and a sun-dried tomato pesto) to pretty good (the cheesecake) to pretty great (the lasagna). The Real Italian Deli is certainly worth a visit—whether you live within five minutes or 25 minutes of one of the two locations.