NOTE: This restaurant is closed.
Delish Express – East End, Charleston, WV
There are very few, if any foods that I don’t like. I generally will try anything and really do like watching Andrew Zimmerman do the same. Don’t worry you will not be seeing reviews of restaurants that specialize in deep fried ants on this blog. I tell you this, because I trust that a good restaurant will test and retest then taste and re-taste a recipe before they put it on the menu. After eating at the original Delish, Cilantros and Delish Express I believe that Virgil Saddora does just that.
When Delsih Express opened last year their menu concept was confusing for most and created a bottleneck in the ordering line. I said to anyone that would listen, “why would he let these people mess with his quality, fresh ingredients and build a messed up sandwich!” on top of that if they could do math in their head that messed up sandwich was going to cost more than $10. These two little issues could cause someone never to come back, and they would spew a ton of bad word of mouth. Now Delish did have a selection of pre-made specials named after the staff at a set price. If you pointed your culinary ship in that direction you would get an excellent meal at a typical sit down lunch price 7-9 dollar with a drink. The problem is that most people would see one item on the pre-designed special (like carrots) and decide to make their own. They couldn’t decide what they wanted while they where in line. Then they would get to the register and freeze. Some how I always got stuck behind these people.
Phil and I decide to walk to Delish Express after a several month sabbatical. Upon entering we found a redesigned menu with a large selection of sandwiches and wraps. I quickly found one of my favorites – a Cuban. Now I have made a cuban for myself at Delish, but when you choose two meats you are already entering the $10 sandwich zone. Unlike a traditional Cuban sandwich the Delish version has pastrami instead of roasted pork and is served on a sliced sourdough or rye not cuban bread. The sandwich is topped with Swiss cheese, honey mustard, and pickles then hot pressed to a perfect golden brown. There was a bonus slice of cheddar cheese, which didn’t detract from the sandwich. I would have preferred plain swiss. I opted for the combo, which includes chips or pasta salad and a soft drink for $8.50. The sandwhich was ~$7.50 and a drink is $1.25…you do the math. The pasta salad is a mix of shells, tomatoes, feta cheese, onion, etc. in a vinaigrette. Next time I’ll just get the chips. I enjoyed my sandwich and highly recommend trying the Cuban or the pulled pork sandwich. Also on the menu are wraps, made to order salads and soups.
Delish is located in the East End of Charleston in a renovated storefront. The bi-level dining area is has seating for about 25. It is brighten with orange paint and some excellent framed B&W photography. In mild weather you can dine at one of the five outside tables. If you dine-in your meal minus drink is delivered to your table and if you linger a bit they will pick up your trays, too. I give Delish – FOUR FORKS.
Sorry for the lack of pictures, I’ve got to get me one of them fancy picture takin’ boxes that you can talk into.
I like Delish Express, it’s the next best thing to Delish (or at least it will be one of these days . . .)
I have to say that Daniel is correct when it comes to ordering here. Trust Virgil’s intuition on food, after all that’s why he went to culinary school. Buy something already made up on the menu (which by the way was made a little more standardized upon this visit–see pictures, above, of the permanent menu, as opposed to the ever-present chalk board of specials). The menu has a plethora (for Jefe!) of items and there is always a crowd which causes too much pressure to make a quick decision on the sandwich.
I ordered a pot roast sandwich with wasabi mayo, which I’ve had before (no surprise there, eh). It was delish-ous, albeit a little sloppy (stock up on the napkins) from the juices the meat simmers in. My wife joined us and ordered a turkey wrap. Sides included the standard kettle style chips and for a change, I ordered the pasta salad. Both she and I were happy with our respective meals–the pasta salad was tasty and not smothered with too much sauce–my only complaint was the portion size of the pasta. It’s served in one of those foam ice cream cups you may remember from back in elementary school (remember the ones with the flat wooden spoons/rejected tongue depressor!) which was a little too small for my liking.
Don’t let the prices scare you away, I like the combined tastes of the ingredients and the fact that this is not a run of the mill chain/franchise–I give it four forks.
1599 Washington St E