The Gardener Guides team wanted a midday meal that would satisfy the hungriest of us,have enough options for all our tastes, and be reasonably priced. Columbia has recently seen an uptick in the number of delicatessens on its dining scene. The latest addition is East Bay Deli, downtown on Main Street. Billing itself as “a New York style deli but with a distinctive southern flair”, East Bay has all of the hallmarks of a great deli – sandwiches piled high with fresh, quality meats and cheeses, soups and chili for cooler days, hot dogs with a variety of toppings, giant spuds and awesome desserts. We all agreed, we wanted to check it out!
With locations in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, the franchise decided to expand to Columbia this past fall and
this coming spring, into Lexington. The Main Street location is a sizeable establishment, dressed up in retro, diner-style signs and decor that go perfectly with the black and white
checkered floor tile. Just as in classic NYC delis, you’ll find
such fare as East Bay’s Famous Chili Dog, Homemade Chicken and Tuna salads, Hot Pastrami and Corned Beef sandwiches, Ham “Gabagool” (Capicola), and even authentic “Carnegie Deli” cheesecake! Here you will also find a southern influence in items like the Piggy Potato, Southern Dog, and Southern Style BBQ sandwich.
The team went with some of East Bay’s standards: Roast Beef sandwich, Turkey Reuben on rye, the triple-decker New York Yankee sandwich, Homemade Chicken Salad, and Homemade “Lite” Tuna Salad. Their food is made-to-order, and they make it fast! We found one of the highlights of the meal to be East Bay’s incredible salad bar, stocked with veggies, cheeses, meats, olives, marinated mushrooms, mini muffins, chicken, tuna, broccoli and pasta salads and much more! The salad bar offerings were so fresh, diverse
and filling that we had very little room left for the rest of our food, much less anything from the dessert case up front!
At the end of our meal we walked the busy downtown streets, picking up a copy of the Times from the newsstand as we went, past the food carts smelling of hotdogs and pretzels, past the flashing marquees, the bodegas, trashcan bonfires, graffiti and on through the long shadows of the skyscrapers. The music playing in the speakeasies poured out into the streets, as a Gray’s Papaya customer was handed a slice and an egg cream. When we couldn’t get a taxi cab we decided to just hoof it through the park to the subway, through the Meatpacking and Fashion districts, near the NYSE. We threw on our ice skates and glided across 30 Rock, then sprinted past the Naked Cowboy in Times Square and across the Brooklyn Bridge, back to our offices…in West Columbia. In our heads we had just had lunch in the Big Apple!
Address: 1426 Main Street
Phone Number: 803.814.2277
Hours: Open daily 7am – 9pm
COMING SOON: NEW LOCATION ACROSS FROM LEXINGTON MEDICAL CENTER OPENS IN APRIL 2017!!