River Street Deli – Lox Of Friendliness

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - by Willie Mae
Lox and Bagel with capers, tomato, lettuce and onion
Lox and Bagel with capers, tomato, lettuce and onion

My friend Lou walks around the mall almost every day, but he sure didn’t like walking outdoors in the sticky August heat this weekend. We had parked near the Walnut Street Bridge after church to enjoy what little sunshine we had (in between our rainy monsoon season) and walked around to find a good place for lunch.

We found a little place called River Street Deli on River Street Drive by Coolidge Park. It reminded me of someone’s forgotten basement. It wasn’t really decorated and the paint on the walls was chipped and looked 100 years old. A nice man introduced himself as Bruce and I could tell he wasn’t from here. He handed us menus to look over and then thrust a sample of the Stromboli at us to try.

With his abrupt mannerism I was sure he was from New York (and he had the accent to match). He was very friendly. He just wanted us to try something he was proud of. I didn’t blame him – it was good and I forgave him for his peeling walls. The place actually had charm and it was clean. Lou ordered the Roast Beef with boursin cheese and dijon mustard for $8.25 and I ordered Lox and Bagel made with nova salmon, toasted bagel and cream cheese with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and capers $8.95. I figured this man knew his lox and I wanted to try it!

Lou also had gotten an apple pie soda. It looked like dirty water to me, so I just stuck with root beer. After giving Bruce our order and paying another girl at the other side of the counter, we were handed our sodas and we seated ourselves. I took the menu to see what else they had and saw that they offered various items.

They had fresh salads that are prepared daily, soups, roasted portabella, Reuben, liverwurst, corned beef on rye, tomato and cucumber and even a Muffaletta. I wasn’t hungry enough to try that sandwich again (and I didn’t bring a ladder).  It seemed that vegetarians and carnivores alike could find something they liked at this place.

I didn’t ask for a glass for my root beer, I just wanted to sit down. It was so sticky and humid outside the ice-cold root beer hit the spot. Lou had to shake up his liquid apple pie, but they opened the bottle for him before we sat down. I think he had to drink a little of the unmixed concoction first to allow for space to swirl it around a bit to mix up the settled ingredients. It came from Pure Soda Works. I couldn’t imagine apple pie with a fizz. Lou said when he had it before; he had poured it over ice cream and made an ‘ala-pie float’.

A boy brought our lunch to the table and my lox was served open-faced with everything else on the side. I didn’t care for the onions, (not that I was hoping to be kissed or anything – my stomach just doesn’t handle them well unless they are cooked).  Lou’s roast beef was smothered in the boursin cheese which was creamy. I put my bagel together with the cream cheese, tomato, lettuce and capers. The first bite was so good I felt I had just been kissed by the salmon! The smoked flavor and slightly sweet salmon was perfect with the capers to complement. The only thing that would have made it any better is if it were served on an ‘everything bagel’. You just can’t go wrong with an everything bagel.

Usually when I visit places for my little hobby, I try to go at odd times so that it isn’t crowded. Because Lou and I went after church on the lunch hour - sure enough, I saw someone that I knew. Normally, I love seeing my friends unless I am trying to be inconspicuous and I don’t want them to blow my cover, but Helen saw me. All I needed was for her to holler out “Oh Willie Mae!” I waved to her and smiled but then turned back to Lou to let her know I didn’t have time to be social. I hope she didn’t think I was rude, but I was here on business.

Just then Bruce came by our table to ask us how we liked our lunch. And then …he sat down! I was fine with his friendly ‘pal-sy wal-sy’ nature, but I had to hide my notes in my pocket book without him seeing. He was talking with Lou anyway, but then he noticed that I hadn’t eaten all of my lox and bagel. I couldn’t! It was very filling even if it was delicious. He got onto me and even though he didn’t smile when he teased, I took that as friendly too… I think.

Lou and I both enjoyed our lunch and our Brooklyn friend. If you try them out soon, tell him Willie Mae sent you. 

HOURS:

Mon - Fri: 10:30 - 4

Friday Nights: 6:30 Seating

(Reservation Required)

Sat: 10:30 - 5  |  Sun: 11 - 5

Rare Roast Beef sandwich on rye
Rare Roast Beef sandwich on rye

Grow Your Business Training Offered To Help Farmers Make Direct Sales To Restaurants

Crabtree Farms, in partnership with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Profitable Agriculture (CPA) will host a day-long intensive training for farmers titled “Grow Your Business: Seeds For Successful Direct Marketing Of Fruits And Vegetables” on  Dec. 12, in Chattanooga. Grow Your Business is targeted at small and medium-scale producers of fruit, vegetable, ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Farmer’s Market Is Saturday

A special Soddy Daisy Farmer’s Market  is planned for Saturday.  There will be a focus on local arts and crafts in addition to regular vendors and the Poe’s Tavern cabin will be open for viewing. Soddy Daisy is encouraging visitors to get out and enjoy the crisp, fall days and to “Come on up and see us.! This is the first year for the Farmer’s Market. Established ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Chattanooga Police Department, And Community Members Reach Out To Group Members To End Violence

The city of Chattanooga held a call-in on Thursday night, as part of the Violence Reduction Initiative. Dozens of law enforcement officials, community members, social service providers and clergy gathered to deliver a message to over 20 members of violent groups in Chattanooga. Family members of the probationers watched the call-in from another building. Although the call-in was ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pete Carroll’s Philosophy

Pete Carroll, the head football coach of the Seattle Seahawks, has a deep belief that he can change people by simply listening to them and then making suggestions on how they can get what they really want. If the people Carroll who can influence win, Carroll wins, and remember his team won last year’s Super Bowl with his methods.   When asked for example, here is what ... (click for more)