One hears a lot these days about “artisanal” foods. In the industry, the word is used to describe making foodstuffs by an artisan, in a manner or using tools to craft the products, generally in a fashion reminiscent of a time when our foods were made with care, and not produced.
Lots of companies try and emulate these methods to create these products. And some companies, like Bay Cities Italian Deli, have never varied in their methods, and still make their fine wares as they always have – since 1925.
Oddly peculiar that I lived in Los Angeles three different times and had never been to Bay Cities – when it seems that all of Los Angeles knows about it, and many have pronounced Bay Cities’ “Godmother” the mother of all Los Angeles sandwiches (and I have to concur, after my visit).
Larry Daniels, my pal and Los Angeles lawyer/dealmaker extraordinare, arranged a special visit for us, and we hobbnobbed with the BC big shots, and got a very special behind the scenes look at this gastronomic delight.
Featuring grocery and fresh deli items from around the world, Bay Cities is also known for its sandwich creations, which people are more than willing to wait in line for (but you don’t have to – see insider’s tip below).
The aforementioned Godmother is piled high with genoa salami, mortadella, provolone, capacola, and if you wish, dressed with “the works” – mayo, mustard, italian dressing, hot or mild peppers, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, on a crusty roll.
We also sampled one of the deli man’s favorite concoctions, the Spaniard, which started with exceptional jamon serrano, and a bevy of other quality ingredients, served on a soft Italian roll.
I picked up the “country olive mix” in the prepared foods section, and if you are a regular reader, you know what a hound I am for quality olives, and these hit the top of my list, immediately.
Now here’s your insider tip. You can avoid the lines by ordering online for pickup. Walk into the store, take a hard left past the registers, walk straight back, and you’ll see a second food prep area on your left, with a baker’s shelf in front of it. There, on the shelf, you will find your order with your name on it, and you can proceed directly to the register (after you have completed your other shopping – you will want to pick up some of the fancy oils, vinegars, baked goods – or like me, some white truffle paste.
Thanks to Larry and all the guys at Bay Cities for a memorable lunch. And I promise, I will be back as often as I am able!