Matters of Taste: Aspen Deli a casual downtown favorite

Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine, October 2021

Photos and Story by Gail G. Collins

A sandwich — it’s a simple, portable handhold with all the necessary ingredients for a meal buttressed by bread. In other words, it’s the perfect luncheon invention. In fact, it was the brainchild of John Montagu, the 4th Ear of Sandwich, who crafted the phenomenon in order to eat and remain at the gaming table. The splendid creation bears his title.

There is an art to assembling this veritable feast between crusts. Bread is the canvas. It is also where art becomes architecture. Whether one prefers rustic ciabatta or a granary slice, the bread should be substantial, not sloppy — a foundation upon which to build. Spreading a condiment provides a barrier to mushiness or adds moisture. Next, cheese imparts strength as well as sharp, nutty or velvety appeal. Meat often showcases, and greens cap it off. The British Sandwich Association — now, there’s an organization worth its salt and pepper — actually crowns champion sandwich makers annually at the Sammies Awards.

Premium ingredients differentiate and drive customers to their favorite deli for the real deal. Aspen Deli utilizes Boar’s Head meats and cheeses to handcraft sandwiches on Village Baker breads, kitted out with homemade sides. Situated across from city hall in downtown Flagstaff, they draw a steady fan base with a casual approach and novel options.

“We mix it up to keep regulars coming in,” said co-owner Carlos Turrieta. His goals are, “Making people happy—their smiles—and exceeding their expectations.”

Continue reading “Matters of Taste: Aspen Deli a casual downtown favorite”