Steppin’ Out – Bubbies Love Deli & Catering, Citrus Heights

I don’t know if it was Russ Salazar or me who first came across this family run, Jewish style deli at 7800 Sunrise Blvd, Number 11 in Citrus Heights (northeast corner of Sunrise and Antelope Road), but it seemed like a great place to try. Yelp, if you follow them, has it rated as the best.

How it got its name is an interesting story. The owner’s Jewish grandmother, Bubbie Mary, seemed to have a secret ingredient in everything she would make. What was the secret ingredient? It was her love for her family and her passion for her food. The dishes they offer are recipes that have been handed down from Bubbie.

After a bit of driving around, we finally found the place on the Antelope Road side of the mini-mall where it is located.

I was after 1 p.m. when we walked into the restaurant and were immediately greeted by the owner, Stacie Shoob-Allen. Being that it was after the normal lunch rush, we were the only customers, so we chatted with her for a while, asking what she would recommend we try.

“It’s all good,” she said, “I get my pastrami from New York and it is expensive, but it is the best. In fact, I’m proud that everything I serve is the best.”

We looked over the menu and decided to try the Traditional Hot Pastrami on dark rye with brown deli mustard. It came with a choice of a side dish, so we added their housemade cole slaw. For our second choice we decided not to have another sandwich, but went a bit out of the normal and ordered Bagel and Lox, with an everything bagel. We were happy we did.

The pastrami sandwich contained a goodly amount of pastrami and was quite tasty, but we both thought the brown deli mustard was a bit too much and overpowered the taste of the pastrami. The cole slaw was just that. I remember another Jewish deli in Sacramento, that unfortunately closed, having the best cole slaw ever, so I was disappointed.

Now, about the bagel and lox. Fantastic. It came with lots of lox curled in the form of a flower, accompanied by a great bagel. With it came cream cheese, thin onion slices, cored large tomato slices and capers. By itself the lox was the best, the very best I have tried and everything together on the bagel was heavenly. If I ordered it again I would add a second bagel. There was enough of everything for that. It was so good that as we slowly ate it we traded complements about it.

Bubbie’s Love serves both breakfast and lunch, so they have quite a menu for what is actually a small restaurant.

At breakfast, in addition to the normal egg dishes, you can get eggs with pastrami, corned beef or Kosher salami, along with biscuits and gravy or a Country Benny: two poached eggs stacked on a split biscuit and sausage patties. There are also House Specialties, including Cousin Brenda’s Beef Brisket, Homemade Corned Beef Hash, Hand Cut and Breaded Country Fried Steak, Tofu Scramble and even a Fish Platter (Lox, Whitefish Salad and Pickled Herring).

The breakfast list continues with a number of omelets with regular and unique ingredients and a Build Your Own omelet. On weekends they add Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine and Uncle Benny’s Eggs Benny to the menu.

The lunch menu includes appetizers (Nosherai) like: Falafels, Sweet Cheese Blintzes, Knishes, Chopped Chicken Liver and more, followed by Israeli, Garden, Whitefish and Caesar salads and Matzo Ball or Cold Beet Borscht soups.

The Specialty Sandwiches list is what first caught my eye and it includes: The Reuben, The Rachel (pastrami instead of corned beef), Falafel (homemade pita bread stuffed with homemade falafel), Kosher Klub, Traditional Club, Uncle Grump’s Hot Pastrami, The Beefeater, Traditional Pastrami or Corned Beef. You can also get cold sandwiches like turkey, roast beef, ham, Kosher salami or chopped liver.

Finally, there are larger plates such as Chicken Strips and Fries, Baked Mac & Cheese, Cousin Brenda’s Brisket and a Fish Platter, along with sides like, Coleslaw, Potato or Macaroni salad, Whitefish Salad, French Fries, Mac & Cheese and a Latke.

Beverages on the menu include milk or fruit juice, hot cocoa, New York Egg Cream or Chocolate Phosphate, coffee and tea, soft drinks and Dr. Brown’s bottled soda.

If you have never heard of Dr. Brown’s, it is a brand of soft drink popular in the New York City region and South Florida, that can also be found in Jewish delicatessens and upscale supermarkets around the United States. Varieties include: cream soda (regular and diet), black cherry soda (regular and diet), orange soda, ginger ale, root beer, and Cel-Ray (celery-flavored soda).

Bubbie’s Love Deli & Catering is open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., seven days a week. They can be reached (916) 722-7800 and you can view the menu at www.bubbieslove.com.

They have limited seating, so think about off hours.

Ess gezunterhait! “Eat in good health”

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