I don’t know how many times I have recently driven by Missouri Station, which is at the corner of Missouri Flat and China Garden roads, seen the deli signs and thought to myself, “I really should check this out.”
There has been some kind of a deli within the service station/convenience store for quite a while, but only for the past several months have there been signs advertising it.
I know what your are thinking, “A deli in a convenience store at a gas station? What kind of food are they going to have”? Well, I was more than pleasantly shocked and delighted.
When Hunt & Sons took over the Chevron Station at this location they hired a local young lady named Debra Mahnke to run the deli. She had worked (and still subs) in the cafeteria at Gold Oak school for several years and knew more than a bit about food and feeding people.
“Take the deli and run with it is what they told me when I was hired and that is just what I am doing,” Debra told me.
She added breakfast burritos, wraps, speciality sandwiches, pastries and more to what had been a weak menu. And, they were not just the run-of-the-mill food one might expect at this sort of location. They are restaurant quality goods made with the best ingredients.
Debra asked me to come by and try a few things, so I dropped in after calling her one Tuesday. She introduced me to her helper, Randa, as I found a seat at one of the small tables in one of the cleanest convenience stores I have ever visited.. Immediately she brought me a large burrito.
“This is our Breakfast Burrito,” she said. “It contains sausage, eggs, cheese, hash browns and sausage gravy, all rolled up in a flour tortilla.
I cut off a third of it to try because I suspected there would be more.
The burrito was delicious and because of the number of ingredients, and especially the gravy. Every bite was a bit different from the one before.
Before I had finished the sample I had cut from the burrito, she brought me a huge sandwich about two inches thick in the middle.
“This is our Huntsman,” she said. “It has roast beef, turkey, ham and Swiss cheese served on marbled rye, along with ‘all the goods”( mayonnaise, mustard, Special Sauce, lettuce, red onion, tomato, pickles, peperoncini, salt and pepper).
We have several speciality sandwiches on the menu, but you can build your own if you wish,” she added
“Well, that is enough food for a week,” I thought to myself as I tried to figure out if I could actually find room for half of what turned out to be one of the best deli sandwiches I have even eaten.
Then came a wrap, not just any wrap, but a Chicken and Spinach wrap, flavored with a Chipotle dressing. It was fantastic and very fresh.
“Don’t miss the cinnamon roll and cookie we gave you,” Debra added. “They too come from US. Foods. The cinnamon roll is unique, it is made from the centers of five rolls.”
“We get most of our ingredients from US. Foods,” Debra told me. “The meats, cheeses and most everything else are Metro Deli, one of their brands. I think they are the best.”
“Our sign out front says we serve Metro Deli products, so I lot of people (including yours truly) think that is our name,” Debra told me. “We also wear Metro Deli shirts because we are proud of their quality products. As a result, even though we are officially Missouri Station Deli, we are often called Metro Deli.”
While continuing to enjoy bites of everything, Debra introduced me to Dave, the store manager. He has some 25 years of experience in the food business and is also excited about the deli and what Debra is doing.
“By the way,” Debra continued, we also make pizza on French bread. We make them to order on any kind of bread or bagel we have, and also have them pre-made in our grab-and-go area.”
Yes, I found some room for a piece of that and it was very good.
If you are looking for great sandwiches, wraps, breakfast and lunch burritos, bread pizza, salads, soup or chili (both subject to weather), cookies, chips, pastries (including scones from our own Way Back Bakery in El Dorado), cupcake size cheesecakes, fruit and more (I’m sure I forgot something), stop by.
Hours are 5 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday. Lots of pre-made “grab and go” at other times.
“Things are crazy around here in the morning,” Debra said. “You ought to stop by.”
Future plans include a larger “Walk around” for more pre-made food and freshly sliced meats by the pound.
Oh, be sure check out the add and coupon in this paper. By one sandwich, get one free.
I almost forgot. They also do catering. Call (530) 285-9289 for more information on that.