The Courtyard Deli – Placerville

“The salad, for which like everybody else I ever met, he had a special recipe of his own.”

— George Du Maurier (1834-1896)

The Courtyard Deli
Two of my morning walking partners returned last week from several months in a warmer clime, where they relaxed, played golf, relaxed, played golf … A couple of days later one of them asked me if I had tried The Courtyard Deli, the new deli at 312 Main St, Suite 104, in Fountain Plaza in Placerville. I didn’t even know it was there, so the next time I was in town I stopped by.

The owners, Jann and Tania Wells told me they had opened on April 10 and were steadily increasing the number of new customers every day.

“We are glad it has been a bit slow,” said Tania. “That way we could work out the kinks all new businesses have.”

I asked if they had any experience in the food business and Tania said, “Not really, but we both have a lot of experience in management and are real ‘foodies.’

“We are so into food that when we went on our honeymoon in San Diego, we made sure that they had the Food Channel on the television. A great view of the ocean and the Food Channel, that is what we wanted,” said Jann.

“We were always doing the food for family and company picnics and people asked us for our recipes,” continued Jann. “We often went to a deli in Sanger that we really liked and have modeled our business on theirs. Quality and customer service is what we want to provide. We are working with our neighbors, Zia’s and Dedrick’s Cheese, to make our businesses complementary to each other. We want to make this place a food court where you can get what you want and need,” Jann said.

“We make all of our sandwiches in house and our sandwiches have a quarter pound of meat or more. We have also added local things to our menu like chocolates from Annabelle’s Chocolates in El Dorado and strudel from Boa Vista in Camino,” Jann said.

“Jann did all the work in the place,” said Tania. “He put up the cabinets and refinished the tables. He made it look real nice.

“When we first saw the place, we liked it, but it was too big. Later, we decided to come back and look at it again. A new wall was up and the size had been reduced to what we needed, so we took it.”

“The first thing we were asked when we opened was if we were going to have the great Chinese chicken salad that the place had been known for,” added Jann. “We got the recipe from Nina, but it just didn’t work for us. We think we have come up with one that people will like as much. In fact, we are reprinting the menu to include it.”

Yes, I tried it. It has a nice Asian dressing that complements the salad quite well.

The menu at The Courtyard Deli includes a number of delicatessen style Hoagie (I love that word) sandwiches, including roast beef and cheese, ham and cheese, turkey bacon and cheese, a vegetarian and more, and they have seven different cheeses.

Speciality sandwiches include the Courtyard Cuban, pulled pork, tuna salad, chicken salad, club Hoagie, French dip and Ruben. The sides, which are made fresh daily, include potato salad, Cuban style chili, seafood salad (I liked all the salads, but really liked this one for its clean, fresh taste), broccoli salad, white albacore tuna salad, chicken salad and a fresh garden salad. Also, soup and Cuban style chili and, for the kids, peanut butter and strawberry preserves and grilled American cheese. Soda, water, tea and more available.

Salads, along with the Boar’s Head meats and cheeses are available by the pound.

“We are really picky about our ingredients,” said Jann. “The first canned tuna we got said, ‘white tuna,’ but it wasn’t what we wanted. Now we get nothing but real albacore. As I said, quality and customer service, and we mean it.”

The Courtyard Deli is open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., except on Monday when they take the day off. “But,” added Jann, “we get here at 8 a.m., so we are usually open then. We have bagels and cream cheese and other goodies in the morning. Oh, Tania also makes a great whoopie pie, for dessert. Here, try a piece.” It was good. I haven’t had a whoopie pie since I was in Maine and it brought back nice memories.

For more information call 530-344-7574.

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