Genova Delicatessen (downtown location), Walnut Creek CA
Genova is one of the places that Zach’s nonna would take him for fine Italian ingredients and meal basics. There are two locations in Walnut Creek, but as we were coming back from a morning in Oakland, it was easy to get off Highway 24 and breeze into the ample parking lot off Mt Diablo and S California.
The deli is small but stocks a lot. There were many salads to choose from, and they all looked delicious. Bread is brought in fresh from Boudin and Maggiora, and some of the desserts are made in house.
Zach tried this pasta salad with three types of beans, olives, and fine carrot shreds. The pesto was fresh and mild, more like a vinaigrette than a full-on pesto sauce. He liked the al dente pasta, so every element added texture to the mix.
August’s pasta salad had what was essentially Caesar dressing as its sauce, with thinly sliced onions and chunky feta cheese. She felt that this was a good pasta salad, and could equally be a good potato salad, swapping out pasta for maybe red skin potatoes.
Carol our sandwich artist suggested these stuffed cherry peppers. Wrapped inside the mildly salty prosciutto hides a hunk of white cheese like jack or provolone (today’s variety was jack). The peppers themselves were pickled yet still crisp and fresh with a nice balance of tang and kick.
Essentially a quiche with no crust, August picked out this frittata for her lunch tomorrow. Zach, having made these before and tried Genova’s version, can attest to the taste: it will be a rich, savory egg custard with fresh zucchini, garlic, and Parmesan cheese; it would be good served cold and paired with a salad.
A simple french roll with all of the toppings made August’s sandwich pretty thick. Besides the pastrami, it was loaded with green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, and onions all fresh, pickles, peppers, mayonnaise, and mustard.
Zach hand picked his dutch crunch roll for his favorite type of deli sandwich: ham and Swiss. He nearly never waivers. The ham was freshly baked, tender, mildly salty and smoky. It brought him back to having ham sandwiches the day after Easter as a kid. If you like simple sandwiches and that’s what you’re used to getting, then this ham won’t disappoint you. It’s a refreshing alternative to typical processed deli meat. Green leaf lettuce, fresh tomatoes, pickles, and mayonnaise were the only other adornments, and all were put together well.
If you’re shopping in downtown Walnut Creek and are willing to walk a little off the main drag, here you can try a nice lunch spot plus pick up some good Italian-inspired ingredients for your dinner.